Our Endangered Values

I’ve recently read Jimmy Carter’s book Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis. Written with great influence from his Christian perspective, the book veers from the oft touted rhetoric of many of today’s more outspoken Christians, but aligns with the growing number of those who are calling themselves “red letter Christians”.
I wasn’t politically aware during President Carter’s administration, but have been extremely impressed with the work he has done since his time in office. Through The Carter Center, the Nobel Peace Prize winner has worked exhaustively to promote peace and social justice, and has served as a shining example with his work with Habitat for Humanity. Though his presidency doesn’t stand as highly revered or auspicious as many others who’ve served in my lifetime, his track record of having a relatively bloodless administration and the humanitarian efforts he has championed since give me great hope that there are still good leaders alive in America.
Throughout the course of the current administration, I have found it harder and harder to hold my head up high as a proud American. From entering into a pre-emptive war to opting out of the Kyoto protocol and not doing our part to protect the environment, there have been many times that I have actually felt ashamed. And with the rise of fundamentalism overtaking Christianity through heightened judgment and lust for war, I all but dropped my association with that tradition.
However, reading President Carter’s book, with its call to uphold the true values of both America and Christianity, I am given new hope in the future of both. I feel that I can once again say “God bless America” without feeling like a hypocrite.

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