Jimmy Carter: ‘Jesus Never Said a Word About Homosexuality’

Jimmy Carter talks about homosexuality, the Bible, and gay marriage in his new book, NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter:

CarterHomosexuality 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.

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.

Comments

  1. candideinnc says

    I can’t imagine anyone asking for or demanding a church to perform a ceremony they don’t want to perform. Surely he isn’t thinking anyone wants that, does he? All the efforts at marriage equality have been to ensure that the state respects the marriage of gays and affords them the benefits the same as heterosexuals. Who CARES what the cults do in performing ceremonies? Really!

  2. Dale says

    @BORUT and @CANDIDEINNC
    I think what President Carter was doing was taking the wind out o the sails of the Christian-Right who use the Bible to condem the LGBT community desire to marry.

  3. says

    Uh no @Borut, he’s saying that gay marriage doesn’t conflict with his religious views. And given that he said it in a book about the bible, he provides a religious justification.

  4. Ricco says

    No, BORUT, that is not what he said . . . that is what you said.

    It is sad when gays don’t recognize who their advocate are. Jimmy Carter split from his denomination because of their stance on equal rights for gays; and he said he supported equal marriage for gays. His stance that churches should not be forced to admit gays into their congregations, advocate for gay rights, and perform marriage ceremonies of gays goes to his stance on the First Amendment, freedom of religion, not his stance on gay marriage.

    Jimmy Carter is progressive, especially as a politician because he has always said things that were not smartly political, things that did not serve his best interests as a politician.

    He lost his reelection to Ronald Regan because he addressed the nation, exhorting the nation to tighten their belts, to start exploring alternate means of energy, to become less reliant on foreign oil.

    American’s do not like to be told to tighten their belts, and Ronald Regan won because he pooh-poohed Carter, and got American’s to laugh at Carter and his ideas. Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the White House, which Regan removed when he stepped into office . . . now time has shown how right Carter was all along.

    You need to know a little more about our history as a nation, about the history of the 39th president before attacking an advocate of gays.

    Had Carter been in office, instead of Regan, the history of the AIDS epidemic would have been vastly different.

    He is called a failed president, one of the worse presidents. Why? Because he was too honest. People make fun of politicians, go on about the innate greasiness and corruption of politicians, then when they get an honest politician in the highest office of the country, they do not support him.

    It was not Carter who failed, but the American people who failed.

    And there is no bigger failure than not knowing who your advocates are.

  5. M says

    Uh, Jimmy. It’s worth mentioning that no one has ever suggested legislation that would require churches to conduct gay weddings, that the whole brouhaha is over equal access to civil marriage, and that meanwhile the religious freedom of gay americans and gay friendly congregations and denominations is actually being infringed.

  6. Willy J says

    Josh…his statement isn’t clear. He didn’t mean that currently only churches marry people. He meant that if a gay couple asked to be married in a particular church, that church should not be required to honor the request.

  7. Vern Dufford says

    You must consider this mans age life experiences he is a very progressive thinker. I so much admire that and when I am his age…bring it on!

  8. David says

    He’s wrong. It’s right there in the Bible, right after the part where Jesus says the the US federal government should only offer marriage benefits to same sex couples. :)

  9. says

    There are SEVERAL mentions of Homosexuality in the Word. JESUS ISSSSSS THE WORD MADE FLESH so He said EVERY WORD IN THE BIBLE Here’s JUST One Mention: Leviticus 18:22 “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.

  10. jim says

    Love this man, always have. I must get his book for my mother who, even tho a non-questioning lifelong repug, admires Carter. This kind of thing could help change unchangeable minds. Well done, Mr. President!

    Excellent point Ricco made about how differently the AIDS crisis would’ve played out had Carter been in office. It may not have been perfect, but it would have been addressed at the highest level, and SOMEthing would have been done a helluva lot sooner.

  11. Mark says

    Tracy, President Carter was referring to the New Testament when he referred to Jesus. Your reference is in the Old testament. Try and find something in the new testament attributed to Jesus where he said anything about homosexuality.. you won’t and that’s why President Carter said what he did and it forms the basis of his belief system regarding gays.

  12. Rev. Verdon Coleman says

    Uh, Tracy, you may want to re-think that whole “Jesus is the word made flesh” ideology. Not every word in the Bible is good news.

  13. Randy says

    “I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people.”

    Jimmy, please identify any influential organization, LGBT or otherwise, that is asking for this.

  14. Dr.Duk says

    Well, I guess this means he has evolved somewhat. When he was running for office he promised the gay community he would issue and executive order forbidding discrimination in the federal government. After he was elected he failed to deliver on is promise because he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. The man who said he would never lie had no difficulty lying to gay people.

  15. Mic says

    TRACY LEE:

    You are breaking the 9th commandment. You have born false witness not only of gays, but of your lord himself:

    “… One Mention: Leviticus 18:22 “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin….Posted by: tracy Lee’…”

    A) Leviticus is in the old testament.

    B) Jesus is the word ‘made NEW’ and thus there is a new testament.

    C) jesus said the old ways are gone forever. …follow only His NEW way: do unto others…love thy neighbor, do not judge.

    C) Leviticus does NOT say “homosexuality”…it says “man shall not lie with a MOLOCHITE” – or temple priest who absolves sins thru sex purification.

    Only your ignorant bastardized american version (culled from the poorly translated King James) puts a 19th century word (homosexual) into a 1st century fable….and have morons like you believe it.

    BTW I suppose your diety has no problem with people doing it while standing up.

    Especially if we’re all supposed to take it literally…

    You.Moron.Word.

  16. alex says

    Perhaps we shouldn’t be using two paragraphs from a 1500+ page book to represent all of President Carter’s views relating to the Bible.

    But, if we are talking only about the quote, here’s how I interpreted it: While no legitimate LGBT organization or person wants to force churches to perform safe-sex marriages, that’s not how the radical right thinks. President Carter’s statement could his way of calling that argument spurious.

  17. Gregoire says

    I would think we would want all churches to perform safe-sex marriages. Same-sex marriages, on the other hand, should be up to the particular institution.

  18. Don says

    We didn’t deserve to have so eloquent and classy a president when we had him and we squandered many an opportunity to be great under his leadership. But he continues to be the most amazing former president and leader of conscience that we have ever had. He has never not taken the high road.

  19. Redebbm says

    I loathe that the Baby Boomers (In general not all!) dislike Carter, what a reasonable and intelligent man. Only to have been replaced with the exact opposite.

  20. Ricco says

    Thank you, Everyone, (and you KIWI have written many amazing comments that, likewise, thrilled me) for your generous comments. I find them gratifying because I have always admired him, both as a president, and an ex-president.

    DON writes that President Carter “. . . continues to be the most amazing former president and leader of conscience that we have ever had,” and he is so right.

    Years ago when we had five living ex-presidents: Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush Sr., I read, for me, an eye-opening article on how these five conducted themselves post-presidency; and of the five only President Carter continued to live by his professed political and Christian ideologies, going to dangerous parts of the world, either to broker peace between warring factions, or help monitor political races.

    President Ford used his money, according to the article I read, to invest in a soft porn company, that pumps porn into motel and hotel rooms.

    I have nothing against soft porn, except that I have a preference for hard porn, but when it comes to the ex-president who earns my greatest respect, whom I would most like to emulate: then the president who made the time to erect homes for the poor wins over the president who maintained erections.

    The article also went on to say how, of the five ex-presidents, President Carter was the only one who was not using his former position to procure speaking engagements at exorbitant presidential fees: upwards of 100,000.00 per engagement. Of course, brokering peace, establishing The Carter Center (take the time to check out what the Carter Center does), monitoring political processes elsewhere in the world, building homes for the poor, and teaching Sunday School, even if he were so inclined to so poorly use his former office, I don’t know where he would have found the time.

    For those of you have not done so, please click on the hyper link Towleroad provided. Huffington Post conducted a much more comprehensive interview with President Carter where he also addressed the following issues: Creationism vs science; women assuming positions of authority in the church; slavery; exclusivist faith vs. respect of other faiths and people of other faiths; Jesus as the Prince of Peace vs. that Jesus who said he did not come to bring peace; and the literal vs the metaphorical approach to the Bible.

    His mind is not only sharp for his age, but far sharper than most people I know, (or know of) of any age.

    I am not saying that regarding apologetics the off-the-cuff answers President gave in the interview were on par with the works of C.S. Lewis, but as an avid reader of Lewis I found his answers to be well reasoned, informational, and astute.

    Please forgive this too-long posting. I hope everyone will take the time to read the interview.

    Cheers

  21. TJ says

    RICCO – the Carter/Ford election was my first. I had just turned 18. Because my family voted republican, I voted for Ford. Even though I had watched the Watergate stuff and thought Nixon sucked, even though I thought Vietnam was wrong, even though I grew up thinking that Civil Rights were important, even though family dinners could be battlegrounds when we kids argued for protesters. Carter started the consciousness-raising for me. I voted for him next time; soon afterward, I switched party affiliation. For me, he represented (and represents) a great leader in an environment that fights true greatness.

    I have followed his career since. I have admired his integrity. You are a worthy and eloquent spokesperson for someone who has walked the walk. Thank you.

  22. Mitch says

    Ricco, right on! Thanks for your wise words. In addition to your wise words, you also beat me to expressing gratitude for Little Kiwi’s comments on a variety of Towleroad posts.

    As for Carter, I very much appreciate his well reasoned and vocal support. He truly is a politician and humanitarian worthy of admiration.

  23. No kidding says

    “‘JESUS NEVER SAID A WORD ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY’……um, because He was in the closet?

    I know gay married couples, I’ve been to gay weddings. What these people don’t have is legal recognition. It’s easy to find someone to officiate a gay wedding ceremony, they just like a little money to show up. And you can have a very gay wedding reception and sing the YMCA song. Who needs to force anyone to perform or attend?

  24. Shelly says

    @TRACY LEE
    Your using Leviticus 18:22 to show homosexuality to be an abomination.

    Well If were going to go back to the old testament I think you should address these issues that I came across while reading another site, the questions are funny but they make a valid point:

    Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
    clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
    Exodus 21:7.
    In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9).The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness(Lev 15:19-24).The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.
    Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10),it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?

    Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

    Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27.How should they die?

    I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?(Lev 24:10-16)
    Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

  25. bystander9529 says

    Carter could have mentioned Matthew 11:20-24, where Jesus said it would “be more tolerable on the day of judgement for the land of Sodom” than for those who presume for God who is saved and who is condemned. Jesus also dared to say that prostitutes and tax collectors were entering the Kingdom ahead of Pharisees, the uber-observers of his day. No wonder they condemned him for blasphemy and demanded that he be crucified.

  26. melvin says

    Bravo Ricco. My mother’s most prized possession was a photograph of her with Jimmy Carter. She believed he was exactly what the county needed him and the years have proven her right. Although I think it may have been him who said the people get the government they deserve. True, but unfortunate.

    Tracy Tracy Tracy. Maybe there is a comic book version of the bible you could read, since it is obvious you are not familiar with the original English.

  27. candideinnc says

    Rico–

    Carter is one of my favorite presidents. I like him much better now than I did when he was in office. He is a prized liberal compatriot. However, his comment on not pursuing a requirement that churches perform gay marriages is a real non sequitur. He is posing as a religious concern a non issue. It is preposterous to raise concerns about gays forcing conservative churches to marry them. Hell, I even refuse to go inside the damned temples for marriages and funerals. you think I would want a bigot solemnizing my marriage? I think old age is showing a bit in Mr. Carter’s writings.

  28. says

    Carter lost reelection because of the Iranian hostage crisis, and the failure of Operation Scorpion to extract the hostages – which was caused by bad weather. If Operation Scorpion had been a success, Carter would have won in a landslide.

    By the way, most of the prosperity of the 1980s is the result cheap oil and Paul Voelker’s work to tame inflation – Voekler was appointed by Carter.

  29. antb says

    thanks very much Ricco for your dead-on accurate analysis of President Carter and why he’s still important for the country and for LGBT people.

    Tracy Lee: you should really learn to keep your mindless foolishness to yourself.

  30. Hank says

    Yes , this is a positive statement, and it’s to the point, since so many people hate on us in the name of jesus..

    But it’s too bad he veered off into fantasizing about churhes being required by law to marry gay people. That’s never happened, and nobody’s ever suggested it should. It’s just a made-up scare tactic some christian right propaganda uses, on a par with “the gays are trying to corrupt your children.” It’s similar to saying “I draw the line at gays recruiting our children.” He should be a little more educated and judicious about what rhetoric he incorporates into his writing.

  31. borut says

    ©DALE, ©CHARLES, and @RICCO

    The way I understand Carter’s reasoning is that since Jesus never condemned homosexuality, it is ok for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies. He is judging civil marriage, which has nothing to do with religion, based on what Jesus said. I have a problem with that, because I think that in a secular state laws should not be based on interpretations of religious teachings. If I want to take the wind out the sails of some Christian zealots, that’s the argument I use. I don’t counter them with a different interpretation of the Bible.

    Ricco, even if I agree with someone’s conclusions, it doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with the reasoning that brought them to these conclusions. I know this is not a pragmatic stance, but pragmatism is not what I’m striving for.

  32. anon says

    Carter lost the election because the bad economy and his inability to deal with major foreign policy issues like the Iran hostage crisis. He’s always been very naive. He though that Tip O’Neill (Dem. speaker of the house) would automatically go along with the administration’s agenda on domestic policy. In really, O’Neill was a cynical pork-barrel specialist only concerned with bring the bacon back to Boston and essentially let nothing of Carter’s agenda through the House. Carter could not imagine why this would be so. It was only once out of office, when the stakes were essentially zero that his pie-in-the-sky naivety would come across as virtuous. Had he achieved a second term in office, he would have been sympathetic to AIDS victims, but O’Neill and other catholic politicians in the House would have blocked any major legislation to deal with it and Carter would not have known how to compromise to get something through.

  33. says

    With all due respect to President Carter, I disagree with him on two points. The first point: Jesus Christ DID speak about Gay people in the Gospels! But just as you’d expect, words like “Gay” and “homosexual” were not in use at the time. According to Bible translators, this is how He phrased the teaching:

    MATTHEW 19: 9-12
    (Jesus Christ said) “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are EUNUCHS WHO WERE BORN THAT WAY, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, And there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this (teaching) should accept it.”

    The Savior addressed this directive to His disciples, raising the possibility that some (if not all) of them were “eunuchs born that way”. The ancient definition of eunuch was not connected to castration (which is what Jesus Christ is referring to when he speaks of those “made eunuchs by others”). Instead, it was similar to our understanding of a Gay person, having both homosexual and transgender connotations.

  34. says

    My second point of disagreement with President Carter is this: The Golden Rule!

    MATTHEW 7: 12
    (Jesus Christ said) “in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

    The Golden Rule is the highest Christian commandment! When Church leaders impose second-class citizenship on Gay members in any way, shape or form, they violate it and endanger their own souls. As a committed, Gospel-believing Christian, it’s necessary for President Carter to demand that church members be treated equally. That includes the full recognition and blessing of their loving adult partnerships. Is forbidding your brother in Christ to marry consistent with loving him as you would yourself? I think not.

  35. allen says

    This is a polititian to emulate and praise. Fortunately, he was the first President I voted for. Never mind that he was deep sixed by the right wing as a punishment for Nixon. He is steeped in philosophy, with a deep religious grounding and a personal connection to the universe. I love this man. Georgia is a State that should be amazed as a counterpoint to Gingrich. Jimmy rocks the South !!!

  36. says

    Ricco is wunderful. And I’ve always adored Carter. But it’s no surprise that he lost re-election. He’s a Christian, and they don’t speak the same language as the selfish and ignorant public.
    But Carter is wrong here.
    Jesus healed the Centurian’s pais, which is Greek for male lover. And he praised the Centurian for having the greatest faith in Israel.

  37. says

    Beware of uninformed interpretations of Bible scripture!!! Committed Gay unions do not violate Christian law, but we have no evidence that’s what the Centurion was involved in. What’s more, we know nothing of the pais’s feelings for the Centurion. A pais was a male slave, and it was typically a young teenage boy. At that time and in that culture, romance between two grown men was frowned upon. Men were all but mandated to marry women, but short-term pederastic involvements were commonplace. Slavery, pederasty . . . this was not the ancient version of a Gay relationship, as some irresponsible Leftist theologians try to argue!

  38. jack says

    I admire Pres Carter. He is correct when he states that nowhere in the New Testament is Jesus quoted as saying anything about homosexuality. However he is quoted as saying that he agrees with the Law and the Prophets. The Torah was his “bible”. Leviticus was his law. Read Matthew 5:17-20. Jesus says: “do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. Not the smallest letter … will pass from the law”. “Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven”. So with Jesus comes Leviticus and all the other primitive and barbaric views found in the “Old Testament”. The bible is the enemy of human progress. It belongs in museums with the Codes of Draco and Hammurabi. Not as a moral guide for civilized humans.

  39. Michael says

    @Randy…it baffles me how dim-wits can twist words and take small portions of a statement out of context. If that’s all that you took away from a very supportive statement, I feel sorry for you.

  40. JONES says

    Jack

    My grandfather had a saying about the Bible. It’s a crucible that clearly points out the inherent characteristics of it’s reader.

    The Bible is filled with good and evil. Whichever way a person chooses to accentuate it reflects that persons inner self.

    The evil done in the name of Jesus by organized religion is what is appalling. If Jesus were here today what do you think he would say about the atrocities done in his name over the centuries ??

  41. jack says

    jones: Your grandfather was what is called a cafeteria christian. They go through the bible and pick out those things that they agree with and discard the rest. I choose to dicard the entire thing and that does reflect my inner self: A man free of the primitive myths of the past. The bible as Mark Twain said contains “upwards of a thousand lies”.

  42. jack says

    Michael: I was not criticizing Pres Carter, a man I admire. My point was that you can’t have Jesus without Leviticus. I took nothing out of context. Read Matthew 5: 17-20 for the full context. My point is that there is no reason to believe that Jesus, a first century observant Jew, did not believe the whole Law and the Prophets as found in the Torah. Mainly because he said he did.

  43. JONES says

    Jack

    My Grandfather was not a cafeteria Christian, he was agnostic and despised organized religions. He was however able to appreciate things that inspired goodness. I think we could all use a little more of that.

    Your ‘discarding it all as myth’ does reflect the inner self of a non believer, no ?

  44. GregV says

    “My point is that there is no reason to believe that Jesus, a first century observant Jew, did not believe the whole Law and the Prophets as found in the Torah.”

    @Jack: I’d say there is ample backing to the argument that He did not believe that people should observe superstitious and violent ideas like those listed in Leviticus.
    He made statements like “You have heard before [cite a commonly believed rule here] but I say instead [cite His own rules to live by, which is the opposite here].
    Besides, when Jesus arrived on the scene, some of these ideas people were living by had been passed down by word of mouth over so many centuries that who can say, even if Jesus might have agreed with the original statements made centuries before, how much they had been altered over the centuries.

    When Jesus speaks of not wanting to abolish law, I take that to mean that he doesn’t want a lawless society, as some might have imagined. He wanted people to learn the ideals (or “laws”) that He taught, which were to base morality on loving God and your neighbor.

    In regards to cafeteria Christians, that term could describe EVERY Christian. We can be sure that the fanatics that post here about “men lying with men” in Leviticus have no cares at all about committing “Leviticus” abominations like eating shrimp, getting haircuts and mowing their lawns on Saturday.
    The difference is that some Christians see the Bible as an anthology from different authors with different and often opposing ideas (so they “eat the good meat from it without choking on the bones”, making it not inconsistent to read different parts in their own contexts), while the hypocrites insist that EVERY SINGLE WORD in the Bible (no matter who said it or who wrote their translation) must be obeyed as if Jesus Himself said it.

  45. jack says

    Jones: I think you you might like what Mark Twain said about the bible: “It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood drenched history; and some good morals; and some execrable morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.” My hope is that people don’t think that the creator, if there be one, of the billion gallaxy universe had anything to do with writing this all to human tome.

  46. jack says

    Most Christian denominations teach that the bible is “the word of god”. That says to me; that it all must be true. If not it is an insult to the divine, if there be such a being. After discussing many of the horror committed by Yahweh, the god created by the Israelites, Twain said of the bible: “It is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere. It makes Nero an angel of light and leading by contrast”

  47. GregV says

    “Most Christian denominations teach that the bible is “the word of god”. That says to me; that it all must be true.”

    @Jack: I’m assuming that what you’re saying is not that “it all must be true” (to you) but that what some (a few? most?) preachers are telling their flock that it “all must be true.”

    But what some preachers think the Bible means to them does not logically suggest anything at all about what Jesus thought.

    It does not matter whether it is 0% or 50%+1 or even 100% of preachers making a claim. That doesn’t imply that Jesus’ ideas would or would not agree necessarily with a single one of those people.

    Jesus did not ever recommend these Bibles. He verbally recommended a way of life to people but did not ever see, let alone recommend, “the Bible” that American publishers put out today.

    Many of the chapters of what is in that Bible he never saw ANY version of (even in any ancient language) because they were written after His time, and then, in century after century that followed, voted in/voted out, tweaked and changed by the votes of committees (some of which belonged to clearly corrupt organizations) and by the whims of political dictators or other individuals who wanted something new thrown in or thrown out of these books.

    Imagine if I compiled a book on race relations containing dozens of chapters written by various authors and quoting various violent slave-owners, peace-loving abolitionists, civil rights leaders, violent klan members, Hitler, William Churchill, Dr. King, and one black President from the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, and four of those chapters quote words of Abraham Lincoln.

    Would it be fair for anyone to suggest that in order to follow Abraham Lincoln’s ideals, you MUST agree with EVERY SINGLE WORD in my entire anthology (no matter if the quote from the book is attributed to Lincoln, or to someone whose ideas agreed or disagreed with him, or even to someone who was born centuries after he died?)

    It seems to me that that is what SOME fundamentalist (and not very studied) “Christians” are doing when they repeat the kind of mantra you refer to about their Bible, ignoring any logical analysis or context about what they are reading.

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