What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander...or is it?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander...or is it?

Here's a suggestion that would never fly, probably should never be tried, might get myself in hot water with an entire world religion but here goes.

What if the US decided to replicate the religious freedom of it staunch ally in our War on Terrorism, Saudi Arabia?

What would happen in this fine nation of ours? What would happen to our tradition and lately, IMHO, recent religion of 'tolerance beyond sense'?

The first thing that would happen is that 1209 mosques would close their doors. Why, because those in Saudi Arabia who are not Muslims aren't allowed to have public places of worship. A report from the US Department of State in 2005 (the link to the site is below) says, "There exist no synagogues or churches in the country, and, while there have been no specific reports of physical violence against, or harassment of Jewish people, there have been numerous reports of violence against and harassment of Christians."* *From the same report, "The Government prohibited the public practice of non-Muslim religions. In general, non-Muslims are able to worship privately, but must exercise great discretion to avoid attracting attention". And, "There were cases in which the Government arrested and detained Christians, at times for holding services and at times apparently arbitrarily"*

Any fairness in the tort provision of U.S. law would also be changed. For example the Muslim family killed by a Christian drunk driver would only be eligible to receive 50% of what would usually be rewarded and if the wife, sister or other female was the plaintiff only 25% of that. This too from the report.

"According to the country's Hanbali interpretation of Shari'a, once fault is determined by a court, a Muslim male receives 100 percent of the amount of compensation determined, a male Jew or Christian received 50 percent, and all others (including Hindus) received 1/16 of the amount a male Muslim receives. Women receive 50 percent of what males receive in each of these categories."**

There would be no teaching of Islam in public schools and it wouldn't matter if the Saudi Royal Prince gave 20 million to Harvard and Georgetown University. What's more New York City Schools wouldn't be able to set aside a room for the Muslim students to pray during Ramadan[1] In fact, the courts in the US would be able to hold suspect or to deny any Muslim witness or testimony in a court of law. "Under the Hanbali interpretation of Shari'a law, judges may discount the testimony of persons who are not practicing Muslims or who do not adhere to the correct doctrine."*

Not only would there not be teaching of Islam but there would be mandatory teaching of Christianity in all schools. Any Koran brought, published or found in the nation could be confiscated and there would be a group of "citizen vigilantes" whose job it would be to make sure the dominant Christian faith was being supported and adhered too, I believe they are called Mutawwa'in. Like France, it would be illegal to wear a head scarf, or any outward indication of one's Islamic faith, just as it is illegal to wear a cross in the Kingdom.

So what am I getting at? In this day-and-age of seeking "level playing fields" in international markets doesn't it make sense to level the playing fields in other areas as well? NAFTA, the first Bush's proposal, is aimed at brining the US, Mexico and Canada together as tariffs are phased out over 14 years. There have been talks from both parties about the "dumping" of various parts, items and the like from Japan, China and others. Why haven't we considered a "social" leveling of the playing field? The powers that be would point to our "freedoms" but IMHO I want to suggest that we're much more interested in maintaining our importation of Saudi oil than we are in standing up for human rights or supporting our own beliefs.

No! The US is not, never really has been and never will be a "Christian nation" nor should it. I that were the intention of the followers of Jesus Christ we would be rioting and burning over depictions of Jesus in the East End of London.[2] We accept that our Lord will be humiliated today, even as he was during his mockery of a trial and on the cross. For we believe that Jesus "emptied himself" [Philippians 2] and took on a form of a human.

No! We won't riot. We won't even try to interfere with the rights of those who like to strip the followers of Jesus of the same rights they enjoy. The reason, is that most who are followers of Jesus here in the United States recognize that God's Kingdom, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, not Allah will come

[1] http://www.becketfund.org/index.php/article/179.html accessed 2/20/06 The Becket Fund served as a support of NYC's schools to allow a time of prayer. This was over an against an ACLU concern.


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