The number of people who regard Jimmy Carter’s presidency as anything better than a monumental failure is painfully small. It takes a special kind of incompetence to maximize both inflation and unemployment at the same time, after all.
But far fewer people could find good reason to criticize his post-presidential life of service. Habitat for Humanity is a model organization that has done, and continues to do, so many positive things for so many people in need. It was a perfect embodiment of the Christian character that Carter always professed. How I wish we could have all just left it at that and allow Carter to ride off into the sunset, having rewritten his failed political legacy with his acts of benevolent goodwill done in Christ’s name.
Instead, the folks over at HuffPost Live thought it wise to shove a microphone in Carter’s face and ask him to verbally exchange Christian truth for the spirit of the age. And perhaps unsurprisingly for a man still desperate to earn the earthly accolades that have eluded him thanks to a miserable presidency, Carter was more than happy to do it.
Asked about whether he approved of gay marriage, Mr. Carter responded, “That’s no problem with me.”
“I think everybody should have a right to get married regardless of their sex,” he continued.
First of all, why is anyone asking Jimmy Carter what he thinks about gay marriage? What is the point of this line of questioning? It’s not as though anyone – including his own Democrat Party – cares about his current policy preferences anyway.
Secondly, Carter’s believe that “everyone should have a right to get married regardless of their sex” is a bizarre statement. No one has been denied the ability to marry on account of sex. What was forbidden legally, and what is unsupported Scripturally is to marry someone the same sex as you are. That isn’t sexism, or the denial of marriage on account of sex. It’s setting moral parameters for what constitutes marriage. Just like a person cannot marry a close relative, a person cannot marry a minor, a person cannot marry an animal, etc.
Thirdly, Carter’s rejection of Jesus’s view on marriage is his own prerogative, but he didn’t leave it there. Instead, he plunged into full-on blasphemy:
“I believe that Jesus would approve of gay marriage, but that’s just my own personal belief,” he later added. “I think Jesus would encourage any love affair if it was honest and sincere and was not damaging to anyone else, and I don’t see that gay marriage damages anyone else.”
Ben Ford and Kim West have an honest and sincere love affair and don’t appear to be damaging anyone else. Given Carter’s formula, Jesus would encourage their relationship. Ford is West’s son that she put up for adoption 30 years ago, but has since reconnected with – and become lovers. Perhaps there’s a little more to understanding sexual morality than something you hear on The Bachelor, Mr. Carter. You would think a man who brags about teaching Sunday School would grasp that.
But Carter wasn’t done with his betrayal of Jesus to gain some HuffPo street cred. It actually got worse:
Turning to the issue of abortion, Mr. Carter said he’s had a long, spiritual struggle trying to decide whether Jesus would approve.
“I have had a problem with abortion. And this has been a long-time problem of mine,” he said. “I have a hard time believing that Jesus 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.”
Jimmy Carter needs to repent. Now.
Imagining Carter looking into the eyes of Rebecca Kiessling, or any of the other children of rape – each bearing the image of the God Carter claims to serve – who are both precious and living lives of purpose and telling them how Jesus would have approved of their mothers having them legally dismembered is grotesque and sickening.
And it is difficult to imagine that it has eluded Carter all these years of his “long-time” struggle, but in the extraordinarily rare cases where a mother’s life is in danger carrying a child to term, a Christian would advocate keeping the child in the safe sanctuary of the womb as long as possible, then performing emergency surgery to remove the child to save the mother’s life, while simultaneously using all of our medical technology and expertise to save the life of the child as well. You save them both – or at least try to. Never is butchering or burning a child to death necessary to save the mother’s life.
For Carter to say that he himself approves of that is a stain on his character. For him to say that Jesus approves of it is a grave sin of utter blasphemy. God forgive him.