Hillary Clinton’s encounter with Mother Teresa began, it just so happens, at the National Prayer Breakfast, way back in 1994. That year, the keynoter was a special guest: Mother Teresa. Nearly 3,000 packed a huge room. Near the dais were the president and first lady—the Clintons.
Unlike in typical years, where the keynoter sits among the assembled waiting for others to finish speaking, Mother Teresa appeared from behind a curtain only when called to the platform, and then slowly hunched toward the microphone. She began talking about Jesus and John the Baptist in their wombs, about their mothers, and how the “unborn child” in the womb of Elizabeth—John—leapt with joy, heralding the arrival of Christ as Mary neared Elizabeth, a moment known as “The Visitation.”
Mother Teresa next spoke of love, of selfishness, of a lack of love for the unborn—and a lack of want of the unborn because of selfishness. Then, the gentle sister made this elite group uncomfortable: “But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because Jesus said, ‘If you receive a little child, you receive me.’ So every abortion is the denial of receiving Jesus.”
After an awkward silence, the entire ballroom erupted in a standing ovation that seemed to last minutes. It felt even longer to the embarrassed Clintons (and Al and Tipper Gore), who remained seated and did not clap.
Undeterred by the Clintons’ coldness, the tiny, aged lady was only warming up. Abortion was, said Mother, “really a war against the child, and I hate the killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that the mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? … This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”
Hillary Clinton was shaken. But it wasn’t over.