Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Jimmy Carter

Nice interview by Sarah Pulliam Bailey with President Jimmy Carter:

In what ways did faith impact your presidency?

I’ve always been fully committed to separation of church and state. I didn’t permit worship services in the White House as had been done earlier. I was careful not ever to promote my own Christianity as superior in America to other religions, because I feel all religious believers should be treated carefully. At the same time, there’s no way I could ever separate my Christian belief from my obligations as a naval officer, as a governor or as President, or from my work now. I can’t say my commitments as President were free of my beliefs. We worship the Prince of Peace, and one of the key elements of my life as President in challenging times was to keep our country peaceful. I was able to deal with challenges without launching a missile or dropping a bomb. My commitment to peace was an aspect of my Christian faith. Also, basic human rights are obviously compatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ, and I made human rights a foundation of foreign policy.

You can read the rest of the interview at the link above.


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  • Cal

    Jimmy Carter was a terrible president and that’s why I think his faith, though perhaps confused, is authentic.

    No Christian can rule Babylon well.

  • Bill

    I think Cal (and the Anabaptists) are right on this point. President Carter is the perfect example that “no Christian can rule Babylon well,” if at all. The Christian is called on to deny his or her loyalty and to wield the sword. I read recently, to my surprise, that President Carter taught Sunday School in a local Baptist congregation while President. I had not heard that before.

  • Fish

    Yep. As an example, I know several pastors who will not say the pledge of allegiance because their allegiance is pledged to God and not a flag or a country. Such a person isn’t going to make a good president, but on the other hand they’re not going to seek the office.