ATLANTA — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for mistreatment of women across the world.
The human rights activist said Friday religious authorities perpetuate misguided doctrines of male superiority, from the Catholic Church forbidding women from becoming priests to some African cultures mutilating the genitals of young girls.
Carter said the doctrines, which he described as theologically indefensible, contribute to a political, social and economic structure where political leaders passively accept violence against women, a worldwide sex slave trade and inequality in the workplace and classroom.
"There is a great aversion among men leaders and some women leaders to admit that this is something that exists, that it's serious and that it's it troubling and should be addressed courageously," Carter said at an international conference on women and religion.
The 39th president is hosting representatives from 15 countries at The Carter Center, the human rights organization he launched in 1982 after leaving the White House.
The Mobilizing Faith for Women event emphasizes to world leaders that religious institutions can be forces for equality, he said.
Nations represented at the Carter conference include Afghanistan, Botswana, Egypt, Iraq, Malaysia, Nigeria, Senegal and the Sudan. Carter mentioned widespread oppression in many of nations where iterations of Islam dominate, but also had criticism for the developed Western world where Christianity is the strongest cultural influence.
A common thread, he said, are "gross abuses of religious texts in the Koran and in the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament. Singular verses can be extracted and extorted to assert the singular dominance of men."
Referring to the Christian apostle Paul, credited with writing much of the New Testament outside the gospels, he said, "Paul said there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, slaves or masters, man or woman."
The former president noted that the early Christian Church included leaders of both sexes. It wasn't until a few centuries after Jesus Christ's time on earth, he said, that leaders of what would become the Roman Catholic Church established the exclusively male priesthood. Catholic doctrine justifies the practice by noting that Jesus, according to gospel texts, named only men among his apostles.
Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, were once members of the Southern Baptist Church. The couple recently disassociated from Southern Baptists, citing its prohibition on ordaining women or allowing them to serve as deacons or other leadership posts in local congregations.
Their independent Baptist church has a woman pastor and a man pastor and divides six deaconships equally between men and women, Carter said. "My wife is probably the most famous Baptist deacon in the world."
He noted that women in Saudi Arabia can't drive or vote. Girls in some cultures are forced to marry before they are 10 years old and women in the United States, he said, are paid about 70 percent of what men earn for the same work. Across the world, he said, prosecutions for rape are either rare or too often become a referendum on the victim.
"The point is that the voices demanding these circumstances change are few and far between," Carter said.
|And then there were three...|
My hungry wolves devoured the first loaf as soon as it came out of the oven.
Teenagers will eat you out of house and home.
Add 2 1/2 TSP yeast to 2 cups lukewarm water. Stir well.
Add 2 cups Rye flour
Cover with saran wrap and set in a dark place.
Wait 3-4 hours.
Add another 2 cups lukewarm water and
6 TBSP sugar and
2 TBSP whole caraway seeds and
2 TSP salt.
Fold in 7 cups bread flour.
Coat kneading surface with flour and turn dough out.
Sprinkle with flour and knead well.
The dough will be sticky and bulky. It is worth the effort.
Knead about 10 minutes until pliant. The dough should remain slightly sticky, but not so much that it continues to stick to hands and surface.
Divide evenly into 4 balls.
I used the reverse side of two large baking pans at the next stage.
Coat baking sheets with cooking spray and coarse corn meal.
Put 2 dough balls onto each sheet, evenly spaced apart.
Let rise 45 minutes.
Create an egg coat by mixing 1 whole egg with two TBSP of water. Whisk and coat tops of dough with egg wash.
Sprinkle with additional whole caraway seeds.
Bake at 400 degrees in a preheated oven for 33 minutes.
Do not spritz with water during baking.
I have found that cooking the loaves in succession is fine and the extra 30 minutes rising neither helps nor hinders. The yeast has mostly played out and it won't rise much and it won't fall either.
Makes 4 small loaves about 7 inches across.
Serving suggestion: Dijon mustard and sharp provolone topped with basil, tomato and black pepper compliment the rye flavor wonderfully.
|We threw these in the cooler to keep the chocolate from melting.|
That's how we discovered these taste better chilled than at room temperature.
A quote from Charles Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit.
"Martin knew nothing about America, or he would have known perfectly well that if its individual citizens, to a man, are to be believed, it always IS depressed, and always IS stagnated, and always IS at an alarming crisis, and never was otherwise; though as a body they are ready to make oath upon the Evangelists at any hour of the day or night, that it is the most thriving and prosperous of all countries on the habitable globe."