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Carter: Abuse of Women Stems From Misinterpreting Religious Texts

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Wednesday, 26 Mar 2014 08:42 AM

By Clyde Hughes

Former President Jimmy Carter is blaming the abuse of women around the world on religious leaders who misinterpret religious texts.

Carter has been making the rounds to promote his new book "A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power," which was released Tuesday.

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Carter explained his stance to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

"When they see that the Pope and the Southern Baptist Convention and others say women can't serve as priests and so forth, equally as men, they, 'Well, I'll treat my wife the way I want to because she’s inferior to me," Carter said. "I don't have any real moral compunction against paying my employees less. So women are abused, but men don't want to really rock the boat because we men benefit from the superiority that we enjoy just like white people did in the segregation days when we benefited from racial deprivation of blacks' equality."

In his book's introduction, Carter argues that the abuses of women is a worldwide phenomenon.

"There is a similar system of discrimination, extending far beyond a small geographical region to the entire globe; it touches every nation, perpetuating and expanding the trafficking in human slaves, body mutilation, and even legitimized murder on a massive scale," Carter wrote, per Aljazeera America. 

"This system is based on the presumption that men and boys are superior to women and girls, and it is supported by some male religious leaders who distort the Holy Bible, the Koran, and other sacred texts to perpetuate their claim that females are, in some basic ways, inferior to them, unqualified to serve God on equal terms," Carter continued in his book's introduction.

Francis Rooney, former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that Carter is wrong about Catholic leaders and women. 

"When you look at the theology of the Catholic Church, which has the Virgin Mary at the top, and you look at the strong role that women have played in the church as nuns and as lay persons and all that, I think that's a little disingenuous to say," Rooney said.

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