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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. c

    While it is admirable that the former President has a love for God, the Bible and teaching Sunday School. Unless he is educated in Theology, he should not be writing a Study Bible. I've taken Bible Studies and taught Sunday school for 20 years yet I know I do not have any where near the Theology background to write a Study Bible.

    March 21, 2012 at 7:36 am |
    • CEW

      1. He has been teaching Sunday School for 70 years (nearly 4 times longer than you have). I think that gives him a pretty tremendous qualification. 2. How do you know he HASN'T studied theology?

      March 27, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  2. Buckman

    Atheist kill me. Their no more then a bunch of maggots that are going to burn in HELL one day. Cant wait till the day God drops them in Hell. Hope he lets me help kicking those maggots into the lake of fire. Screw those Blooming idiots maggots.

    March 21, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • Just the Facts

      Failed Poe.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • R Rosen

      Buckman - is your post a demonstration of Christian values? Is that what Jesus taught? Does your post make God happy? Hate the sin but love the sinner is what I know. Sounds to me like you are hating the sinner...but maybe I misunderstand your post.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Just the Facts

      Buckman,

      Well, ya' hooked one, so not a total failure... just lame.

      March 21, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • c

      Mr Buckman, I am praying for you. You obviously attend the wrong Church. God is about love. You will never win over the hearts of atheists with that kind of talk

      March 21, 2012 at 7:38 am |
    • Just the Facts

      R Rosen & c,

      The fact that you cannot see that @Buckman's post is an obvious put-on speaks volumes about how gullible you are and how easily deceived and misled. Besides that, I called him/her out as a "Poe" right off the bat and you even missed that clue.

      Buckman, +2, but still dirty pool.

      March 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • The Dude

      Dude! I fear for everyone going to Hell! I don't want anyone to have to go there, neither does the Lord Almighty. Just remember, we all do deserve it whether Atheist or Believer.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:43 am |
  3. Sydney

    I wonder if Carter really believes in gays marrying, and abortion which are both condemmed in the bible ???? Romans and Psalms condem both so maybe Carter should study the bible instead of publishing a "study bible"???. Know your bible before writing one Jimmy. Or maybe he did not agree with the fellow Democrats on these two subjuects. Who knows ????

    March 21, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • mandarax

      Who knows? Anyone who pays attention and bases their thought on information, rather than just spouting off opinions.

      March 21, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  4. Sydney

    Take me back to the Bush days of 4.5% unemployment, low inflation, affordable gas, getting rid of Soddom H., breaking the back of El Quada, best first lady ever, moral values, !!! Oh for the good old days with Bush as Pres. And don't say a word about my spelling!!! I'm sure you get the picture and if Bush could not spell, I want to be like him !!!! concerned for our nation, Sydney

    March 21, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  5. Christianity is not healthy for children and other living things

    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Read about it at http://santorum.com
    Christianity takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
    Christian prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
    Christianity prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
    Christianity makes you fat.
    Christianity wears out your clothes prematurely.
    Christianity contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
    Christianity fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
    Christianity can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
    Christianity makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. See http://santorum.com to learn more.
    Christianity reveals how stupid you are to the world.
    Christianity exposes your backside to pervert priests.
    Christianity makes you think doilies are exciting.
    Christianity makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
    Christianity makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
    Christianity gives you knobbly knees.
    Christianity dulls your senses.
    Christianity makes you post really stupid shit.
    Christianity makes you hoard cats.
    Christianity makes you smell like shitty kitty litter and leads you on to harder drugs.
    Christianity wastes time.

    March 20, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Meathead (of the Word)

      If that makes you feel better. lol.

      March 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • The Dude

      Dude I'm 5'9 a Christian and Whtie and I can nearly dunk! I'm super blessed :)

      July 11, 2012 at 7:45 am |
  6. just sayin

    You haven't felt love until you have heard God talk to you and felt his hands around you

    March 20, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • just sayin

      Just sayin is a stolen name

      March 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @just sayin, Yeah, I miss the old @just sayin... He wasn't creepily describing some invisible ghosts hands being put around me.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  7. tcp

    Left wing religious WACKO!

    March 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Jesus

      Just as harmful and delusional as right wing religious WACKOS!

      March 20, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • bob

      If Jesus were alive today he would be the biggest liberal on the planet and Faux News would be demanding to see his long form birth certificate.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  8. MJB

    Some of the "logic" here is amusing. Why don't we all just admit that ALL wars are caused by love (of self, others, money, power, god, values, etc) and therefore love is the only true evil. :-)

    March 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • JulieMS

      You are so deceived and probably never loved, as why you say this, I feel sorry for you and pray you will one day truly know love.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Jesus

      Julie, your Gawd in the Babble says that unless you believe in every word He says, he will send you to Hades where you'll burn everyday in the Lake of Fire. Doesn't sound like love to me. Sounds like a self-absorbed psycho-sadist dictator.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  9. Paul

    Even Satan appears as an angel of light. He can talk the talk as well as the best preacher.

    March 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • just sayin

      Did Satan lie to Adam and Eve? It was God that was ashamed rather than Adam/Eve at their eyes being open and seeing God for truly what he was?

      March 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Paul

      To just sayin: LOL, You atheists can come up with some real funnies.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • just sayin

      Paul, really think about what you are reading sometimes.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • just sayin

      just sayin is a stolen handle

      March 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  10. JonfromLI

    I understand Carter is busy writing his own Bible, where the Old Testament never happened and Jesus Christ was the first human in the land of Palestine. That way, he'll get what he's longed for so long – kicking the Jews out of Israel and granting the Palestinians temporary sovereignty until (as he believes) his Messiah returns to the Holy Land.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Crad

      Annoying.. Your post i mean

      March 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      feeling a wee bit paranoid, jon?

      March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • seymour kushner

      jimmy carter hates jews.his own mother was quoted as saying if she knew how he would have turned out she would have aborted him.his brother billy boy was a paid lobyest for libya.

      March 21, 2012 at 7:16 am |
  11. Reality

    And still more education for Jimmy C:

    1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

    “New Torah For Modern Minds

    Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

    2. 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!!!!

    2 b., 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,

    3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

    The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

    Current problems:

    The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.

    5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

    "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

    Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

    Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

    Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

    Forget what the illiterate, simple preacher

    March 20, 2012 at 7:34 am |
    • .....

      Hit report abuse on all reality garbage

      March 20, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • Dan

      Reality....Again you prove your ignorance. David not a king? Really? Because he didn't rule over an area that you deem large enough? Ancient city-states had kings, some were larger empires. Nowhere, however, does the Bible make a claim for David ruling an empire. What made David great was his love for G-d, not the size of his kingdom.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • Reality

      Dan,

      Your dispute is with the 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis.

      "The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) is the primary organization of synagogues practicing Conservative Judaism in North America. It closely works with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international body of Conservative rabbis, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies.[1]"

      March 20, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • Beleive

      There is a reason that jesus performed small miracles which only could happen in one location. he didn't want to show off. showing off is definitely a sin. and jesus was perfect. that's why he didn't heal every person in the world at the same time or let everyone in the world have the ability to walk on water for a weekend. that would be showing off too much. would we follow the lord if he was a total show off? probably not.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • PJ

      Okay, we get it, you are not a believer. No sense in wasting time discussing it with you. Christianity is a faith and if you do not share that faith then their is nothing to discuss. Have a nice life.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Peter

      "Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations"...

      This from the murderers of Jesus, who still have never confessed, and still have never repented of their wicked sin in murdering the LORD. These who have wandered the Earth for 2000 years, driven to every corner of the planet, beaten to death in every major city in Europe, totally exterminated save for a remnant to serve as a reminder of the ends of sin. Yes, we would like to hear what the Jews have to say about Jesus, and all those who follow in their foot steps. Enlighten us.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Reality

      Summarizing with a prayer:

      ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of 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 descent into Hell, 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 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 20, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Jim

      Apparently you flunked history. Most of the wars throughout history have been started in the name of Jesus. Then looking at the inquisition, the various genocides organized by various churches, the current suffering cause by the church, it is pretty obvious that most of the evil in the world comes from religion.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:15 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 20, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • JPopNC

      Jim: And apparently you don't dig too deep in history yourself. Hitler practiced his Darwinian beliefs with natural selection by murdering millions of Jews and Margaret Sanger did the same when she founded Planned Parenthood. Between the two of them alone they've been responsible for murdering more innocent people than every war combined.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Dan

      @ Jim...You have some gall telling another that they flunked history and then saying that "most" wars were started in Jesus' name. Are you kidding?? How do you explain all the wars BEFORE Jesus, not to mention wars in China, India, etc. War is not exclusive to Christians. LOL.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Jim

      Well, Dan, look at all of the wars in the last 2000 years and compare them numerical ly to the wars before that. As far as I can see, there were more in the last 2000 that were in the name of Jesus that not. However, if you have some actual facts for us, I am willing to listen. At worst, it would be correct to say most of the wars were started in the name of religion.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • BRC

      @JPopNC,
      Hitler did not practice or follow Darwinian evolution. That involves natural selection over a long time period (Ie, the species or subset/mutation of a species that can best survive and breed does, the most). Hitler practiced eugenics, which involves CHOOSING what one believes the best genes are and trying to forcefully remove the rest from the pool. There is nothing natural about it, and it isn't in line with Darwin's theories.

      And Planned Parenthood doesn't murder anyone. For there to be murder there has to be an independent life taken, that is not what happens in the vast majority of abortions (which aren't exclusive to planned parenhood, and aren't the only way that pregnancies end before their time).

      March 20, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Dan

      Jim...seriously? You make a blanket statement that most wars are started in the name of Jesus and then challenge ME to give historical examples? LOL...The last two thousand years are a very small part of human history. Christianity has mostly been limited to Europe. Oh, and most wars are started by HUMAN GREED!.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Dan

      BRC....Look up "social Darwinism." It has been used to to justify genocide many times and has nothing to do with Darwin's theory of long term evolution.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • SouthernCelt

      @Jim
      There is a difference between what the Church teaches, and the way some laymen interpret it. The Church had no standing Army, unless you count the Swiss Guard. The "Inquisition" is more properly known as the Spanish Inquisition because it was a Spanish Civil action which the Pope stopped when he heard about it. The Church causes no suffering anywhere in the world, quite the opposite is true in fact as evidenced by the persecutions throughout the ages to this very day. Choose where you learn history more carefully and don't trust a single source/

      March 20, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • BRC

      @Dan,
      Social Darwinism is a way of looking at how societies treat their people, and describing certain aspects of political/financial systems. Charles Darwin had nothing to do with coining the term, and its use does nothing to change the fact that Hitler did not practice or follow Darwinian evolution.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:39 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Quick logic quiz:

      Examine the following statements:

      1. Most wars are started because of religion, therefore religion is wrong.
      2. Most wars are started by athiests, therefore God exists.

      Are either of these statements logically valid?

      March 20, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      "Social Darwinism" is not an idea based on any accurate understanding of "Darwinian" evolution. It was a stage-based system more akin to unilineal evolutionary models that preceded the idea of natural selection (yes, there lots of evolutionary models that preceded natural selection. They were not quite correct, but naturalists had been trying to figure out evolution for generations before Darwin came along – because to an educated naturalist it was obviously happening).

      "Eugenics" was based on a flawed understanding of evolution (but more a product of Mendelian genetics that Darwinian evolution), but it was not dreamed up by Hitler – it was a largely a product of the good (mostly Christian) leaders of the United States. Check your history. Saying evolutionary theory is wrong because of eugenics is like saying physics is wrong because of the atom bomb. The fact that humans find ways to apply something in a vile way doesn't speak to whether or not it is accurate.

      March 20, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • PJ

      @ Jim. Most wars are not fought because of Christianity they are fought over power and preservation you simple minded goof ball. Like most of the unknowing you simply spout out a popular claim because you think its right not because you actually researched it.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Tom

      @JPopNC:
      History question. What did the Nazis have on their belt buckles? "Gott Mit Uns" Translated to English "God with us!". Yes apparently he was not on the side of the Jews.
      "I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator" – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol 1 Chapter 2 Google God in Mein Kampf.
      Taken from a Nazi propaganda poster "Remember what they did to Jesus!"

      March 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • just sayin

      Tom
      Quoting Nazis for truth does not work. Hitler was in his heart an atheist and as so many leaders do, invoked the name of God for their own evil purposes. What did you expect on the belt buckles God is on the other side?

      March 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Yeahright

      "Hitler was in his heart an atheist and as so many leaders do, invoked the name of God for their own evil purposes."

      That's why religion has killed more people in human history, God made them do it.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • just sayin

      No. Men tried to "use" God for their own evil purposes, God was not and is not responsible for the sins of men. God sent His Son to earth to pay for all the sins of all people. John 3 : 16 but many men continue to go their own selfish way.

      March 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  13. cartersucks

    Just another lying liberal with the nwo trying to be something he is not! just s c u m!

    March 20, 2012 at 5:30 am |
    • Jim

      Liberals? You mean like Jesus?

      March 20, 2012 at 6:29 am |
    • sam stone

      haters will find a way, eh?

      March 20, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  14. miscreantsall

    Carter may not have had the traits that are required to make a "good" or successful modern President (many of those traits are not worthy of admiration) BUT, he has done more for mankind than any other American President (past and present) and possibly any other world figure………….PERIOD.

    March 20, 2012 at 5:15 am |
    • cartersucks

      Oh please your just a brain washed re tard!

      March 20, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • sam stone

      cartersucks: thanks so much for that in depth analysis. now, go sodomize yourself

      March 20, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • JPopNC

      I just love how atheists immediately resort to angry remarks. So very typical. Tell me, if discussing these topics make you so angry, why not do yourself (and us) a favor and just stay away?

      March 20, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • JoeRN

      AMEN! U hit it right on. Carter is a wonderful humanitarian and should be commended for everything he and his wife have done.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Jesus

      Carter may be the worst President in the 10th century, even worse than Harding. His lax approach toawrd Iran, his failure to commence a meaningful national energy development program, his appointments to his cabinets...all bespeak a naive and childlike mind.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  15. PraiseTheLard

    So Carter's still into bible study... I wonder when he's going to graduate to Mother Goose study...

    March 20, 2012 at 3:27 am |
    • bobcat

      I am sure that your wonder shall end with your life as learning is also a never-ending process.

      March 20, 2012 at 5:23 am |
  16. opAZ

    .

    Let's not judge base only on face value.

    Religion is always good if not abused. Basing on faith it will take you where ever you wanna go – good or bad that depends on your "conviction."

    .

    March 20, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • NamVet67

      Religion is Santa's toy factory.....No Santa...No toys Imagine a kid coming to high school excited about what Santa was going to bring him. All would shake their heads and wonder where this kid had been.....home schooled?. Same with gods.

      March 20, 2012 at 7:39 am |
  17. Clint

    Carter is the very worst of all the presidents to this date, Maybe Jesus can Help Him

    March 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • mitch

      sorry to say, but your Republican fool, George Bush 2 and his fascist shadow president Cheney out rank all others as the worst.

      March 20, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Me

      You are brain dead pal!!

      March 20, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • TING

      I'm with Mitch. Carter was not a good President, but Bush Jr. easily takes the prize for the worst. He is called "Worst" by many; although, most people call him "W" for short.

      March 20, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Jim

      "Carter is the very worst of all the presidents to this date. "
      Jimmy Carter is a fine decent man whose goal has always been to help people. He is kind, honest, and did not let politics influence his desire to trully help people.
      So, you are right to some extent. He does not have the same qualities other presidents have had. If being a "good" presidents requires you to lack morals, be corrupt and dishonest, lie to people, persue your only political and financial goals at the cost of America and the American people, then Bush I and II are the best presidents we have ever had.

      March 20, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • Dan

      Wrong. James Buchanan remains America's worst president.

      March 20, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  18. fordmayne

    ^^^but wat would he think about this!!???

    March 19, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
  19. False Dichotomy

    @b4bigbang, you said: "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."

    My response from below: What you are referring to was called "Nebraska Man" and was either a hoax or a mistake that was revealed decades ago...by scientists.

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

    I'm serious. What textbooks?

    March 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Susan

      The fact that creationists lie so boldly I believe is testament to the actual level of faith they have in a God who supposedly values honesty. Funny thing is, anything else that compels them to lie is usually labeled as having come from Satan. Have many of them considered the possibility that ID and creationism are inventions of the devil aimed at ruining the reputation of Christianity. Whether the devil is behind it or not, they are doing just that. Shame, really.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • mickey1313

      creationists/thiests are evil and dim-whitted. They hate truth, that is why they attack science.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      It's frustrating and perplexing. There seems to be some unwritten rule that it's okay to say absolutely anything in order to further the creationist cause, and whether it is true or not is irrelevant. The dishonesty is so pervasive and is in relation to so many subjects that it's often hard to know where to begin to address it.

      The one thing I am never quite sure of is if a particular individual is knowingly lying, or if they are innocently ignorant and merely perpetuating the lies of others. A number of people, somewhere along that chain of propaganda have to be aware of the dishonestly and freely perpetuate it anyway...ironically, in the name of "Truth."

      March 20, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Dan

      Well, guys, Piltdown Man and, more recently, Piltdown Chicken have demonstrated that scientists lie like crazy too. Humans lie. Get over it.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • JPopNC

      False Dichotomy: I'd have to disagree. Creationists continue to say the same thing, for years and years. It's the evolutionists whose stories change time after time and shout "we have evidence" but never produce tangible proof. Oh, 98% of Life Scientists agree. That and $5 will buy you a cup of coffee.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      I agree that humans lie. Both Piltdown and archaeoraptor (Piltdown chicken – funny!) have another thing in common – the forgeries were identified by other scientists. That's one of the strengths of the scientific process – lies tend to be exposed through the process of review and further research. To my knowledge, the creationist community has never succeeded in definitely exposing the hoaxes among their own ideas or those of scientists, which only solidifies my confidence in scientific process as a whole.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • False Dichotomy

      JpopNC, "Creationists continue to say the same thing, for years and years. It's the evolutionists whose stories change time after time..."

      You are absolutely right. The fact that creationists stories never change in response to new information demonstrates that they are stories as opposed to explanations – they are not based on anything other than tradition and assertion. Scientific explanations do change over time as new information is discovered and becomes understood. Science is cu.mulative (imperfect explanations form the foundation for better explanations down the road) and self-correcting. This self-correcting characteristic of science is why it is indeed so effective at figuring things out.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  20. opAZ

    .

    Jimmy is the only former president I see that really cares about people and conviction to religion.

    .

    March 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • mickey1313

      conviction so does not mak you a good person. In fact, the more devoute you are to god rather then the betterment of the human race, the worse of a person you are. I cant believe that so many people fall for the crud spewed by the thiests, there book is an obvous lie, and there is not one single fact in all of religon.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:58 am |
    • opAZ

      .

      mickey...

      Let's not judge base only on face value.

      Religion is always good if not abused. Basing on faith it will take you where ever you wanna go – good or bad that depends on your "conviction."

      .

      March 20, 2012 at 1:22 am |
    • Dan

      Mickey: Many "theists" are and have been humanitarians, who have also bettered mankind while teaching their faith. David Liningstone, the doctor and explorer, for example gave free medical help to Africans for more than 30 years. Mother Teresa fed the poor and hosts of teachers have sign on (raising their own salaries in the form of donations, no less) to educate the poor and needy all over the world. Sorry, but very few atheists do such things. It is the theists that you despise who have done this.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • JPopNC

      mickey1313: As Dan mentioned, Christ taught us to care and help each other and that's why Christian organizations are everywhere in the world providing aid to places nobody else would even attempt. Christians die everyday because they're caught in the middle of some strife-filled coup in Africa, South America, etc. Just read the papers and you'll see. You never see "world reknowned atheist dies while feeding the hungry in Africa". I know of about 12 people who just left to Thailand to travel to some remote village to provide medical aid there. Another dozen just returned from Cambodia. These are all just from my church.

      And not one Christian would respond with such hatred as you have, and you have the gall to call us bad? I'd take a long look in the mirror my friend.

      And as for "there is not one single fact in all of religon", well majority of historians (secular included) agree Jesus Christ was a real person. His disciple Peter was also real, his bones lie in a Catherdral in Rome. There are two facts right there.

      March 20, 2012 at 9:51 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.