This morning, I am on the Mike and Gina Spehn Show. You can click this link and listen.
They interviewed for President Jimmy Carter about how faith played into his decisions on politics.
Here is a tease.
I am not a fan of the policies of former President Carter. However, I am interested to learn how he thought faith played a part in his decisions. He was the first evangelical Christian to become President in the 20th Century. I have not heard the interview yet.
Other Presidents cited their faith as helping them through different times during their Presidency. Some we know of through their papers in libraries. Others we know because a reporter asked them. Some of it seems pretty phony or political.
Woodrow Wilson was the first President that used the church as a hammer to get what he wanted politically. In the late 1800's, the main line churches changed and became quasi political action committees. To this day, main line Protestant religion (think Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Episcopalian, Methodist et al) preach from the left. Evangelical religions (Nazarene, Southern Baptists) preach more from the right. The Jewish religion generally pitches from the left. Catholics have been mixed in my experience. On the right to life they are staunchly right wing. On other matters they are very left wing.
One thing is certain. Most churches despise capitalism.
As I thought about what I would say on the program, I thought about the origin of America. Most people think that America was formed on a bedrock of Judeo-Christian values. However, I dispute that notion. We were created on the principles of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and modeled our government after the best parts of the Greek and Roman Republics. It just happens that in our system of laws, many of them can be traced to back to various commandments in the Bible. They can. But they also happen to be great ways to treat each other to have a livable society. Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal are good ways to live, even if you don’t believe in God.
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