Former Southern Baptist and President Jimmy Carter wrote an op-ed for The Observer, a weekly London newspaper, to repudiate the use of religion to subjugate women. The op-ed, published earlier this month, is called “The words of God do not justify cruelty to women.”
Carter’s writing supports the Elders, an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela to support peace. The op-ed accuses multiple religions of mistreatment and declares the Elders’ particular attention to challenging those touting religion as justification for bigotry of any kind.
On sexism, Carter writes, “It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for everyone in society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.”
Carter also reacts to the verses “carefully chosen” to support suppression:
“The truth is that male religious leaders have had—and still have—an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter.
“Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions—all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God.”
Former President Jimmy Carter served from 1977-1981. He announced his severance from the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000, after the denomination announced its opposition to female pastors. The Southern Baptist Convention is the US’s largest Protestant denomination.
this review to a friend