January 23, 2006
Gary Wills in TNYRB on Jimmy Carter’s religion:
His attendance at church was not announced; we reporters had to ferret that out by ourselves. Carter is an old-fashioned Baptist, the kind that follows the lead of the great Baptist Roger Williams — that is, he is the firmest of believers in the separation of church and state. Unlike most if not all modern presidents, he never had a prayer service in the White House. His problem, back then, was not that he paraded his belief but that he believed. All this can seem quaint now when professing religion is practically a political necessity, whether one believes or not. There is now an inverse proportion between religiosity and sincerity.
I know at least a few Snarkmarket readers will totally dig the Roger Williams reference. Rhode Island whaaat!