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Jimmy Carter publishes study Bible, discusses faith-filled life
President Jimmy Carter's speaks at an interfaith service in New York in 1991.
March 17th, 2012
06:45 AM ET

Jimmy Carter publishes study Bible, discusses faith-filled life

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – Jimmy Carter, peanut farmer turned president turned globe-trotting humanitarian, now has another line to add to his business card: Bible commentator. Last week Carter published a Lessons from Life Study Bible, with the subtitle Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter.

With many Democrats embracing the language of faith in recent years in an attempt to win back so-called values voters from the Republican column, Carter's intense faith life is a good reminder that hardly all Democrats are new to the pew.

Since he returned to Plains, Georgia, from Washington after losing his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan in 1980, Carter has taught Sunday school at the local Maranatha Baptist Church, “about 685 times so far,” he says.

His notes in the new study Bible pull from years of Sunday school lessons. “Like the disciples, we should not be proud, seek an ascendant position or argue about who’s the greatest among us,” he notes in reflecting on a passage from the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus' followers are debating who among them is the greatest.

In a phone interview from his home in Plains, he said politics is one area in need of redemption, bemoaning the influx of vitriol and money into politics.

“I always referred to incumbent President Gerald Ford as ‘my distinguished opponent’ and that’s the way he referred to me. When I later ran against Gov. [Ronald] Reagan, it was the same thing, ‘my distinguished opponent,’” Carter said of his runs for president.

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Carter’s 1976 bid for the White House was cast in the shadow of President Nixon’s resignation following the Watergate scandal. Carter was a seemingly squeaky clean and relatively unknown one-term governor, a Baptist churchgoer who became a darling of evangelical Christian voters.

On the campaign trail, Carter proudly advertised that he had been “born again.” Historian Randall Balmer dubbed him the “Redeemer President” in his book "God in the White House," largely crediting Carter with bringing the vocabulary of evangelicalism into national politics.

President Carter works in the Oval Office in February 1977.

But any notion Carter would govern as he taught Sunday school was dispelled when he took office. "I was taught to believe in the complete separation of church and state,” he said.

Carter says he's a disciple of President Jefferson, who famously wrote in a letter that the First Amendment established "a wall of separation between Church & State.”

Carter’s embrace of that idea did not always go over well at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“I got into some trouble for that because, for instance, I didn’t want Billy Graham, who was my friend, to come and have worship services inside the White House, as had been done in previous presidencies both Democrat and Republican,” he said.

Graham, Carter said, was not happy but later came to understand it.

Carter's presidential daily diaries, compiled by the White House staff to record the movement, conversations and meetings of the president, show Graham and Carter communicated often via telephone and over meals.

President Carter and President Bush pray with the Rev. Billy Graham in 2007.

Indeed, Carter said it was impossible to separate his Christian faith from his daily life in the White House.

Long before he worked out of the Oval Office, he and his wife Rosalynn developed the habit of reading a passage of scripture aloud every night: “She would take a turn one night and I would take the next.”

It was a practice they kept up in the White House and continue to this day, reading through the Bible and then starting again at the beginning. Carter said he and Rosalynn have recently been reading a Spanish translation of the Bible to keep up their language skills.

“I tried to put into my services as president the teachings of Christ,” he said. To Carter that meant policies that pushed for peace around the globe and cared for the needy.

“I was very careful to keep religious practice out of my decisions as president except for moral values,” he said.

In the White House, Carter still found time to quietly teach Sunday school on 14 occasions. He attended services at various churches, including worshipping at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

The Carter presidential diaries note Carter and his wife attending services in Washington at First Baptist Church. "The President and the First Lady attended the adult Sunday School class," reads an entry from December 18, 1977. "The class was conducted by the President."

A similar entry is written for March 4, 1979.

“I’ve taught Sunday school for almost my entire life, beginning when I was a Midshipman in the Navy at 18 years old,” Carter said.

The majority of those lessons were given at Maranatha Baptist Church, which now has around 30 members. When Carter teaches Sunday school there today, attendance can grow to 800 – passing the population total for the tiny town of Plains, home to 650 residents.

Carter walks through his family peanut farm in an undated campaign photo.

Busloads of tourists regularly pull into the parking lot for a chance to hear the former leader of the free world teach from Scripture. At times, visitors spill into an overflow room with a television monitor, subject to security sweeps by the Secret Service, Carter said.

The church’s answering machine recording begins with the times Carter will be teaching and suggests visitors arrive early, noting the doors open at 8:30 a.m. and that there are no reservations.

Carter’s presence on Sundays is a one-man economic engine for the tiny town. “It really is a huge impact,” said Ruth Sanders, director of the Plains Better Homes Committee, a local tourism office.

She said the seven-room Plains Historic Inn is booked months in advance and that its country diner is jammed. She also notes that Sunday school is the only time people are guaranteed a photo with the former president, who with his wife poses for a picture with everyone who asks after services.

“One of the main things I try to do is to connect the very ancient Scriptures with modern day life," he said. "Either experiences I’ve had or that I believe are things that are interesting to people who come to hear me teach.”

Christian publishing house Zondervan compiled the study Bible, which combines Carter’s teachings and notes with the New International Bible Study Bible.

The NIV translation is one of the best selling English translations of the Bible of all time. Verne Kenney, executive vice president for Zondervan, which published the Carter Bible, expects it to sell 250,000 copies over several years.

“We believe we can find some people we haven’t engaged with the product, with who has written the notes,” Kenney said.

Carter brings some serious credentials to those notes. He served just one term as Georgia governor and one term as president, but is working on his seventh decade as a Sunday school teacher.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Church and state • Faith Now • Georgia • Politics

soundoff (1,124 Responses)
  1. James

    It's a pity that CNN has to put a political spin on this right at the start of the article. Faith is not about being a Republican nor a Democrat. I doubt very much Mr. Carter published the book with political intentions of putting down GOP Christians.
    I've just ordered my copy. God Bless you, Jimmy Carter.

    March 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Michael

      No lefty can write a study Bible in the correct sense.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • manda

      Michael, thas raght! Jesus wants us to have ahr guns n oil and would never sit fer lettin them poor people git health care or fer educatin children. Them's lefty hippy values, not good Christian values.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  2. bobby jones

    First Jimmy Carter was flitting about the world consorting with dictators like Castro, allegedly solving the world's problems (I'm betting he was channelling Jesus Christ) and now he has written his own Bible (he apparently has graduated to God the Father). What is going to do for an encore–become the Holy Spirit or the Virgin Mary? I'm betting on the Holy Spirit since he has been talking in tongues for decades. Someone seriously needs to lock this lunatic up before he hurts himself.

    March 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Done venting now?

      Ok, he didn't "write his own bible," he wrote a study Bible, which I take to mean a standard Bible along with his own commentary.

      March 19, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • GoFigure

      BJ.....I bet you get tired of being wrong.

      March 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  3. Meathead (of the Word)

    "Wisdom is known of her children". You have no part in a life of faith or prayer who says it doesn't work. God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. You can blab & blab, and be the haughty-minded scorner that you indeed are.

    This is the age of apostacy. Their will be false healers, prophets, teachers; claiming they are of God. Or in the case of the all learned might so-called scientists, the supposed facts to support the denial of God's existence. But He will simply say "I never knew you".

    Again, the question is.... do YOU know HIM in the pardon of YOUR sin.

    March 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "This is the age of apostacy. Their will be false healers, prophets, teachers; claiming they are of God. Or in the case of the all learned might so-called scientists, the supposed facts to support the denial of God's existence. "

      At what time was this *not* the case?

      March 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Max Powers

      God is trying to trick and confuse me? What an A$$H0LE!

      March 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Fundies like to refer to "so-called" scientists. What does that mean exactly? Do you have some extensive expertise that qualifies you to differentiate "real" scientists from "so-called" scientists? Or am I safe to as.sume that the "so-called" ones are any scientists who study things you don't like or don't understand?

      March 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Meathead,
      "But He will simply say 'I never knew you'."
      And, why should it matter what your "so called" savior says?

      March 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • fred

      Nonimus
      I think that verse was one where Jesus was telling a group of real religious zealots they were way of base. Here Meathead is unaware that he is the one that Jesus is saying depart from me.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  4. yannaes

    Scoff on, Scoff on....Nothing new..has been happening for 1000's of years and those of us of whom have our belief are not swayed by this. So, scoff on, scoff on you group of intellectuals of whom have the answers.

    March 19, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Max Powers

      Yes, facts can't change your mind. Amen.

      March 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  5. jt_flyer

    I wonder what Jimmy thinks of our new breed of american religious leaders.

    March 19, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer really changes things .

    March 19, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Jesus

      You've been proven a liar over and over again on this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning...

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!

      March 19, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      At least they changed it up a little and added the word "really".

      March 19, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      The best (most rigorous methodology) study on prayer was carried out by Duke University Medical School. It found prayer was not effective, and even less effective than the hokey quack medicine "techniques" which at least helped people by giving them positive human attention.

      http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/9136

      March 19, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  7. OHC

    As a non believer, I have to give Jimmy my respect. IMO he has been the ONLY so called christian President this nation has known in my lifetime.. It's a shame that people who claimed to be christians have abandoned REAL christian principals in favor of focusing on policing womens uteruses and getting rich. Greed and cotrol have become the new god in America.

    March 19, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • truth

      Not sure how
      “I was very careful to keep religious practice out of my decisions as president except for moral values,” he said.

      Is keeping with seperation of state out of the church. Which moral values did he use then. Hindu, Atheist,?
      A good person he may be but a horrible president he was.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:46 am |
    • JuneCleaversBeaver

      Jimmy Carter is proof that there is a God. He's been praying since the 80's to live long enough to see a president who is worse than he was. Thankfully God answered his prayers when Obama was elected three years ago. Now Jimmy can die in peace knowing that there is someone less able to run the country than he was.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • James

      Amen OHC.

      March 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  8. b4bigbang

    The troll who goes by the moniker "Jesus" keeps posting that prayer doesn't work. He threw out the name of the woman, Susan Grady, who let her child die because she apparently thought it would be wrong to use medical care rather than prayer.
    I looked up the case in question and found that (as i suspected) she belonged to a marginal group that is the most notorious abusers of Christian doctrine known in the US.

    Here's the side of the story "Jesus" (should be called 'anti-Jesus') conveniently left out:

    "But stats show that religious groups against medical are few in number. In many cases, they are not theologically trained, and they teach that dependence on medicine demonstrates a lack of faith in God. That puts pressure on people."

    Also, here: The Church of the First Born [Ms Grady's church], well-known in Oklahoma, and Followers of Christ, an offshoot of the church that is located in the Pacific Northwest, together are responsible for more child deaths than any other group.

    http://newsdeskinternational.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/faith-healing-church-of-the-first-born-criminal-or-not/
    Regarding using this tragedy to attempt to 'prove' that there is no God and no prayers are being answered, may i repeat from the article: "... they are not theologically trained...".

    Speaking of not being trained, the atheists will publish that the fossils of a new species of prehistoric ape-like 'man' has been dug up, when later the 'fossil' was found to be a single tooth, which was subsequently found to be a common pig's tooth, they don't even bother to remove it from the textbooks! Why confuse the masses with the truth? i guess they're thinking.

    March 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      Jesus is not a troll. Double blind studies have proven that prayer has no effect and those who knew they were being prayed for actually had worse healing results than those who didn't know they were being prayed for.

      Your whole fossil logic is pretty nonsensical. It lack coherency and clarity. I'm not sure what point you were trying to make. Is it that there's not enough evidence to support natural selection? If so, you should educate yourself.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • GodPot

      I heard a Christian claim once that all the fossil evidence science has that backs evolution could fit on a pool table. I asked him how many pool tables it would take to fit all his evidence of God's existence and after a long pause I added "Probably the same number as angels on the head of a pin..." Sorry, but I'll take a pool table of evidence over imaginary evidence anytime.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:17 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      They don't remove it from the textbooks? What you are referring to was called "Nebraska Man" and was either a hoax or a mistake that was revealed decades ago...by scientists. Show me a single textbook that presents that as a human fossil.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • Mike K

      As Ashrakay says, double-blind, and may I add well-designed studies (this means researchers take bias into account and employ known methods to factor out bias and other mistakes that lead to false conclusions) studies show that prayer heals no one. I've been to healing services, and it is interesting to note that everyone who comes forward has a problem that cannot be observed. Never once does an amputee, for instance, or someone missing an eye or ear come forward. Never.

      The obvious reason, of course, is that as long as an affliction can't be seen, it is easy to pronounce one "healed."

      Well, a friend of mine with severe diabetes had his heart explode while he was driving with his daughter. She managed to stop the car. He had been to a healing service, pronounced "healed" of his diabetes, so he went off his meds and died.
      Faith-healing services should be outlawed for this reason. I have read of too many people who've gone off their meds and paid dearly for it. Of those who are followed up after the service (and hardly any healing ministry ever follows up, I wonder why), those who were healed were found not to have been healed at all, or that they did not have the disease from which they were supposedly delivered in the first place.

      No one wants these facts to be untrue more than I do. I would love for God to heal affliction. Who wouldn't? But to ignore facts is dangerous. It costs people their lives.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Nonimus

      @b4bigbang,
      "Speaking of not being trained, the atheists will publish that the fossils of a new species of prehistoric ape-like 'man'...."

      Atheism *does not* equate to science and science does not equate to atheism. If you have a problem with scientific studies or scientific evidence, find better evidence or refute the evidence presented. Science is *not* anti-religious, it does not speak to religion at all.

      In addition, the Nebraska Man tooth was identified as a peccary over 80-90 years ago. For more current and comprehensive fossils please see:
      http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils
      or even just wikipedia
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_evolution_fossils

      March 19, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Yeahright

      "Regarding using this tragedy to attempt to 'prove' that there is no God and no prayers are being answered, may i repeat from the article: "... they are not theologically trained..."

      What an idiot you could say that about most of the entire population of Christianity. What an idiot. So let's guess you're "just sayin" masking as another poster proving the poster "Jesus" right.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • SouthernCelt

      Prayer is a plea to God. Just because He doesn't respond in the way you want does not mean He didn't answer. Expecting Him to do exactly what you want is fairly arrogant. Why should God answer your self serving prayer? What have you done for Him lately? Pray for something in line with His Will and you may get better results.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer is a plea to God. Just because He doesn't respond in the way you want does not mean He didn't answer. Expecting Him to do exactly what you want is fairly arrogant. Why should God answer your self serving prayer? What have you done for Him lately? Pray for something in line with His Will and you may get better results."

      It's been proven to be a waste of time. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!

      March 19, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Brandon

      I wish there was a like button!

      March 19, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Come on, B4BigBang, I'm calling you out. Show me the modern textbooks that present "Nebraska Man" as a hominid fossil, or admit once and for all that you creationists often simply lie to try to support your point of view.

      I'm serious. What textbook?

      March 19, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Just as I suspected. Lies.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Just To Be Fair

      False Dichotomy,

      b4b usually posts late at night... doubtful that he has anything to show you, but I'm just being fair.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Okay, fair enough. Apologies in advance if I jumped the gun.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @SouthernCelt, You assume that people who don't have prayers answered because they are self-serving. And if you follow your logic, prayers that are in line with the will of god, must mean that god already intends to do them, therefore the prayer is still a waste of time. And if I were god, I'd probably be annoyed by people pleading me to do something I was already going to do... but that's just me.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • fred

      Ashrakay
      Given that God spoke the universe into existence then made man with what had been created we see order that begins with and extends from God. Assuming God would answer prayer in the order of the time line God created for man would be reasonable but, contrary to what God has already told us. God says he knew us before he knit our bones together in the womb. Then we see God predestines us to purpose and calls those who are chosen yet it is not until the moment we accept Christ as our savior that all the pieces fall in place. It is not a circle but an eternal time where a predestined plan was put in place before a random variable (our choice) sets the plan in motion.
      As to prayer this means God answers prayer from the view point that it was answered before we needed to pray.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  9. Reality

    Dear Jimmy C,

    Another lesson for your Sunday school classes:

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    March 18, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • truth

      And I guess everyone ( umpteen 1000snd of them ) whom witnessed these miracles was touched also? Even the religious leaders of the day were amazed by the miracles and seeked to have him killed because they said he was doing Satans work. Which he replied "does a house divided against itself still stand". I wonder what reality you are living in? I guess its the having eyes they did not see and having ears they did not hear reality.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • Reality

      Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

      earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:

      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      March 19, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Reality

      Mark 8:18 "eyes have not seen....... " has been thoroughly reviewed by many contemporary NT scholars and found to be not authentic. e.g. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=239_Leaven_of_Pharisees and Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus after 2000 Years, pp. 694-695.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • Prescott

      Yet, amazingly, while most people know no names of kings, rulers, or political leaders, philosophers, educators, or scholars from 2000 years ago, Jesus is still remembered. Before the sun sets today, thousands more will accept Him into their own lives. Followers of Jesus on earth right now number between two and three billion.

      Pretty good work for a madman.

      But you go on believing what you want to believe. I wouldn't want to interfere with your obsession.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Reality

      As noted previously, a summarizing prayer:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      March 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Before the sun sets today, thousands more will accept Him into their own lives. Followers of Jesus on earth right now number between two and three billion." What sound reasoning to believe something, the "Everybody else says it's true" defense. By your logic that would mean Muhammad must be even more real than Jesus since there are more Muslims than Christians, so when are you going to convert to the religious "host with the most"?

      "At this moment Muslim population stands at 2.1 billion" "whereas Christian Population is 1.98 billion" religiouspopulation.com

      March 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  10. carl

    I think of the diciples asking Jahshua; Master why do you speak in parables ,and his answer was it was not for everybody to know/understand the kingdom . ( the potter makes many vessels,some for honor and some for dishonor or should i say some for glory and some for destruction) Likewise, scripture is also sort of cryptic in the way it is written for it was not meant for all to understand. Messiah said i was not sent but for the lost sheep of the House of Israel... He came unto his own and his own recieved him not .. great is the mystery of godliness,God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit , seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles ( House of Israel) ,believed on in the world ,received up into glory.Yes the GENTILES are Gods people whereever he has driven them. Yes, the gentiles have gone a killing,thinking they are doing God great,instead they are building Satans kingdom.. Wake UP you GENTILES, for you are Gods people. Indeed,there is a war going on in this earth and it is a spiritual war between two seedlines as foretold in gen. 3:14-15. Of what seedine are you or should i say what vessel are you of, the Anti-christ or of Christ ?

    March 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  11. GodsPeople

    umm I'm Christian and the ONLY Jew I "support" IS Jesus. As for the Zionist state of Israel... I hope Iran smokes them and teaches them not to start wars any longer. Even Orthodox Jews don't agree with Israel.

    March 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • GodPot

      "I hope Iran smokes them" He may condone the murder of innocent Jews, but if they aren't Christians they must not be Godspeople so who cares, right?

      March 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Boast Busters

      @GodsPeople: How ya gonna have your precious "End of Days" without 'em (Israel)?

      March 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Chad

      GodsPeople
      umm I'm Christian and the ONLY Jew I "support" IS Jesus. As for the Zionist state of Israel... I hope Iran smokes them and teaches them not to start wars any longer. Even Orthodox Jews don't agree with Israel."

      =>anti-antisemitism is not only ugly and morally wrong, but it's anti-God. It demonstrates bad theology and a doubtful positional relationship.

      You need to read Romans 11 a couple hundred times.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • NT

      gp-Jesus does not need your support.
      In fact,you need to accept him as your Lord and Savior and renounce any other false god you are worshipping and acknowledge Jesus as the one true God.

      March 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      GodsPeople – Your comment about Jews isn't kind to our fellow brothers. Jesus was Jewish as you say but Christianity is built on Judaism and we should remain supportive of Israel. Although God made a new covenanr with his people through Christ, he did not turn his back on his chosen people and our Jewish brothers. Rather he expanded salvation to all of the Gentiles. Christianity is not an excuse to treat our friends harshly.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      SPA Knight
      How about Christianity's sister faith, Islam? Do you advocate supporting that faith as well?

      March 19, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • SPA Knight

      Oh Yeah – It depends on what do you mean by a sister faith? If you are baiting me to criticize our Moslem brothers than my answer is yes I support them too although Christianity is not built on Islam. Judaism, Islam and Christianity share a common heritage through our father Abraham and perhaops we should focus on that instead of killing each other. I am also supportive of Hindus, Buddist and others in case you are wondering.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      SPA Knight
      Thanks, it's actually quite refreshing to hear a Christian not be all caught up in the certainty of their faith being the only true one. I count myself among the atheists who would gladly like to live in a society where all faiths, along with those who are not believers, can coexist peacefully without any one group trying to raise itself above the others. That's why we confront those (who happen to be almost exclusively Christian conservatives, it seems) who try doing this within this blog. If you are truly a moderate then you should consider us your allies. :-)

      March 19, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Patrick

      Being a Christian means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and accept his plan of salvation. This has nothing do with being a liberal or conservative.

      March 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Patrick: "have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ"

      A "personal relationship", by definition, requires that a person be present and involved. There is no evidence that a person named Jesus Christ is anywhere around here. You have a "relationship" with an idea... a mirage. You are talking to, and listening to, yourself.

      March 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Patrick

      The choice to worship Jesus and walk in faith is personal. It is purely by grace one comes to saving knowledge in Christ.

      March 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Bizzarre – Is having a relationship with an invisible God so difficult to imagine? Many are having relationships via the internet (and some even on this blog) with people they have never met.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Patrick, @SPA Knight,
      If you define "worship" and "walk in faith" as a relationship then you may be right, but usually, I think, a relationship requires some interaction by both parties.
      Yes, it is possible to have a relationship with an unseen party, the blind do it all the time, however a relationship with an invisible, immaterial, and mute party, seems less a relationship than an imagination.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Oh Yeah

      Patrick
      Do you actually get texts, notes, e-mails, calls, or even letters from "God"? Anything tangible from him at all? How do you know it's not all in your head?

      For us, we see actual words appearing on a screen so we assume that someone like us is just responding to what we've written. It's a completely reasonable thing to believe, but few of us would be really surprised that somebody here has responded using someone else's handle. Some of us wouldn't even be surprised to discover that a computer program randomly posted those "Prayer changes things" messages, but nobody suspects some supernatural being is behind them when perfectly rational explanations are available.

      March 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • SPA Knight

      Oh Yeah – I cannot speak for Patrick but I can attest that having a relationship with God is very personal but it is also experiential. As humans we are designed with senses and some would argue we have 5 and others believe there may be more that we simply haven't learned to truly develop or utilize.The sixth sense perhaps. These senses all contribute to what we learn and experience and although one may not see something, we can certainly feel, hear, taste, smell or perhaps sense in other ways. Our brains collect the data received from all these senses and stores this for thinking and use in experience life. If I were to rely strictly on what I have learned from the written word about anything, then my life experience would be very shallow don't you think? As human beings, we are hybrid creations which is what seperates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Otherwise, all we would need to experience life would be the basic elements and nothing more. We have both a physical and spiritual nature which is what makes use higher intelligent beings (theoretically for those in doubt). Although it cannot be seen, that spiritual nature is there inside each one of us and some develop it while others suppress it perhaps. When we look around at humans such as say a Mother Teresa or Ghandi even, I would argue that there spiritual nature was advanced.

      March 20, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  12. Debra

    For an ex-pres that has publicly not supported Israel I find it ironic that any christian publishing organization would publish anything you would comment on concerning the Bible. Jesus was a Jew would you not support him or would you want to kick him out of the West Bank also.

    March 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Chad

      Absolutely well said.

      Carter has mangled Jesus' message into a humanistic one, he needs to be attending Sunday school not teaching it.

      March 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Bobby

      Yup, Christian support for the Jews, until Jesus returns, right? Then they have to quit those kosher ideas and accept Jesus as their personal savior, or else, right? Tell me, would you be supporting Israel at all if you didn't have a selfish need to keep them around just to fulfill prophecy?

      March 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • GodPot

      The Christian Hierarchy would attempt to have the Jesus of the gospels killed so fast if he ever appeared, your only hope is that he won't be as fragile as the last time he supposedly was here. If he got plssed off at the money changers at the temple back then I wouldn't want to think about what he would do at the Vatican or just about every other "organized" in his name religious group.

      March 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Chad

      Bobby "Christian support for the Jews, until Jesus returns, right? Then they have to quit those kosher ideas and accept Jesus as their personal savior, or else, right? Tell me, would you be supporting Israel at all if you didn't have a selfish need to keep them around just to fulfill prophecy?"
      @Chad "Jesus is Jewish, the only difference between Christians and Jews is that Christians believe the Messiah has already appeared and the Jews are still waiting.
      Christians as such are just a messianic Jewish sect that doesnt observe the Law.

      ========================
      GodPot "The Christian Hierarchy would attempt to have the Jesus of the gospels killed so fast if he ever appeared, your only hope is that he won't be as fragile as the last time he supposedly was here. If he got plssed off at the money changers at the temple back then I wouldn't want to think about what he would do at the Vatican or just about every other "organized" in his name religious group."
      @Chad "Jesus was very anti-"religious" then, and remains so today. I dont think He really approves of any of the religious institutions Catholic or Protestant.
      Jesus wants a personal saving relationship

      March 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Bobby

      Chad
      Jews not only don't accept Jesus as the messiah because he didn't fulfill all the expectations, which he didn't, but also because Christians misinterpreted the ti.tle "son of God" along pagan terms, as a literal demigod figure like Hercules. A pure monotheism cannot allow such, which is why Jews share a closer idea of God with Muslims than they do with Christians. It's at least possible to believe that Jews and Muslims worship the same God, but neither can accept a divine Jesus as part of the deity.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Observer

      bobbi-If you have not bothered to read up about Christ why parade your ignorance ? Jews and Muslims share the same God? really? then why do Muslims refer to the Jews and others as infidels?

      March 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Max Powers

      Maybe God isn't as racist as you are? Maybe the Jews over emphasized how important they were in God's plan? Kind of like we tell all our children that we love them, but not at the same time or in the same way?

      March 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Max Powers

      observer, muslims refer to christians and jews as people of the book...The infidel bit is from radicals, muslim counter-parts of yourself.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bobby

      Observer
      First, what does reading up on Christ have to do with comparing Jews and Muslims? Second, if some Christians can see Jews as doomed to be judged harshly by the returning Christ you have to admit that there are elements within each religion who want to claim God just for themselves. Jews and Muslims at least have the same structure for God, a single being, whereas Christians imagine God as a trinity, and you know what Jefferson said about the trinity, right?

      “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.”
      ― Thomas Jefferson

      March 20, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Jesus

      You've been proven a liar over and over again on the this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning....

      March 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Jesus

      Plus don't forget. The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!! .. .

      March 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Jesus

      OH and don't forget. An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      March 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven, powerful and pervasive !

      March 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven, powerful and pervasive !"

      Yeah the lawyers were, which is why Christians are rotting in jail because their prayers didn't' work, not only that they're going to hell for knowingly killing their own children.

      March 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • JT

      He has to change it up slightly so he can post it over and over in the same blog. This individual obviously is mentally unstable and sits around just waiting on a new belief blog to be created. Everyone should just simply ignore him.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  14. Iqbal Khan

    He got all the good qualities of a true muslim!

    March 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  15. Iqbal Khan

    A great man, I pray to God Almighty may other ex and current president learn from him

    March 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Gedwards

      And criticize subsequent administrations?

      He was the first to break with the honorable tradition of former Presidents in never publicly faulting the President. Thanks to Pres Carter, all future Presidents will have a harder time in office - unless they follow the Reagan, Bush, and Bush lead and continue to respect the current office holder.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  16. lastofall

    As for morality, he was the most moral of all the Presidents, and continually made the sincere effort to keep in line with the will of God in an exceedingly great secular office; which is why many think less of him, because when we actually are following the Lord, we as the Lord will be hated by the world, because the works of the world are evil.

    March 18, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  17. Gedwards

    And the CNN effort to facilitate an Obama win continues.

    Previously it was the piece about a few Mormons doing proxy-Baptisms, where one had to read the entire article to know that it was a fringe few. But the connection with Gov Romney was obvious.

    Now it's making Pres Carter look like a saint, in a lame attempt at minimizing any negative affect of the obvious Obama-Carter comparisons.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Oh Yeah

      I think you need look no further than the pathetic GOP candidate field than to see what is really facilitating an Obama win.

      March 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  18. False Dichotomy

    With regard to Presidential legacies, the Bushes went back to laze in the family oil wealth, Reagan died shortly after it was revealed that he was mentally incompetent during his last few years of his presidency, Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace, Ford continued to be invisible and ineffectual until his death. Clinton and Carter have continued their working careers and continue to use their leadership positions and energy to fight poverty and increase world peace. The record seems pretty clear regarding conservative vs liberal Presidential legacies. I suspect it reflects conservative vs liberal values as well.

    March 18, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Gedwards

      You always slant your evidence to try to justify your position?

      "Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton toured Haiti's rubble-filled capital Monday to raise aid and investment for a country still...."
      "Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who spent years railing against each other, will appear together in Toronto for .... full-day inspirational, motivational and entertaining events with the power to ignite your spirit"

      March 18, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      Granted, the references to poverty and world peace were slanted and I realized that as I wrote it. But regardless, those two have continued to work hard toward their view of civic duty and public good. The others have not done so – at least not in any visible way. That is a legitimate difference.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      And your publicity announcements just further exemplify Clinton's charity work – just look at how has volunteered to take W along to try and teach him how to act like an upstanding citizen!

      March 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Gedwards

      "And your publicity announcements just further exemplify Clinton's charity work"
      =====================
      As opposed to the tens of millions he's been earning for appearances?

      March 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      They all get those fees for speaking engagements. That's what Newt Gingrich has been doing as a job for the past few years. Cheney (gag) is raking in big bucks talking to furtive groups of dark-hearted old men around the world.

      That's another good case study in legacies actually – compare VP Cheney to VP Gore. One threw himself wholeheartedly into a global cause (and won the Nobel Prize for his efforts), the other continues to slink around uber-rich think-tanks and periodically snarl angry comments at the current administration. Guess which is the conservative and which is the liberal?

      March 19, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • SPA Knight

      The only legacy that Clinton has left is how he used the office of the President to get his jollies with interns and cheat on his wife. He is a disgrace and there is a huge gap between him and Carter interms of humanitarian work. Although Carter was a terrible president, his leacy will be intact for his work in the field for social justice. He needs to keep his trap shut when criticizing presiden't in office. It's disrespectful and unbecoming of a formal commander in chief.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Yeahright

      "The only legacy that Clinton has left is how he used the office of the President to get his jollies with interns and cheat on his wife"

      Oh please, George W lied to the entire country that got us into an unjust war that killed thousands and drove our economy into the ground. At least with Clinton we had a balanced budget. I'll take an adulterer over a killing liar any day!

      March 19, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • SPA Knight

      Yeahright – BTW, I recall Clinton lying to a grand jury over his silly little follies. Does that make him a liar in your eyes? If a president lies about such little things, would he lie about matters of national security or perhaps taking credit for accomplishments he had nothing to do with?

      March 19, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Peter

      "Does that make him a liar in your eyes? If a president lies about such little things, would he lie about matters of national security or perhaps taking credit for accomplishments he had nothing to do with?"

      I don't think there is one president that wouldn't fall into this category as well as most people in the world.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 18, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • mandarax

      ...it gives you those earnest, pious forehead wrinkles that evangelical preachers have cultivated.

      March 18, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • just sayin

      As opposed to the dishonest, cruel, ineffective forehead wrinkles of atheists.

      March 18, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • mandarax

      you're right, those evangelical forehead wrinkles are much more effective...at raking in the cash from the sheep.

      March 18, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • AGuest9

      Your book, full of lies, murder and falsehoods, and you have the gall to call people who are atheist "dishonest"? Try realistic.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • momoya

      @ justsayin

      So, according to you an action can be both "cruel" and "ineffectual.". Interesting logic.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • just sayin

      We are describing forehead wrinkles, not action you moron.

      March 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • mandarax

      Just Sayin, I think it's funny that you can't understand the grammatical structure of momoya's sentence, and then call her a moron. Awesome.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!! .. .. ...

      March 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven,

      March 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • GodPot

      Cruel: Something, such as a cruel act or remark, that causes pain or suffering.
      Ineffectual: a. Insufficient to produce a desired effect: an ineffectual effort to block the legislation.

      Maybe if we speak slowly and use smaller words just saying might not feel so left out. Often anger and blind rage are the only tools left to the ignorant when faced with words and ideas they do not understand.

      So can you see how something cannot cause pain and not produce the desired effect of causing pain?

      March 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven,"

      You've been proven a liar over and over again on the this blog. A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested Friday morning.

      March 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Jason

      "As opposed to the dishonest, cruel, ineffective forehead wrinkles of atheists". How many atheists are in prison?

      March 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  20. The_Mick

    Carter wasn't a good President in economic terms, but the fact everyone trusted him as a truthful man was very important. After Nixon, it was very important to have men of high integrity like Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter repair the status of the White House after the deceit of Nixon, the corruption (and conviction) of his Vice President Spiro Agnew, and good-ol'-boy backroom dealing of Lyndon Johnson. Maybe we'll get someone honest in Congress to replace the Olympia Snowe's and other honest folks now retiring because of their disgust with the Legislature.

    March 18, 2012 at 4:55 am |
    • Edmund Ibogaine Muskie

      Gerald Ford had the charisma of a pancake . . . and that might be an insult to pancakes.

      March 18, 2012 at 5:38 am |
    • AGuest9

      Pancakes occasionally fall on the floor, so it may be close.

      March 18, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • SPA Knight

      Carter certainly had integrity but his handling of the hostages was that of a weak commander in chief. He was a s brittle as a peanut shell in response to the pancakes.

      March 19, 2012 at 10:23 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.