In an age where major party presidential candidates sign pledges of discrimination and turn a blind eye to death threats at their debates and vicious attacks on women from their pet pundits, it is heartening to remember that our country has elected some truly noble men to our highest office. Long-time readers of TSM will know of our admiration for President Carter; after leaving office he made the most of his fame and power and spent his time and energy making the world a better place. He recently published a new book, NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter, in which he addresses faith and the proper role of religion in our civic lives.
A brilliant but humble man, he articulately expresses his own faith and the deep importance of maintaining a secular state. Of particular relevance are his comments regarding the use of religion as a club against women.
I separated from the Southern Baptists when they adopted the discriminatory attitude towards women, because I believe what Paul taught in Galatians that there is no distinction in God’s eyes between men and women, slaves and masters, Jews and non-Jews -– everybody is created equally in the eyes of God.
Are you listening Right Wing Republicans and Tea Party bitter tea bags? Pretty simple, isn’t it? In a later question, Carter addresses a topic that even President Obama waffles on, full marriage equality.
Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -– he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies. I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I’m a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine.
What an eloquent statement about the separation of church and state, the difference between personal values and legislation, and Carter’s own wonderful understanding of our innate humanity.
Honorable mention this week goes to regular TSM hero Elizabeth Warren. Not content to wait until she’s asked about an issue, Warren has made LGBT rights and marriage equality active parts of her campaign.
Marriage equality is morally right. I’d be glad to see it included in the Democratic platform. It helps raise awareness of the impact of DOMA and it helps build support to repeal it.