Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power

Article excerpt

A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power BY JIMMY CARTER SIMON & SCHUSTER, 224 PAGES, $16

This book, Jimmy Carter's latest, reads with all the intensity of a lullaby to liberal orthodoxy. Presenting a sympathetic face to the myriad forms of suffering that women experience in the world, the ex-president's reputation as a Southern gentleman is retained. But his analysis and solutions are lacking at best, and at worst offer only a restatement of platitudes that permeate our culture.

Virtues and values Carter learned at home are mentioned throughout the book, but are never offered as solutions in the situations he describes. His obviously happy marriage is based on a strong foundation of a shared faith, long-term commitment, and the security that comes from abstinence before marriage and faithfulness within it. Yet he suggests that such joys are merely relics of a time long past. He points to women's ordination as a sine qua non for women's rights, and castigates Christian denominations that don't allow it. Theology ceases to be the angelic science, and becomes yet another tool in the struggle for women's rights.

One of the stranger accolades he offers is in pointing to China as a country making positive strides in women's rights and equality. …

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