Times Have Changed: Flashback 1976, Carter Does PLAYBOY

Though it may be difficult to imagine a time when an American politician would have to prove to the country that he is NOT a hard core bible thumper, that time was not in fact so long ago. Flashback to 1976…

Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter grants PLAYBOY magazine an extensive interview to prove to the country that he – a Southern peanut farmer, nuclear engineer and Sunday school teacher – is secular enough to be president.

In the article that was published November 1976, PLAYBOY correspondent Robert Scheer famously asked Carter,

Do you feel you’ve reassured people with this interview, people who are uneasy about your religious beliefs, who wonder if you’re going to make a rigid, unbending President?

Carter’s rambling answer became instantly notorious, including lines as uncommon as, “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust” and “What Christ taught about most was pride, that one person should never think he was any better than anybody else.” Yet the question itself is what makes the history books if you ask me.

A mere 30 years later, we are now faced with a society in which it is nearly impossible to separate the church from the state. For a politician to stand a chance today, s/he has to be or run with someone from the bible belt South and declare an allegiance to a Christian religion.

And don’t think for even a second that any politician running today would dare admit that s/he struggles with “lust” – though we are inundated daily with tabloid media uncovering adulterous practices by politicians who clearly are struggling with power, greed and lust. Clinton was impeached for denying such a struggle, lying bastard that he is.

More broadly, consider how “rigid” and “unbending” have changed in value since 1976. A mere generation ago, these character traits were not perceived as badges of courage and supreme morality, as they are today, but as signs of ignorance and futility, not character traits you want your leaders to possess much less uphold like a middle finger to the true values of American democracy.
Bush middle finger