Former President Jimmy Carter has made human rights an ongoing focus of his life’s work, and his position on the issue recently compelled him to sever his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention after being affiliated with it for six decades. Carter, in a recent piece for The Observer, complains that higher-ups in the denomination haven’t changed their sexist ways.
Jimmy Carter in the Guardian’s Observer magazine:
Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries. The male interpretations of religious texts and the way they interact with, and reinforce, traditional practices justify some of the most pervasive, persistent, flagrant and damaging examples of human rights abuses.
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.