And for similar reasons.  I don’t call myself the Christian Progressive Liberal for nothing.  From Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars:

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So 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.

It is when church leaders have used selective quotes from the Bible to either put someone in check, or assert CONTROL; that is what I have railed about.  And if some of the Black Churches get caught up in the call-out, so be it, because if we’re honest, the Black Church has long been sexist in their thinking about where a woman’s place really is, how she should behave and what she should do, while the men get a free pass and multiple requests to pray for them when they get caught sinning.  They are summarily restored to their respectful places in the congregation, but a woman is damned near tarred, feathered and run out on a rail.

I’ll never forget that my  pastor, who I grew up under, and was like my father for many years, quoted the Biblical passage  at 1 Corinthians 14:34 often to control how the women behaved in his church. He used it to mean that women not only had no role to play in the church, they couldn’t even speak from pulpits to preach.  It wasn’t until I went to the church I attended before moving to Washington, D.C. that my current home pastor put the proper interpretation on it.  He stated that Paul was warning women NOT TO CALL OUT the preacher or challenge the veracity of what the preacher was saying during service.  If they had any questions, go home and ask your husband about what the preacher said.  Nowhere in the Bible does God limit women in their full service to Him.

A relationship with God is one thing – organized religion is something else.  Try the concept of it being man’s way to attempt to control God and the people who truly try to worship Him = ORGANIZED RELIGION.  And ORGANIZED RELIGION has long been used to justify discrimination and the taking of people’s culture, values, beliefs – just ask the Native Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and white women how we all were reduced to mere chattel for the use of white men, and how a few selective passages in the Bible were used to justify the sense of superiority and the stealing of whole nations of people for personal gain.  Organized Religion was used to justify DISCRIMINATION – DO NOT GET IT TWISTED, please.

Sounds to me like Jimmy Carter has had it with his Religion, too.  This man is giving womanhood the highest respect with this comment:

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.

Sounds like Carter is pro-CHOICE.  Let’s get something straight – most Christians may be against abortion because they truly believe abortion is murder – but depending on the circumstances of why an abortion may be needed, their milage may vary.

What caught my attention is the fact that despite the hits Carter took as POTUS, history has shown us that Carter made the decisions he did based on his values and moral beliefs.  Not because it was politically advantageous or expedient.  Health care should be a moral, value issue – not a political football to be punted at will.  And hiding behind religion makes it all the more repugnant.

Sometimes, one has to lose his religion to find his real values that he is willing to stick with and live by, NO MATTER WHAT.  As Nicole asks us, “What if ALL of us had the moral courage of a Jimmy Carter?”

I’m ready for the controversy that discussions like these facilitate, and I know how intelligent we posters at JJP are, especially when we talk about subjects like this.  Let’s get it started.

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