Saladin Citadel of Cairo, 8 Nov. 2010

My neighbor is worried about Sharia law being becoming part of our government’s laws in the United States. Sharia, in its myriad versions, is a code of conduct for Muslims, like the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments. Religious guidelines have various rules, and none of them should be legislated under our form of government.

In the United States, our Constitution protects us from individual religious guidelines, and the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights, which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”, we can each follow the guidance of our own faith regardless of the views of others, including those in government. As an Episcopalian, I live in peace with my Jewish, Baptist and Catholic neighbors. Or we can disavow all religion entirely.  That is our right as citizens of the United States of America.

The threat we face is not from Sharia law, but from other forms of religious law.  We have an Education Secretary who wants to use government funds for religious schools, just like the Taliban, and we have state and federal elected officials who want to use their own religious beliefs to deny women the right to decide what happens to their own bodies. I am as repulsed by this as my neighbor is about legislating Sharia law.  It is the same thing.



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