Monday, June 24, 2013

Unsolicited advice from fools, episode 9,538

We now get advice to our Church from the renowned theologian and peanut farmer Jimmy Carter, as recorded here:
I think there’s a slow, very slow, move around the world to give women equal rights in the eyes of God [Note the phrasing: we are the ones in charge of what rights women have in the eyes of God]. What has been the case for many centuries is that the great religions, the major religions, have discriminated against women in a very abusive fashion and set an example for the rest of society to treat women as secondary citizens. In a marriage or in the workplace or wherever, they are discriminated against. And I think the great religions have set the example for that, by ordaining, in effect, that women are not equal to men in the eyes of God. [See how deftly he shifts his ground from talking about equal rights, which are enjoyed by people who can be quite different from each other, to equal in the sense of being the same. We might as well say, "Everyone has red hair in the eyes of God."] This has been done and still is done by the Catholic Church ever since the third century, when the Catholic Church ordained that a woman cannot be a priest for instance but a man can [Unfortunately for Jimmy, there's no evidence that women were ordained as bishops or priests in the early Church, only that they held positions of leadership — as is the case today, when women dominate the executive positions in most Catholic dioceses]. A woman can be a nurse or a teacher but she can’t be a priest. [Jimmy makes the ubiquitous mistake of seeing the priesthood as just another job].
So there you have it: a former leader of the richest, most powerful country in the world, unafraid to criticize an institution he demonstrably does not understand. Time magazine, of course, fawns.

Wait a minute, though. I thought that Protestants thought we Catholics were bad because we venerated a woman, the Virgin Mary, too much. And what about St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Therese of Lisieux, all of whom have been recognized as Doctors of the Church, right alongside St. Jerome, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Augustine? What about the legions of faithful Christian women who have been recognized as Saints throughout the centuries? Is all that to count for nothing because an ignorant Georgia pol hasn't learned how our Church actually sees its priesthood?

Yeah, probably, at least if you're on the staff of Time.