Former President Jimmy Carter gave an on-camera interview (included below) to The Huffington Post on a number of issues, and the conversation turned to his Christian faith. What he said about abortion and gay marriage and his Christian faith is now causing controversy and outrage among people of faith.
The interview, given a few years ago, is an interesting one, given the current focus on politicians and judges and how their faith defines them. In many cases, one’s faith is often derided by critics as a source of bias. In the case of President Carter, however, it is celebrated – because his politics align with those doing the criticizing.
President Carter said his Christian faith and his Democratic political dogma do not conflict, but it helps that he does not side with basic Christian principles on many of the major social issues we deal with today.
On the issue of gay marriage, Carter said “That’s no problem with me,” he says in the interview. “I think everybody should have a right to get married regardless of their sex.
“The only thing I would draw a line on, I wouldn’t be in favor of the government being able to force a local church congregation to perform gay marriages if they didn’t want to.” Instead, he feels a gay couple should be able to go to a courthouse and get a marriage license.
Carter goes even further, stating that Jesus Christ himself would approve of gay marriage. “I believe that Jesus would approve of gay marriage, but that’s just my own personal belief. I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else, and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else.”
President Carter does admit that the issue of abortion – and Democratic support for it – gives him pause. As President, he said he had to defer to the law of the land and what the Supreme Court ruled, but personally opposes abortion in most cases. He then said that Jesus would also support abortion in some cases.
“I have had a problem with abortion. And this has been a long-time problem of mine,” he says in the interview. “I have a hard time believing that Jesus would approve abortions unless it was because of rape or incest or if the mother’s life was in danger. So I’ve had that struggle.”
Here is a portion of the interview from 2015, with the particular quotes on gay marriage and abortion.
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