President Jimmy Carter (1924-Present)

“We should live our lives as though Christ was coming this afternoon.”

“America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense… human rights invented America.”

“I believe that anyone can be successful in life, regardless of natural talent or the environment within which we live. This is not based on measuring success by human competitiveness for wealth, possessions, influence, and fame, but adhering to God’s standards of truth, justice, humility, service, compassion, forgiveness, and love.”

“Go out on a limb. That’s where the fuit is.”

“Earlier in my life I thought the things that mattered were the things that you could see, like your car, your house, your wealth, your property, your office. But as I’ve grown older I’ve become convinced that the things that matter most are the things that you can’t see — the love you share with others, your inner purpose, your comfort with who you are.”

“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”

“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”

“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I’m free to choose what that something is, and the something I’ve chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands — this is not optional — my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”

“War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.”

“We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.”

“When people are intimidated about having their own opinions, oppression is at hand.”

“My faith demands – this is not optional – my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I can, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”

“We have become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaid. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”

“Human identity is no longer defined by what one does but rather by what one owns.”

“The erosion of our confidence in the future is threating to destroy the Social and the Political fabric of America. The confidence that we have always had as a people, is not simply some romantic dream, or a proverb in a dusty book, that we read, just on the Fourth of July. It is the idea of which founded our nation and has guided us in our development as a people. Confidence in the future has supported everything else. We’ve always believed in a thing called, progress. We’ve always had a faith, that the days of our children, would be better than our own. Our people are losing that faith. For the first time in the history of our country, a majority of our people believe, that the next five years, will be worse than the past five years. We were taught that our armies were always invincible and our causes were always just, only to suffer the agony of Vietnam. We respected the presidency as a place of honor, until the shock of Watergate. We’ve got to stop crying and start sweating. Stop talking and start walking. Working together, with our common faith, we cannot fail.”

“Failure is a reality; we all fail at times, and it’s painful when we do. But it’s better to fail while striving for something wonderful, challenging, adventurous, and uncertain than to say, ” I don’t want to try because I may not succeed completely.”

“The bottom line is this: Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American policy, with the wishes of a majority of its own citizens–and honor its own previous commitments–by accepting its legal borders. All Arab neighbors must pledge to honor Israel’s right to live in peace under these conditions. The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories.”

“Spirit is like the wind, in that we can’t see it but can see its effects, which are profound.”

“Our American values are not luxuries, but necessities — not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself.”

“To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others.”

“We cannot resort to simplistic or extreme solutions which substitute myths for common sense.”

“The love of liberty is a common blood that flows in our American veins.”

“In order for us human beings to commit ourselves personally to the inhumanity of war, we find it necessary first to dehumanize our opponents, which is in itself a violation of the beliefs of all religions. Once we characterize our adversaries as beyond the scope of God’s mercy and grace, their lives lose all value. We deny personal responsibility when we plant landmines and, days or years later, a stranger to us — often a child – is crippled or killed. From a great distance, we launch bombs or missiles with almost total impunity, and never want to know the number or identity of the victims.”

“In a nuclear age, each of us is threatened when peace is not secured everywhere.”

“Thoughtful criticism and close scrutiny of all government officials by the press and the public are an important part of our democratic society.”

“If any agreement between two nations is to last, it must serve the best interests of both nations.”

“This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries. At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities…. The truth is that male religious leaders have had — and still have — an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.”

“Aggression unopposed becomes a contagious disease.”

“Whether the borders that divide us are picket fences or national boundaries, we are all neighbors in a global community.”

“We have no desire to be the world’s policeman. But America does want to be the world’s peacemaker.”

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