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Wednesday, October 21 2020 @ 03:09 AM CDT

Render Unto Caesar: Religion and the Law

Whited Sepulchers

by Stacie Adams

The Archbishop of Canterbury, senior bishop of the incessantly quaint Church of England, is not one to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, he is taken seriously by a number of atavistic Britons, who are probably just awed by his silly hat.
Most recently, Rowan Williams gained notoriety after touting the need for some form of sharia law in the UK . Sharia laws are rigid codes of conduct derived from the Koran, governing devout Muslims in every aspect of their lives, from alcohol consumption to contractual disputes. There are five different interpretations of sharia law, varying in degree and severity. Williams suggests that without intervention, sharia codes will become unavoidably ‘enmeshed’ with British law. It’s astounding that the Koran is afforded such credibility that it circumvents law and order usually heralded to the point of exhaustion.

Also in the news recently was beleaguered Islam debunker Ayaan Hirsi Ali and her ongoing troubles due to her involvement in the 2004 Dutch film Submission. Ali has been sought after since contributing the screenplay to director Theo van Gogh’s exposition of the common atrocities inflicted upon Muslim women in the name of Mohammed. The reward was twofold: Van Gogh was brutally murdered in broad daylight by an offended Muslim, who was thoughtful enough to stab a death threat intended for Ali into Van Gogh’s barely cooled corpse; Ali has suffered continued harassment, to the point that she requires state funded protection from the Dutch government. Her financial support was recently rescinded, with the government claiming they are not beholden to her while she resides in the United States (although one would be excused for suspecting their burgeoning Muslim population’s distaste for apostates has something to do with it). The US government claims they are unable to support her due to regulations on protection for non-citizens. France has recently expressed interest in offering her financial support, one would assume in honor of free expression, while other countries continue to treat her like an insubordinate stepchild.

Shouldn’t gadflies like Ali and Van Gogh be afforded hero status in the freedom worshipping west? Ali’s horrid situation evokes Salman Rushdie’s plight after releasing The Satanic Verses. A fatwa (sort of like the Muslim kiss of death) was issued for Rushdie because he dared pen a book of fiction in which he lambasted the religious tenets he was raised with. In a bit of serendipity, the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time lamented that British blasphemy laws should be extended to cover all religions, in the wake of furor elicited by Rushdie’s book. Many were too quick to chide Rushdie for his disrespect of Islam, and in turn justify the rabid desire for his head on a sliver platter. Those religious types who openly blamed the author for the death threats were being extremely selfish. These people, supposedly bastions of peace and goodwill, were rationalizing murder for the most ridiculous reason possible.

I suspect that religious leaders are quick to defend other religious beliefs because the Big Three are inexorably linked. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all share the figure of Abraham, who you may remember from such ditties as trying to sacrifice his own son in the name of god, that comedian. While Archbishop Williams claims his intent was to quell rising Muslim discontent in the UK , he is also attempting to cover his ass, so to speak. He is affording these hackneyed beliefs respect because he knows just what it feels like to be on a losing team. No other ideology is afforded this much leeway and nothing could be more dangerous. The devout seem unable comprehend that automatic deference to deities leads to hucksters to claiming authority over a large segment of the population. How can you remain skeptical of those wishing to take advantage of you when your belief system claims that skepticism is evil? How can you maintain stability when your holy book is brimming with god’s tricks and tests with the sole purpose of separating the goats from the sheep?

Religion addressed the unknown and explained the unexplainable in our intellectual infancy. We no longer labor under pre-science illusions such as the sun revolves around the earth, or that demons are the cause of illness. The fact that faith garners so much respect, to the point that we wish to subvert law and order, one of the bastions of civilization, is absolutely inexcusable. What about the legions of Muslim women living in the UK who would feel the acute effects of this simple minded multiculturalism? Who will speak for them? Not their husbands, many of whom consider their wives to be akin to chattel. Progressive thinkers, such as Ali, get reproached for doing just that, all in the name of respecting religion. And the proprietor of love and peace wishes to put these dire decisions in the hands of tyrants, the same people who find it acceptable to stone a woman for adultery (whether or not she had a choice in the matter), or see amputation of limbs a suitable punishment for theft. These are not thoughtless stereotypes or racism. These are actual instances of “justice” enacted at the hands of sharia law. Sharia law in the UK would be a huge a step backward for civilization and all that it supposedly represents.

Stacie Adams is an unassuming and introverted young woman with plans to take over the world and make it tolerable. Her heroes are few, but precious: Bill Hicks, Nat Turner, Orson Welles, and Hunter S. Thompson. She detests useless celebrity, bureaucracy, and unfettered stupidity. "I am disgustingly provincial and I’ve never stepped foot outside the US, but it is my dream to travel the world. My favorite beer is Red Stripe, my favorite movie Irreversible. I’ve seen Evil Dead 2 over 100 times. I am an encyclopedia of trivial facts and figures."

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