Jimmy Carter, Theologian Without Portfolio
Noted Roman Catholic theologian Jimmy Carter, fresh from his latest scourging of Israel (or whatever he’s doing to grab attention these days) weighs in during on interview with Time on a subject that has the entire Church in turmoil:
Time: Let’s get right to it. This week the Carter Center’s Mobilizing Faith for Women conference will ask the question, “Can religion be a force for women’s rights instead of a source of women’s oppression?” What’s your answer?
Carter: Well, religion can be, and I think there’s a slow, very slow, move around the world to give women equal rights in the eyes of God. What has been the case for many centuries is that the great religions, the major religions, have discriminated against women in a very abusive fashion and set an example for the rest of society to treat women as secondary citizens. In a marriage or in the workplace or wherever, they are discriminated against. And I think the great religions have set the example for that, by ordaining, in effect, that women are not equal to men in the eyes of God.
This has been done and still is done by the Catholic Church ever since the third century, when the Catholic Church ordained that a woman cannot be a priest for instance but a man can. A woman can be a nurse or a teacher but she can’t be a priest. This is wrong, I think. As you may or may not know, the Southern Baptist Convention back now about 13 years ago in Orlando, voted that women were inferior and had to be subservient to their husbands, and ordained that a woman could not be a deacon or a pastor or a chaplain or even a teacher in a classroom in some seminaries where men are in the classroom, boys are in the classroom. So my wife and I withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention primarily because of that.
Time: What Scripture guides your work on women’s rights?
Carter: The one that I look on most is the Letter from Paul to the Galatians, when he says there is no difference in the eyes of God between a man and a woman, and between a slave and a master, or between a Jew and a Gentile, they are all created in the eyes of God equally. That’s a primary verse.
But there are a lot of them, for instance if you look at some of the verses I think in Romans, I can’t remember exactly, maybe Acts, or Romans in the 16th chapter, Paul delineates a lot of top leaders in the church and about a third of them are women. So I think in the original status of the Christian church, women played a very important role, even in the leadership role. And then after about the third century when men took over control of the Catholic Church, then they began to ordain that women had to play an inferior position, not be a priest.
So there you have it, folks, straight from the horse’s
ass mouth. Is there anything that the Most Self-Righteous Person to Ever Be President of the United States can’t fix, based on his all-encompassing understanding of all areas of human knowledge and endeavor?
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