President Carter: The Christian Right is Not Christian

April 5, 2004

Source: The American Prospect

On April 5, 2004 The American Prospect published an interview with former President Jimmy Carter, America's first evangelical Christian president, who still teaches Sunday school at his Baptist church in Plains, Georgia and works in aiding developing nations through the Carter Center at Emory University. Carter spoke about the role of evangelical Christianity in democratic politics: "When I was younger, almost all Baptists were strongly committed on a theological basis to the separation of church and state. It was only 25 years ago when there began to be a melding of the Republican Party with fundamentalist Christianity, particularly with the Southern Baptist Convention. This is a fairly new development, and I think it was brought about by the abandonment of some of the basic principles of Christianity. First of all, we worship the prince of peace, not war. And those of us who have advocated for the resolution of international conflict in a peaceful fashion are looked upon as being unpatriotic, branded that way by right-wing religious groups, the Bush administration, and other Republicans. Secondly, Christ was committed to compassion for the most destitute, poor, needy, and forgotten people in our society."