Fact Check: Is the Viral Jimmy Carter Quote on Homosexuality and Jesus Real?

A quote attributed to former President Jimmy Carter regarding Jesus and homosexuality has spread on social media.

The Claim

A post from @ColoradoIndepe1 shows a photo of Carter, the 39th president of the United States, alongside a quote regarding homosexuality.

This reads: "Homosexuality 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."

It then read underneath: "This is what a real Christian sounds like."

It has been liked more than 32,000 times at the time of writing and garnered more than 7,000 retweets.

Alongside the image containing the quote, the poster wrote: "Jimmy Carter was, and is, a badass."

Other people have also posted the quote in recent days and received thousands of interactions.

Jimmy Carter was, and is, a badass. pic.twitter.com/tFlEYHOK1n

— ColoradoIndependent (@ColoradoIndepe1) August 12, 2021

President Carter on Homosexuality - pic.twitter.com/oW94kRvLAL

— Dr. Cole (@dr_cmm) August 16, 2021

Since Jimmy Carter is trending, and it's Sunday, I thought I'd take the opportunity to really piss off some Evangelicals with his quote about homosexuality.🥰#DemVoice1 pic.twitter.com/LxSbEhjdjk

— LA Resisting From GA! #VoteBlueIn22 🌊🌎💙 (@LALewman) August 15, 2021

The Facts

In an interview with HuffPost in 2012, Carter was interviewed about "the hardest questions presented in the bible" by the outlet's then Senior Religion Editor Paul Brandeis Raushenbush.

This coincided with the release of Carter's book NIV, Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter.

In this interview, Raushenbush said: "A lot of people point to the Bible for reasons why gay people should not be in the church, or accepted in any way."

To this, Carter, who used to be a Sunday school teacher, replied: "Homosexuality 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."

Carter went on: "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."

Elsewhere in the interview, Carter gave his take on if the Bible should be taken literally or metaphorically: "When we go to the Bible we should keep in mind that the basic principles of the Bible are taught by God, but written down by human beings deprived of modern day knowledge. So there is some fallibility in the writings of the Bible. But the basic principles are applicable to my life and I don't find any conflict among them."

The Ruling

Fact Check - True

True.

FACT CHECK BY NEWSWEEK

Yes, the quote attributed to Carter was from the former president.

He made the remarks in an interview with HuffPost, which was published in 2012.

jimmy carter in atlanta georgia
Former president Jimmy Carter prior to the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Cincinnati Bengals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Scott Cunningham/Getty Images