Jimmy Carter takes over "The Colbert Report" for a "hugely historic night"

The former president talked about women's rights and criticized the Catholic Church

Prachi Gupta
March 26, 2014 5:49PM (UTC)

On Tuesday night, "The Colbert Report" had a "hugely historic night" with former President Jimmy Carter, who took over the show in an effort to promote his new book, “A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.”

Colbert celebrated the occasion by presenting a parodic biography of "James Earl Jones Jimmy Carter Jr.," recounting the 39th president's childhood, political career (he "did some stuff, probably"), and his life after presidency, when he became "former President Carter, a title he has successfully defended for 33 years."


"In summation, folks, when talking about our nation's presidents, history will recognize Jimmy Carter as one of them," Colbert deadpanned.

The segment was followed by a two-part interview, in which Carter discussed his book and rallied against the subjugation of women. Carter has written a letter to the pope criticizing the Catholic Church's male-only clergy, and argues that the Bible itself supports gender equality. “If you read the words and actions of Jesus Christ, he exalted women," Carter told Colbert. "He never made any insinuation that women were inferior in any way.”

Carter, who identifies as Baptist, lamented that people cherry-pick specific passages in the Bible to justify their beliefs, however. “Some of the words of Paul, who’s our chief religious theologian for Christians, can be interpreted either way,” Carter said. “If you’re a male religious leader, and you want to stay in unchallenged power and not have women challenge yours, then you can pick some of those things that Paul said.”


“That’s what’s great about America,” responded Colbert. "Our freedom of religion allows me to interpret the Bible exactly how it fits my worldview already.”

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Bible Catholic Church Christianity Comedy History Jimmy Carter Pope Francis President Video Women's Rights

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