Saturday, May 19, 2007

Carter blowing up

I don't want to comment on the rest of what Jimmy Carter had to say (calling Bush the worst president in history in regards to international relations) but this caught my eye (my emphasis):

Carter also offered a harsh assessment for the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which helped religious charities receive $2.15 billion in federal grants in fiscal year 2005 alone. "The policy from the White House has been to allocate funds to religious institutions, even those that channel those funds exclusively to their own particular group of believers in a particular religion," Carter said. "As a traditional Baptist, I've always believed in separation of church and state and honored that premise when I was president, and so have all other presidents, I might say, except this one."
Ignoring the rhetoric of that last sentence, it's an interesting charge. Baptists were formed around freedom of choice, especially religious. Baptist forebearers were executed as religious heretics and political dissidents in Europe where state religions held sway. Hardline elements within the Southern Baptist Convention engineered a coup in the late 70s/early 80s to gain ascendancy. Then was formed (recalling the recent death of Jerry Falwell) groups like The Moral Majority. The philosophy was alliance with the Republican Party under Reaganism to combat the evils of secular liberalism and communism.

In other words Carter has a point that he is a traditional Baptist over the experimenters of the SBC (who in their minds of course are the traditionalists). But that group is starting to fracture as a new generation of evangelicals is still socially active but is more and more calling for a pull away from the Republican party and the halls of power.

I was thinking of this relative to the last post on Christian libertarianism. The Faith-Based Initiatives was part of the compassionate conservative agenda. It never quite got its legs because of the attack and the shift in the Bush administration to foreign affairs.

Christian Libertarianism would have strong theological roots in early Baptist and especially Mennonite theologies.

[For the record I don't know that Bush is the worst in history when it comes to foreign affairs. Carter was pretty pathetic in that regard. It would be hard to argue someone like a Coolidge or Harding because they had none. But maybe one could argue that was precisely the problem letting the problems of Versailles stick and helping foster the rise of Fascism?].

Generally I think Carter only hurts Democrats and somebody ought to put a muzzle on the guy. This only ignites wackies on the right. They are in the midst of self-implosion and intra-house fighting, why would Carter be so dumb as to give throw them fresh meat to all realign around? I'm convinced one reason Carter has such a strong sense of Bush's egotism and stubbornness is Carter's own. [The hated shadow self].

tags technorati :


At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

<< Home