Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Quote of the Day: Jimmy Carter and Women's Equality

Jimmy Carter: A commitment to equality.
Jimmy Carter was not a good president. Admitted. He was far better than Republicans say he was and even better than most Americans credit him, but, still, his economic disaster was just that. His moral leadership--though often preachy--was unassailable and his energy policies, had they been retained by successive administrations (especially Reagan, who set about dismantling them in favor of Big Energy almost immediately upon being elected), it is likely we would be in good shape in that area today.

As time goes on, we see that he had little choice in getting more than 250 hostages released (Reagan's promises to the regime in Iran that he'd make a deal upon his election was immoral and probably illegal), save going to war or trading arms for those hostages. Still, not a good president.

He is often called our "best ex-president" for dozens of reasons and his January column in Women's Press, a small California publication, underscores his commitment to morality, equality, human rights and dignity--even at the cost of his long-held membership in the uber-conservative Southern Baptist Convention. Here's some of what he said (and here's the whole post):

"... My decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be 'subservient' to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.
"This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. 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.

"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."

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