Jimmy Carter, Sunday School Teacher

The former president on why he believes Jesus will save everyone, and how his faith complicated--and sustained--his presidency.

Continued from page 4

And once a person learns that she has a baby coming that's unwanted, to reassure her, the prospective mother, that she will have adequate care for her and her child. This is done in some foreign countries where their abortion rate is a third of ours, but where they have no rules against abortion.



But, because--let's say in the Scandinavian countries...every mother knows that when her baby's born, she's going to get full healthcare and so forth. So, I tried to do those things.



But, to uphold the Roe vs. Wade ruling of the Supreme Court, which is my duty to uphold the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court, was something that I had to do as President. But, within that framework, rather than encouraging abortions in the first trimester, which is legal, I tried to do everything I could to minimize abortions. That was a problem.



And I would say, another time when I was kind of faced with a difficult choice was when our hostages were held by the Iranians for a long period of time - more than a year. And all of my advisors just about, a vast majority of them said, 'We need to launch a military attack against Iran if they don't release the hostages.'



And I felt that that was not the proper thing to do and I resisted. I had an ability to destroy Iran and to utilize America's military power. But, I decided to try to seek a peaceful resolution of that issue. And, eventually, every hostage came home safe and free and I didn't betray the principles of my country.



'I had an ability to destroy Iran and to utilize America's military power. But I decided to try to seek a peaceful resolution of that issue.'

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That's the year, by the way, that I prayed more frequently and more fervently than ever in my life to let me weather that particular crisis. So, there were some times when I think my religious faith was a strong factor in the ultimate decisions that I made.



Your recent book has been a topic of lively debate on Beliefnet...

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