Thursday, February 05, 2009

Former President Jimmy Carter, may be growing older, but...

...he isn't growing wiser, humbler, more gracious, more Christ-like, or less of a... an.... What's the word I want?

As I've confessed, I voted for Jimmy Carter. You get one really lame, foolish, young, idealistic "freebie" vote. That was mine. He was "born-again," I was fairly newly born-again, and I bought the rhetoric. It wasn't long before I had serious buyer's remorse. I think it was when he accepted the mark of a Hindu worshiper when he visited India that I suspected his profession might not be that rock-solid....

(In my partial defense, the counter-choice [Gerald Ford] was far worse than the dilemma facing conservative voters last November.)

But Carter did one really great thing. He gave us Ronald Reagan, by a landslide.

Anyway, since his resounding and richly-deserved smoking-crater defeat, Carter at first did well, busying himself building houses. Yay, him. If he'd stopped there, that would have been great. If he'd realized and admitted what a horrid President he'd been, and how un-Biblical some of his notions had been, that would have been better still.

But no.

Instead, Carter turned himself into our worst ex-president, who undermines American foreign policy, coddles dictators, and created the party of Clinton and Kerry. Also, he joined forces with The Nameless One and did this. In many interviews, he clearly learned nothing from his decisive defeat at the hands of Ronald Reagan, and blames everyone but himself and his wretchedly wrong-headed ideas.

Michael Medved pretty much shares my view of Carter, and had the opportunity to interview him. It is to his credit that Carter even came on Medved's radio show, knowing what MM thought of him — though he did do it to shill his latest screed.

Medved writes about and transcribes the interview. It is an interesting-enough read in itself. But this stands out to me as a Christian:

MM: ---[The Hamas charter] calls for the murder of individual Jews. It calls for the murder of all Jews so that judgment day can come. It says, "The Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realization of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said, “The day of judgment will not come about until Muslims kill the Jews (and the passage adds: “When the Jews will hide behind stones and trees, the sones [sic] and trees will say, O Muslim, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”)

Carter:--If you want to talk about ancient history, Christians believe that in the second coming, Christ can't come back to the Holy Land until all Jews are either dead or become Christian.

Did you get that? Carter equates Hamas with Christians who... well, who (unlike Carter) actually believe in the Bible! He equates murderous cultists who think it virtuous personally to murder individual Jews and all Jews so as to wipe out the nation, with Christians who love the Jew named Jesus, believe in the Torah (including Deuteronomy 18:15-22), and (unlike Carter) actually believe in all of the Bible.

Wait, think more about it. Carter — Mr. Born-again — is talking to an unsaved Jew. Here is his opportunity to be a witness to Christ. And what does he use it for? In his all-consuming passion to redeem his image without repentance, Carter smears Christians, smears the Bible, and fabricates a moral equivalency with longing for Israel to repent and trust its Messiah as the entire Bible says it must and will. In Carter's insane, stubbornly unteachable, Cartercentric universe, wanting the highest good for every individual Jew is the same as wishing mayhem and murder for every individual Jew.

Great day in the morning, what a.... Well. There are words for what he has made himself. God open his eyes, humble him, grant him repentance — and, until then, shut his mouth.

23 comments:

Stan McCullars said...

Great post!

Jimmy Carter and I go way back. Back in 1966 when I was one year old and Mr. Born-again was waging his first gubernatorial (Georgia) campaign, my parents took me to a rodeo so they could see Mr. Born-again. They met him and I was the unfortunate recipient of the politician kissing the baby.

My next experience with Mr. Born-again came ten years later when he was running for president. I was in the sixth grade. One night, my parents and I were watching Mr. Born-again speak on television. I turned to them in shock and said "That man is lying." I was scolded but maintained my position.

I'm proud to say that the first vote I cast was for Reagan for his second term.

Al said...

Stan and I are the same age and we have the same voting experience...

al sends

Daniel said...

Stan and Al are a year older than I am, and I don't share their experience at all, being a Canadian, but even so, I didn't like the way he broadly painted all of Christianity as having opinions no right thinking Christian would ever have.

Trinian said...

Guy seriously needs to read some Zechariah 12.

Mesa Mike said...

I guess my age is somewhere between Dan's and Stan's. My first presidential vote was against Carter's second term and for Reagan's first term. I think. Not that I would admit otherwise, anyway.

Rachael Starke said...

Well, I'm delighted that due to my far fewer years on the earth than my brethren, my memories of the Carter administration are mostly of sitting in the car for what felt like days waiting in line for gas, and men wearing really bizarre bell bottom pants and high heeled shoes.

'Nuff said.

Mesa Mike said...

What Rachel said!

Oh, wait a minute...

Solameanie said...

According to a friend of mine, in the infamous Playboy interview (the one where he admitted "lust in his heart" for other women), Carter also said that his favorite theologian was Paul Tillich.

Since most Christians don't read Playboy, that little hint slipped under the radar screen.

Fred Butler said...

The Shah's widow sends her regards.

RT said...

Thanks for the reminder. As Medved acknowledges, Ol' Jimmy has a certain personal graciousness that can blind one to his completely bankrupt worldview. Worse than that, he threatens to be a dangerous interloper in the Mideast. Although I think my political views are fairly discernable, I have to acknowledge that the appointment of a Middle East envoy was probably a good idea. At the very least it may serve to forestall some of the freelancers.

And Carter's feeble grasp of the factual context is so tenuous that an accusation of prevarication is virtually unavoidable. The Hamas Charter is scarcely "ancient history". Admittedly the underlying statement from the Koran might be, if documents such as the Hamas Charter didn't keep dredging it up. It is as if some church today were to incorporate into its bylaws Pope Urban's sermon summoning the First Crusade - and even that did not advocate the murder of individuals or the annihilation of an entire race.

One Salient Oversight said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

OSO just asked me to share how much sympathy he has for former President Carter. He says it just must be awful to have made a fool of yourself in front of thousands, and seemingly be unable to stop yourself from doing it over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.

He thinks we should pity Carter, and pray he'll either repent, or get a life.

Mesa Mike said...

Must. not. feed. the troll.
Whew. He's gone now.

SolaMommy said...

So apparently the only good thing that happened during Carter's administration is my birth :-D

Now you ALL feel old.

Everyday Mommy said...

Here! Here!

Carter has been a stain on our nation and a black eye on the office of the president.

Here's praying for some heavenly duct tape.

Rachael Starke said...

You know, I'm continually fascinated by how many Australians like OSO are so obsessed criticizing American politics and life in general.

Having lived half my life there, and thus gotten a pretty good sense of what it's like to live and be a citizen in both countries, I think it's just some really pathetic version of the little clumsy kid cousin being jealous of the big strong grownup cousin.

So I'm really glad to see OSO's perspective maturing. It's so refreshing.

JackW said...

Carter's accomplishments in office:

1. Kept the Erie Canal.
2. ... ???

DJP said...

2. Ronald Reagan.

P.D. Nelson said...

Frankly I admit that I am of an age that I can not remember who I voted for during the Ford/Carter election. I suspect it was for Carter because of similar reasons that Dan has written.

What I'm trying to understand is whose teaching did Carter come under that espoused that particular eschatological view.

Richard said...

I am not sure why Christians are thrilled about Ronald Reagan. He was a 33rd degree Mason and allowed the White House to be scheduled by astrology.

Doug Hibbard said...

President Carter patted me on the head as a baby. That would be a crowning achievement for him, because none of the rest of you guys got to do that!

Oh wait.

As far as why we liked President Reagan? It's possible to support a President while disagreeing with his personal religious behaviors. I don't know about his involvement with Masons and have never been sure if the astrologer issues were true or an urban legend. However, he didn't use my taxes to kill unborn children, fought for the right of American kids to have Christian organizations, and stared down Communism, which was good.

And he had some great quotes, like "If America ever forgets we are one nation under God, we'll be one nation gone under."

With quotes like that, he's hard to resist.

Libbie said...

I like Ronald Reagan. When I was growing up, he was uniformly presented by our news as a bumbling idiot, in much the same way as George W. Bush has been.

When I grew up and learned what he actually did, I discovered that he wasn't a drooling moron. Thankfully, I've been an adult for some time now, and have been able to see past the media presentation, and I have liked George W. Bush while he was in office, and thought, while not a great orator he most assuredly wasn't an idiot.

I know nothing of Jimmy Carter at all, except that a liberal Christian of my acquaintance thinks he's absolutely wonderful, which is enough to give me pause. I think I might do some reading up on him.

Paladin said...

Jimmy Carter was a mess, wrapped in a disaster, packed in a catastrophe.
It didn't take long for people to figure it out either. I think a lot of Democrats were hoping terms lasted two years instead of four. But, his bro' Billy made a great contribution with his beer and all.