Fair. Balanced. American.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Islamism, France and Christianistan, USA

Doing something right:
The French government has refused to grant citizenship to a foreign national on the grounds that he forced his wife to wear the full Islamic veil.

The man, whose current nationality was not given, needed citizenship to settle in the country with his French wife.

But Immigration Minister Eric Besson said this was being refused because he was depriving his wife of the liberty to come and go with her face uncovered. [...]

"It became apparent during the regulation investigation and the prior interview that this person was compelling his wife to wear the all-covering veil, depriving her of the freedom to come and go with her face uncovered, and rejected the principles of secularism and equality between men and women," he said.
Many Americans from both political parties would applaud the French decision. Others might ask, "What would these kinds of restrictions mean for the Amish, Mormons, or other religious groups that force women into subservient positions?" To which my only possible reply is, "Indeed!" As we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, democracy in the hands of bigots results in medieval government.

Islamist patriarchy has its American parallel. Indeed, a profound misogyny is the element shared by Islamism, Christianism, Hindu nationalism, and extremist American Republican-Catholic sects like the Legionaries and Opus Dei (which are hardly representative of the Church's majority Latin American and Southern European mainstream).

This section of yesterday's New York Times piece on the appearance of extreme martial arts in evangelical churches is but the latest example.
The goal, these pastors say, is to inject some machismo into their ministries — and into the image of Jesus — in the hope of making Christianity more appealing. “Compassion and love — we agree with all that stuff, too,” said Brandon Beals, 37, the lead pastor at Canyon Creek Church outside of Seattle. “But what led me to find Christ was that Jesus was a fighter.”

The outreach is part of a larger and more longstanding effort on the part of some ministers who fear that their churches have become too feminized, promoting kindness and compassion at the expense of strength and responsibility.

“The man should be the overall leader of the household,” said Ryan Dobson, 39, a pastor and fan of mixed martial arts who is the son of James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, a prominent evangelical group. “We’ve raised a generation of little boys.” [...]

Men ages 18 to 34 are absent from churches, some pastors said, because churches have become more amenable to women and children. “We grew up in a church that had pastel pews,” said Tom Skiles, 37, the pastor of Spirit of St. Louis Church in Arnold, Mo. “The men fell asleep.”

In focusing on the toughness of Christ, evangelical leaders are harking back to a similar movement in the early 1900s, historians say, when women began entering the work force. Proponents of this so-called muscular Christianity advocated weight lifting as a way for Christians to express their masculinity.

“This whole generation is raised on the idea that they’re in a culture war for the heart and soul of America,” said Stephen Prothero, a professor of religion at Boston University.
That, they surely are.

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