Jimmy Carter, as he nears a century on earth, has taken time out to write a new book. Aptly titled A Full Life: Relfections at Ninety, it examines in part the intersection of his Christian faith and political career. When asked by HuffPost Live what he thinks of a recent political issue that touches on both faith and politics, same-sex marriage, Carter offered his opinion.
“I believe Jesus would [support it]. I don’t have any verse in scripture…. I believe Jesus would approve gay marriage, but that’s just my own personal belief. 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.”
Carter is a born-again Christian and Baptist.
The 39th U.S. President and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Peace still teaches Sunday school. He lives in Plains, Georgia, with his wife Rosalynn, in the house they built in 1961. He told The Wall Street Journal this week that his main income is from his teaching position at Emory University and his books.
When he’s not engaged in other activities, Carter likes to paint and make furniture. Some of those paintings are part of A Full Life, as The Washington Post reported Tuesday. Carter shares images both political and personal, from portraits of Rosalynn and his father to one of the Sadat-Begin peace treaty.
The Post also published two pieces of Carter’s writing. One is a love poem to Rosalynn and the other is a lament about the strained relationship he had with his father.
Carter told HuffPost Live that although he thought Jesus would favor gay marriage, he doesn’t think the same about abortion. Carter himself struggled with the issue while in public life, as People recalls.
“I have had a problem with abortion. I have a hard time believing that Jesus would approve of abortions, unless it was because of rape or incest or because the mother’s life was in danger.”
Carter served as president from 1977 to 1981. He started his political career in 1962 after serving as a naval officer. He told the Journal that he had always assumed he would become a farmer, but his parents wanted him to go to college. He did some time at Georgia Tech before attending the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.
The Carters have four children: sons Jack, Chip and Jeff, and a daughter, Amy.
[Photo by D. Dipasupil / Getty Images News]