Today’s post and yesterday’s (Why Liberal? Confessions of a Recovering Evangelical) started as one, but my introduction mutated into a post in its own right. Funny how that tends to happen when you’ve got ADD.
As I’ve said before, there is no such thing as a monopoly on common sense and family values. Liberals in both the political and religious realms have a justly earned reputation for being elitist and overly academic. however, I think it’s time we got to work on correcting that, especially if we hope to engage with the hearts and minds of people off-campus. I don’t mean that we dumb it down or reject the contributions of scholarship; I mean that we communicate what we believe in ways that are more simple and direct.
One person who is already doing an amazing job at this is an older guy in Georgia who owns a peanut farm, volunteers with Habitat For Humanity, and teaches Sunday School at his Baptist Church. By the way, he is also a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and served a term as President of the United States.
It’s Jimmy Carter.
Say what you will about his presidency and policies (I have beef with both), but Jimmy, more than any other living president, embodies a sense of personal wisdom and human decency that is rarely found among national politicians. Perhaps that contributed to the fact that he did not serve a second term. My wife says that Jimmy Carter is living proof that personal integrity doesn’t always make for the best presidents.
This former-president’s most recent project is the production of a study Bible with his own notes and reflections on the text. This may be a bit ambitious on my part, but I would hope that a project of this magnitude might find its place in history alongside the famous Jefferson Bible.
In order to promote this new publication, Carter gave an interview to folks at the Huffington Post. I provide a link and invite you to read the interview as an example of one Common Sense Liberal Christian speaking his mind about the faith of his heart. On a human level, here is an example of how one can be an open-minded, open-hearted, and faithful Christian.