Jimmy Carter Leaves Church Over Treatment of Women

JimmyCarterNOTE: With all the recent news about the secretive, and frankly freaky religious cult , the Family, it’s refreshing to know that there are those who choose to defend the rights and dignity of women. Whatever you may think of him as president, Jimmy Carter has done much in his post presidential years to fight for the poor, women, minorities, and world peace. Thank you to Politics Daily and contributor Ria Misra for this story.

After more than 60 years together, Jimmy Carter has announced himself at odds with the Southern Baptist Church — and he’s decided it’s time they go their separate ways. Via Feministing, the former president called the decision “unavoidable” after church leaders prohibited women from being ordained and insisted women be “subservient to their husbands.” Said Carter in an essay in The Age:

 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.
Read the rest of the story here.


It takes a lot of courage to leave one’s own church. I applaud Carter’s decision and his reasoning.

  3 comments for “Jimmy Carter Leaves Church Over Treatment of Women

  1. Ken Lopez Maddox
    July 23, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    While I’m not a Calvinist, I still find the former President’s understanding of his own faith surprising. Southern Baptists don’t support anything identified by Carter in The Age. Men are instructed to love their wives are Christ loves the Church. Christ died for the church.

    Of course, we all fall short of the glory of the Lord. Fortunately, Christ died for our sins and in him we are justified.

    The Bible states women are not to be ordained. His problem isn’t with his church but with scripture. Carter chooses to reject portions of scripture. Of course, he then becomes the judge of what is the word of God and what isn’t. Different denominations vary on their interpretation of scripture. But we engage in folly when we disregard scripture. This includes the ten commandments which none of us are capable of following.

    I don’t know why God doesn’t want women ordained but I believe the Bible is the word of the Lord. The Bible tells us many things. It doesn’t tell us everything.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

  2. Misha Houser
    July 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    KLM, Your argument belies your conservative Christian point of view. There are other perspectives, and I would remind you that Jesus himself went counter to the tradition of male superiority a number of times. In his epistles, Paul acknowledged women as apostles, colleagues, and ministers. In the 2nd century, women were blocked from ordination.

    It can be argued that by allowing women to be ordained, that a church would be returning to the path Jesus followed.

    I’m not going to comment on the culture of the times, OR commonly accepted scholarship that the oft cited passages in Timothy and Corinthians were added by later scribes as they are not found in the earliest texts that have been discovered, but there are many other arguments that would take issue with your statements.

  3. Northcountystorm
    July 24, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    This isn’t news….Carter announced in October of 2000 that he was severing his lifelong ties to the Southern Baptist Convention. It was reported by the New York Times. He said the Convention had become theologically rigid under a new conservative leadership and included the issue of the role of women in the church as part of his reasoning.

    I’m not sure why Carter gets a mulligan for leaving the Southern Baptist Convention again–maybe people want to help his sagging book sales– but nothing shocks me these days. I can’t and won’t defend the Convention for some of their views but Carter, typically, takes some valid points and stretches them beyond the credibility horizon. I’m surprised he didn’t add AIDS to the voluminous blame list that he puts at the door of the Southern Baptists. Like his book title suggesting Israel practices apartheid.

    It’s reported that he still intends to be a deacon at his Baptist Church. Does this mean we can expect a third “announcement” that he’s leaving the church because he does not agree with some of their views?

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