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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Leave the archbishop alone

I am simply THRILLED that the Archbishop of Canterbury wants Sharia law to be recognised in England. This is PERFECT.

In fact, I think that all people should be free to follow any laws they want, as long as they're religious. Civil laws, of course. Criminal laws would obviously continue to be set by the state. Otherwise, there would be anarchy. ANARCHY, I TELL YOU. The archbishop is a genius.

For example, there is a so-called "law" in Canada that says I'm not allowed to murder people, even if they annoy the hell out of me. I grudgingly accept this because it's a criminal law. The civil law, on the other hand, should be something I'm free to dismiss if I don't think it's in total compliance with my religion. Therefore, things like contract law and family law should be run any way I want. Yes. ESPECIALLY family law. Who said anything about the best interest of children? It should be all about ME, ME, ME.

And this is perfect timing, because I've just made up my own religion and the current civil-law system here in Canada is causing me a LOT of cultural stress. It just does not work with my values. It is great to have support from a fellow religious leader for my new laws.

Of COURSE I'm the leader of my new religion. Duh.


Anonymous said...

Give the guy a break, Megan! He said that "it was inevitable" (not it was desirable) that sharia law would have to be accomodated in certain civil cases, being the currency of behavior for an intensely self-conscious minority in Britain. Britain (like a certain liberal democracy in the Americas) has pretensions of being a "multicultural" society. Now, mind you, I have the same suspician about this "inevitability" as you have, but I don't fault the Archbishop for speaking truthfully about it.

The problem people have with the ABC is not what he says, but the nuanced way he says it. His statements are easily and frequently distorted by the press. He refuses to adjust to the television age.


Nicole said...

Nobody's gonna give me a break of the local laws in the Middle East.

Living in a country means to stick with the law.

What does he think Sharia law in Britain will lead to?

Women not being able to divorce their men, children if a divorce granted given to husbands that don't care about them and women left alone with no money.

I see enough shit going on over here that I can't even try to understand how someone should think that accepting Sharia law in Europe is "inevitable".

There are two million Expats in Kuwait and one million Kuwaitis.
No special laws here.....

(Sorry for the rant, but that statement just gets me going.....)

Megan said...

Do you have Sharia law in Kuwait?

I should note that my dad is very wise but has a potential conflict of interest in this: he is an Anglican priest. This is an important point, although his opinion may still turn out to be the correct one.

Anonymous said...

Needless to say, I share your opinion (and Nicole's opinion) of Sharia law. I think that Britain (and Canada, and the U.S.) is CRAZY to think that tolerance or democracy requires multiculturalism (multiculturalism meaning that all cultures and religions have an equal claim on the institutions of the nation). I am defending the Archbishop, not Sharia law. He didn't say the thing the newspapers implied that he said.


Karen said...

While we're at it, why don't we also reject French laws (really, those Quebeckers and their Civil Code), and the state's involvement in marriage and divorce generally, and.....

It's lovely to have a debate about democratic values, but the entire points of recognizing minority rights is to protect them against the majority (i.e. - us). Where do we think our current laws come from, if not the ideology of the majority (and yes, they are informed by the Protestant/Catholic/Anglican views of our founding predecessors).

I love this "new" democratic ideal we're espousing - you're free to be anything you want to be in our country, as long as you conform to what we think is best. Hmmm....that's not arrogant at ALL.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen,
It's not obvious to everyone that there is any such thing as "minority rights". It's probably obvious to everyone that there is such a thing as "individual rights", but that's a very different concept.
If you establish the validity of minority rights, then you still have a job to do, negotiating the boundaries between the majority and the minority (Canadian history provides lots of examples here). You have an even harder job, determining what constitutes a valid "minority". How big does it have to be? Do religious minorities qualify? Which kinds? Will those religious minorities define the human rights of their members?

Kevin Holsapple

Nicole said...

"He didn't say the thing the newspapers implied that he said."

I saw him on TV yesterday and it pretty much sounded exactly like that.....

I'm not 100% sure about having Sharia law in Kuwait, they claim to have a democracy but well, ....., they have their own little interpretations on how a democracy works.

I think it's a mixture between religious laws and democratic laws.
Women sure have more rights than in Saudi Arabia!
(Gotta look that up)


Off topic: I also love the current discussion about Freedom of Speech over there.
Because Britain doesn't want to let that Imam into the country.
Makes me wanna pull my hair....

Anonymous said...

The things you see on television are not real. This includes the news.
Here's a link for the Archbishop's speech:

Kevin Holsapple

Karen said...

Hi Mr. Holsapple.

Our entire Charter of Rights and Freedoms is predicated on the idea of minority rights in Canada. There really isn't a need to protect the majority's right to do anything, is there? By definition, the majority has the biggest opinion. But you do raise interesting questions about what constitutes a minority, and how is it defined by law, and by public opinion, which are usually not the same thing - no big surprise there. Are two people sharing one view a legitimate minority? Could Megan really be the leader of her own religion?

Over time, minorities can grow into majorities. Certainly when Martin Luther sparked the Reformation, there were few Protestants - and now there are 9.5 million in Canada alone (second only to Catholics at 12 million). And of course, in the beginning of Christianity, there were only 13 - Christ himself and 12 apostles. And we've seen how that turned out for the majority religions of the day - Jews and Muslims in the Holy Lands, especially.

Populations and ideologies are not static - they necessarily change over time. A great deal has been written about the different historical evolutions of the U.S. and Canada, and their differing approaches to immigration, the melting pot vs. the mosaic. I personally feel quite enriched by being exposed to a variety of cultures and religions here, and I know it assists me when traveling abroad.

The idea of negotiating those boundaries is one we struggle with every day, and will continue to struggle with for decades to come. It's all part of that evolutionary process, but the dialogue is the interesting part.

Megan said...

If any readers wondered what would happen if a lawyer, a priest and a woman in the Middle East started to talk about sharia law, wonder no more.

I absolutely adore my readers. You guys are an eclectic bunch, and I am honoured that you come here.

Anonymous said...

Megan, I repent. After following the story for a few days, and considering what the Archbishop said, I think you were right in the first place. Melanie Phillips (who wrote Londonistan) wrote a withering attack on the ABC, here It's hard to refute.


Ben Holsapple said...

Oh boy, two completely different penal codes for two different ethnic/religious groups. I wonder where this will lead?

Nicole said...

LOL, Megan :D

I'm only a visitor over here and there's so much left to learn and understand.
But if I know one thing, than it is that I want to keep the laws we have in Europe just the way they are ;)

Saudi Arabia has banned all red roses this year for Valentines and our Prime Ministers here just woke up yesterday morning, thinking "Hey, it's Valentine soon and actually, mh, it's immoral. Let's annoy the people a bit and try to ban it here too"

Doesn't bug me much, I think that people are insane paying for overpriced goods, but that's another story.

I'm glad, your Dad changed sides though ;)

(And I wish there was a coment feed for the whole blog,...., blogger, ...bbbrrr.....)

Megan said...

Ben, it's really about ethnic groups. Most people are born into their religions, and I'm thinking that when apostasy is punished with the death penalty, they probably don't get many converts.

So we're talking about ethnic groups; something nobody can control.

(Note to self: What a great idea! Prepare to tell people they are ALREADY members of my new religion and that I will kill them if they leave. Also tell them that they owe me a set percentage of their incomes.)