This week Former President Jimmy Carter broke ties with the Southern Baptist Church over its positions on the role of women in church leadership. President Carter noted that he could no longer in good conscience remain within the denomination. In an essay in The Age Journal , Carter wrote:
"...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 truth is that male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world."
I applaud Carter for asking on the strength of his convictions and for the winsome way in which he acted.