Sunday, May 20, 2007

Jimmy Carter & Fundamentalism

Jimmy Carter was interviewed on May 1 on National Public Radio's "Speaking of Faith" with Krista Tippert. In that interview Carter was asked about fundamentalism, being raised in the South in the Southern Baptist Convention. His response was eloquent. I'm paraphrasing his words because I was listening to them on a podcast walk in the hills. "Fundamentalists are typically Type A males who love to dominate, especially dominate women. They believe that they have a special relationship with God, so special that to argue with them makes you not only wrong, but evil....sometimes subhuman." Harsh words but very descriptive. Carter was especially vociferous about his oppostion to the current administration's policy of "pre-emptive war." Pre-emptive war is dangerous, said Carter, because it presumes to know the direction of my enemy's actions before they act.
Who knows that? Does that not belong to the realm of the divine? As I read scripture, the only pre-emption we are called to is pre-emptive love, to love my enemy first, like God loved us before we loved him. For an 82 year old man, this guy does some serious thinking!


At 7:45 AM , Blogger Chris Brooks said...

Fascinating stuff DJ. I don't know too much about Carter, but he is speaking at Willow's Leadership SUmmit this August...

Let's talk soon!

At 4:36 PM , Blogger Rick said...

What about when my enemy has declared his intention? And what if his intention is to kill my neighbor?

At 5:35 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

I would venture to guess that warnings about consequences and vigilant defense is better than taking out thebad guy first.

At 3:46 PM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

Romans 12:19-21:

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.

On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

At 4:25 PM , Blogger donnjohnson said...

Sounds Quaker-ish!

At 9:55 AM , Blogger Dan said...

It is the 'god' language and the 'fear' factor that causes me the most distress in the current administration's rhetoric. I have always been impressed with pres. Carter. Human politics will always at best be constantly conflicted especially those based on Hobbian social theory which is the basis for modern liberalism (of both the Republican and Democratic strains). Our dilemma is how to live as citizens of the City of God while still living in the City of Human (Babylon, Rome, London, Leningrad, D.C.


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