A few weeks ago I was reading the comments on Phil Munger's outstanding blog, Progressive Alaska. An anonymous person left a comment under one of his posts that almost shook me off my chair (and that's not an easy thing to do). Here is part of what 'anonymous' said:
My goal for this country is for the god of the Bible to be in charge of the leaders of this country. If the leaders of this country are NOT Born Again Christians, than [sic] they should not be allowed to hold office.A real person said this. I did not make it up.
My goal is for English to be the National Language.
My goal is for homosexuality to be against the law as it is an abomination to God.
My goal is for the Bible to be taught to our children as The way to live a moral and just life.
My goal would be to rid our televisions electronic games and media of all the sex and violence.
Between then and now I did a little research on the proscriptions enforced by the Taliban. Before I print this, please know that most Muslims do not subscribe to the more extremist view of Sharia Law that is reflected below. But there are extremists in every religion and the Taliban who are currently operating in parts of Afghanistan and in a certain section of southern Pakistan seem intent on enforcing these rather strict social rules.
From "Life under the Taliban:"
The Taliban have issued edicts forbidding women from working outside the home, except in limited circumstances in the medical field.
The Taliban prohibit girls from attending school.
Women and girls are not allowed to appear outside the home unless wearing a head to toe covering called the burqa.
Women are also forbidden from appearing in public with a male who is not their relative.
Acceptable punishments for these infractions are public hangings, amputation of limbs, and stonings.
And this, by Jan Goodwin, Echo NYC (sorry, the link was no longer functional):
Claiming that they are restoring Afghanistan to the "purity of Islam," the Taliban regime has "expunged all leisure activities. Their list of what is illegal grows daily: music, movies and television, picnics, wedding parties, New Year celebrations, any kind of mixed-sex gathering. They've also banned children's toys, including dolls and kites; card and board games; cameras; photographs and paintings of people and animals; pet parakeets; cigarettes and alcohol; magazines and newspapers, and most books. They've even forbidden applause -- a moot point, since there's nothing left to applaud."
According to another source, Religious Tolerance, we read:
Within Sharia law, there are a group of "Haram" offenses which carry severe punishments. These include pre-marital sexual intercourse, sex by divorced persons, post-marital sex, adultery, false accusation of unlawful intercourse, drinking alcohol, theft, and highway robbery. Haram sexual offenses can carry a sentence of stoning to death or severe flogging.
(Can you imagine the trouble some of our legislators would be in, were we to adopt similar 'laws?')
And finally, some other general proscriptions include:
- Shaving one's beard
- Flying kites
- Music and dancing at weddings
- Displaying pictures or portraits (idolatry)
- Broadcasting music in any shop or business location
- A leader must be a born-again Christian. So, we should strive to become a theocracy?
- No language other than English will be tolerated. I suppose this is an attempt to deny the multiculturalism that has made our country so great.
- Homosexuality is illegal, and presumably punished severely. My 'god' doesnt care about sexual orientation; that is not what is important at the end of the day.
- All children must be indoctrinated using the 'christian' bible. So much for freedom of, or from, religion. This flies in the face of our country's founding ideals.
- No more sex or violence on TV, in games, or media. Might want to talk to the US Military who use sex and violence in games to train troops. Not saying I approve, but this sounds a lot like no TV, no music, and no games period. Not a far cry from no kites, no dancing or music at weddings, and death for sexual offenses.
We need to be vigilant in finding and disarming any movement in this country that seeks to impose a particular moral regime on everyone. It's fine with me if you want to grow your beard or wear a burqa. But don't tell me I can't dance and sing at weddings or fly kites or keep a parakeet or only vote for a person who claims to be a born-again Christian.
This is our country. You vote for who you want. So will I.