Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Does Jimmy Carter want to change the way God thinks?

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 24, 2013

Former President Jimmy Carter says that “major religions” (care to guess which ones he has in mind?) have “discriminated against women in a very abusive fashion” by failing to ordain them as priests.

But don’t worry; things are getting better. Carter tells Time that he perceives a “slow, very slow move around the world to give women equal rights in the eyes of God.”

What does that mean? Is God moving very, very slowly? Or are we, his creatures, gradually changing the way He sees things?

Look, political and social changes can give women equal rights in the eyes of mankind. But it just makes no sense to suggest that political and social movements could change the way God thinks—unless you hold the logically impossible belief that the Almighty is shaped by earthly forces.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 12 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: nix898049 - Jan. 29, 2018 12:43 PM ET USA

    It is just painful to watch someone the caliber of Dr. George twist himself into an intellectual pretzel rather than lose faith in someone he admires so. I agree with the last poster and this 'received' pish-tosh. People walked away from Our Blessed Lord over the Eucharist. Does that mean it's untrue? C'mon, Robbie, you're better than that.

  • Posted by: Jefesabella1011 - Jan. 28, 2018 1:04 AM ET USA

    Wouldn’t this entire “theory” that Martin believes a Church teaching isn’t an actual teaching unless it’s “received” depend entirely on a presupposition that Church teachings are directed only at certain groups of Catholics? I guess I kinda figured Church teachings were meant for the worldwide Church, and if, as I have to assume, the “large percentage” of faithful understand and accept it, it can’t be un-taught by a small percentage of people saying they don’t accept it. Martin is a liar - done

  • Posted by: feedback - Jan. 27, 2018 10:37 AM ET USA

    Nothing destroys genuine priestly vocations, priestly fraternity, and the unity of apostolic mission and apostolic purpose, more than the growing presence of "gay" clergy. It is actually homo-phobic to pretend that the problem of homosexual Catholic clergymen does not exist while clerical scandals of homosexual nature have reached the Holy See. The Church needs to become homo-realistic before diocesan presbyterates begin to turn into very exclusive "gay" clubs.

  • Posted by: rosemariedoyle9560 - Jan. 26, 2018 11:37 PM ET USA

    I haven’t read any Catholic literature suggesting that demonic deception equivalent to overwhelming demonic temptation to adultery is responsible for gender confusion, that the Liar has to be exposed and his proposals rejected, that wanting be the other gender is actually rebellion against God.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Jan. 26, 2018 9:45 PM ET USA

    There truly is no real debate. Like the devil Martin lied openly then calls it the the truth and that he supports the faith. He lies easily and we are expected to accept his lying and give him a pass. Sorry no free pass for the devil or Martin.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jun. 25, 2013 7:12 PM ET USA

    Ah, for a Hildebrand to come forward, or a St. Thomas More or St. John Fisher.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Jun. 25, 2013 5:52 PM ET USA

    John Plick's comment seems to imply that Mr. Carter is just paying back the Church with unsolicited advice because the Church has "interfered" in American politics. This makes little sense to me. The Church is the superior institution, not the State. It's part of the Church's mission to shape the political life of the State in the light of the Gospel. It's no part of the State's limited task to shape the Church.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jun. 25, 2013 4:12 PM ET USA

    Poor man. As a theologian he is a terrific woodworker.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jun. 25, 2013 8:30 AM ET USA

    Why should this surprise anyone? After all, Carter endorses a cult that pronounces itself Christian after having dumped overboard, what? 50% 60% of the teachings of the Church since apostolic times? In fact, why is he opining at all about a priesthood which he formally rejects? Do any of us care, for example, about whether Buddhists allow women to become monks?

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Jun. 24, 2013 8:53 PM ET USA

    Read the article. Not much of a historian. Not much of a President. Not worth reading.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jun. 24, 2013 7:43 PM ET USA

    Carter also said that the Baptist church he was attending didn't have female deacons, so he and his wife changed churches (where she is now a deacon). Doesn't this sound familiar?

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jun. 24, 2013 5:48 PM ET USA

    Touché! We (the Church) have incessantly interfered with American politics... Should there be any surprise when God allows them to interfere with us??