Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Creeping Sharia law

From Indecision Forever:
It's well known that hot and dry places filled with religious extremists often produce judicial rulings that sound anomalous to Western ears. We've seen the phenomenon from Saudi Arabia to Iran to Pakistan and Sudan.

South Carolina is not going to buck that trend
What would Jesus do?

A South Carolina judge not only sentenced a woman to eight years behind bars for driving drunk, but he also ordered the woman to read the Bible.

According to the Herald of Rock Hill, Circuit Court Judge Michael Nettles wants Cassandra Tolley to read the Old Testament and write for him a summary about Job.

I guess this is what creeping Sharia looks like. It's fun to substitute "Quran" for "Old Testament" and "Surat Al-Fatḥ" for the "Book of Job," and imagine whether people would be so sanguine about a civil official mandating that course of religious study, even if, as in this case, the defendant gave her consent.

Though at the same time, this woman can learn some powerful lessons from the Book of Job. After all, it's a story about a powerful, unaccountable authority figure being a dick to people under his command in order to teach an obscure lesson.

It's funny, but the people who scream hysterically about Sharia law in America tend to be the same ones eagerly chipping away at the wall of separation of church and state in this country, our bulwark against religious fanatics of all stripes.

And the Book of Job? Heh, heh. What's she suppose to learn from that?

Well, maybe we should mandate the reading of the Bible more often. We'd have a lot more atheists, I suspect, if people actually read the thing they supposedly believe.


Jim Harris said...

I always thought The Book of Job made God look really bad.

I'm all for teaching the Bible in schools - the more I study the Bible the stronger an atheist I become.

Jeff said...

Here's another good reason to be an atheist:

WCG said...

Actually, no, I'd have to disagree with that, Jeff. Most Christians wouldn't agree with that small-town pastor, and I have no doubt that there are racist atheists, too.

The Bible has long been used to support racist positions, but it's also been used to support the opposite. That's the problem with faith-based thinking. Whatever you want to believe, you can imagine that 'God' supports you.

There are good reasons to be an atheist, but IMHO, this isn't one of them.

PS. I'll end with this excerpt from that article:

Having a black president has no doubt added fuel to the lingering embers of racism that burns just under the surface in the South. That religion is the instigating and self-righteous propellant of the hatred is hardly a surprise, but what are the implications?

Winfield residents, the mayor and business owners were all upset over the flier and seemingly disturbed by the Pastor’s obvious racism. Racism in the South has always been an uncomfortable and tenuous subject, but incidents such as this one shines a little brighter light into that closeted darkness.

I like that "lingering embers of racism" phrase. It's not surprising that the South is solidly Republican these days - or, perhaps, that the Republican Party is the way it is, having become based so solidly in the white South.