- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Former President Jimmy Carter says he believes Jesus would approve of gay marriage but that he has a hard time believing Jesus would approve of abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life was in danger.

“I believe that Jesus would approve gay marriage,” Mr. Carter told HuffPost Live. “That’s just my own personal belief.”

Mr. Carter described himself as a “born-again Christian” and said faith has always been an important part of his life.

“I never have run across any really serious conflicts between my political obligations and my religious faith,” he said.

Asked about gay marriage, he said “that’s no problem with me.”

“I think everybody should have a right to get married,” he said, though he said he wouldn’t be in favor of the government being able to force a local church congregation to perform gay marriages if they didn’t want to.

“But those two partners should be able to go to the local courthouse or to a different church and get married - that’s no problem,” he said.

“I have had a problem with abortion, and this has been a longtime problem of mine,” he said. “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.”

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