Jimmy Carter’s Rally for Liberal Baptists Flops

Mark Tooley is President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (www.theird.org) and author of Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Follow him on Twitter: @markdtooley.


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Carter denounced as “stupid” the Supreme Court’s 2009 ruling against part of the 2002 McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Act, touted liberalized immigration policies, and warned against America’s “self-satisfaction and arrogance.”  Carter also boldly reiterated his controversially harsh anti-Israel views, denouncing Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as “racist” and insisting he did not regret accusing Israel of “apartheid” policies against Palestinians.  After a prompting question by Abernathy about whether Arabs must accept Israel’s existence, Carter added: “Of course.”

Marian Wright Edelman echoed some of Carter’s class resentment themes more forcefully.“Will the United States be a blip or a beacon in history?” she wondered before the relatively small Baptist audience.   “We are eating the seed corn of the future, and we are not leaving opportunities for them [children] and that is why they are there occupying Wall Street — and that is a good thing — they are breaking the silence.”

Across almost 40 years, Wright’s Children’s Defense Fund has famously defended an unrestricted and constantly growing federal Welfare State as a supposed defense for “the children.”  Big Government’s 45 year adverse impact on children, including pervasive illegitimacy and dysfunctional urban schools, has never evidently provoked Edelman into reconsidering her endless faith.

“What is a child going to do in this economy if they cannot read or write?” Edelman wondered, not pondering her CDF alliance with teacher unions that help perpetuate failing schools.  “We need to send those bounced checks of jobs, quality education, food and early childhood development back to Congress and state capitals and tell them to re-fill our nation’s insufficient bank accounts with transfers from the overflowing coffers of powerful corporations and individuals, from unjust tax breaks and subsidies and pay the long-overdue promissory notes of justice and hope that millions of children are waiting to receive,” Edelman demanded in typical fashion.

That liberal Baptists should align with dwindling numbers of leftist Mainline Protestants in chaplaining the Welfare State was Edelman’s implicit theme. Evangelist Tony Campolo of Eastern University in Philadelphia largely agreed with her.  He is a “red-letter Christian” who translates the Gospel into leftist political themes.  “If we’re going to stand up for peace in a war-like world, if we’re going to end this desecration of the environment, if we’re going to stand up against racism, sexism and Islamophobia, if we’re going to do these things we’re going to have to gain a new level of commitment,” he implored.

Campolo announced: “Young people are asking: ‘Jesus comes across as a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant and increasingly a right-wing Republican’ — they compare this Jesus to the Jesus of Scripture, and they find a mocking discrepancy between the two.”  The remedy for this disconnect apparently is that Jesus instead should be portrayed as a demonstrator at Occupy Wall Street who wants higher taxes, more federal regulation, and less military spending.

This old-time Social Gospel of the Religious Left may appeal to the 87 year old Carter, 76 year old Campolo, and 72 year old Edelman. But the churches who tout it are largely void of “young people” and virtually everybody else.  Most Baptists were wise to ignore Carter’s rally for shifting their churches leftward.

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  • John_Kelly

    Hope you finally got the message Jimmy.

    You were a loser as a President and in case you forgot, they voted you out of office in a landslide.

    Basically Jimmy no one cares for your opinion on anything.

    Do America and the world a favor and go back to growing peanuts.

    • Peter

      Take a look in the mirror, and you might see someone who never became a Naval commander, successful businessman and of course, President of the United States.
      And I ask you, who's the loser?

      • John_Kelly

        Is that you Jimmy ?

  • Ann

    He was a loser president, who most people can't stand — his polices were so bad, never got the hint—liberals never ever learn — socialism does not work — ever— look around at the EU, as it go's down in flames!

  • mrbean

    Old senile peanut farmer Jimmay Cawta flapping his maindless lips again. May he live long and prosper. Not too long nor prosper too much!

  • myhemen

    Liberals has failed this country. All they did were get paid high spewing their useless drivel. Then ask for more federal money to live in hog and self promote themselves as the defender for the little people. Useless parasites.

    • Peter

      How many houses have you built for the poor?

  • Trickle_Up_Poverty

    Jimmy wants a new Baptist church like the one Obama attended…

    Timothy 4:1–
    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

    • http://Lucianne.com redtate

      That is truly what is happening the country today, giving heed to seducing SPIRITS.

      It is also a SIGN of the end times–"when you see these things BEGIN to happen,
      LOOK UP for your REDEMPTION cometh."

  • Tea Party Jim

    Poor Jimmy. I'm afraid that when he dies, he will slip and slide down the path paved with good intentions ("Free Palestine!" "Occupy Wall Street") to a destination he will not easily recognize, in spite of all his travels.

    May G-d have mercy on him!

  • Hal Sanders

    James Earl Carter continues to fail the test of relevancy. He's no more relevant now than he was during his failed presidency.

  • Tripp

    Wow, and I bet most of you call yourselves Christians? When tierany comes to the U.S. it will be carrying the cross and draped in the flag. And that's exactly the kind of evil that right wing extreme (certainly not conservative) religious right have done for some of you. Whatever happened to decent men as leaders like Ford, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, and yes, Jimmy Carter? Falwell, George W. Bush, and the like have divided and nearly destroyed this great Christian nation. And now Santorum, Perry, Bachmann, and their ilk will use people that inspired this vitriolic hate to finish us off.