Former President Jimmy Carter has decided that he must, after 60 years of membership, leave the Southern Baptist Convention of churches because of their stance which insists on the submission of wives to their husbands.
President Carter writes in an essay posted on "The Age":
"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.
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."
Read the full article here.
Additional coverage is found here in Politics Daily and ends with an interesting question:
The question for Carter -- and for others who find themselves at odds with leadership -- is, when a group you're deeply involved in starts to move away from your own core beliefs, do you stay and try to change from within or, at some point, do you have to look for the exit? Carter did give the former a shot -- in recent years publicly criticizing and distancing himself from church leadership, while staying involved with his church. Now, he's seeing if absence might do what presence did not.
What do you think the Anglican answer to that question might be? Is it necessarily different than one that a Southern Baptist might give because of our non-confessional based polity?