Former President Jimmy Carter said Friday that religious leaders share the blame for mistreatment of women across the world.

According to the AP (Bill Barrrow) :

He said the doctrines, which he described as theologically indefensible, contribute to a political, social and economic structure where political leaders passively accept violence against women, a worldwide sex slave trade and inequality in the workplace and classroom.

A common thread, he said, are "gross abuses of religious texts in the Koran and in the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament. Singular verses can be extracted and extorted to assert the singular dominance of men."

Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, were once members of the Southern Baptist Church. The couple recently disassociated from Southern Baptists, citing its prohibition on ordaining women or allowing them to serve as deacons or other leadership posts in local congregations.

Their independent Baptist church has a woman pastor and a man pastor and divides six deaconships equally between men and women, Carter said. "My wife is probably the most famous Baptist deacon in the world."

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I'm not a fan of religion, but I'm pretty impressed that the Carters, especially at their ages, are so progressive that they have left the mainstream Baptist Church. Unfortunately, the very people that need to hear this won't be listening because it's coming from Jimmy Carter.