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 • Georgia • Politics

soundoff (1,124 Responses)
  1. Fred

    Why can't believers just believe and Atheists just not believe? Why do we have to insult each other? I belive in God. you don't. You don't have to call it a myth or the person believing in God an nasty name do we? There is a reason Atheists don't belive in God and there is a reason other do belive in god. That' s what makes us different. And what makes America great is we can both feel this way and there is nobody coming after us with pitchforks and wanting to burn us at the stake!. I believe in God and that makes me happy. You don't and that makes you happy. Just let people do what they want. If it doesnt infringe on your beliefs, then theres no need to insult anyone. I'm just tired of reading all the hate in here. Its hurtful to each person and for no reason.

    March 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • 5thApe

      "You don't have to call it a myth or the person believing in God an nasty name do we?"

      I wont call the person who believes a nasty name, but I will call religion (all of them) myths because thats what they are. All you have to do is read their texts to see this.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Steve

      Excellent post, Fred. Often when someone attacks a group of a different belief and resorts to name-calling it is because they cannot properly defend the tenants of their belief system. No matter your belief system, athiest, Christian, Buddhist, etc, they ALL take some kind of belief in something that cannot be proven.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • HQ

      What I see happening (generally, but of course there are exceptions) are atheists discussing the belief, not the person. And I see the believer seeing this as a personal attack. Then I see either posts like yours, or the believer getting belligerent towards the athiest.

      That's what I see generally happening.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      There are some beliefs that are harmful to man as a whole. Religion is one of those things. It's no longer cool to sit back and let people wallow in delusion because these delusions are having an impact on our social and physical development. I don't think you have to insult a person, but I find it 100% acceptable to insult a belief as it doesn't have feelings that might get hurt. If it's strong, then it can withstand the criticism. The problem most of the time is that religious people find themselves on shaky ground so when they here their belief being insulted, they take it personally as their ident.ity is built on that belief. I.e., this belief IS me.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  2. TG

    Had Mr Jimmy Carter followed the "teachings of Christ", he would have never intermingled in the political field, just as Jesus never involved himself in the politics of the Roman arena. Had Mr Carter done his "homework" in his Bible study, he could of have been seen that Christians in the 1st century in no form or fashion involved themselves in the political arena.

    History brings out that "the Christians . . . shrank from public office and military service.” (“Persecution of the Christians in Gaul, A.D. 177,” by F. P. G. Guizot in The Great Events by Famous Historians, edited by R. Johnson, 1905, Vol. III, p. 246) "It was impossible that the Christians, without renouncing a more sacred duty, could assume the character of soldiers, of magistrates, or of princes.”—The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, Vol. I, p. 416.

    These 1st century Christians closely adhered to Jesus words: "If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you."(John 15:19)

    On the other hand, Mr Carter, along a whole host of others who profess to be "Christian", has disregarded Jesus words, and have instead plodded along with an independent spirit, for the word "politics" means "theory and practice of government, policymaking"(Microsoft Encarta Dictionary) These have devised their own form of government, without regard for our Creator, Jehovah God's sovereignty.(Dan 2:44, 45)

    March 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Looking at Clouds

      Sing it...

      "You will eat, bye and bye,
      In that glorious land above the sky;
      Work and pray, live on hay,
      You'll get pie in the sky when you die."

      March 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • GB

      ...a follower of Jehovah, a shepherd boy, a psalmist to the King (not to mention being an adulterer and a murderer for the sake of his own lusts) became King David. Political.

      Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to not be involved in politics. We are however in all walks of our lives instructed to 'rightly.'

      March 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  3. tony

    I believe in our lord and savior Jesus Christ hold on but i am not here to convert anyone because i am no different from anyone i am a sinner and fall short of the kingdom of heaven but through jesus i am saved. i love libs, cons, atheist believers etc i will not judge anyone every one has a right to his belief jesus loves all of you each one have to give account for them selves, on judgement day it will not be God i sin less than that guy he is an atheist why is he going to heaven. you can be baptized and go down into the water a dry devil and come out a wet devil.i rest my case.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  4. Gerard Amalraj

    Prayer to Jesus brings healing and restoration. Like what a brain is to the body; and a mind is to the soul, it is faith in Jesus that brings meaning to life and answers to prayers.
    A non-believer needs to put aside all bias and ask Jesus that is HE is real (btw I know that HE is real. This is for the non-believers) then HE should manifest His Grace to reveal Himself to them. Try it sincerely and you will see the difference He makes. He is unique.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Dave, NY

      Fantastic post!

      March 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • JT

      Billions of Jews, Atheists and Muslims think you're deluded.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Elwood P. Dowd

      Gerard Amalraj – "ask Jesus that is HE is real (btw I know that HE is real. This is for the non-believers) then HE should manifest His Grace to reveal Himself to them."

      You can do the same thing with my 6'3" invisible rabbit friend, Harvey. Believe hard enough and you believe...

      March 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • William

      Yeah right! Muslims and Atheists are the standards of sanity.*Rollseyes*

      March 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  5. Alfred the Great

    The little peanut farmer just can't get over losing to a "B" movie actor.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  6. dudley0415

    Though no supporter of his politics – and he has been politically virulent in recent years – he has been a positive influence in America.

    March 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  7. made in Italy

    Everyone has their own beliefs...I choose to believe in God and His word.I admire Jimmy Carter for not hiding his beliefs...and I always feel so sad for those who do not hold God in their hearts.....

    March 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Russ

      Thanks for feeling "sad" for me? That's actually quite insulting.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      It's incredible how insulting those kinds of statements can be, and how little people like you care about the thoughts of others. Keep your self-righteous pity of people who do not believe as you do. We neither need nor want it.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Chad

      A person can feel sad for someone's situation without it being condescending. Don't you feel sad when you see someone living with an abusive spouse or a child living in abject poverty? You don't think, "Wow, I'm so much better than them" but you do think, "I really pray that they will find a way out of their situation." Maybe you don't. But you do make value judgments all the time. Being well-fed is better than going hungry. Being drug-free is better than addictions that we can't break. And yes, many of us feel that living life in a personal relationship with God is better than living life without His love and providence. People who truly love God care about others and want them to know Him, too, because they know what a peace and joy He has brought to their lives and others to know Him, too. Before you judge, have an open mind and really see things from a true believer's perspective. Don't automatically dismiss believers as condescending or judgmental.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Mark from Canada

      This is like saying you feel sad for those who are black. I'm a proud Athiest. Feel sad about yourself, not the Athiests – because we are doing just fine trying our best to use reason for the betterment of all people and species. We lack prejudice, because we have learned from Charles Darwin that we are all related, streams of hereditary unite all of us and knowledge of this kinship is encoded into our morals. Athiests are a moral bunch. We use our feelings to develop theories and are so profoundly excited by the reality that surrounds us and our human limitations toward complete understanding, that we quickly reject that without meaning so that we can share this knowledge with the world. We do this instead of trying to pound dogma into our children, because we think it moral to invest in the intelligence and freedom of the human mind as it develops and is grounded in love that nurtures brain development. That's how I see Athiesm and proud of it.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      Why do you feel sorry for those who do not believe as you do?

      March 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • JT

      How does one "choose" to believe in god? Can you also choose to believe in fairies?

      March 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      I am at peace in my life without god. I do not need to subscribe to anything to have peace in my life. Also, when I see someone in a messed up situation, I don't just keep walking and hope they get better, I go and see if they need or want help. I take whatever action I can, because I know that I would want the same. No preaching, no "god will help you", just honest human compassion and charity. I have been a believer, I used to subscribe to catholicism, and I can see through those eyes.

      "and I always feel so sad for those who do not hold God in their hearts"
      This is an arrogant and self serving statement, this statement says that those who do not believe as they do are missing something intrinsic to being a complete human being. This is a falsehood, as evidenced by many atheists throughout history that have lived exceedingly good lives. This is a condescending statement because it implies that those who do not believe are lesser than youl. That because they do not believe, you are somewhat further along some path to being a good person.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • 5thApe

      ".and I always feel so sad for those who do not hold God in their hearts....."

      Which god? Wait, I know the answer to that one.... its yours right? I always seem to know the answer to that one!

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

      Hey Mark from Canada, I like Darwin too. Especially his "survival of the fittest". So instead of respecting all, I think the strong ones should be the only ones that should survive. My mantra is "might makes right". Euthanize the weak. Let's restore the practice of eugenics while we are at it. Oh, and that thing about love. Love doesn't exist. It's just the end result of a naturalistic process that left us with random electro-chemical firings deep within the brain which we call "love". In fact, you could say the same thing about reason and logic itself.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Duane DenBoer

      It is sad because you are deceived into thinking that everything is okay. And though the truth is right before you, you would rather spit on it and insult than to humble yourself before it and confess you need it. So, till the day you die, which is a day that WILL come, you harden your heart. This is sad, because we too had hard hearts but now have eyes that see – thanks only to God's grace. We long for you to be able to humble yourself before the truth and experience the riches of God's grace that we have come to enjoy through believing the truth. And we also are sad because we know what end awaits those that refuse Christ in this life. Yes, there is reason for us to be sad, and whether you see the truth or not we will be sad on your account because it is the truth, as true as 2+2=4. (Or am I arrogant to claim that as well?)

      March 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Mark from Canada

      "Survival of the fittest" is not Darwin, that is Herbert Spencer. Your use of the concept is not consistent with the science. The ignorance of this idea has caused a great amount of grief to humanity.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Mark from Canada

      ExtremeAtheist – You're only an Athiest in principle only, but lack reasoned insight. If you knew anything about neurobiology or being a parent, you would understand that love does exist and it is a feeling. I'm a geneticist and have actually studied the genetic pathways involved in love. I would suggest that you use your intelligence to study a little more on the flawed perceptions you are carrying around in your extremist head.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Duane DenBoer

      Yes, you are arrogant in that assertion. To believe that your one group has a complete lock on the truth out of all the other religions and belief systems in all the world, some of which even use the same bible as you do, is an arrogant thing.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Chad

      HawaiiGuest, I guess that's the difference between you and me. I don't feel that helping someone out because you may have an answer that someone else doesn't have or may want to give another look at doesn't mean you're being condescending. Then all professors, doctors, engineers, and any other learned person is condescending because they know a little more than you about something. You're the one looking at as if I'm better than you because I've stumbled onto the truth. I'm not the one saying that. Only you are. I'm just saying that if you were stumped with a calculus problem, and I knew how to show you the answer, I would have to be uncaring or negligent to not want to give you that answer. It doesn't mean I have all the answers, by any means. I'm just saying I might be able to help you with that problem.

      As for helping others, real Christians do more than just pray for someone's life to be better, including President Carter and his Habitat for Humanity projects. Unfortunately, some people's issues, codependence in an abusive marriage or drug addictions, cannot be solved or really helped by others unless that person wants help and is willing to do something different.

      Christians don't think atheists are sad people because of what they've done or anything personally about them. As many former atheists-turned-Christians, such as C.S. Lewis and T.S. Eliot, could have told you, life lived without God is ultimately pointless and hopeless. And that's the sadness about it.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Observer

      It is very difficult to discern who is atheist and who is a muslim in these blogs. Not that it matters. But to have a honest conversation it is always good to know the honest view point that the opponent is bringing into the discussion.

      HawaiGuest is a Muslim.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      The term truth when it comes to religion is not applicable. It is an opinion, a structure of belief based on faith in something intangible. Belief in gods and other metaphysical things, is by it's very nature, something that cannot be shown to be true. To state that you have stumbled upon the truth implies that you have some kind of empyrical evidence previously unavailable to others. To take your faith, and to pass it off as an undeniable truth is an arrogant thing. I don't know how much clearer I can make it. I don't claim to know the entire truth, but I will point out flaws within your logic. Your math analogy is completely irrelevant as well. Calculus can be broken down into formulas that are universally true and verifiable, no matter how smart the person is, no matter how much information both people have stored in their brains, calculus is the same. Religion is no where near the same universally.

      As for a life without god being pointless, I'll have to disagree with you on that. I find more meaning in my life being an atheist than I ever did when I was religious. That is merely a personal feeling. Some people feel their life means more with religion, some feel the opposite. But what gives you the right to tell others that without your faith their life is meaningless? Shouldn't each person be able to make their own decision on that?

      March 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      I have said many times in these blogs that I am an atheist. Why would you think I'm a muslim?

      March 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Over It

      Note to self: Do not hire this @Observer person for any position which requires accurate assessment or "discerning".

      I wonder - are you one of the guys who carries your brain around in a bowl on "MSTK"?... or one of the mysterious bald guys on "Fringe"?

      March 19, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Chad

      HawaiiGuest, you're right that I can't prove God empirically. The thing is if there exists a world behind the observable world, a spiritual realm where God exists, then it and He cannot be measured in the same way as observable objects. You can't prove God with the scientific process nor can you prove He doesn't exist. That's why faith has to be an inherent tool in understanding and connecting to God. Without faith first, you will never connect to God. That is why so many people think believers are crazy, because they have great difficulty in sensing God themselves without the inherent tool of faith. Many non-believers reject faith but that's funny because our whole lives rely on faith. We have faith that our bowl of cereal doesn't have microscopic glass shards in it when we go to eat it or that the pilot of our plane is competent and will get us to our destination safely. We have faith that the person driving at you from the other side of the road won't swerve into you. We have faith that gravity works even though we can't see it or point to it (you can only prove its effects, not the thing itself). Faith is all around us, but of course, these analogies are imperfect because they all lend themselves to possible disappointment or as you pointed out, are observable things (except for gravity) whereas God is not. We cannot compare anything perfectly to God, and yet our lives cannot be lived fully without believing in Him first.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      You see it's the end of your statement that invalidates you to people that do not believe in god. What is a full life to you? What would qualify a person as living a full life? Faith in something that by its very definition cannot be confirmed to even be? Why would this "faith" be some prerequisite to living a full life? That is what I mean by arrogance. That is what I mean by condescension. You are putting yourself and your belief on a pedestal.

      March 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • ExtremeAtheist

      Mark in Canada, are there also genetic pathways to hate? Why is love preferred over hate? If hate gives me the edge in survival, I prefer hate. And why should reason be my guide? I think it's all about the triumph of the will. The will to power. You're a weak atheist. You accept the theist notion of love and reason. It's all about will. Read up on your Nietzsche.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • ExtremeAtheist

      Mark in Canada, you say there are genetic pathways to love, that love exists. Is it not true that there are also genetic pathways (predispositions) to anger and ate? Why is love preferred over hate? If hate gives me the edge in survival, I prefer hate. And why should reason be my guide? I think it's all about the triumph of the will. The will to power. You're a weak atheist. You accept the theist notion of love and reason. It's all about will. Read up on your Nietzsche.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      Both love and hate could be detrimental to the survival of an individual, however love is not detrimental to a community, which is what social creatures (like us) naturally gravitate into forming. Love would promote harmony in a group and growth. While hate would cause tension, and possibly violence in a group, this is not condusive to survival.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • ExtremeAtheist

      Mark in Canada, you are using theist presuppositions. If I want to follow Darwin, it's a dog-eat-dog world out there and I am going to try to do all I can to survive and pass on my genes. So don't give me that crap about love (the caring altruistic kind). That's a theist/Christian idea. There are pathways to hate and anger too and the fact is if hate and anger gets me ahead in the fight for survival, I'll do what it takes. Sleep around with as many women as possible, too. I could care less about reason. It's the will to power that will triumph in the end You're a weak atheist. Read up on your Nietzsche.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • graytiger


      It's not dog eat dog. That is a very mistaken viewpoint on evolution. There is also cooperation in the animal kingdom. And if we limit ourselves to humans, have you never heard of mirror neurons or oxytocine? I suggest you look them up. Men could never have survived without coöperation. It's built into us by evolution.

      March 19, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Fallon

      Obs-Apparently you hit the nail right on the head!

      March 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • mandarax

      ExtremeAtheist is clearly a troll – most likely a Christian trying to impersonate an atheist, but doing it poorly. The comments don't sound like any atheist I have ever met, but they sound a lot like the cartoonish stereotypes of atheism that Christians promote.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  8. Descarado

    With the malicious lies of Carter's "Peace Not Apartheid," the most incompetent President in American history leaves behind a legacy as a senile, vicious, frothing-at-the mouth anti-semite in diapers.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Bobby

      No, it was Reagan who was senile, and probably while he was in office too. Man, how we narrowly escaped starting a nuclear war with Bonzo in Chief at the helm.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Mark C

      Get psychiatric help, you pathetic imbecile.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Truly Sad

      And, compared to him, what have you done with your life?

      March 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • made in Italy

      wow....you are so angry....God loves you

      March 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • David G

      Bravo! Carter was not only the word president 9until now) but an antisemite hate monger to boot

      March 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • TheWalrus

      Well said Descardo!!

      March 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • mdn

      Reagan was senile and suffered from Alzheimers. George W Bush was the worst president. While Carter had not been an effective president, he is a wonderful person who has tried to do good for people in the service of his Creator. I wish him God's blessing and protection.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  9. rmclean

    Personally, I'm agnostic, but I have the greatest respect for President Carter. He doesn't just "talk the talk"; he "walks the walk" of his Christian beliefs. His work for the less fortunate amongst us, as is his tireless work for peaceful solutions to conflicts, is an example we can all learn from.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Chad

      I didn't think Carter was a strong president, but I totally agree with you that he cared about others and certainly put his faith into action. His Habitat for Humanity projects have helped many in my community.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      Chad, I never thought I would say this, but you and I are completely on the same side on this one.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  10. 5x

    I'm an atheist, so I'll pass on the bible part, but as a man I have a great deal of respect for what Mr. Carter has done outside of office.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  11. David M

    Say what you will about Jimmy Carter, but you cannot question his integrity. I didn't agree with a lot of his policiies as president, but I have all the respect in the world for the man. He left the white house and went back to being a regular person again. He has been involved in Habitat for Humanity for year as well as being an ambassador at times for the various presidends after him. He has pushed for peaceful solutions for almost every conflict. During his time as president, he remained a civil person, unlike today's politicians.

    I would love to sit down with him sometime for a long conversation, preferably with a large pitcher of sweet ice tea, fried chicken, black-eyed peas, fried okra, and biscuits! That's the food of the gods!!

    March 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • David G

      integrity? the man is a liar!

      March 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • sam stone

      David G: How is he a liar?

      March 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Not a Sheep

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things?? Living your life based on folklore is? By the way . . . are you suggesting dogs, cats and other living things follow christianity?

      March 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • kenny

      sorry but prayer only helps YOU by making you feel better about something you have NO CONTROL over. It's a self delusion that in the end harms YOU and what you pray for. Since in the REAL world there are solutions to problems that you don't explore because YOUR backwater beliefs hold you back from discovering those solutions. We'd be IMMORTAL, have world peace and colonizing all the planets if it weren't for religion....

      March 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • 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 3:22 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      The question you should be asking yourself is "Does posting "prayer changes things" change things?" And the delivery might be more welcome if you did not insult the people you claim you are trying to convert.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
    • just sayin

      All creation does indeed follow Christianity, or the order God established them in. Dogs cats etc. do not rebel against God or challenge God in His creation. Only man in his arrogance is given a choice.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • 5thApe

      "Prayer changes things ."

      Prayer is complete nonsense. 1 pair of hands *doing* beats 50 hands in prayer everytime.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • just sayin

      No need for casting pearls before swine. The encouragement to prayer is meant for those who know prayer. Having rejected and insulted God the chance of conversion is minimal with an atheist. An atheist is so dedicated to a lie that the Truth might not break through, best to continue to call it like it is. Truly, atheism is not healthy for children or other living things.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • 5thApe

      "Truly, atheism is not healthy for children or other living things."

      But bronze aged delusion is??

      March 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Ozymandias71

      Do you just keep posting the same thing in every story?

      March 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • just sayin

      I just want to dance and praise Jesus right now

      March 19, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  13. ShockeyShah

    Some day I'm gonna write a book about corn and corns. I like to eat corn and have corns on my feet. sometimes I confuse the two.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Bobby

      Carter may write about peanuts, because he was a peanut farmer and not a corn farmer. That way he might get confused between actual peanuts and your brain, although I can see how easily he could get the two confused. 😉

      March 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  14. hilreal

    Study of prayer in heary patiets. Most rigorous study to date I believe. Interesting conclusion was that people who had non-friends pray for them did WORSE than people who didn't have anyone or friends pray for them.


    March 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  15. Meathead (of the Word)

    Bill P... FOR PRESIDENT!!!

    March 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  16. HeyZues

    While I am not a person of faith, I must tip my hat to President Carter. He has always lived his life according to his beliefs, and allowed it to guide him. Love him or hate him, no one can dispute that he truly takes his religion to heart and keeps the good of his faith in his heart when he makes decisions.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  17. GoFigure

    I am not religious. I do not go to church or give some $3,000 suit wearing "man of God" 10% of my money. What I do consider myself though is spiritual and a beliver in a higher power. This is not something I think, this is something I feel. I have felt it many times. Of the millions and millions of species on this planet, I don't think evolution was smart enough to just pick one of them to "evolve" to the status that humans have. The odd of such a thing to truly happen are astronomical. There is a vast spectrum of intellegence between humans and the rest of life on this planet.

    Anyhooo, do I pray? Damn straight I do. Does it help? I believe it does. I believe it helped me to the extent that it saved my life. I went from being miserable to just about one of the happiest and peaceful people you could ever meet. I don't try to convince anyone of anything and I quickly turn away from those that don't give me the same respect. Basically, I let you believe what you want, please allow me to do the same. Lol....with that being said, there are those that still chose to ridicule. They are usually a miserable lot, really not in much of a position to tell anyone how to live their life, yet, for some reason, they feel they must.

    If you don't believe, thats just peachy in my book. I hope you live as happy of a life that I do. But based on some of the Atheist comments in here, you don't appear to be happy people at all. No matter how silly you think it is to believe, (as I think it silly not to), accept it, respect it and move on. That is the stance I take on Atheist and religious nuts alike.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • pass-it

      Many atheists are just people who care about the truth, and truth is not defined by feelings.
      Don't rag on them because their arguments put you in a place that is uncomfortable.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • BlahBlahBlah

      Pass.....you assume much.....a sure sign of a feeble mind. The only person that can make me uncomfortable is me. And with truth, comes facts, something neither side can present. Again, I go on what I feel, not what I hear.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • pass-it

      Do you feel the world is flat today?

      March 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • GoFigure

      If I did, why should it be of your concern? You should worry more about whats in you instead of whats in others.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • pass-it

      Hmmm. You are the happiest person in the world... until someone voices an opinion different than yours. Then you result to name calling, like "feeble-minded". Internet anonnymity makes you brave?

      March 19, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Gerard Amalraj

      @ GoFigure – I'm glad that prayer has helped you. I'm also glad that you believe that evolution is not so smart to bring us where we are. I'm glad that you believe in a higher power. Would you not like to know more about that Higher Power. God has revealed to us the truth in the person of JESUS. One of the reason's some find it so difficult to accept that JESUS is that Higher Power is because HE lived a simple life but left amazing impressions behind. May I humbly suggest you one thing? Next time during your personal time of prayer, why don't you ask that Higher Power to reveal Himself even more clearly that you might come to know the truth. Everyone's heart yearns to know the truth; and I'm sure deep down within even your heart yearns to know. May Jesus richly bless you!!

      March 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      I feel I should point this out.

      "I don't think evolution was smart enough to just pick one of them to "evolve" to the status that humans have. The odd of such a thing to truly happen are astronomical. There is a vast spectrum of intellegence between humans and the rest of life on this planet"

      I think you are looking at evolution as a black and white process, which is not the case. It is a process of everchanging variables and sometimes unpredictable results. The odds do not matter when you speak in terms of billions of years and an area as vast as the universe. Probability would state that no matter the odds, given enough time it will happen, the only question in where and when, which is impossible to predict. Also evolution does not "pick" any particular species to evolve. Evolution is not a living being, it is a biological process.

      March 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      GoFigure, HawaiiGuest is right. In addition, it is worth keeping in mind that as recently as 28,000 years ago there at least four different species of Ho.mo on earth. Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Floresiensis may very well have fallen somewhere between Ho.mo Sapiens and other animals with regard to cognitive abilities.

      March 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  18. josh rogen

    I don't think liberals imposing their religious beliefs on us is any better than conservatives doing so

    March 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  19. charlie

    Why did Andy of Mayberry author a study Bible? Probably so he could insert false anti-Israel/Zionist "facts" in the text and footnotes. Carter is a bird turd on the windshield of history.

    March 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • BlahBlahBlah

      I would be curious to see what sort of exemplary life and what worhy actions you have done for man kind.

      When you judge others, you don't define them, you define yourself.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Greg s

      The new age Christians want us to ignore all prophecy concerning Israel and focus on what they want us to believe concerning Israel. Carter is definitely standing with this crowd. Real curious to see what he has to say in his little bible about Israel.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Mark C

      Another insignificant piece of garbage heard from.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Bob Ingersoll

      Israel is irrelevant; it is no more or less holy than any other place on Earth. Prophecy is BS.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  20. Follower of Jesus

    False Dichotomy said –

    The best (most rigorous methodology) study on prayer was carried out by Duke University Medical School. It found prayer was not effective..... http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/9136

    I guess he/she found what he/she wanted to find there. I read the whole article and it clearly states:
    Patients treated with "two-tiered" prayer had absolute six-month death and re-hospitalization rates that were about 30 percent lower than control patients, statistically characterized as a suggestive trend. That's prayer working!!!

    March 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • please

      I read the same thing, and it far from suggests that prayer is working.
      For proof of something so incredible as a God answering prayers, wouldn't you want some evidence on an equal, incredible, level?
      If your answer is no, then you become the definition of gullibility.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • False Dichotomy

      I appreciate that you read it – I didn't suspect many people would. But in analytical terms, a "suggestive" trend is one that is not statistically significant. That means the results could not be distinguished from random chance. Surely if God were performing miracles he could at least achieve statistical significance. I think you are the one ignoring the overall results and latching onto the one thing you wanted to see.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • JT

      I think with the tag "follower of jesus" you are expected to interpret and skew text to match your world view just as you do your bible and, of course, consult your pastor.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • andrew.peter

      um, prayer requires faith. The people in the bible who were healed, were healed because they had faith in Jesus, and in the fact that He was able to do what they needed.

      March 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
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About this blog

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.