Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jimmy Carter on Women's Position in Religious Teachings

The quote below is just too true. All interpreters of all religions have traditionally and universally been men, and they have the power to interpret religious teachings "about" women in either a positive or a negative way. They have always chosen the negative way, a way that subjugates women, demeans women, sees them as inferior creatures who are too weak intellectually and physically to enjoy an exalted status in society.

"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.... 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." ~ Jimmy Carter

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