Jimmy Carter recently announced he was going to sever ties with the Southern Baptist Convention after six decades. He admitted this was a painful decision but a much-needed one after the SBC's recent announcement that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service. You can read his full announcement here.
I know this had to be a hard decision for Mr. Carter. He has devoted his life to serving and helping others within his church and in the community. He's been a deacon and a Sunday School teacher for years and years. His work with Habitat for Humanity is internationally known.
I can, however understand his decision too. As a life-long Southern Baptist myself AND a woman I have issues with the male dominance/female subservience attitude we are supposed to adhere to. I may be totally wrong about this but it is my opinion that if the male figure (spouse, father, etc) is the spiritual leader in the household...REALLY the spiritual leader, meaning he is striving to live, act, breathe, absorb God's word on a daily basis, then yes, the woman should come alongside him and be his helper and allow him to be the natural leader he was called to be. If he is walking with God on a daily basis and in communion with God together with his spouse chances are pretty good they are going to be together in decisions about everything else. Ask any "strong" Christian male figure and he'll tell you his spouse is the one that keeps him going and he could not do anything without the love and support of her.
Now if you have a household where the man is not the spiritual leader and wants to lead with abuse, threats, lies, manipulation, whatever the case may be...I no longer believe that a spouse should cater to him as a leader because he is not "upholding his end of the deal" so to speak therefore it makes everything else null and void. Yes, I am sure I'll hear backlash from this...but this is real life and there are too many women in abusive situations and terrible marriages who are trying to be the Biblical wife the SBC says they should be and because their husband aren't doing their part it just continues to lower their self-esteem and knock them down even more...and they wonder "I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do, why me?"
I think Jimmy Carter, in all his many years of traveling around helping people, has seen one too many women in that situation and is now ready to fight a new fight...for these women.