Jimmy Carter, at 90, on small churches, Bob Dylan and same-sex marriage

Josh Larsen

Josh Larsen
July 16, 2015

Excerpts from an Atlantic interview with Christian and former president Jimmy Carter.

Caprice Epps
July 16, 2015

I recently saw a quote of Jimmy Carter's where he said that he thought God would be okay with same sex marriage. That's not biblical.

Ayo Oyedepo
July 17, 2015

One of distinctions of the Christian faith is clarity and the definite-ness of the Truth of God's Word about and beyond our human world. I will pray that we all, including Jimmy Carter, will be better stewards of influence and not allow the needs and greed of our society to bow our knees for Christ Jesus' sake. Staying on the fence is more offensive than defending our faith or the Truth that we need than the latter needs us to be. Long story short, Jimmy Carter's stand on same-sex marriage as expressed here is shamefully wrong, unchristianly and unscriptural. But we understand Pontius Pilate and King Agrippa kind of leaders in Christian tags do not sway differently to public opinion.

July 17, 2015

My heart breaks for the church when the first two comments are basically a condemnation of this man of God because of his views of same-sex marriage. In the story that was posted here, we heard more from Jimmy Carter than this one topic, and yet this is the first reaction we have?

We should no more be condemning or judging fellow Christians based on their support of same-sex marriage than we judge or condemn people for divorce-- which we as a church do NOT do. We neither judge nor condemn our brothers and sisters for getting a divorce, and we neither judge nor condemn denominations for allowing second marriages in our churches. (And yet Jesus himself actually spoke very strongly against this.) Why is that?

Many of my brothers and sisters in Christ actively condemn President Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter-- two avowed Christian presidents-- because they supports equal protection under the law for gay and lesbian citizens and their right to marry. And ironically these same Christians hold up a divorcee president as the ultimate in conservative values. Why is that?

We live in a world broken by sin. We are NEVER going to meet the ideal existence that is required of us by God-- in our marriages, in our jobs, in our friendships, or in the deep recesses of our hearts. None of us.

But to focus on the judgement and condemnation of some, while turning a blind eye to others strikes me as pure hypocrisy. WHO we love and HOW we love are often going to be at odds with God's ideal. Broken marriages and second marriages are an example of this. But yet, divorce is still legal in our country and second marriages are still allowed in our churches. Why then, as a Church, do we find it so hard to support our LGBT brothers and sisters, their allies and their families the same way we support any other broken individuals trying to live their lives and find love? Why is that?

I ask these things with all due respect to people on the opposite side of the gay marriage debate.

On a completely unrelated note, I had no idea that Bob Dylan and Jimmy Carter were friends, but I find this to be really awesome, yet extremely bizarre. Sort of in Bing-Crosby-sings-a-Christmas-duet-with-David-Bowie kind of way.

Angel Smith
July 18, 2015

In Reply to Steve V (comment #27321)
Your comments are well-spoken, brother Christian and I thank you for not judging or condemning. Your analogy of David Bowie and Bing Crosby in reference to Jimmy Carter and Bob Dylan made me laugh out loud, because it's so true. I remember that Christmas and it was weird to see White Christmas and Spiders from Mars sitting together on the same piano bench. Cool. Peace to you, and Love

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