Former President Jimmy Carter has something radical to say to Christians: Jesus would’ve loved gay marriage.
“I believe that Jesus would approve gay marriage,” Carter said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “That’s just my own personal belief.”
Carter, one of the most liberal Presidents in recent memory, now describes himself as a born-again Christian.
He doesn’t cite any reason for believing that Jesus would support the institution of gay marriage–which, in many states, wasn’t legal until just last month. And certainly not approved of in biblical times.
When asked about his own personal views about gay marriage, Carter says “that’s no problem with me.”
“I never have run across any really serious conflicts between my political obligations and my religious faith,” he added. “I think everybody should have a right to get married.”
Carter draws the line at forcing churches to perform gay weddings if they wanted to, but not the government: gay couples, he believes, “should be able to go to the local courthouse or to a different church and get married–that’s no problem.”
Surprisingly, despite Carter’s liberal reputation, he does draw the line at abortion–putting him squarely at odds with a Democratic Party that has become increasingly supportive of abortion (and willing to claim a so-called “War on Women” for those against abortion.)
Carter also cites his faith as the reason he’s pro-life.
“I have had a problem with abortion, and this has been a longtime problem of mine,” he explained. “I have a hard time believing that Jesus, for instance, 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, but my oath of office was to obey the Constitution and [the] laws of this country as interpreted by the Supreme Court. So I went along with that. But that’s been the only caveat.”