Last week, Huffington Post published a clip of an older interview with former President Jimmy Carter on YouTube. The video is once again making the rounds on social media and lighting a political/religious fire.
During the interview, Carter is asked about his faith and his views on both equal/same-sex marriage and abortion. One could say the Nobel Peace Prize laureate raises some eyebrows on many sides of the spectrums. Carter doesn’t seem care as he continues to unabashedly speak his mind with uncommon integrity and without malice. Refreshing.
Here’s a short clip from the interview:
The Steve Bannon conservative minion staff at Breibart newsgroup got their panties in a twist because Carter said Jesus would approve of gay marriage, when Carter actually said he “believes” Jesus would approve of gay marriage. Big difference, but facts…well, it’s Breibart (I don’t hot link Breibart because, well, it’s Breibart).
The son of the late Rev. Billy Graham also had problems with Carter’s view as did many of his followers on his Facebook page. Franklin Graham, who took over his father’s massive ministry, starts with a courteous intro and then quickly plummets into religious extremism. Here’s Graham’s post in full.
“I have to respectfully disagree with former President Jimmy Carter on this one.
He is absolutely wrong when he said Jesus would approve of gay marriage. Jesus didn’t come to promote sin, He came to save us from sin. The Bible is very clear. God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality. God defines sin in His Word—it’s not up to our opinion, the latest poll, or a popular vote. What is very troubling is that some people may read what President Carter has said and believe it, whether it was this week or from a video 3 years ago that is now recirculating. God loves us and gives us the truth in His Word. He warns us of the serious consequences of sin.”
So many things are wrong with the above and on so many levels. Graham goes deeper into archaic religiosity—the same views that cause many to leave the church. And worse, they are the same views that cause many to be abused by the church/church members for being born with different feelings and attractions. I need to add a trigger warning for the following scripture quoted by Graham.
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Romans 1:24-27).”
As a Christian, yes, I’m disturbed and disgusted by Graham’s extremist and conveniently chosen Bible content containing hate-filled scripture to meet his own agenda. And notice how he claims to know how God’s will? I call myself a Christian in that I strive to follow the words and teachings of Jesus Christ and often fail miserably. But I know one thing that is for sure. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus condemn homosexuality. I learned this fact several years ago from Jimmy Carter, and if you use that line of defense when a so-called Christian condemns the LGBTQ community, you will most likely silence them and end the conversation. If not, remind them that in the Christian religion, Jesus is God and the New Testament is called “new” be the Old Testament is in the past. If they still argue, they’re assholes—probably good to walk away.
As for abortion, I’m pro-choice and though I disagree with President Carter’s views, I respect his right to speak his faith. I also know that Jesus never once condemned abortion in the bible either.
So, thank you, once again, to Jimmy Carter for living by example and showing this world what a real leader looks like—someone with compassion, courage and strength.