Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fear of a Bible-Based Nation

Christians are terrified of Sharia (Islamic) law. You can hear the wail and hysterics about the evils of Sharia law frequently on Fox News and in Christian pulpits across the USA. In Oklahoma, voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure that orders judges not to consider Islamic or international law when deciding cases.

Never mind that Sharia laws are almost exactly the same to those proposed in the Bible's Old Testament. And never mind that, if you vote to ban judges from not considering Sharia law when deciding a case, as they have done in Oklahoma, it pretty much nixes any chance of a judge legally considering Biblical law, including the Ten Commandments (which, BTW, are a part of Sharia law), when considering cases.

As an Atheist, I don't want any religious texts used when considering legal cases in the USA. Or government decisions. The terror Christians feel for Sharia law is the terror I feel of Christians talking about restoring or building a Bible-based nation: whenever Christians rally in front of a court house demanding a big marble monument to the Ten Commandments be re-installed. Or Kentucky passing an anti-terrorism law that requires the state's Office of Homeland Security to acknowledge it can't keep the state safe without "God"'s help. Or Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) insisting in an official congressional session that we shouldn't be concerned about global warming because his "God" promised Noah it wouldn't happen again (FYI, Shimkus wants to be Chair of House Energy and Commerce Committee).

So, Christians, you fear Sharia law. Well, I happen to fear YOUR law for all the same reasons. Bible-based government is a terrifying idea.

Christians say that mainstream and progressive Muslims don't speak out enough against militant and/or fundamentalist Muslims. So, where are the mainstream and progressive Christians speaking out against this frightening idea of making legal and government decisions based on the Bible in the USA? Surely the idea is frightening to mainstream and progressive Christians? Where is your outrage?

I remember reading The Handmaid's Tale the first time. I enjoyed it, but thought it was way, way out there. Impossible to happen now. By contrast, I re-read it 12 years later and thought it was absolutely prescient. How I wish that book, and Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan Jacoby, were required reading in schools in the USA.

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