With its latest discussion question, the Washington Post/Newsweek "On Faith" website explored the overly-broad and loaded question "What is religion's role in gender discrimination?"
So what's the news hook?
Why, none other than the most recent pontifications of America's favorite moralizing deacon, former President Jimmy Carter:
The discrimination against women on a global basis is very often attributable to the declaration by religious leaders in Christianity, Islam and other religions that women are inferior in the eyes of God,” former President Jimmy Carter said last week.
Surely 2,000 years of biblical teaching on the ordering of family and church life is no match for the 39th president of the United States!
Yes, On Faith's editors confessed, "Many traditions teach that while both men and women are equal in value, God has ordained specific roles for men and women." But alas, "[t]hose distinct duties often keep women out of leadership positions in their religious communities."
While On Faith did publish posts by some defenders of orthodox biblical teaching on the roles of women in the church such as Catholic priest Fr. Frank Pavone and evangelical Christian Chuck Colson, the vast majority of blog posts were critical of traditional teachings which reserve the priesthood or pastorate to men.
Here are some examples from such religious left household icons:
- "Surely the day is coming when the majority of the world’s religions will recognize the full humanity of half of God’s creation." -- Debra Haffner, executive director of the Religious Institute and a Unitarian-Universalist minister
- "Sadly, the curse of gender discrimination must be laid directly at the feet of most religious traditions.... This plays out in so many ways. Some Christians refuse ordination to women; some Muslims refuse education to women.... In America, without the religious right, there would be no serious effort to prevent use of abortion and even contraception." -- Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and a United Church of Christ minister
- "As long as boys and girls watching a papal visit or attending mass see only men dressed for success and believe only the boys can grow up to lead women will not be equal. The role the religion plays in gender discrimination is to lay the foundation for it." -- Frances Kissling, pro-choice activist, former president of Catholics for Choice