Gingrich is cravenly milking the Bush Administration myth that, before September 11, we Americans were just sittin’ around, bein’ free, minding our own business…when all of the sudden these barbarians attacked us because they were bugged to distraction over our happiness. (U.S tanks crawling over their holy lands for a decade apparently made no impression.)
But Newt does Bush one better by claiming their ultimate plan is to subject all of America to strict Muslim rule—never mind that they live in caves on the other side of the world and had to hijack four of our own planes to do any serious damage. Exactly how do they intend to impose this Islamic Dark Age? They build a community center in
What’s got Newt’s butt in a pucker is a case last year in which a
Conservatives love to sound very feminist when condemning sharia law, objecting to the brutal way it can sometimes treat women, and forgetting how many black-eyed wives you can spot at a NASCAR rally. But Newt is terrified that this one case is the harbinger of 10th century Islamic rule in
While fretting over fictional perils, Newt needs to be reminded that we already have a law that protects us against religious rule—the First Amendment—which he tends to skip over on his way to the Second. No, Mr. Newt, it isn’t just Christian superstitions we want to keep out of our law books and textbooks. We want our democracy free of everybody’s spooky stuff, no matter which Almighty is involved. And for good reason. You think sharia law is scary? Have you checked out Mosaic law, lately? If you want to cherry-pick juicy morsels from a holy book, which the Right does routinely with the Quran, we can also recite some of the Old Testament’s greatest hits:
There are rules for the proper care and treatment of slaves (example: you can beat him as long as he survives a day or two) [Ex 21:21], witches must be killed [Ex 22:18], sacrifices to other gods warrant utter destruction [Ex 22:20], working on the Sabbath gets the death penalty [Ex 31:15], conquest is justified…“I will cast out the nations before you, and enlarge your borders…” [Ex 34:24], there is capital punishment for adultery [Lev 20:10], and there’s a ban against making offerings to God if you have crushed testicles [Lev 21:20]. (Was this a big enough problem to require a rule?).
There is a lot more, including the spattering bull’s blood on the altar of the tabernacle and whatnot. Altogether, it’s not a fair picture. But I wonder how many Muslims might be sitting around judging the bible, and us, based on these choice tidbits.
Lastly, there is Christian law—which is simply believing in Jesus. Of course, the reason it’s simple is because it’s so vague. It can mean anything you want, which is very convenient. You can invent your own religion; everybody does it. Sure, there are certain unavoidable ideas like believing in the Resurrection and not blaspheming the Holy Spirit lest you burn in hell with no hope of forgiveness. But there have also been more creative ideas, like why witches had to be burned, why Jews had to be banished, why Muslims had to be conquered, why science had to be stifled, and why God comes in three parts. (Some assembly required.) And as for Newt's fear of Islam's global agenda--heck, everyone has one of those. The final verses of the New Testament envision a one-world theocracy under God. Mohammad wasn't the first one with this idea.
Beyond all that, Christian jihadists like Newt insert their own agendas into holy writ. Thus, "God's will" goes far beyond stated objections to The Gay, and extends into stuff he never mentions like outlawing abortion, the ban on school prayer, teaching evolution, deficits, capital gains taxes, Pentagon budget cuts, contraception, sex education, sex, and anyone who dares ask what Sarah Palin reads. (Actually, Newt might be willing to take a crack at Palin.)
You see, in Newt World, laws based on religious morality are not just a good idea—they are necessary for
“Sharia,” by the way, means “the path” or “the way” as in, “Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.” [Matt 3:3] Just FYI, in case you wondered what alien concepts these Muslim guys have in mind.