Wednesday, 2 April 2014

God's Publicist

I listened recently to Former US  President Jimmy Carter from Plains, Georgia. He was Diane Rhems guest on her amazing, wonderful, eponymous 'Show' on US National Public Radio. ( I've always wanted to use the word 'eponymous', and now that I have, it doesn't feel so great.) Carter is 89 years old, and still at it. His current crusade is for the rights and dignity of women and girls across the globe, and he pulls no punches. He was especially scathing of religious teachers who use sacred scripture to denigrate women.  He has a deep faith himself, being of a variety of Southern Baptist that DOES allow women a voice. Even in leadership. Though to get there, he had to leave one that didn't.

I was very taken with his perspective. Older is wiser in his case. He didn't hector or accuse, though he did share some horrifying detail about female genital mutilation, an issue that I find particularly sickening: he remained studied and courteous throughout. 

I am especially  interested in how he holds on to his faith in God.

Carter knows all 36,000 verses in the bible. He's taight a bible class for 71 years, so this is understandable, and he says you can take any one of them and make any case you like for attaching God's approval    to anything you want to do. Well. I say, I know this! I needn't by now repeat my stance, I shall just mutter my disapproval of  anyone else having arrived at my epiphany before me. 

Just suppose for a moment, that you get to be God via an election. Wouldn't that be great? Imagine that I am a candidate. Boy! Would I have a go at the previous administration! God, you may be great, but you have terrible spin doctors. They take your doctrine of love and get it to justify hate, they turn your advocacy of peace into an excuse for war. It makes no sense. 

God, if you're listening, you need to sack Lucifer as your publicist, and hire Jimmy Carter. 

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