Friday, October 19, 2007

Bush vs. Carter: Theological Differences?

johnMark

Very recently at Emory University former President Jimmy Carter gave a talk about faith. The difficulties of being theologian and chief international religious conflict came up.
On the topic of international religious conflict, President Carter referred to his term in office.

“I was president once, in ancient times,” he joked, adding, “I had some difficult discussions at Camp David with people of different faiths, but we acknowledged that we were all children of Abraham.”

The recently President Bush had an interview with Al Arabiya at the White House.
Well, first of all, I believe in an almighty God, and I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God. That's what I believe.

Evangelicals got their man, but now they've got to apologize for his theology while pointing the finger at Carter about how liberal he is. Yes, Carter is liberal and Bush may even be conservative, but that won't save them.

This reminds me of John MacArthur's sermon Can God Bless America? that he turned into a small hardback book.

So what's the real difference?

Mark

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

So what is the difference? Didn't you just say one was liberal and the other conservative? Those are major differences which plays out in all their decision. I don't vote on any President to "save" me or anyone else. I vote on a President that I think best fulfill the role of a President for my country, which does not necessary entail if he/she has the right views on the Trinity or beliefs about other religions.

Albert said...

What about Romney Mitt? :-)

Jason L. said...

@Anonymous: The problem is the fact that both of these men, along with every other American politician, evoke Christianity as their "guiding light" in office, when it is clear that very few politicians have an understanding of the God of the Scripture, and merely use Christianity as a trait, like "family man" or "friend of the farmers".

Not to "post-jack", but I wrote a lengthy article on the fact that Christians would rather make sure Hilary isn't in office than vote for a candidate that doesn't condone the murder of innocent children about two weeks ago...should still be on the front page of my blog:

http://aletheuo.blogspot.com/

Rhology said...

They may be a bit dissimilar in some of their politics, but in terms of their wide-sweeping and idiotic definition of religious tolerance, they seem to be the same man. W is a pretty big disappointment.

Anonymous said...

I once attended a baptist church where the pastor stated from the pulpit that President Bush was the most christian president that this country has ever had...... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Carrie said...

Not to "post-jack", but I wrote a lengthy article on the fact that Christians would rather make sure Hilary isn't in office than vote for a candidate that doesn't condone the murder of innocent children about two weeks ago...

Hilary is a much bigger threat to Christian values than Guiliani.

In politics you usually have to go with the lesser of two evils.

johnMark said...

anony @ 9:03,

That's just it, there isn't much of a difference. I said Bush "may" as in might be conservative. I don't think he is. I don't know if you are a one issue voter or not, but looking at the primary issue of abortion since Bush not much has changed. The only real lobbying anyone wants to do on certain issues is, practically speaking, just enough to get the vote.

When the "evangelical right" pushes a candidate whom they agree with because of values and that candidate claims Christ only to go on and insult Christ in front of the world, how much difference to "values" really matter? The whole values matter becomes disconnected with Christianity specifically and becomes religion in general.

Basically, neither should get a pass on their theology. I wish candidates would be this transparent about their "faith" from start to finish and that evangelicals would stop using Christ as a way to capture votes.

albert, I just can't.

jason and rhology, what you all said.

Mark

EgoMakarios said...

I was taught by my parents that voting is wrong for a Christian, and I didn't vote in 2000. I began to disagree with them, and voted for Bush in 2004, but I'll never vote again. I learned my lesson. He turned out to be very different than I expected, which is very much the point they were always making.

Anyway, from Carter's interview “I could’ve destroyed Iran, but I decided to use negotiation,” he said. “We never dropped a bomb or shot a bullet, so we preserved the integrity of our country.”

One thing to consider in voting for a "Christian" President, is that if he's a real Christian, or even a very good fake Christian, he can't render to any man evil for evil. He can't follow an eye for an eye. The weapons of his warfare will not be carnal. In other words, a real Christian can't be a real President. We need the man in that office to be either a fake Christian or non-Christian, or else the country will get stomped all over by every other country. But, as my parents always say, God will put whoever he wants into office, no matter how you vote. Voting to me is a pointless act. First there's the counting fraud, then the electoral system, then the fact that God's going to have his way no matter what you say, since he sets kings up and takes them down. So, if God puts a Bush in or a Carter in, that's his business. We just have to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

That's just it, there isn't much of a difference. I said Bush "may" as in might be conservative. I don't think he is. I don't know if you are a one issue voter or not, but looking at the primary issue of abortion since Bush not much has changed. The only real lobbying anyone wants to do on certain issues is, practically speaking, just enough to get the vote.


Bush may not be the most conservative option, but to say there isn’t much difference between Bush and Carter is to deny obvious facts. The Presidents are radically different on many, many things(i.e. national defense, spending( Bush is not the best, but Carter is many times worst ), fighting against terrorism, type of judges they would appoint ), etc.

When the "evangelical right" pushes a candidate whom they agree with because of values and that candidate claims Christ only to go on and insult Christ in front of the world, how much difference to "values" really matter? The whole values matter becomes disconnected with Christianity specifically and becomes religion in general.


Values and claiming Christ are not mutually exclusive. I don’t vote for a President because he claims Christ. I vote for a President because I think he can do a good job of running the country, not because he says all the right things theologically.

johnMark said...

anony,

I was speaking theologically yet you couldn’t help bringing up political ideologies. Just like when looking at their politics many can’t help but bring up their religious views.

There are many who won't give a second thought about voting for Romney solely for theological reasons.

I agree that Carter wasn’t a good president. I just think Bush’s theology should get equal criticism rather than giving him a pass. See, Bush’s political positions seem to trump theology while Carter’s theology seems to trump his political positions. Or maybe it’s whatever is suitable to sustain a position at any given time.

Mark

Anonymous said...

I was speaking theologically yet you couldn’t help bringing up political ideologies. Just like when looking at their politics many can’t help but bring up their religious views.


Yeah, because theological views affect political views and political views affect theological views. For example, if because of theology you believe life begins at conception then that affects what your political view on abortion and stem cell research.

There are many who won't give a second thought about voting for Romney solely for theological reasons.

Well, not voting or voting for someone based strictly on theology without a concern for their political views doesn’t make sense to me. Now I grant there is normally a correlation between the two, but many people are inconsistent. Therefore an atheist or even a cultist could make a better President than a professing Christian.

I agree that Carter wasn’t a good president. I just think Bush’s theology should get equal criticism rather than giving him a pass. See, Bush’s political positions seem to trump theology while Carter’s theology seems to trump his political positions. Or maybe it’s whatever is suitable to sustain a position at any given time.

I’m not arguing that Bush should get a pass on his theology per se, however I am arguing Bush with all his theological and political flaws is still much more conservative than Jimmy Carter. You seem to be saying they are the same?