My unenthusiastic acceptance of Jimmy Carter's latest news item

From The Guardian, via Jezebel, via a friend, I see that Jimmy Carter has quit the Southern Baptist Convention due to a theological and political dispute:

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. This was in conflict with my belief - confirmed in the holy scriptures - that we are all equal in the eyes of God.

Good old Mr. Carter cites verse in defense of his position:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

The trouble is, each side can quote passages endlessly to justify its position. If you take the humanist perspective and think that this document was created over a long period by many people with many different points of view and agendas, it makes total sense that parts could conflict, but you also wouldn't look to this document as a source of infallible wisdom. If you take the supernatural perspective, well, God help you figure it out.

For all the people who got overexcited by Carter's statements, here's the danger of religious alliances in favor of political goals. A person could reasonably conclude based on reading the Bible that women should be subordinate to men, even though I think this position is unreasonable based on other sources of moral information--dare I say, better sources. But accepting Jimmy Carter's theology as a partner in the fight against oppression means giving weight to his reasoning, and his interpretation of the Bible might not be the correct one.

That is, assuming there is a correct one. If there's not, then he's out to sea without a rudder, and may sail some other direction during the next dispute. The people who cheer Jimmy Carter today might scorn him tomorrow when he says that Jesus never intended for gays to marry, or that we should aid and train the Mujahideen against the Soviets, or whatever else will come up. [He does, however, support civil unions.]

Or it could be that he knows oppression for the evil it is, and this colors his theology. If that's the case, then his theology is irrelevant anyway.

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Carter is predictable

Carter is a leftist and has predictable views given that he is a leftist. The ease with which the devil can quote scripture allows Carter to fully indulge his leftism while claiming to be a Christian. He is not going to sail some other direction at the next dispute. He sails left, now and always. I overstate the point- leftists are not clones. But his unpredictability and unreliability is no worse on account of his religion, whose adaptability to his worldly beliefs makes it epiphenomenal. Fear not Carter's Christianity.

Perhaps you're missing the

Perhaps you're missing the point - he was responding to an audience who was basing their edict on the Bible, so he used the Bible as a basis for his explanation of his disagreement. When trying to communicate, one should strive to use the language best suited for the audience at hand.

missing the REAL point...

...by the comments that I am seeing, I think that you people are missing the real point of Mr. Carter's break with established religion. He is not only leaving his lifelong community, but is really commenting on the pervasive tendency of most religions and societies in the world; the actively subjugation and objectification of women. This was not a sudden decision that he made, but falls in line with the Carter Institute's mission to futher the cause of human rights. He has made a very painful decision to cut his ties with a community that I am sure he has been actively been trying to educate from within, but found that the fight could not be won. If you read the entire article, you will see that he did not only limit his comments to how the Southern Baptist community falls short, but he sighted many abhorent actions from many cultures and nations. This is not a philisophocal or theological statement that he is making... It is basic truth about the rights of all human beings! To try to put a political or theological slant on this story; as some of the reports I have seen, shows how pervasive this "disease" is in general population. It is no wonder that most people think of Mr. Carter as one of our worst Presidents... He would not play the game... He was too good for us, and could not reconcile the conflicts that he faced, with a truly good spirit.