In an interview with the Huffington Post, Jimmy Carter once again expressed pro-gay sentiments while simultaneously promoting his book about the Bible. He said:
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.
This is exciting! Here is someone who has written a book with a religious theme, serves as a Sunday School teacher (though he separated himself from the Southern Baptists over their treatment of and beliefs about women…also a very good thing), and is a former president is unequivocally supporting us. What a nice way to bridge the gap between the Christians and the LGBT community. I’m not sure how much impact it will have in the long run as I suspect the Christian community will respond by saying his is deluded and living in sin, and his views do not represent them.
Carter also says that he doesn’t believe that churches should be forced to marry gay people or accept them into their church. This seems to be more an issue of feeling that each church should be self governing and thus free to conduct themselves and their services as they see fit, based on this statement:
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.
I love hearing that famous people are supportive of us, especially ones with roots in religion. Every little positive step helps shape and modify our society’s view of us and takes us further down the path of equality. Yay for Jimmy Carter…again!