Sunday 12 August 2007

Seeking peace and pursuing it

39th president Jimmy Carter reflected on the joys and triumphs of his life, from a boyhood in Colour bar Georgia where most of the significant influences on his life were black people, through Navy and Civil rights years, to the White House. His warmest memory was of the Sadat/Begin peace deal in the middle East — his worst the Iranian hostage crisis.

What came over was a great gentleness, and willingness to admit he was wrong on occasion, with a rather self-deprecating sense of humour ("I told my mummy I was running for president. She said 'president of what?'"). He had showed great courage in the face of racial discrimination, confronting something that at the time seemed an obvious and inevitable part of life to most people in the South.

There is a Plains, Georgia, and it has 600 inhabitants, who enjoy the ministrations of 11 Churches! Carter could have gone off and played golf for the next 25 years. In fact he had given himself to housing and social justice and peace charities, as well as his Sunday School teaching in his local Baptist Church.

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