In 1962, future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alex Haley sat down with jazz musician Miles Davis for what would become an institution of American journalism—the Playboy Interview. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, Playboy has culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them over the course of 50 weekdays (from September 4, 2012 to November 12, 2012) via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here, a glimpse at our conversation with then presidential candiate Jimmy Carter from the November 1976 issue.
“I’m a human being. I’m not a packaged article that you can put in a little box and say, ‘Here’s a Southern Baptist, an ignorant Georgia peanut farmer who doesn’t have the right to enjoy music, who has no flexibility in his mind, who can’t understand the sensitivities of an interpersonal relationship. He’s gotta be predictable. He’s gotta be for Galley and for the war. He’s gotta be a liar. He’s gotta be a racist.’”
“Committing adultery, according to the Bible—which I believe in—is a sin. For us to hate one another, for us to have sexual intercourse outside marriage, for us to engage in homosexual activities, for us to steal, for us to lie—all these are sins. But Jesus teaches us not to judge other people. We don’t assume the role of judge and say to another human being, ‘You’re condemned because you commit sins.’ All Christians, all of us, acknowledge that we are sinful and the judgment comes from God, not from another human being.”
“I try not to commit a deliberate sin. I recognize that I’m going to do it anyhow, because I’m human and I’m tempted. And Christ set some almost impossible standards for us. Christ said, ‘I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust has in his heart already committed adultery.’
I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times. This is something that God recognizes I will do—and I have done it—and God forgives me for it. But that doesn’t mean that I condemn someone who not only looks on a woman with lust but who leaves his wife and shacks up with somebody out of wedlock.”
On human rights, civil rights, 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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