He’s a what?

Check out this video from CNN aired on February 16, 2009.

One can only imagine what Bill Clinton was intending to mean when he made this claim.  The theological label he assigns to himself is so odd, particularly in light of the way in which he qualifies it, that I am left scratching my head wondering what he was intending to say about himself.

On a theological basis alone, Calvinism and “works” are essentially polar opposites.  So to assert that he has to work because he is a Calvinist, strains any sort of comparison. 

If however, he is clumsily trying to make some claim of a “Puritanical work ethic”, I struggle to square the reality of  the high moral standards of the Puritans with the ethical lapses and moral failures that accompany Bill Clinton.

What is he getting at?  Any ideas what this man means when he says he is a Calvinist?

HT: Sandra Dabney

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2 Responses to He’s a what?

  1. Brandon says:

    This would be my guess.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Protestant_Ethic_and_the_Spirit_of_Capitalism

    Weber connects Calvinism with work ethic…thus, so do many people who are trained in the universities these days, especially in sociology classes. This is where I heard it at A&M.

  2. Chuck says:

    Brandon – Thanks for the link. I believe you hit the nail on the head. In thinking about it in an academic context, “sociologist” would be a label better suited to Bill Clinton than “theologean.”

    Now I’ll spend a little time wondering if the use of the term “Calvinist” was just a word that popped into his head, or if it was a part of some larger calculation.

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