February 20th, 2012
09:07 AM ET

Jimmy Carter writes about his faith

(CNN)–CNN's Martin Savage talks with former President Carter about his new book's focus on faith.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Georgia • Politics • United States

soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Anessat Santorellav

    Usually I don't learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:31 am |
  2. Iqbal Khan


    March 13, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  3. Walter L Johnson

    Jimmy Carter is the only President in a half Century who I would even credit with having honest religious faith. Other Presidents may claim a religion, but their real religion is their own ego. In fact I would go so far as to say running for President regularly is a mental health problem and no one should have the power of the presidency with that state of mind. We now know JFK was beyond doubt a more effective womanizer than President, while LBJ got obsessed with winning in Vietnam for no real benefit to Americans and after the French had withdraw. Jimmy Carter was the only one to rise above that and to actually act as President with a sense of morality instead of just temporary perceived political advantage. When he recalled the Iran rescue mission after the force, due to an accident and mechanical issues, fell below the level the Pentagon had predetermined was the minimum necessary force and equipment to succeed, he did the moral thing and recalled the mission. Can you image that Richard Nixon would make his re-election subservient to doing the morally right thing as Jimmy Carter did? There is absolutely no question that had the mission went off as planned, regardless of the outcome, that President Carter would have gotten re-elected. I can't imagine President Nixon or even President G. H. W. Bush (the first Bush) would have put the safety of the soldiers and hostages above their re-election prospects. In fact I am absolute certain that Nixon would have simply ordered the mission to continue, even if all the soldiers were guaranteed to die on the mission.

    It is not widely recognized by the public, but President Carter was the only President in my 60+ years to abandon this common guidance in foreign relations, Nations have no friends or enemies, only interests" (as in special business interests or military interest) and to actually seek friendship with other nations while minimizing enemies.

    I will teach my grandchildren to have the utmost respect for President Carter, mild sympathy for Richard Nixon (a non-millionaire President) and Gerald Ford (alleged clumsy golfer), average respect for G. H. Walter Bush, but absolute declaration as worst President in U. S. History for his son G. W. Bush who borrowed trillions of dollars at a time when the nation should have been paying down the National Debt to free up borrowing capacity to borrow again to meet the obligations owed the Baby Boom generation.. I won't try to influence their opinions of Reagan and Carter, and I don't yet have a settle Opinion about President Obama who I will vote for primarily to prevent interference with implementing the full national health care reform, which is long overdue with the with government already paying half of the national health care costs (when employees are included with other assistance programs, but doing so in the most inefficient possible way such that we have been paying 50% more than Western Europe, which covers all the citizens while we only cover 80%. Without better management of health care there would have been no end to health care spending until the nation collapsed economically without action from Congress. I haven't finalized my opinion of Reagan or Clinton who were both fine actors in real life, even though only one got paid for acting.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:22 am |
  4. Iqbal Khan


    March 6, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  5. er911doc

    "Love for all, Hatred for None". Whether one believes in God or does not, this is the "Human message". A life of virtue with or without God hold value. In the end, if one is judged by God, then what does an athiest fear if he lived a virtous life. Let us live virtue, love for all, hatred for none. Let us summon our finest spirits together. There is far too much suffering amongst humanity.

    February 26, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  6. RightTurnClyde

    Nobody could be happier than Jimmy Carter that Obama got elected president. Because up until then Jimmy WAS the dumbest ding-a-ling ever to hold that office and now he is only the second dumbest. Jimmy had a talent for screwing up everything he did (Admiral Zumwalt actually said that in a TV interview). He admitted that Carter got into Annapolis using political clout and was a substandard junior officer who had no grasp of leadership and no vision of strategy. He proved Zumwalt right on all of that. He was pals with Kadaffi and wined and dined Arafat at Camp David only to entirely shaft Israel. He let N. Korea and Thai pirates walk all over him like a doormat and botched the Iranian hostage situation until Regan got in. Obama has done worse on all areas of governance. But Obama will most likely have a second term and then turn into something you see in Venezuela. (the liberals love that guy too).

    February 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  7. tea party

    carter was a terrible prez ...but seems to be a nice sincere person

    February 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • R christian

      Many tell tales that Carter was a terrible president, but actually, he was among the Presidents with the most integrity. He NEVER got us into a war (we were at peace during his Presidency) and he never said anything he didn't mean. He actually got our prisoners out of Iran, but the Iranians didn't release them until Reagan was president on spite... but Carter did all the work. Carter also cared deeply for this country and he continued to help build housing and help communities after his presidency. So has Clinton. What has George Bush Jr. done for this country since leaving office?

      February 27, 2012 at 2:53 am |
    • The Obama Christian Church Worldwide

      When president Obama becomes of divine order on October 21st of this year, things will be put in perspective. We need to read the good gospels of Obama because he is a good christian family man and will be God on October 21st of this year.

      March 19, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  8. tea party

    I was around when coward commie carter was prez...prime rate was 17% Iran was playing U.S.A like fiddle...Russians invading Afgahistan for wrong reasons. laughed at U.S.A. and prez Carter......I have volunteered with habitat for humaity the only program Carter ever accomplished that was worth a flip

    February 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • R christian

      You can accuse Carter of what you like, but he is neither a communist or a coward. Name-calling is why there is so little respect for conservatives. They do it a lot and usually say nonsense that has no basis in truth. How can anyone take you seriously when you write such illiterate scrawl?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:04 am |
  9. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    February 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • R christian

      God helps those who help themselves. What are you actually doing to help others, or do you just pray that things get better? Prayer only really works when you roll up your sleeves like Carter did and helped others in real and tangible ways.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:57 am |
  10. John "Ratty" Arbuckle

    It's 2012 and Jimmy Carter is still rambling on...

    February 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  11. George Washington Carver

    My brethrens, would it come amiss for me to suggest this fine fellow's healthy mind in a healthy body are owed to that miracle of nature, the humble yet king-like peanut?

    February 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Sancte Tigriel

      Peanuts are beans. Almonds are REAL nuts!

      February 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  12. Iqbal Khan

    Message flagged Sunday, February 12, 2012 9:00 PM Watch all three parts.... and U be the judge....




    February 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Islam is one sick crew

      Muslims are idolatrous losers.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  13. Iqbal Khan

    Jimmy Carter,
    The best president in the recent history,
    A real man who speaks the fact and that is why the controlled media never liked him!
    Keep speaking the fact dear President!

    February 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • David

      If one objectively and honestly examines the true motivations of each President, I think that there would be little disagreement on (recent Presidents):

      GW Bush: money, power and attention, below average intelligence, a superficial (when convenient) devotion to God
      Clinton: massive ego, intelligent and idealistic but pragmatic, huge ego
      Bush I: insecure, intelligent, minimal ideals, just doesn't want to rock the boat
      Reagan: power, money, power, money
      Carter: humanity – plain and simple

      Carter represents one of the greatest role models our nation has ever produced, and yet, some people criticize him as a person. Criticizing Carter tells us that you place the Republican Party above that of honesty and integrity – that is, GOP first, God second.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • David

      Give history time. Carter will go down as one of the greatest.

      At one time, I held out hope that he would run again. But I reluctantly agree that he may be more effective as he is now.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  14. Descarado

    Carter's "Peace Not Apartheid," is a slanderous collection of hate-filled lies that has earned a place next to "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," as an Anti-Semitic classic.

    Jimmy Carter is a senile, frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Semite in diapers. He an embarrassment tot Christians around the world.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Dave

      You would sound much more credible if, instead of insulting the man, you put forward your side of the argument in clear, emotion-free language.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  15. Ross

    It's funny, all these atheists claim to be so against God and anti-religion and yet here they are watching a video about Jimmy Carter's faith and commenting on the Belief Blog.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • momoya

      Some atheists are fond of Jimmy Carter. When most of the population believes in a 2000 year old myth, those who aren't enslaved by it are bound by honor and duty to express the foolishness of said myth. We care.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • michael

      Jimmy Carter is a model for Christians. Instead of being a hypocrite, like most Christian leaders, he admits his shortcomings and tries to help those less fortunate than himself.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • R christian

      Atheists are NOT anti-religion nor are they "against God".... most of them are well-read and highly intelligent and know quite a lot about religion because they have questioned it.....they just don't choose to believe in it. Jesus had no problem with atheists and welcomed discussions about his faith, yet you criticize atheists for visiting this blog?

      February 27, 2012 at 3:12 am |
  16. J.W

    Where are we going to put the question of the day if there is no speed read? I think I have a question for all the atheists. At what moment were you sure that you did not believe in God?

    February 20, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Bob

      About the same time I stopped believing in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and other childish stuff.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • momoya

      I didn't stop believing in god when I should have; it took me a while to summon up the courage to follow correct reasoning. Maybe about 4 weeks or so after I realized that there was no evidence for any god. Something like that.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Honestly, I don't ever recall having any belief at all.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Aberfan..read about it on the internet.....I was about 13 and this was absolutely horrific. At that time I realized that there was either no god, or if there was, it was not one worthy of any praise.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • doctore0

      I never believed in god, even when I was a kid; There are no god(s); This is it, this is all there is for us.Gods are man-made.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Race to the bottom. Gathering all the mistakes in one place. I have never seen so many losers in so short a space.

      February 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • pervert alert

      The three top preferred locations for atheists
      1. In a grave. Hopefully before they have had a chance to hurt or influence someone. Best done if they off themselves
      2. In a maximum security prison. In solitary confinement so as not to corrupt honest criminals.
      3. In a hospital for the criminally insane under extreme security and restrained and gagged.

      February 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Alfie..you must have..you sound like to you to church.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      opps..should be..sounds like you go to a church...

      February 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      pervie..Sounds to me like you are have fantasies of your theocracy again. You are most certainly a warning to folks about taking a god overdose.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • fred

      Ouch, what dreary posts of darkness. Jesus came into my life and filled it with wonder and awe. After reading the above I understand what a meaningless existence is without God. Without God or an eternal record keeper there will be a point when that value atheists have assigned to their life no longer exists. Based upon the idea of non existence after death, the atheist upon death never existed based upon his own materialistic construct without an eternal record keeper. The same logic an atheist uses to deny the existence of God now denies the existence of the atheist. Yet, the atheist says I did exist because I am. This in itself is a claim that there is more to life than chemical reaction on organic matter. One can be agnostic but to be atheist is illogical as Spock would say.

      February 20, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Fred. You are of course wrong.. atheists are as happy as you seem to be, life is not dreary, but full of wonder and understanding..You have to believe that life with out a god is bleak other wise it would diminish your beliefs. If you read the story of the mud slide in Aberfan ( Wales) then tell me that those parents had a life of joy after wards then you must be using a new use of the word joy that I was previously unaware of. Fred..do you know how stars burn? why aircraft fly? how humanity can get a spacecraft to land on an asteroid?..It is due to the human mind working out problems and using logic. You know the answers to these questions because of science and knowledge What has the bible given to humanity that it did not already know before?

      February 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Dave

      Fred, if it were true that to be atheist goes against logic (and I'm not sure I can agree with you), it doesn't help deciding in which of the many gods one should place one's trust. I appreciate that wasn't the focus of your posting, but I was just curious: what, once you've established the illogicality of non-belief, would be your philosophical or theological next move?

      February 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • fred

      If there is an eternal record keeper that record keeper cannot be limited to our knowledge, space and time otherwise that ent-ity would meet the same meaningless fate we would. The Bible addresses this enti-ty and says in the beginning God created and when man was made from what had been created God put His Image in man. Since the time of the Neanderthal man has looked out sensing something greater outside himself. With the exception of two atheists that still talk to me everyone I know will express the thought that there is more to this life than chemical reactions on organic matter. So far everything fits together and makes sense. In that Bible God tells Moses tell them “I AM” sent you. I am is a perfect description for God as it relays timelessness and eternal power. Jesus also said I Am the way the truth and the life. This Bible ties together perfectly for me and it did so abruptly a few years back when I was agnostic and not aware of God. Even if I reject God I end up filling the gap with man made gods so there is no escape from the truth that God exists. Jesus for example simply laid out the truth for those that could accept it. Atheists backed into a corner finally admit the only reason they know they exist is because I AM. Thus they indirectly admit without knowing that they are alive because of God. The use of the word I AM for atheist and God are the same in that it refers to a reality in time and space that cannot be described in any other way. Science cannot measure or locate this yet admit it must be. Jesus advised Nicodemus that he cannot find it any way other than to be born again of the Spirit. Those born again of the spirit understand this in the same manner regardless of denomination. It is revealed by faith and explains that which cannot be seen. It explains how the invisible became visible. In a simple context Abraham had a hope in a promise that he never saw in his lifetime, Noah built an ark in the middle of a desert where rain was never heard of and Jesus said my kingdom is not of this earth. Everything is heading is a direction that is beyond our lifetime and knowledge. This direction is not going nowhere and the Bible is best explanation we have.

      February 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • fred

      Yes, we can land on an asteroid but, look around you do you see any other animals exploding with creativity as man does? Can you not sense something more than chemical reactions on organic matter. How about your sense of time and space, can you sense the position of your being and is position between your ears or it in a realm that has no known boarders?

      February 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Dave

      Although I doubt we'd agree on much theologically or philosophically, I'm extremely grateful to you for answering my question (which was a genuine one) in a friendly and civil manner. Thanks!

      February 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • fred

      I am puzzled because I really cannot understand or grasp this notion of non existenence upon death. Before I knew God I never really gave the afterlife or the reality of God any thought. Now, I can understand my organs going to waste but I cannot understand the spiritual side (subconscious, thoughts, feelings etc) being any different than it is or was during my lifetime. I do not see that suddenly changing form because it had no form to begin with.
      Is your sense that this "soul" also no longer exists upon death or worse yet never did exist ?

      February 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Hi Fred. how can you differentiate between "man made gods" and the god you think is real..what evidence do you have to reject the others in favor of yours? There is no reason other than evolution to explain why we are more creative than other species and there are many books on the subject. It is not unexpected. Our brains are the same as other animals..we have slightly higher brain functions..we all have the primitive brain that say an alligator has..you do, I do..either god ran out of parts or had to recycle. We are made of the same stuff as other animals Fred..if we were to be gods favorite toys I am sure he could have made us with special god stuff to make us look special at least. As far a space and time..how do you know we are the only animals that are aware of that? my dog knows exactly when his food needs to be ready..and go for a walk.! The way the universe is connected is truly magnificent..read up on stars and the star stuff we are all made of, even the trees in your garden and the car in your drive way.. The iron in your blood, came from an exploding star eons ago..you do owe you life to a sun...it is just a different spelling to the one you believe in. Fred we are all connected to the universe...read a little on it ..it is not scary it is truly beautiful.

      February 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Hi Fred..sorry just saw your comments on the afterlife...To me death would be the same as the time before you were born...
      I understand the universe to be billions of years old..and I remember none of it prior to my birth..even if you believe it to be 6000 yrs old..thats still time that was not known to you..

      February 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • fred

      6,000 years is a number man has come up with not something from the Bible. I find it more than interesting that the Bible is set up so you cannot trap God in a gottcha but we always trap man. The God of Bible came long before the others and what was passed down to Moses is a solid bases for how we should live. There are key differences between God and the man made gods carried about the biggest is that we server a living God not something manmade. Living in that lives are transformed today and the hope of Abraham remains unchanged, living in that the promises continue to unfold and biggest of all is that it breaths life back into dead souls. Even if I am wrong I will die in my hope looking for the promise. There is no down side to my God it's all good so if I am wrong I still did what no man or law could condem me for or hold against me. If I give to others all that I can to others and strive to love as Christ did then that would the best I could have done anyway. On occassion I check out some other religeous thoughts but they are just religion and not truth.
      As to what came before you are right I don't have a clue other than God says "for I knew you before I knit your bones together in the womb".

      February 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Fred..I'm sorry but saying your god came first ..you have offered nothing but opinion as to why your god is any more real than the others. There were far older gods than yours in the human realm..Thor, Ra etc.. In what ways does the bible trap man...what in the bible had been proven correct. The universe is immensely old, we know that, and the earth about 4 billion, but there are some who also believe the bible claims the earth to be 6000yrs old...Answers in Genesis ? the clear word of god is not that clear at all..it is based on the knowledge base of the ancients..
      which is why there is such a big business trying square the bible with modern day facts.

      February 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Aloha


      If you believe the bible to be true then you cannot believe in an afterlife. Might I avert your attention to Ecclesiastes 9 verse 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
      6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

      Check it out Fred, it really is there.

      February 21, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • fred

      Yes, how true. But, as with the Bible Ecclesiastes must be taken as a whole. Solomon was pointing out that all effort in life without God in view is meaningless. Certainly death of this life comes to all indiscriminately for both the righteous and wicked. Yet the conclusion 12:13 "here is the conclusion of the matter; fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement including every hidden thing whether it is good or evil."

      February 21, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Hi Fred I'm so impressed by ur clear thinking. Keep it up. To add de 6000yr Earth is actually not in de Bible. In Gen 1:1 God creates the Earth but finite time only began when He created light in v2. Between de creation n de ordering of de Earth time is indeterminate. Backdating gives large figures.

      February 22, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • Sancte Tigriel

      Pervert Alert, God applauds everything that you said. It is absolutely, totally correct.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  17. Reality

    Dear Jimmy C,

    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 (or brainwashed ex-president) would do or say?

    February 20, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • ......

      unoriginal copy paste warning , end reality bull sh it hit report abuse on all of it

      February 20, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • tea party

      Jimmy is a good man very devout ....he was a terrible cowardly prez ...high unemployment high inflation high prime int rate bad foreign policy clueless man ....he seems very peaceful and humane...he should have been in peace corps or maybe some kind of preacher

      February 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Herald

      That "most N.T. scholars agree" with any of your drug induced delusions is a lie.

      February 27, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 20, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • Ed

      Really? I'm an atheist, and I'm doing better than when I was a Christian.

      May 25, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Ed –

      You just need to pray harder, then you could find yourself a bigoted, poor, uneducated evangelical in Dixie. Praise god!

      May 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  19. Nonimus

    hmm... no Speed Read, this morning. President's Day?

    February 20, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  20. William Demuth

    One of the few Jeebus freaks I ever thought was an honorable man.

    Plus his wife was FINE!

    February 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.