Rodney is at it again, attacking Jimmy Carter, tho.
I reject Carter’s woeful anti-catholic comments from earlier this week. In an interview, Carter made the following statement,
“But, as you know, the Catholic Church, they practically worship the Virgin Mary, but won’t let a woman be a priest”
This logic is so flawed and feels like an appeal to emotion and theological ignorance. No where in the Cathecism is Mary “worshipped.” Secondly, if Jimmy Carter has a problem with Mary the Theoktos be the most blessed of all women, of a woman of grace, then he also has a problem with the Gospel of Luke.
So when Carter was talking about the “Great American Melting Pot” I guess we can guess what that means now: a codeword for white liberal protestant hegemony.
Really? I have to question the logic of dismissing anyone based on an admittedly ill thought out comment such as the one he made. First, to a Baptist, it is easy to say that Catholics ‘practically worship Mary’ although this is wrong. Many Baptists, especially the older ones, were taught as such, and frankly, from the Baptist viewpoint, it looks like that. To conclude that Carter is actually a bigoted separationist is beyond the pale.
What Rodney doesn’t consider is that each of us have presuppositions which we haven’t fully explored just yet. I would wager that Rodney has a few – more than a few and I stress the word ‘more’ with a megaphone. Carter has a solid record for progressive causes, something I thought Rodney appreciated. To dismiss him, however, because he holds the standard Bapticostal line that Catholics worship Mary is just bad on Rodney’s part. It speaks more about Rodney than it does Jimmy.
Dr. Gayle, Kurk, has a response up to Rodney, sort of. I have to agree, that we have to take people in their context. Carter is coming from a Southern Baptist legacy, but he has shed much of his former Southern Baptist roots of separation and the such. Unless you are willing to dismiss a person and their life achievements for one statement, then I would suggest showing the patience and love which Christ commands us too.
Let me also say that I know more than a few Southern Baptists which no longer see the Roman Catholic Church as the Great Whore of Babylon or as ‘practically worshipping Mary.’ I also note that Carter has been instrumental in ecumenicalism and in establishing a progressive Baptist union. So, let me offer something else.
Knowing that Carter is perhaps one of the smartest men to serve in the White House, I might say that he is forcing the issue – prodding a bit, if you will. His statement is a forceful one, in which he makes a wrong statement which is harsh and then begs them to correct what he sees as their own deficit in the area of equality. It could be that the context is one in which Carter is purposely using prejudice from the past to move Rome forward. It is not his place, I don’t think to do so, but it may be that this is his context.
(By the way, I spoke with Rodney this morning, so he knows that this post is coming.)
Update: Rodney thinks he has responded.
Joel and J.K. both assume that I have this 1980s political vendetta against Carter (as if I was born during the Carter administration?). Why else would Gayle bring up the Equal Rights Amendment (as if laws could ever make human beings equal in the first place?). Joel more specifically sees himself calling me out for having an anti-Carter bias. But this is not personal, I am not attacking Carter personally, but his doctrine. Yes, Joel, I can take older white Southern Baptist men in context but taking people in context should never excuse them for their actions. I have never believed that. Whenever I hear baptist preachers say, “It’s not about religion, its about relationship” or “We Baptists have an empty cross” I know that these are codes for us versus them, Baptists versus Catholics. What I hope to show is that in the history of the United States, there has been a privileged position for Protestant religions (of which I am a member) which has revealed its ugly head in the form of many types of anti-Catholicism, like Baptist’s.
First, while I cannot speak for Kurk, I can speak for myself. What Rodney is saying is false and only shows his inability to read things in a neutral manner, jumping far, far afield of what was actually said. Rodney has some problems with his Baptist past – that is evident – what he needs to understand is that others do not have that problem. Carter has not been a Southern Baptist for years and, I believe, has at one time or another identified as a UMC. Rodney is assuming that I see myself in any sort of way – but that is Rodney’s issue here. He sees people only in his context, not in theirs. I might would say that I believe Rodney is only looking for a reason to distance himself from his previous adoration of Carter and he thinks he has found it, but I won’t say that right now.
So, while Rodney may try to respond to me, all he is doing is responding to his own internal demons. It makes it easier, though, when he can put my face on one of them.
You know, a white face.