Jimmy the Blurter
"I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. This is something that God recognizes I will do -- and I have done it -- and God forgives me for it."
-- Jimmy Carter, November 1976
"[T]he overwhelming bias for Israel comes from among Christians like me who have been taught since childhood to honor and protect God's chosen people from among whom came our own savior, Jesus Christ."
-- Jimmy Carter, December 2006
Jimmy Carter has long cultivated an irritating public persona of the sanctimonious-yet-humble parson. Almost thirty years to the day after he famously owned up to the inner workings of his lustful heart, Carter has blurted out something far more significant and in the process has thrown a welcome shaft of light -- albeit a tiny one -- on the dirtiest secret in the West: that the long and deafening western silence that has greeted Zionist crimes in Palestine is caused by an overwhelming religious bias for Israel among American Protestants.
Mind you, Carter’s Christianity is a fairly garden-variety or at least so it seems in these fevered days of raging monotheistic fundamentalism. Way back in 1976 the born-agains were just getting revved up, our 38th president was their first real public face. Although it seems hard to believe, born-againism in those days was generally regarded as rather outré. Today however Carter’s brand of Christianity seems positively benign and the constant public airing by American politicians of their personal religiosity has become benumbingly commonplace. Thus has the general religious climate degraded these past thirty years. In hindsight Carter’s early and open flogging of his piety may be viewed as an ominous herald of where things were headed.
Complete essay available on Dissident Voice
, Dec. 30 2006.