The most important Bible teaching that I remembered when I was in the Navy and when I was Commander-in-Chief, was that we worshipped The Prince of Peace. Jesus Christ is The Prince of Peace. So, I considered myself, as a submarine officer, as helping to preserve the peace. And I felt the same way when I was president.
It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine, to suggest that Israel comply with international law or to speak in defense of justice or human rights for Palestinians. If they did so, they couldn't be reelected.
I first came into the labor force in 1941 when the minimum wage was 40 cents an hour, and that was my first job. And each time that we've tried to boost the lower level of salary for the most underpaid workers, there have been predictions of catastrophe. But each time, in [m]y opinion, the change has helped our Nation and its economic strength.
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At the beginning of this year also, I called upon the North Korean side to open dialog between the responsible authorities of the South and the North at any place, at any time, and at any level, in order to prevent a recurrence of war and to cooperate to speed up the peaceful unification of our fatherland. However, no sincere response has yet been made by North Korea.
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With this new stupid Supreme Court ruling, secret money can come in on an unlimited level from corporations. Nobody knows where it comes from. That distorts the political situation in our country tremendously. Most of that money is spent on negative advertising that is tearing down the character and reputation of your opponent, and it works, although most American people say, "We don't like negative advertising," it works.
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On human rights, civil rights and environmental quality, I consider myself to be very liberal. On the management of government, on openness of government, on strengthening individual liberties and local levels of government, I consider myself a conservative. And I don't see that the two attitudes are incompatible.
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Great American power and responsibility are not unprecedented, and have been used with restraint and great benefit in the past. We have not assumed that super strength guarantees super wisdom, and we have consistently reached out to the international community to ensure that our own power and influence are tempered by the best common judgment.
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In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.
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I have nothing against a community that is made up of people who are Polish, or who are Czechoslovakians, or who are French Canadians or who are blacks trying to maintain the ethnic purity of their neighborhoods. This is a natural inclination. [..] Government should not break up a neighborhood on a numerical basis. As soon as the Government does, the white folks flee.
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Prostitution thrives in the United States. We focus in this country on punishing the girls. For every brothel owner or pimp or male customer, there are 50 girls who are arrested for being prostitutes. Other countries have tried the other way around, and it works beautifully...they bring the charges against the brothel owners and the pimps and the male customers, and they do not prosecute the girls, who quite often are brought into that trade involuntarily. It works quite well, by the way.
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All my playmates were black. I lived in a little community called Archery (ph) in a rural area. And I didn't have any white neighbors at all. So all my kids with whom I fought and wrestled and went fishing and worked in the field and so forth were African-Americans. And that was my life. So when I got to be school age, we had to separate during the daytime, but I always felt like I was in an alien environment when I was in Plains, Georgia with white kids. I was eager to get back where I belonged with my black playmates.
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I think that, regardless of our culture, age, or even personal handicaps, we can still strive for something exceptional. Why not expand our sights instead of restricting our lives and accepting the lowest common denominator of a dormant existence? Faith. . . will permit us to take a chance on a new path, perhaps different from the one we now follow. It may be surprising where it leads.
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Since I was 18 years old, I have taught the Bible. For the last 15 or 20 years, I have taught every Sunday when I was home or near my own house, so that would be 35 or 40 times per year. Half of those Sundays, the text comes from the Hebrew Bible. I have had a deep personal interest in the Holy Land and in the teachings of the Hebrew people. God has a special position for the Jewish people, the Hebrews, or whatever. I know the difference between ancient Israel and Judaea, and I know the history. I don't have any problem with the Jewish people.
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People in the United States, including me, are naturally inclined to support Israel. I'm an evangelical Christian who teaches the Bible every Sunday at my church. I teach half the Old Testament and half the New Testament. We Americans identify the Hebrews, the Israelites, with ourselves.
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There's always an element of self delusion among people who believe they ought to be President. There's an underestimation of your opponent and an overestimation of your own abilities. This is compatible with being rich and powerful, the idea that we were blessed by God because we deserve to be blessed.
I think there ought to be a strict separation or wall built between our religious faith and our practice of political authority in office. I don't think the President of the United States should extoll Christianity if he happens to be a Christian at the expense of Judaism, Islam or other faiths.
I feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents. Primarily because of the activism and the injection of working at the Carter Center, and in international affairs, and to some degree, domestic affairs, on energy conservation, on environment, and things of that kind.
When I was president, I announced and I still maintain that I can live with Roe v. Wade. I did everything I possibly could as president under that ruling, which I don't think ought to be changed, to minimize the need for abortions. I think every abortion is a result of a horrible series of errors on the part of people involved.
In 1891, during the Presidency of William Henry Harrison [Benjamin Harrison], electric lights were first installed in the White House, the residence of the leaders of our country. At that time, commercial electricity was not economically feasible, but President Harrison wanted to affirm his confidence in the technological capability of our country.
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When your troops go to war, the prime minister or the president change overnight from an administrator, dealing with taxation and welfare and health and deteriorating roads, into the commander-in-chief. And it's just become almost unpatriotic to describe Bush's fallacious and ill-advised and mistaken and sometimes misleading actions.
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The decision to attack the entire nation [of Yugoslavia] has been counterproductive, and our destruction of civilian life has now become senseless and excessively brutal. ... The United States' insistence on the use of cluster bombs, designed to kill or maim humans, is condemned almost universally and brings discredit on our nation (as does our refusal to support a ban on land mines). Even for the world's only superpower, the ends don't always justify the means.
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I'm concerned about the negative aspect of political campaigning in american nation, which is a new phenomenon. When I ran for president against Gerald Ford and later against Ronald Reagan we never referred to each other except as 'my distinguished opponent'. And had we criticised personally our opponent it would have been political suicide, we would have been castigated and condemned for it.
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As President, I was able to save with the stroke of the pen a hundred million acres of wilderness area in Alaska. This is the kind of thing that is is gratifying to a President, but to be on a solitary stream with good friends, with a fly rod in your hand, and to have a successfull or even an unsuccessful day-they're all successful-is an even greater delight.
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I think I governed effectively. I don't have any doubts about that. I had the benefit, when I was in office, of having an excellent relationship with the Republican Party. We had superb bipartisan support and we had the highest batting average of any president since the Second World War, except Lyndon Johnson. He had a little better average than I did.
Rosalynn said, "Jimmy, if we could only get Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat up here on this mountain for a few days, I believe they might consider how they could prevent another war between their countries." That gave me the idea, and a few weeks later, I invited both men to join me for a series of private talks. In September 1978, they both came to Camp David.
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I come out of the environment of the Deep South, where I had seen the millstone of racial discrimination weighting down my people, both the black people and the white people; and I had seen the enormous progress that we were able to make after we removed the legal restraints of a two-class society, with the whites superior and blacks inferior. So I was very convinced before I became President that basic human rights, equality of opportunity, the end of abuse by governments of their people, was a basic principle on which the United States should be an acknowledged champion.
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One of the greatest concerns that I had when I became President was the vast array of nuclear weapons in the arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union and a few other countries, and also the great proliferation of conventional weapons, non-nuclear weapons, particularly as a tremendous burden on the economies of developing or very poor countries.
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Before I became President, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, there had been fairly dramatic, and I think excessive, reductions in the capability of our military forces, and as a former military man myself - I was a professional naval officer, a submarine officer - I thought it was better, on a step-by-step, very carefully planned way, to increase the technical, or technological, capability of our weapons systems.
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It is clear that global challenges must be met with an emphasis on peace, in harmony with others, with strong alliances and international consensus. Imperfect as it may be, there is no doubt that this can best be done through the United Nations, not merely to preserve peace but also to make change, even radical change, without violence.
The Superfund legislation set up a system of insurance premiums collected from the chemical industry to clean up toxic wastes. This new program may prove to be as far-reaching and important as any accomplishment of my administration. The reduction of the threat to America's health and safety from thousands of toxic-waste sites will continue to be an urgent but bitterly fought issue-another example for the conflict between the public welfare and the profits of a few private despoilers of our nation's environment.
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According to Gandhi, the seven sins are wealth without works, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principle. Well, Hubert Humphrey may have sinned in the eyes of God, as we all do, but according to those definitions of Gandhi's, it was Hubert Humphrey without sin.
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