Jimmy Carter 3.0

Adelle M. Banks, national correspondent at Religion News Service, calls Jimmy Carter’s work as an international advocate for women’s rights “Jimmy Carter 3.0”:

Though unsuccessful in securing ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment as president, Carter has emerged as an advocate against the abuse of women across the world. From the chair next to late-night talk show host David Letterman to the halls of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, he can discuss the intricacies of female genital mutilation and the high rates of sexual abuse of women at universities and in the military.

“I have become convinced that the most serious and unaddressed worldwide challenge is the deprivation and abuse of women and girls, largely caused by a false interpretation of carefully selected religious texts and a growing tolerance of violence and warfare,” Carter wrote in his new book, “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.”

The article also features Randall Balmer’s recent biography “Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter”:

“Religion always functions best at the margins of society and not in the councils of power, and I think Jimmy Carter’s career illustrates that beautifully,” said Balmer, chair of Dartmouth College’s religion department and a noted scholar of American evangelicals.

“He doesn’t have to worry about getting the approval from Congress on an initiative in Africa on river blindness. He’s not tethered by political considerations any longer.”

Balmer (also an Episcopal Priest) had his book featured in this NHPR interview (linked from Dartmouth Now):

NHPR notes that Balmer’s book “shows how Carter rose again from the ashes, this time as a citizen, devoting himself to humanitarian causes and eventually finding his personal redemption.”

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