Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pray for them

The Anchoress (via NRO) has up a rant about first responders and clergy being excluded from the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. It speaks for itself and I have nothing to add to that aspect of it.

I was, however, taken aback by this statement from one of the articles she links:

During the 2001 "Prayer for America" service at Yankee Stadium, leaders from the major religions—Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Protestants, Sikhs, Greek Orthodox—addressed the crowd of thousands and an even larger TV audience from a podium atop second base.

"I brought every major religion to this event in Yankee Stadium," said Mr. Washington, who is considering holding a news conference on Sept. 11 to object to the exclusion of clergy.

"I'm very upset about it," he said. "This is crazy."

It seems to me that if Mr. Washington is upset because he believes people would benefit from prayer on this sad and solemn occasion then the appropriate thing to hold would be not a news conference, but a prayer service. Or lots of prayer services at lots of houses of worship, perhaps at the same time as the official ceremony and including sincere, loving prayers for all those who were touched by this disaster. I think it would be a particularly nice touch if the first responders were warmly invited to these services.

There are two verses I remember from Sunday School that cover this situation pretty thoroughly:

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.

It seems worth nothing that the latter verse ends:

And they marvelled at him.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Use fire to fight fire

I gather there are some concerns, particularly among conservatives, about the implementation of sharia law* in the United States. I don’t know how reasonable those concerns are, although as a woman I tend to feel that any possibility of such a thing happening should be viewed with great alarm.

There is, however, a simple way to make sure sharia law is not implemented in this country: pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Not all sharia law has to do with the role of women but a fair amount of it does. the Equal Rights Amendment would insure that the aspects of sharia law that enshrine different rights for men and women could never be implemented. Losing the "sweetener" of being able to treat women like second-class citizens should make the prospect of sharia law much less enticing to many who might otherwise be willing to condone it.


*I do not have a nice, clean summary of sharia law to offer as a link. The Wikipedia entries on sharia law and on women in Islam read - as one commenter put it - like a pro-Islam “tourist brochure”.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

If I were the “bipartisan, bicameral committee on deficit reduction”, I would simply have my staff retype the Simpson-Bowles plan on committee letterhead. It would save a lot of time and a lot of money and produce an outcome at least as good as anything the committee will come up with in the next three months.