Image on mosiac of Bishop Theodora and St. Praxedis
in St. Praxedis Church in Rome
The Words of God Do Not Justify Cruelty to Women
Discrimination and abuse wrongly backed by doctrine are damaging society, argues the former US president
"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, national or social origin, property, birth or other status ..." (Article 2, Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
"During the years of the early Christian church 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."
"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. "
This brilliant article, by former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, reflects the worldwide movement for justice for women in every aspect of human life including religion. Women are equal images of God and thus, should function as equals and partners within their local religious institutions.
The time for the full equality of women in all religions is now. It is an issue of justice. God does not discriminate, so neither should the church.
Bridget Mary Meehan