Carter 'mobilizing' in wrong direction

Just when you think former President Carter might retreat peacefully to Plains and stop afflicting the righteous with his inane ideas, he brings out fresh foolishness from his limitless store. 

According to the Saturday paper, Mr. Carter is hosting a conference called Mobilizing Faith for Women. If anyone else were leading an exploration into the harmful effects of some religions on women, that could be good. It might reveal that historically Christianity alone has elevated the status of women around the world. It might recall that, before Christianity came to India, widows were burned alive with their dead husbands and infant daughters were routinely donated to Hindu priests for temple prostitution. It might mobilize against honor killings, genital mutilation, and other outrages against Muslim women.

But Mr. Carter equally indicts all religions, seeing a moral equivalence between an all-male Catholic priesthood and clitorectomy. Excluding women from priesthood and rendering them incapable of enjoying sex through a barbaric operation are evidently equally bad. And the fact that Islamic law tolerates slavery and that evangelical Christians abolished it in the West has no weight with Carter.

His statement that “the early Christian Church included leaders of both sexes” is so patently wrong that even Mr. Carter should be embarrassed.

Whether one likes it or not, male leadership was an integral part of Christianity from the beginning. The apostles were all men; church leaders were elders (older men) and never women. Jesus treated women with gentle respect, but never raised them to spiritual authority over men. 

Paul said, “In Christ there is neither male nor female,” by which he asserted women’s equal value before God. But in the leadership of the home man was the “head of the wife,” and in the Church women were not permitted to “usurp authority” over men. (I Cor. 11:3; I Tim. 2:12). 

Richard Kirby


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