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Gay marriage is alright by JC (Jimmy Carter)

The former president's logical and diplomatic approach to the Bible

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  • CL FILE
  • Carter signs his book about Palestine in Atlanta in 2008



To publicize the release of his newest book "NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter," former president Jimmy Carter granted a phone interview to the Huffington Post about his approach to reading and abiding by the Bible in a logical way. (NIV stands for New International Version — I'm not sure if that's a thing everyone knows, because I did not.)

The portion of the interview that's gotten the most attention on Facebook, etc. is the one that contains Carter's thoughts on gay marriage. Basically, Carter says that gay marriages are fine, but churches also shouldn't be forced by law to perform them ...
Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -— he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.

I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I’m a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws shouldn’t require them to.

He approaches other topics in an equally — and fittingly — diplomatic manner. Seems his philosophy is pretty well summed up in this quote:
I think ‘judge not that you be not judged’ is the best advice that I will follow. Maybe it is a rationalization, but it creates a lack of tension in my mind about that potential conflict.



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