Sunday, January 22, 2006

Jimmy Carter -- Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis

Book review by Garry Wills in the New York Review of Books.

Good read. I'm a long-time Carter admirer so I won't spend the money to buy it. I makes me sad to see the current cottage industry of Carter-bashing which is a latter-day attempt to smear the good name of a living president for whom politics had to take a back seat to faith.

Carter is an old-fashioned Baptist, the kind that follows the lead of the great Baptist Roger Williams—that is, he is the firmest of believers in the separation of church and state. Unlike most if not all modern presidents, he never had a prayer service in the White House. His problem, back then, was not that he paraded his belief but that he believed.
Yep, he believed. It is doubtful that today's readers, most of whom are not old enough to have adult memories of the Carter administration, have been so blinded by blistering attacks on the man that no amount of reading will change their already-decided minds. It is very easy in retrospect to paint an unflattering picture of anyone who had the misfortune to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, especially if that person opts to put real faith and values ahead of personal political considerations.

In my case Carter is preaching to the choir. For most people, unfortunately, he is just a dottering old man who can't seem to understand the realities of today's complex world. Having just last week revisited in my memory the early days of the sixties, I am trying to shake off the notion that the principles for which we fought were nothing more than the ideals of youth, never to breathe the air of what is popularly called the "real world."

But Jimmy Carter still has faith.
And he will die with that faith intact.
Those of us who share his vision will mourn.
But most will say good riddance.

Hat Tip to 3Quarks again for having the integrity to link to this review.

Abbas Raza at 3Quarks also notes that today is another anniversary of the Roe decision.

I have written about that until I get tired thinking about it, but here are some links to items regarding that important case.

Wikipedia entry...

Washington Post story with photo of yesterday's demonstraton in California...

Reason on Line blog post...

As the Alito hearing made plain, the fight over abortion still vexes our national conversation. The nonpartisan public opinion research organization, Public Agenda, points out that despite a generation of constant wrangling over abortion, American public opinion remains as divided as it was when Roe v. Wade was first decided. In 1975, a Gallup poll found that 54 percent thought abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances; 21 percent thought it should be legal in all circumstances; and 22 percent thought it should be illegal. In 2003, another Gallup poll saw these numbers shift to 57 percent; 24 percent; and 18 percent, respectively.

Free Lance-Star article, Fredericksburg, Virginia... which concludes:

Groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the National Organization for Women would have you believe that each of the 47 million unborn babies represented nothing more than a "product of conception" or a "blob of tissue." But an unborn child's heart begins to beat just 18 to 22 days after conception--about the time a woman finds out she's pregnant.

Abortion truly does stop a beating heart.

A third of a century later, we mark the anniversary of Roe. The court's decision has left our country divided and an entire generation stripped of friends and classmates.

Happy anniversary.

And finally, from the Gary Wills review of Jimmy Carter's book...
...the anti-life movement that calls itself pro-life protects ignorance by opposing family planning, sex education, and informed use of contraceptives, tactics that not only increase the likelihood of abortion but tragedies like AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. The rigid system of the "pro-life" movement makes poverty harsher as well, with low minimum wages, opposition to maternity leaves, and lack of health services and insurance. In combination, these policies make ideal conditions for promoting abortion, as one can see from the contrast with countries that do have sex education and medical insurance.

Take your pick.

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