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Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are back in church

Old 02-24-21, 07:16 PM
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79pmooney
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Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter are back in church

Yeah! I'm not a Christian and in general, don't warm to those who claim to be but I am a huge Jimmy Carter fan. I've watched what he has done since his presidency. I doubt we've ever had an ex-pres who has used his influence to do more good. I started taking notice when I learned of Habitat for Humanity. Watched as he used his influence to bring in donations so that organization could do real good around the world. Read his words on what he does when he presents a finished house; that he makes it a point to do his private prayers, to have his Christian symble (I forget what it is) in his pocket, but that he knew it was very important that none of this was seen by the couple receiving the house; they might be turned off by it. He had to have and do his rituals to be there to do God's work and God's work was presenting this homestead, not promoting anything.

Years later, I heard that Jimmy Carter was coming to Portland's bookstore to give a talk and sign his new book, "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power". I went early and bought the book. Learned that the talk was canceled; it was just to be a signing. Oh well, I was there, I might as well get mine signed. Spent the next two hours in a slownly moving line that snaked through several floors. Finally got to the room. It was just two secret servicemen and an little old man sitting behing a big folding table busy signing the next of the thousand books. Signed mine without looking up.

I observed all this and had the thought "this is an incredibly humble man". Got home and started reading. That message got driven home over and over. Here was a man who for four years was the world's most powerful, a man who could still get some of the country's biggest busineeses to do big charitable acts, could talk to and be listened by world leaders still, yet that humilty was to the core. He used his might to do stuff but not from his ego but because he was in that rare place where he could and accomplish things impossible for the rest of us.

To hear that this humble man at age 96 can go back to the place he draws strength from; well yesterday I learned the local velodrome is folding. Felt like a personal loss. Reading this, my heart's singing again.

Ben

Mods, if this belongs in Politics and Religion, put it over there.
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Old 02-24-21, 07:53 PM
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I'm a big fan of him too. He was probably too moral and principled to ever make to Washington, but he did and was tested there. Some might say he failed but as far as I can tell he came through with every bit of integrity he started with.

As pious as he is, he is very accepting and engaging. There's this bar in Savannah GA called Pinkie Master's on the corner of Drayton and Harris Streets where he campaigned for State Senator, Governor and actually first announced his run for President. He'd stand up on the bar and hold town halls; in '78 he was in town for St. Patrick's Day (the MAJOR holiday in Savannah) and slipped out of the hotel he was in to drop in and pay his public respects to Pinkie as he had died recently. Quite a sight to have the POTUS standing on a bar backlit by a big PBR sign surrounded by about one hundred highly lubricated people.
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Old 02-25-21, 11:21 AM
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This was supposed to be an uplifting thread. You guys took it down fast.

To bring it back up, I'll tell a story from the book "A Call to Action ...". (I read this several years ago so details might be a little off.)

Jimmy Carter was up on stage at yet another public event in Africa. This time, he wasn't a key player so as the speeches went on, he cast his eyes down on the crowd in front of him. (Carter is/was a lifelong observer of people.) Noticed a woman at the very back of the crowd cradling a baby in her arms. There was nothing important to keep him on stage, so he stepped off and he made his way through the crowd to talk to her. As he got close he saw that this woman wasn't cradling a baby. She was cradling an enormous breast with a huge worm coming out. The guinea worm, scourge of Africa and elsewhere in the third world. The worm lives its adult life inside the body, growing to 3 feet. Does not kill its host, but does make their life a living h***.

Carter came away from that encounter shaken to the core. And did what he does. Researched the worm. Learned that eggs are laid in stagnant water. They become larvae. Mammals drink the larvae, they become worms, eventually emerging as Carter witnessed, seek water, laying eggs and repeat. That there is a medicine that serves as a vaccine but the real solution is drinking clean water. (Many African villages have no municipal water, so this isn't easy.)

What does Jimmy Carter do? Well he's an ex-pres. He can pull strings. Contacts a US pharmaceutical and convinces them to make the vaccine. Contacts a company that makes well drilling equipment and has them donate some. Turns to his Carter Foundation and has them go village to village to do two things (and has the wisdom to "get" this is a place where men have a place, women have a place and they are not interchangeable!). He has the men do the well drilling. More important, the women go to the women of the village and teach them the importance of sanitary water, about the larvae and give them the vaccine. (Sorry guys. Jimmy Carter "gets" just how irresponsible we men are.)

What happened? When Jimmy Carter discovered this (I recall late '80s), there were 3.5 million people carrying the worm. It had been a scourge for thousands of years. (An Egyptian doctor wrote of a treatment in 1550 BC.) 2019, 54 cases were scattered through 4 countries.

When that little old man signed my book I had no idea he was one of very few men in the world's history to eliminate a pestilence from the planet. Read that and realized I had seen true humility.

Last edited by 79pmooney; 02-25-21 at 11:28 AM. Reason: typos, missed words
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Old 02-25-21, 11:24 AM
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I'm too young to remember much about the Carter presidency. But, I admire the man a lot.
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Old 02-25-21, 11:24 AM
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Yeah, take THAT, Bill Gates!
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Old 02-25-21, 11:29 AM
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Lets keep this thread on topic please.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:32 PM
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The wife and I are fans as well. Some say his presidency was a failure, but most have forgotten the Camp David peace deal between Israel and Egypt. One of the biggest milestone for Middle East peace. Anyways, good for the OP getting a signed book.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Lets keep this thread on topic please.
I'm not sure what the topic is.
But certainly JC has been an admirable ambassador from the US to the world since leaving office.
He gets to credit religion for that if he wants to.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bikecrate View Post
The wife and I are fans as well. Some say his presidency was a failure, but most have forgotten the Camp David peace deal between Israel and Egypt. One of the biggest milestone for Middle East peace. Anyways, good for the OP getting a signed book.
The Camp David peace accord - Jimmy Carter sat down two leaders of peoples that had been at war for centuries with deep spiritual beliefs. What made that work was that they both knew Jimmy Carter was a spiritual man, that he could see through all the BS that each of them brought.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:55 PM
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This thread got me to search for his connections to Habitat for Humanity, a very noble organization. The man is a class act.
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Old 02-25-21, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I'm not sure what the topic is.
But certainly JC has been an admirable ambassador from the US to the world since leaving office.
He gets to credit religion for that if he wants to.
I saw that Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter had resumed going to church after they were vaccinated. The little Plains, Georgia church they'd been going to forever. Reading that was the bright spot in my day. I'm not a Christian but Jimmy Carter has struck me as a deeply spiritual man a long time. I got to see him as this little, old and humble to the core man as he signed my book (~ number 600 out of a thousand!).
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Old 02-25-21, 05:18 PM
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Not a big believer in religion myself but Jimmy Carter seemed to act on its most positive attributes. As to the guinea worm, I believe he also coordinated the manufacture and distribution of a very inexpensive (pennies?) plastic filter to free water of the eggs and larva. I remember that he installed solar panels on the White House which the next administration immediately removed. As my great uncle said of my grandfather, "A man like that should live forever."
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Old 02-25-21, 06:38 PM
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I've done a lot of volunteer work, and helped build a couple of houses,when I was younger. When I read about a Habitat for Humanity project in the area I wanted to us to go (the GF is a big fan of him too), even if they were trying something drastically different that day. The day was really hot and uncomfortable, and the organizational shortcomings with the new approach just made things worse. But knowing how much Carter thought of the organization made me stick it out until it was over.
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Old 02-25-21, 07:52 PM
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Perhaps it will draw naysayers, but I have always thought of Carter as one of our best presidents. I was a teenager when he became president, and the man struck me as principled, something my now cynical mind sees as contradictory for a politician. Never really thought of him as a politician, but a man that came to do the job. He has never seemed to be someone that sought the riches of the presidency, still living in the same modest rancher if I recall correctly. He inherited the mess of the ‘70s and did a darn good job considering. It also helped that my Granny was told she looked like Rosalynn and also came from a small town in Georgia. And my Granny was a principled, stern, but loving lady that taught me well I like to think. I’m also not a religious person, but I think sitting through one of his church classes would be an experience.
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Old 02-25-21, 09:56 PM
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I had just joined the Navy when Carter was campaigning for president and wasn't surprised to see him win, as the nation was exhausted from seemingly endless wars and political corruption punctuated by the Watergate scandal and Nixon's resignation. Ford was just a placeholder.

I wasn't partisan politically but I followed the news. He seemed like a good man, overmatched by the job and the era. The mainstream media mostly regarded him as a lightweight, if they didn't outright mock him. Unless you're old enough to remember that era firsthand and kept up with the news, you wouldn't realize he was not well respected during his term in office. He earned that respect later with decades of consistent constructive action.

My firsthand exposure to partisan politics came around 1977 when evangelist Billy Graham appeared to speak at an amphitheater in Camp Pendleton where I was assigned as a Navy Corpsman stationed with the Marines. Attendance was "voluntary" but it was pretty clear it was mandatory and we were expected to attend.

It was also clear that Graham had sold his soul to political partisanship and used the "revival" as a political platform to stump on behalf of Ronald Reagan. I lost respect for Graham that day and never changed my mind about him. He was a blatant, pandering, sanctimonious opportunist who craved entry into the world of political theater.

But it gave me a better opinion of Carter's genuine faith and determination to do good in a secular world that was moving away from people like him, and a world of religious theater that had nothing to do with his kind of faith. Sometimes it takes that kind of contrast to clarify things.

Carter never stood a chance as president. The game was rigged. The military was in malaise after Vietnam. The Iran embassy hostage crisis and failed rescue attempt doomed Carter's viability for a second term. Reagan's goons ensured that behind the scenes by reaching an agreement that the hostages would not be released until after Reagan was in office to take credit. That "October Surprise" is still considered a conspiracy theory. But as Reagan headed one of the most corrupt administrations in history, it seems plausible.

I wouldn't say Jimmy Carter was among the best presidents in history. He's certainly the best ex-president in history. He set the bar high for years of consistent positive actions, determination and dogged longevity. I'm glad he'll be remembered for what he accomplished after his presidency, rather than for that unfortunate era.
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Old 02-25-21, 10:04 PM
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He was a great man and as a human being was by far the most admirable President of my lifetime.
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Old 02-26-21, 07:03 AM
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Carter was not made to be president. He understands that, but also understands God gave him the presidency to positively affect some people's lives after he was president. If all of us can take on an understanding like this we could all be JC in our own right.
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Old 02-26-21, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
He was a great man and as a human being was by far the most admirable President of my lifetime.
Past tense? You do realize he's still kicking, right? (knock on wood)
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Old 02-26-21, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The mainstream media mostly regarded him as a lightweight, if they didn't outright mock him. Unless you're old enough to remember that era firsthand and kept up with the news, you wouldn't realize he was not well respected during his term in office. He earned that respect later with decades of consistent constructive action.
From Wikipedia: On March 15, 1980, The Boston Globe ran an editorial that began:
Certainly it is in the self-interest of all Americans to impose upon themselves the kind of economic self-discipline that President Carter urged repeatedly yesterday in his sober speech to the nation. As the President said, inflation, now running at record rates, is a cruel tax, one that falls most harshly upon those least able to bear the burden.
There was nothing exceptional about it except the headline: "Mush from the Wimp". The headline—which was supposed to have read "All Must Share the Burden"—was corrected during the print run after 161,000 copies had already gone to circulation.[1]
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Old 02-26-21, 12:02 PM
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Besides the above example in Wikipedia -- just off the top of my head, without Googling for other examples of how the media participated in mocking Carter during his presidency, including repeating the characterization of him as a mere "peanut farmer," omitting his distinguished career as a Navy officer and governor of Georgia. Carter was mocked:
  • For claiming he was chased by a crazed rabbit while boating. The story was exaggerated by the press which implied he was lying or delusional. Carter merely said he was surprised to see a swamp rabbit, being chased by dogs, jump into the water and swim toward his small boat while he was fishing. He just splashed a paddle at the rabbit. A White House photographer captured the incident.
  • For discussing his apparent sighting of a UFO.
  • For his alcoholic brother Billy, who parlayed his infamy into Billy Beer
  • For kissing Jackie Onassis on the cheek, considered an affront to America's deposed Camelot queen
  • For sister Ruth Carter Stapleton befriending pornographer Larry Flynt and converting him, temporarily, to Christianity.

The mainstream media and infotainment industry were active participants in gutting Carter's reputation during his presidency, ensuring the rise of Reagan, who better suited the corporate suits behind the media talking heads.

Carter had enormous hurdles to overcome and secure his hard earned reputation as a humanitarian.
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Old 02-26-21, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
This was supposed to be an uplifting thread. You guys took it down fast.

this woman wasn't cradling a baby. She was cradling an enormous breast with a huge worm coming out.
Talk about bringing the mood down!!

Pretty amazing story though, fantastic result.

I'm too young to really know anything, but have a vague memory of President Carter having a reputation on the playground of being a loser. But hey, what do 8-year olds know?

He certainly does seem to be able to do a lot of good for the world nowadays. Good for him, and good for the world.
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Old 02-26-21, 06:50 PM
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At the risk of P&R...

I'm also aware how he got a bad rap from his Playboy interview where he said "I have lust in my heart", which the media took and ran with, as if he said "I'm a pervert", where to a Christian that just demonstrates a solid understanding of how Jesus explained that lust is a violation of the commandment against adultery. Just because you keep it internal doesn't mean it's ok.

All that to say, he was humble enough to confess what he considered to be a personal failing, and he was unfairly crucified for it.
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Old 02-26-21, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
It was also clear that Graham had sold his soul to political partisanship and used the "revival" as a political platform to stump on behalf of Ronald Reagan. I lost respect for Graham that day and never changed my mind about him. He was a blatant, pandering, sanctimonious opportunist who craved entry into the world of political theater.
That's a shame, I always considered Graham one of the few (only?) 'good' evangelists, not like Robertson, Falwell, Bakker, Osteen, Hinn, etc etc etc
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Old 02-26-21, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
That's a shame, I always considered Graham one of the few (only?) 'good' evangelists, not like Robertson, Falwell, Bakker, Osteen, Hinn, etc etc etc
Billy Graham wasn't as bad as those charlatans. That doesn't make him good for insinuating himself into the White House whenever possible.

While he masked his biased agenda as a generic "spiritual advisor" to several presidents from both party affiliations, he showed his true hand during the Carter era by siding with Reagan for political expediency, believing, like so many GOP advisors and representatives at the time, that they could manipulate and use the religious right without consequences to our traditionally secular government. They were wrong. And Graham was a significant player in that infiltration that led to where we are now.

My spiritual beliefs are my own and have no part in a secular government that represents all people equally. I'm not sure where in the gospels Graham got the notion that his role should be as a spiritual advisor to any White House occupant.

In contrast Jimmy Carter wore his faith very publicly yet never conflated his spiritual beliefs with some delusional mandate for presiding over nation of many faiths and peoples.
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Old 02-26-21, 08:59 PM
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Well I don't have any problem with Graham advising white house occupants, all the better if presidents from both sides find his advice worth hearing. But to turn around and stump for one side is wrong
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