A Religious State?

As the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops continued to try to force its medieval prohibitions to contraception down the throats of Americans this past weekend, it’s time to consider the story of a Saudi journalist, Hamza Kashgari.

He was detained by the Malaysian police on Feb. 9, when he was stopped at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at the request of the Saudi government.   Since then, despite hurried efforts of supporters to halt the return of Kashgari to Saudi Arabia, he was secretly returned to his home country.  (Read more)

No he is not a murderer.  He merely wrote something which the Saudi government considers blasphemy, which is punishable by death.  According to Daily Beast, Kashgari wrote about an imaginary meeting with the Prophet Mohammed on Twitter.   The offending word addressed to the Prophet were:

”On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.”

Yes, in Saudi Arabia, blasphemy is considered a crime punishable by death; and the courts there are renowned for the authoritarian rulings; thus Kashgari has little chance of a fair trial, and may face death.

I considered this as I read about the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who are still not satisfied with the compromise offered by President Obama over the contraception issue.  Now, I have written something critical of the bishops who pretend to speak for the Church that I was baptized into, confirmed by and married in.

Perhaps my mere mention of my feelings that the Bishop’s view is “medieval” would bring a death penalty upon my head if the Catholic Church — or any other religious institution, like the burgeoning evangelicals — began to run our government.

Yet, that’s just what the Church seems to want to do, as it tries to ram its views on contraception down the throats of the general public and more specifically the hundreds of thousands of its own

John F. Kennedy speaking to religious leaders in Houston on Sept. 12, 1960.

employees in hospitals, schools, nursing homes and other enterprises throughout our nation.

President John F. Kennedy, in his great speech in Houston, Texas, in his 1960 campaign for President promised he’d keep his Catholic faith out of his government decision-making.  And he did!

Now, the Bishops, coupled with the entire Republican leadership for obvious political reasons, are seeking to make their view of things the “law of the land.”  All Christians, non-Christians and atheists alike should fear the creation of a religious state, as it is neither supportive of family values nor compassion but rather just another dictatorial state where a mere “tweet” could bring death.  Ken Germanson, Feb. 13, 2012.