Friday, March 24, 2006

Intolerance is 4 Loooosers

I was so busy this week that I wasn't really following the case of Abdul Rahman, a 41-year-old former medical aid worker who faces the death penalty under Islamic laws for becoming a Christian. But now that I'm doing some back-reading on the subject, I'm more and more concerned for him and for Afghanistan. Theocracy is bad in any form, whether extreme as in Afghanistan or tepid as in America with the 18th Amendment.

No one should die for their beliefs, no matter how out of the mainstream or how mundane. Thought-crimes are a thing of the past -- somewhere in the middle of the 1980s -- and shouldn't be carried over into the 21st century by any country.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is rightly in an uproar, asking, "How can we congratulate ourselves for liberating Afghanistan from the rule of jihadists only to be ruled by radical Islamists who kill Christians?" He then adds: "Religious persecution leads inevitably to political tyranny. Five hundred years of history confirm this." Just as no one should suffer for their beliefs, no one should suffer because of someone else's religious beliefs. You know where I'm going with this.

Denying homosexuals basic rights is religious persecution. There is no real public benefit that comes from such intolerance. Those who believe that same-sex unions will single-handedly destroy the institution of marriage are usually the ones sitting idle as their congregations are divorcing at near fifty-percent the marriage rate. Allowing two people who love each other the right to marry is far less detrimental to the sacred institution than allowing two people to break it. I personally have nothing against divorce, but you can't talk about this special bond between a man and a woman and not take a stand against everything that threatens it. Cherry-picking one that suits your needs over the others makes you look dumb.

Mr. Perkins has called same-sex unions "counterfeit institutions" and coined homosexuality as a "death-style." He hardly seems fit to take the pulpit against any sort of intolerance.

And while homosexuals are currently safe from executions for being gay -- at least the government-sponsered variety -- theocratic leglislation is theocratic legislation. This poor man awaiting his verdict in Afghanistan should make us all stop and question what we do to our fellow men.