At Anne of Carversville, we are very open about the fact that we are now terrified of the Republican Party.
I am part of a group organizing to try to help moderate women of both parties get elected to public office. We will take Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins any day of the week but the Sarah Palin, Michel Bachmann crowd scares the wits out of us, calling for our submission to God.
This massive problem in America is not about being a Republican or Democrat. It is about the separation of church and state in America.
When former Democratic Rep Bart Stupak said that his allegiance to God (and the Vatican) was higher than his allegiance to the Supreme Court of America, I knew then that I live in a very different country today. When Stupak referred to women as ‘incubators’ during the healthcare debate, a chill went up my spine. Stalin talked that way, too.
I have never been so afraid in America in my life, except when I was under police protection for a year in the 70s. Roe vs Wade was upheld by the Supreme Court and I said something on a Buffalo TV show that warranted my being stalked for a year with constantly expressed intentions to kill me. My crime was exercising free speech in America on a law supported by the US Supreme Court.
ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas Investigates The Independent Fundamental Baptist Church
Branded a harlot devil of a woman by the kind of men you listen to the Elizabeth Vargus Yearlong Investigation into The Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, which aired on Friday April 8, 2011 ABC investigation in these tapes, I deserved to die in America.
As crazy as it all sounds, when you listen to these men, my own story is suddenly very believable. It is also correct to say that abortion doctors in Buffalo die. The ABC extensive article is called: Biblical Reform, School Discipline: Tough Love or Abuse.
A reader has tried to get my attention for over a year — since the Laura Silsby episode around the Haitian orphans. She is investigating and trying to call attention with others, to the abuse that she lived with years ago in an orphanage, part of a large American congregation that I will not name. I cannot help her without thoroughly reading the material myself, and there is just no time right now, when my plate is overflowing with new attempts to silence American women.
She sent me the new ABC report above — a sequence of videos, not just one — that every reader at Anne of Carversville must watch. It is terrifying, and now I am on her team, if she can focus on today. I don’t dismiss past abuses in the least, but my goal is to save today’s young women of America from the rod.
This is the Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Phyllis Schlafly vision of what America should be — the values that women should submit to — the submission to God Sarah Palin asks for. For all the talk about sharia courts in America, the punishments you hear in this film qualify as abuse in many states. (Note: I repeat, the other videos appear below, when the embedded segment finishes.)
American Men WILL Control Women’s Bodies
These are the mostly MEN who are running our state and national legislators all over America and not the Reagan Republicans, no matter what they say. I voted Republican back then, but these Republican men terrify me.
After listening to these Christian Independent Baptist ministers talk about women and children — in their own words, their sermons — it is easy to understand that women will go to jail in all states after the new laws are in effect. Many Catholic men feel just as strongly that women should submit, and the Vatican doesn’t use the word but says women are natural helpmates to men and that our role is critically important as mothers and caretakers, but men run the show
Phyllis Schlafly says it’s feminists like me who are a problem for America. She protects and embraces the views of the men in these films. Why are they not the problem — saying that two week old babies should be spanked for crying because the Bible says so.
America has gone insane.
Indiana Rep Says Women Will Fake Rape Or Incest To Get An Abortion
Indiana Rep Gail Riecken (D) introduced an amendment to exempt “women who became pregnant due to rape or incest, or women for whom pregnancy threatens their life or could cause serious and irreversible physical harm” from being forced to carry to term. Fearing this bill would “push women to the back alleys” for illegal abortions, Riecken pleaded with lawmakers to allow women to make the choice in these cases.
Indiana Rep Eric Turner (R), heard above on the House floor, called the rape/incest exception a ‘huge loophole’ and insisted that women would actually lie about being raped to obtain an abortion. He says he doesn’t mean to be disrespectful to women who have suffered real rape, but the priority is not giving an inch to the woman who might make up the story.
Between the lines Eric Turner probably believes that most women deserve to be raped anyway. We get what we ask for — which was not my situation. How can a 15-year girl sleeping next to a 6-year-old daughter be ‘asking for it’ from the girl’s father?
Yet the priest told me that I was guilty over my sexual attack. The mighty priest denied me communion and gave it to my attacker. Finally an older woman who didn’t seek counsel from the clergy ran him out of town, when she woke up to have him fondling her breasts as part of his furniture delivery.
Men Dominate Women Because They Can Do So Legally
The radical, Christian Fundamentalist Republican Right proposes big changes for American women. It is the Republican War on women, and I will not tolerate being told that I am over-reacting.
In Indiana, a woman has been charged with homicide and feticide because, during a suicide attempt, she lost her fetus. She has been jailed without bond.
In 37 states of America, women can be prosecuted for harming their fetus through negligence. Those laws will be turned on American women with a vengeance.
In Kansas, a bill advanced in the state Senate removes the ‘mental health exception’ for late term abortion (the exception under which women with nonviable fetuses could abort) and at the same time removes the power of any physician from declaring a fetus nonviable.
In the US Congress, a bill has been introduced that would have IRS auditors force women who aborted because they were victims of rape to prove that they were raped.
In South Dakota, the legislature withdrew a bill that would have made it justifiable homicide for a man to kill his wife, if he found her abetting her daughter’s legal right to an abortion in another state. He could shoot his wife her dead and suffer no consequences.
In Iowa, a pregnant woman accidentally fell down a flight of stairs after the estrangement of her marriage. She was arrested for attempted feticide after telling ER personnel that early in her pregnancy she had contemplated abortion.
When Will American Women Say Enough?
I do not recognize America today, and the statement represents no attempt to minimize the social problems that surround us. These Republicans aren’t fringe, but mainstream. I have written about this topic for years, but now we are running out of time.
The Republicans have declared War on Women. You don’t have to listen to me. Listen to Elizabeth Vargas.
Listen to the men talking in her videos. There is no dispute about their intentions. Why are American women not afraid? Are we really this submissive? Is this the vision of God that dominates in America?
Where are the ministers, the priests, the religious scholars who say ‘no’?
Jimmy Carter and the Southern Baptist Church
In the film, Vargas is investigating The Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. But Jimmy Carter resigned from the South Baptist Church, saying that its treatment of women worldwide is deplorable.
While I huddle with friends and colleague, deciding what to do next to fight the Republican War on Women — which does have Democratic supporters, just not a majority — I share. It’s very sobering and we thank former President Carter for having the courage to stand for the world’s women, where men like Pope Benedict refuse.
Every year millions of women die worldwide over religions that govern their right to even birth control, because this version of God has no heart. He is a demanding, punishing God and estimates are that 25 percent of American women believe this is the man they pray to every day.
Only in total submission and living in fear of sinning yet again, will these American women not incur God’s wrath. Do not talk to me about Stalin; we have our own issues in America. I have written on this topic many times and will pull my writings together in hope that we can stop this assault on American women of every age, race, marital status and religious affiliation. Anne
Jimmy Carter’s 2009 address to the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Melbourne, Australia
I am pleased to address the Parliament of World Religions about the vital role of religion in providing a foundation for – or correcting – the global scourge of discrimination and violence against women. As will be seen, my remarks represent the personal views of a Christian layman and a former political leader.
There are international agreements as well as our own Holy Scriptures that guide us:
Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this
Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, origin … or other status …”
The Holy Bible tells us that “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)
Every generic religious text encourages believers to respect essential human dignity, yet some selected scriptures are interpreted to justify the derogation or inferiority of women and girls, our fellow human beings.
All of us have a responsibility to acknowledge and address the gross acts of discrimination and violence against women that occur every day. Here are some well-known examples:
- Globally, at least one in three women and girls is beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime. (U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, February, 2000)
- Our Carter Center has been deeply involved in the Republic of Congo. In war zones where order has broken down, horrific and sometimes lethal rape has become a tactic of warfare practiced by all sides.
- In a study in 2000, the U.N. estimated that at least 60 million girls who should be alive are “missing” from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of sex-selective abortions, infanticide or neglect.
- According to UNICEF, an estimated one million children, mostly girls, enter the sex trade each year and the U.N. estimates that 4 million women and girls are trafficked annually.
- In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.
- The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and explains why so few women hold political office, even in most Western democracies.
You are all familiar with these facts, and I know you are considering the causes and possible solutions to this serious global problem.
There are clear indications that progress is being made in the secular world. We have seen women chosen as leaders in nations as diverse as India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Israel, Great Britain, Ireland, Chile, Germany, the Philippines, and Nicaragua. Their support came from citizens who are predominantly Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, and Christian, and include two of the three largest democracies on earth.
It is ironic that women are now welcomed into all major professions and other positions of authority, but are branded as inferior and deprived of the equal right to serve God in positions of religious leadership. The plight of abused women is made more acceptable by the mandated subservience of women by religious leaders.
Most Bible scholars acknowledge that the Holy Scriptures were written when male dominance prevailed in every aspect of life. Men could have multiple sex partners (King Solomon had 300 wives and 700 concubines), but adulterous behavior by a woman could be punished by stoning to death - then, in the time of Christ and, in some societies, 2009 years later.
I realize that devout Christians can find adequate scripture to justify either side in this debate, but there is one incontrovertible fact concerning the relationship between Jesus Christ and women: he never condoned sexual discrimination or the implied subservience of women. The exaltation and later reverence for Mary, as Jesus’ mother, is an even more vivid indication of the special status of women in Christian theology.
I have taught Bible lessons for more than 65 years, and I know that Paul forbade women to worship with their heads covered, to braid their hair, or to wear rings, jewelry, or expensive clothes. It is obvious to most modern day Christians that Paul was not mandating permanent or generic theological policies.
In a letter to Timothy, Paul also expresses a prohibition against women’s teaching men, but we know – and he knew – that Timothy himself was instructed by his mother and grandmother.
At the same time, in Paul’s letter to the Romans, he listed and thanked twenty-eight outstanding leaders of the early churches, at least ten of whom were women. “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church … greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus … greet Mary, who has worked very hard among you… greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was … greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.”
It is clear that during the early Christian era women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers, and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.
My own Southern Baptist Convention leaders ordained in recent years that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors, chaplains in the military service, or teachers of men. They based this on a few carefully selected quotations from Saint Paul and also Genesis, claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin. This was in conflict with my belief that we are all equal in the eyes of God. The Roman Catholic Church and many others revere the Virgin Mary but consider women unqualified to serve as priests.
This view that the Almighty considers women to be inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or tradition. Its influence does not stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue, or temple. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths, creating an environment in which violations against women are justified.
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.
Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views and set a new course that demands equal rights for women and men, girls and boys.
At their most repugnant, the belief that women are inferior human beings in the eyes of God gives excuses to the brutal husband who beats his wife, the soldier who rapes a woman, the employer who has a lower pay scale for women employees, or parents who decide to abort a female embryo. It also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair and equal access to education, health care, employment, and influence within their own communities.
Recently I presented my concerns to a group of fellow leaders known as The Elders, who represent practicing Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, and Hindus. We are no longer active in politics and are free to express our honest opinions. We decided to draw particular attention to the role of religious and traditional leaders in obstructing the campaign for equality and human rights, and promulgated a statement that declares: “the justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”
Having served as local, state, national, and world leaders, we understand why many public officials can be reluctant to question ancient religious and traditional premises – an arena of great power and sensitivity. Despite this, we are calling on all those with influence to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices – in religious and secular life– that justify discrimination against women and to acknowledge and emphasize the positive messages of equality and human dignity. Jimmy Carter