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.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

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. joshhim

    This is spirit of true leadership in America!
    God bless Carter & America~

    March 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm |


    March 17, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Jt_flyer

      Well there you. Mr. Carter and his family are officially covered. No chicken feet or human sacrifice required.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  3. Jt_flyer

    Keep religion out of politics. Here are our nations founders thoughts:
     History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.  This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose.  Thomas Jefferson

    2. "The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs." -Thomas Jefferson

    3. "It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticism's that three are one, and one is three; and yet the one is not three, and the three are not one- Thomas Jefferson

    4. "And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be cla.ssed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors."- Thomas Jefferson

    5. "There is not one redeeming feature in our supersti.tion of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites."- Thomas Jefferson

    6. "Lighthouses are more useful than churches."- Ben Franklin
    7. "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."- Ben Franklin

    8. "I looked around for God's judgments, but saw no signs of them."- Ben Franklin

    9. "In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the lack of it."- Ben Franklin

    10. "This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it"- John Adams

    11. "The New Testament, they tell us, is founded upon the prophecies of the Old; if so, it must follow the fate of its foundation.'- Thomas Paine

    12. "Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."- Thomas Paine

    13. "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."- Thomas Paine

    14. "Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange belief that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies."- Thomas Paine

    15. "All national inst.itutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."- Thomas Paine

    16. "It is the fable of Jesus Christ, as told in the New Testament, and the wild and visionary doctrine raised thereon, against which I contend. The story, taking it as it is told, is blasphemously obscene.”- Thomas Paine

    17. "Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society."- George Washington

    18. "The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession."- Abraham Lincoln

    19. "It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov't from interference in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespa.sses on its legal rights by others."- James Madison

    20. "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."- James Madison

    21. "Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man"- Thomas Jefferson

    March 17, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Paul Z

      Didn't you read the article? That is exactly what Carter said he did.
      Or are you just looking for something to bash?

      March 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  4. Nick Rick

    To all you republicans out there reading this and saying carter is this or carter was that, just because you are brainwashed party loyalists. Let me call your attention to a few presidents. First off, you can't forget Nixon. Am sure you can realize for yourself he makes the list of all time worst (Carter, sorry to break it to you was actually pretty good) and, wait, another republican, the all time, worst president, Warren G. Harding. Read up on Warren G. Harding, all you republican party loyalists. Just a terrible president, and the absolute worst. And of course he was a republican.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • larrydavid

      This guy hated Jews as much as Hitler. Thankfully, he lacked even a shred of charisma.

      March 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  5. Dan

    Reading comments on these news stories – any news story, take your pick – is sobering. I can't believe the world is full of so many bigoted, hate-filled, uneducated, boorish, morons. Yet it's fascinating. Like watching a car wreck.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • larrydavid

      Sanctimony is a stinky cologne, friend-o.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  6. Jt_flyer

    Smart man. He's illustrating for us a democratic president who's actually practiced and held REAL Christian values his entire life. Now let's talk about the so-call chrisian republicans ... Like Newt. I wouldn't want any of them as members of my family.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  7. larrydavid

    This guy's faith has fueled his hatred of Jews for decades.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Jt_flyer

      Your a blind man and I feel so sorry for you.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • larrydavid


      March 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Right Wing Tim

      This is simply unimformed. The vast majority of people of his faith (evangelical christian) and from his denomination (Souther Baptist) are extremely strong supporters of Israel. He is a very rare exception. I do not agree with his views on Israel as expressed in his last book, but it is not rooted in some imaginary christian anti-semitism. It appears to be honestly rooted in a concern for the Palestinian people.

      March 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • JT

      You're getting Carter confused with Billy Grahm.

      March 19, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  8. Dingos and Jimmy Carter took my baby!

    they did!

    March 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  9. Gary

    I am tired of the ignorant Jimmy Carter bashing.If you do the research
    and not listen to corporate bought politicians and corporate
    controlled lame stream media outlets Jimmy Carter is one of our greatest
    presidents.For those who actually believe the republican moronic propaganda
    and think Reagan and Bush are above Carter.Really, so Carter is worse than
    Reagan and Bush?The republicans and their propaganda machine wants people to
    believe that Carter achieved nothing during his presidency. Well I think the
    Eqypt/Israel Peace Treaty is a pretty impressive achievement. Carter broke the back of OPEC by
    deregulating the oil industry.The Alaska Lands Act he pushed and signed under
    death threats was one of the best land protection laws in our history.Carter
    pushed for human rights around the world (unlike the loathsome 'Torture'
    president Bush)Carter appointed Paul Volker to the Fed and the country was on
    its way to an economic recovery long before Reagan was elected. Of course,
    Reagan then pushed all those tax cuts, blew up the deficit and the defense
    budget, broke the back of the unions, and accelerated the decline of the middle
    class. It is a fact that, until W. Bush, Reagan qualifies as the worst president
    since, at least, Harding. Now as for Carter's boasting, HE IS THE BEST
    EX-PRESIDENT IN HISTORY. When Reagan left office, what did he do? Make money
    speaking and continue his intellectual decline (Not much of a decline
    considering he had so little to begin with). Carter has worked for Habitat for
    Humanity, undergone many successful diplomatic missions, and on and on.
    Carter is the most under-rated president in US history. Had he remained in
    office for a second term, Scalia would not be on the Court (a vast achievement
    alone), he may have gotten an energy bill through Congress and we would be
    driving cars that got 100 mpg. Most of all, the tax cuts, again benifiting
    mostly the rich, would not have been passed. Instead the money would have been
    spent rebuilding the infrastructure of this coutry. Also, the budget would
    probably be in balance.Yes, Cindy McCain may have had only six houses instead of
    seven, but we would not have to worry that the bridges we are driving over would
    collapse.Pretty good trade off I would say

    March 17, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • mmaxum2002

      I'm afraid your opinion about Carter is among the minority. Most polls show Carter as the worst and I agree.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Lars J

      Appreciate that you are actually engaging your mind in what your write, Gary. Few seem to here.

      The shrinking of the middle class and exploding deficits started with Reagan, but it doesn't fit the extreme religionist's narrative to acknowledge that.

      But the hypocrisy! That's what get's me. They try to leverage Christianity to garner votes, and lionize a Hollywood divorcee who seldom shadowed the door of a church. But someone who actually taught Sunday School and went door to door in his 20s passing out his Baptist Christian literature and made his faith central to his life and values? They hate him. Why? Because he really *is* a Christian and having fallen under the spell of modern cultural Christianity, they don't know the real article. "Having a form of godliness, they deny the power of the real thing".

      March 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Reagan Closed all Federal Metal Hospitals and sent 500,000 mentally ill men and women out on to the streets with no place to sleep, no food, no health care....

      Reagan took Iraq off the list of terrorist countries in 1982 and sold duel use chemicals to Saddam, using GWHBush, Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, even Newt..sold to Iraq from 1980-1989 these and more..Anthrax,Sarin Gas,Tuban gas,Mustard Gas, Botulism, Diluted Agent Orange in the form of Roundup as a nerve gas, and even Yellow Cake..which ended up in Iran in their nuky weapons program..Saddam used Tuban, Sarn gases on Iranian soilders,in Iran-Iraq war 1980-1988, and his own Kurds several times..Then we had to fight Iraq to get them back...

      Reagan also sold weapons, military parts, and sam missiles to Iran, several times during Iran-Iraq war...

      March 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Right Wing Tim

      I agree that Carter is a very good man. I also agree that he is a better POTUS than most people currently recognize; but what in the world do the number of homes owned by Ms. McCain have to do with Carter and his legacy.

      Your post is merely an attermpt to bash Republicans because most are successful and a reflection of the sad state of America where many evil people see success as an evil rather than as something to be pursued.

      March 17, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Lars J

      Right Wing Tim – Are you being funny? Or ironic? You write "because most [Republicans] are successful "... You are aware that the red states, who I believe vote mostly R, are poorer, more uneducated, more obese, and have a higher divorce rate than the blue states – just for starters. Or are you just not aware of this?

      March 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • lets be real

      When you pray you are asking god to change his divine plan. Who are you to question his wisdom?. If I were god, I'd be offended. Prayer is for simple minded people who would be better off working to solve problems, rather than ask some imaginary friend to do it for them.

      March 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Mark

      Good grief.
      Scientifically proven to heal the sick, and bring the dead back to life!

      March 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  11. dreamer96

    People forget that Jimmy Carter, a former Navy Nuclear Engineer, as a sitting President..when to Three Mile Island in the middle of a critical nuclear reactor meltdown, taking his wife, and arrived when their had a critical buildup of Hydrogen bubble in the containment dome, and kept the plant from venting dangerous radiation steam out, used his own experience, and knowledge of nuclear reactors, to talk to the plant engineers, and prevent a hydrogen explosion..that would have contaminated miles around for decades...He was the perfect President for that day...We never have had a better educated, better experience President on Nuclear Power...and Carter started the NRC to oversee our countries nuclear reactors...

    March 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Doug

      They could use his expertise at the Fort Calhoun Nucluer Power Plant in Nebraska, and several other crippled Nuclear Plants in the USA.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • dreamer96

      The U.S, Navy should be running our nuclear power plants..you will not find a rusty pipe on a U.S. Navy nuclear reactor, but you will in our corporation owned and operated for a profit nuclear power plants...

      March 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • mmaxum2002

      Read you history a little closer. Cater was a nuclear engineer who did not visit the plant until July 9th of '97, long after the meltdown in March of '97

      March 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • dreamer96

      The accident happened on March 28th 1979..Carter visited on morning of Friday the 30th..his visit marked the end of the crisis...even with the hydrogen bubble...being critial right before Carter arrived..from American Experience...

      It was never supposed to happen. In the predawn hours of March 28, 1979, a pressure valve suddenly malfunctioned at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. What occured next–a combination of technical failure, human error, and bad luck–would result in the worst nuclear accident in American history. For five nerve-wracking days, engineers struggled to control a runaway reactor, government officials debated whether to evacuate the area, and residents contemplated the ultimate horror of a nuclear meltdown.

      Meltdown at Three Mile Island carefully re-examines step-by-step this national disaster which still haunts many Americans, and which dealt a crippling blow to the nation's nuclear power industry. Meltdown at Three Mile Island is produced by Chana Gazit (Surviving the Dust Bowl and Chicago 1968) and David Steward, and narrated by Liev Schreiber.

      For nearly a year the nuclear plant had been quietly generating electricity in the middle of the Susquehanna River. Located just ten miles from the state capital of Harrisburg, Three Mile Island was within 100 miles of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. People in the surrounding communities had grown accustomed to the concrete fortress with its giant cooling towers. "I was just amazed, wide-eyed looking at the thing, and it was just neat," says Mike Pintek, a local resident and journalist. "It was high technology and this was going to be power that was too cheap to meter."

      The accident started at the plant's Unit 2 reactor when a small valve failed to close, causing cooling water to drain from the nuclear core. The core quickly began to overheat. Confronted by baffling and contradictory information, plant operators shut off the emergency water system that would have cooled the core. Within minutes, the mammoth control console was "lit up like a Christmas tree," one operator recalls. Hundreds of flashing lights were accompanied by piercing horns and sirens.

      By early morning Wednesday, March 28, the exposed part of the core was beginning to cook as temperatures in the reactor reached 4,300 degrees Fahrenheit–dangerously close to meltdown. Yet operators remained convinced that the core was covered and safe. "We had a mindset that said we had these marvelous safety systems which had back-ups of back-ups," says Bob Long, a supervising engineer at Three Mile Island. "It was hard for people to really come to grips with the reality that severe damage had occurred."

      But when contaminated water leaked into an adjoining building and started to release radioactive gases inside the plant, Three Mile Island's supervisor declared the first general emergency ever to arise at a nuclear power plant in the United States.

      Word of the accident first reached the public in a radio report. Lieutenant Governor William Scranton assured everyone that the owner of the plant, Metropolitan Edison, had the situation under control, and no radiation had been released outside the plant. As Scranton left the podium, he learned that a release had in fact occurred; he had been misled. "It was at that point I realized," says Scranton, "that we could not rely on Metropolitan Edison for the kind of information we needed to make decisions."

      Frightened residents didn't know whom to believe either. Just days earlier, Hollywood had released The China Syndrome, a film about a potential meltdown at a nuclear power plant. In it, an area the size of Pennsylvania is threatened with annihilation. For residents, life was now imitating art. "My sister called from LA," remembers Robin Stuart, "saying `Get out, hurry up and get out.'" More than 500,000 people now faced a decision: pack up and evacuate the area, or stay and stick it out.

      The evacuation plans that Governor Dick Thornburgh had inherited were almost useless; one would have sent residents of two counties racing toward each other across a bridge. Thornburgh feared setting off public hysteria, but by Friday, March 30, he felt he had no choice but to advise pregnant women and school-age children to leave the area. His announcement unleashed a wave of panic as residents tossed a few belongings into their cars and sped off. More than 140,000 would eventually flee.

      Friday also brought a new, more terrifying revelation: a hydrogen bubble had formed above the reactor core. Over the weekend, scientists from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission argued about whether the bubble might explode at any minute. Now even the journalists covering the story were on the verge of hysteria. During Sunday Mass, one Roman Catholic priest offered general absolution. "This is a sacrament reserved when death is imminent," recalls Victor Stello, a senior NRC engineer who was in the congregation. "What we had done to these people was just outrageous. We had frightened them so bad, they thought they were going to die."

      A few hours later, President Jimmy Carter arrived. As his motorcade made its way to Three Mile Island, emotionally drained residents lined the street. "They stood there and cheered," relates journalist Mike Gray, "because he was with them."

      March 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • dreamer96

      Ops I doubt many will even read this but the 28th was a Friday...and Carter arrived Sunday morning...I messed up the days of the week..but you can see in the write up from American Experience, they have the correct days...Sorry for the mix up..

      March 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  12. b4bigbang

    Question for the atheistic scientific-materialists out there. Was the beginning of the universe some kind of mindless chance occurence?

    March 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • dreamer96

      God was looking for a place to thrown out the garbage from Heaven..so we got the Big Bang...

      March 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Mark

      Check it out. 'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss


      Humanity's view of the universe is simply biased by our sized. If our brains could comprehend the very small and very large we wouldn't have the challenges as a race with religion that we do.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  13. Daniel Medrano

    For the comment on Bush Sr., I never ceased to be amazed, how he is still roaming freely while Noriega is behind bars.
    Bush Sr. shook hands with Noriega and was his contact on the drug trade which the Reagan Administration used to fuel the Contras. Short memories you all! Noriega was given the option to step down by Bush Sr. (obviously) but refused to take it.
    Don't forget, Bush Sr. was in the intelligence field! Integrity is not their no. 1 priority! We know what happened next. I felt bad I have to say when we bombed the HQ of the Guardia Nacional. I had many a good times there with their cook-outs.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  14. JP

    Who cares what that bible thumpin' loser has to say?

    March 17, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Satan

      Certainly no one cares about you, little one.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  15. Lars J

    It might be noted that God has bless President Carter with a long and fruitful life, while cultural Christians cannot but notice that some of their favorite presidents have gone insane or dropped into obscurity. Not proof of God's will, but certainly evidence.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • JP

      What a friggin' load of crap!

      March 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      I totally agree Lars J.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  16. Lars J

    No greater evidence illustrates the difference between modern American cultural faux Christianity and genuine personal Christianity than the response the religious right has to Jimmy Carter. They demonstrate that differences in political views trump their Christian solidarity with Carter. In other words, acknowledged or not, politics is *more* important to them than surrendering their wills and lives to Christ. Whatever their profession, they mirror the religious Pharisees of Jesus' day – they love the symbolism and power, but hate the selfless spirit of the meek and gentle Jesus. At a deep carnal level the command to love their enemies is a joke to cultural Christians.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Nah

      Literally none of your sentences made sense together.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Satan

      @Nah, sensibility is not your call, a whole.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • JP

      Typical illiterate religious freak!

      March 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Chad

      Jimmy has a kind of "Thomas Jefferson" christianity.. He takes portions of what Jesus said and twists it into a humanistic message.
      That's why he supports Palestinian terrorists and opposes Israel.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • straitgate

      Very well said Lars.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • Lars J

      Chad – he also wrote our Declarations of Independence and was admire by our founding fathers. But you don't like him because he didn't agree with you? Or because you are just parroting the thinks you have been conditioned to believe?

      March 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Very well-put Lars J!
      I might add that a very large portion of the so-called Christian Right is in the political process as an attempt to turn the US into a "Christian nation". This comes from an adherence to 'Dominion Theology' and is totally unscriptural!
      The US is a modern, secular global empire (I call it 'New Rome'), and as the old saying goes, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"!

      March 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Chad

      @Lars J

      Whether I like or dislike Thomas Jefferson is fairly irrelevant, the issue is TJ didnt believe that Jesus Christ was the Jewish Messiah. That's a major problem.

      March 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • Lars J

      b4bigbang – I wish there was a stronger voice in our culture pointing out this heresy. Dominion Theology is actually anti-Christ: it goes against Jesus' teaching that God only deals with man one to one and not corporately. The religious right think that if we can just pass laws to make us all look good, we will be good. That's paganism. There was slavery and all sorts of evil social traditions of Christ's day that would make abortion look tame. But Jesus said not a word about making any changes on a civil level. And that was Israel – a supposed theocracy. Modern cultural Christians are following the idol of American patriotism and don't know how utterly deceived they are. If they would just read their Bibles for themselves.

      March 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  17. Chad

    Jimmy Carter, how can you call yourself a Christian, yet be anti semitic? The two of those dont go together.

    Christian past is littered with ignorant anti-semites, instead of teaching, you should be taking classes Jimmy.

    Jesus Christ is Jewish.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  18. Obamasuks1

    Jimmy Carter do anything be a peanut farmer, a home builder, a bible thumper just do us a favor and stay out of politics one idiot is enough. Hopefully that will be over in January 2013

    March 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  19. Nah

    I thought CNN wrote, "Carter Discusses his Fail-Filled Life."

    I was going to congratulate CNN for finally getting it right.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Satan

      You're an a whole who worships Gingrich, another a whole. peas in a pod you two are and can't hold a candle to this great man,

      March 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Nah

      satan: "You're an a whole who worships Gingrich, another a whole. peas in a pod you two are and can't hold a candle to this great man,"

      Lol. Okay.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  20. Peter E

    A quote from an actually conservative icon:

    "Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them.
    The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom.... I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are?... I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism." "

    – Barry Goldwater, (1909–1998), five-term US Senator, Republican Party nominee for President in 1964*, Maj. Gen., US Air Force Reserves, author of The Conscience of a Conservative.

    March 17, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Nah



      Your conclusion is what? Therefore Republicans are evil? Therefore Republicans are wrong? Therefore Conservative moral views should be silenced, while Liberal moral views should be championed?

      You're so cool.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Lars J

      Well stated. Ironically, the people who founded American were trying to get away from monarchs who thought they ruled by "divine right", who thought they knew what God wanted and were blessed in whatever act they committed, including taking the lives our their enemies. Men like Jefferson tried to save future generations by, as he put it, "creating a wall between church and state". Now their is a war to take us back to the Dark Ages.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Bob

      Yeah, yeah, heard it all before...
      "If the jews get in control"
      "if the Muslims get in control"
      "If the gays get in control"
      Just chill, the Christians don't want to be in control. Everybody else has done such a royal good job of messing things up that the best thing is just to sit back and wait for the end of times. That will clear out the mess for sure.

      March 17, 2012 at 7:44 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.