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SERMON: Judging Jimmy Carter … and Others

September 16, 2015

This is the last Shabbat of the year. This is the moment that I must get all my sins out of my system so that I can enter the New Year with a clean slate. With this in mind, I need to talk to you about Jimmy Carter. I know that you are supposed to “love your neighbor as yourself,” but I don’t love Jimmy Carter. And thank God, he’s not my neighbor. I’ve never liked Jimmy Carter! In fact, my feelings toward him are part of my family’s lore. Even though it happened 35 years ago, I remember it like yesterday. It was the first week of November, 1980 … that Monday my father, of blessed memory, underwent quadruple bypass surgery. I had come into New York on Sunday to be with him and my mother and brothers. The doctor told us it would be 24 hours before we would know if things were okay. Finally, early Tuesday afternoon the word came: all was well! November 4th, 1980… that was Election Day… Ronald Reagan was running against the incumbent Jimmy Carter. I did not like Jimmy Carter. It ends up that most of America didn’t like Jimmy Carter as President. But my wife, Sherry, she should live and be well, never met a conservative Republican that she liked. And so I called her that day and I said, “Sherry, look I feel bad that I’m not home and I can’t vote. But you know I would vote for Reagan, as I know you would vote for Carter. Do me a favor and don’t vote this year. That way, it will be a wash and I can stay here with my father in New York.” And Sherry, in her sweet, charming manner said to me, “FUHGEDDABOUDIT! I’m a citizen of the United States; it’s my obligation as a citizen to vote and I am going to vote.” I then told Sherry how impressed I was with her sense of patriotism (or something to that effect) and we hung up. And I took a Metroliner home so that I could vote. READ MORE

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