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Carter Says Guantanamo ‘Disgrace’ to U.S.

This story updates and replaces an earlier report posted Friday as part of developing coverage of the 2005 Baptist World Congress this week in Birmingham, England.

“I think what’s going on in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />GuantanamoBay and other places is a disgrace to the U.S.A.,” he told a news conference at the Baptist World Alliance’s centenary conference in Birmingham, England. “I wouldn’t say it’s the cause of terrorism, but it has given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists to lash out at our country and justify their despicable acts.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
 
According to the Associated Press, Carter said the detaining of hundreds of men at the prison, without charge or access to lawyers, “does not represent the will of the American people or the basic elements that have made our country a great democracy and a proponent of freedom.”
 
Carter also criticized the U.S.-led war in Iraq as “unnecessary and unjust.”
 
“I thought then, and I think now, that the invasion of Iraq was unnecessary and unjust,” Carter said. “And I think the premises under which it was launched were false–whether deliberately or not, I don’t know.”
 
Carter, famous among Baptists for a Bible study he teaches at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga., was to be featured Sunday in what is billed as the world’s largest Sunday school class, in part a reference to the fact that the term “Sunday school” isn’t used largely outside the United States.
 
In a business session Saturday morning, BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz alluded to accusations that the organization is unclear in its affirmations that belief in Christ is necessary for salvation and that homosexuality is sinful, both stated as rationale by the Southern Baptist Convention last year when it voted to pull out of the global fellowship.
 
“We believe in Jesus Christ, the sole Savior sufficient for salvation,” Lotz said, according to a BWA report. “To accuse the BWA of not believing the Bible is comparable to accusing a mother of not loving her child.”
 
Regarding human sexuality, Lotz said, “We are opposed to premarital sex, extramarital sex and homosexual behavior. We believe marriage is a monogamous relationship between a man and woman.”
 
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