Jimmy Carter

“When during the 1976 presidential campaign Jimmy Carter spoke openly about having found Christ, it jarred a country used to more private devotion from their political leaders, with a sizable number of people unfamiliar with the idea of being “born again.” By the end of the decade , such declarations had come to seem normal, a cultural revolution, particularly outside the South, where such public professions of piety had been more common.”

Jimmy Carter was an illustration of the combination of growing individualistic ideas along with evangelistic faith. This individualism, impressed upon by the times, in addition to the sense of community that came along with born again faith resulted in “public professions of piety.” Importance in being heard was now part of being an American; it became part of the focus on self. This importance gave people the ability, or rather the justification in making known what was once private.