Former President Jimmy Carter will be Liberty University’s commencement speaker in May.
Carter will be the first Democratic president to speak at Liberty, a Christian university.
“I look forward to reaching out to this young generation of future leaders. I hope to inspire them as so many have inspired me throughout my life,” Carter said in a statement.
In 1990, former President George H.W. Bush delivered the commencement address, and last year, President Donald Trump was the commencement speaker.
About 50,000 people attended Trump’s speech, the school said.
Carter, 93, was president from 1977 to 1981. He and his wife started the Carter Center, a nonprofit organization that champions democracy and human rights. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.
“I did not meet President and Mrs. Carter until early last year. I was so impressed with the president’s warmth, kind demeanor and humility,” Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a statement.
In 2005, Carter released his 20th book, Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis. In the book, Carter argues that Christian fundamentalism has endangered the separation between church and state.
He says in the book: “The most important factor is that fundamentalists have become increasingly influential in both religion and government, and have managed to change the nuances and subtleties of historic debate into black-and-white rigidities and the personal derogation of those who dare to disagree. At the same time, these religious and political conservatives have melded their efforts, bridging the formerly respected separation of church and state."
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: February 23, 2018