I enjoyed this bit of commentary by Richard John Neuhaus in the Aug/Sept issue of First Things.
Former President Jimmy Carter has written another book on American values. He is deeply saddened by the way the “religious right” uses religion for partisan political purposes. In an interview with an Atlanta magazine, he explains his concern: “Carter fittingly used a parable to illustrate how he’d like to see the political/religious debate unfold. ‘I was teaching a Sunday school class two weeks ago,’ he recalls. ‘A girl, she was about 16 years old from Panama City [Fla.], asked me about the differences between Democrats and Republicans. ‘I asked her, “Are you for peace, or do you want more war?” Then I asked her, “Do you favor government helping the rich, or should it seek to help the poorest members of society. Do you want to preserve the environment, or do you want to destroy it? Do you believe this nation should engage in torture, or should we condemn it? Do you think each child today should start life responsible for $28,000 in [federal government] debt, or do you think we should be fiscally responsible?” ‘I told her that if she answered all of those questions, that she believed in peace, aiding the poor and weak, saving the environment, opposing torture,…then I told her, ‘You should be a Democrat.’”
Jimmy Carter is deeply saddened by the way religion is used for partisan political purposes.