Jimmy Carter leaves Southern Baptists

Jimmy carter is a man I've admired for many years. Most conservatives consider him a joke. A man whose graduate work in nuclear physics and reactor technology helped him deal with the crisis of Three-Mile Island. The author of 24 books covering a wide variety of subjects. A man who won the Nobel Peace prize in 2002 "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development." His work with Habitat for Humanity has set an example for all Americans. And, simply put, he is a good, decent human being.

A joke? Hardly. If we followed the course laid out by Carter as President, today we would be energy independent and have a balanced federal budget, and by pursuing an even handed policy in the Middle East would possibly have seen a just peace between Israel and Palestine. His failure as President was that he was a generation ahead of his time.

He recently severed his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention. in an article called "Losing my religion for equality", he called his decision to do so "painful and difficult".

From Mr Carter's position paper:
"At their most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities."

Christianity is by no means the only religion that considers women inherently inferior. Open up any religious text anywhere, and you'll find something like this:
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak.... And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home." - 1 Corinthians 14:34,35
I believe that this is something he and Roselyn had been thinking about for some time.
"I've given up speaking of it much - although those who watched me during Mr Obama's campaign will recall that certain stories evoked infuriating (for me) memories of my work with abuse shelters during college. I'd given up speaking of it much, because where I live, joking about women being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen is as much part of normal conversation as asking about the next Promise Keepers or Men Following Christ meeting.

I've walked away from the church (per se) on the basis of the abuse of power - especially as it manifests in the Right-wing's attempt to use Southern Baptist-style Christianity as a means of misguided control."
I remember my own experience of being raised a Protestant Baptist. It was at the Thomas Road Baptist Church. I think I was about 12 at the time. After a sermon, I questioned the preacher regarding his view that Christ was "perfect and infallible" (To me, it seemed to defeat the purpose of making him human in the first place). Reasonable discourse was obviously not his strong suite, as his response was to come at me wielding his bible. Luckily, a nice church lady saved me, and admonished the preacher on his use of the Holy Book as a blunt object. I made an exit, both dignified and rapid. and never returned.

Having said all this, I must admit to some sexism myself. Women in combat, for example. On one hand, as a male I have a strong instinct to protect and provide for them because I'm bigger, stronger, and, in the grand scheme of things, more expendable (thank you, Y-chromosome). On the other hand, I have the certain, intellectual knowledge that a woman trained in such things makes for an incredible warrior. Of course, in the end the decision is always theirs to make.

Thankfully, most women are gracious enough not to be offended if I open a door, tip my hat, or stand when they enter a room. Just know that no matter how well trained they are, if I see a woman doing something dangerous, I'll be cringing on the inside.

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