Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jimmy Carter leaves church, criticizes religious sexism  


I never knew much about Jimmy Carter, only that he was a Democrat who served as president from 1977 to 1981. But now, as I've recently learned (hat tip to Feministing), there's quite a lot of depth to the second-oldest living former president. He recently made a move that, if he had made it while in office it would've meant political suicide. He's - GASP! - leaving his church.

Why? According to an essay he recently wrote (read it!), he's fed up with religion being a patriarchal institution.

At its 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.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

Carter cites religion as a driving force behind sexism and misogyny. A brave move, to say the least. I wish this story received more coverage, but it has been featured on major sites like Politics Daily and Guardian.

I wish I could find an e-mail address for Jimmy Carter to send him a thanks. Does anyone have contact information for Carter or any ideas on how to thank him in other ways?

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4 comments: to “ Jimmy Carter leaves church, criticizes religious sexism

  • July 21, 2009 at 6:45 PM  

    MEN have to step up to the plate like former President Carter has done and say "stop!" to the abuse of women in the media, on TV, in this country as well as others. The whole mind set of male "dominance" over women stops when women take a stand and the REAL men stand with them.

  • July 21, 2009 at 7:06 PM  

    So true!

  • April 5, 2010 at 2:35 PM  

    Long before Christianity, and even Judeism (spelling?), society used to be matriarchal, and mother goddesses were the main source of worship. The reason patriarchal ideals took over is because northern invaders with supreme male deities wanted to control women to verify paternity. These ideals passed on to the early Hebrews, and from there we get the basis for western culture.

    From this we get the ideals of saving your virginiy until you're married, women beig housewives, etc. It's great to hear that some people are finally speaking up against this, especially people in the public's eye. The opression has been going on for 5,000 years. It's finally timefor it to stop.

  • April 26, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

    Wow I am definitely not surprised that I did not hear about this. I think it is great that someone in office is actually speaking their minds and telling people what they really think, then sugar coating everything so no one will be upset. I agree that religions have practices of religious sexism, but they are not alone. Clearly media is also a problem and has also been blamed by many. But merely saying something is oppressive or unfair is not going to change anything. People need to start acting out and show people that there is another way to live that is not so male dominated and oriented.