No passado domingo, 12 de Julho, Jimmy Carter, antigo Presidente dos Estados Unidos e Prémio Nobel da Paz, declarou publicamente que iria abandonar a Igreja Baptista, a que pertenceu durante mais de sessenta anos, por divergência relativamente ao modo como esta continua a justificar a subordinação das mulheres, através de uma interpretação distorcida da palavra de Deus.
Nessa declaração, Carter pediu «a todos os lideres que desafiem e mudem os ensinamentos e práticas, não importa quão entranhadas elas possam estar, que justificam a discriminação contra as mulheres.»
A declaração que aqui transcrevo do texto de Carter não deixa margem para qualquer ambiguidade de interpretação:
«At their most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities...
The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met....
The truth is that male religious leaders have had - and still have - an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions - all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views. »
Um acto corajoso que outros lideres políticos deviam tomar como modelo.