For some reason I have a lot of anti-Muslim articles and blogs that flow through my newsfeed. Recently it’s been around the issue of Sharia law– Christians warning that America must not allow Sharia to be practiced in the United States; arguing that Sharia is oppressive, and that others should not be forced to live by another’s religious code. (As a side note, it’s hard to make a blanket statement about Sharia law and have such a statement be true, because there are varying interpretations of it globally.)
While I don’t share their fear that Sharia law is coming to America and that I’m going to get 30 lashes by the religious police because they hate my blog, I do share the general sentiment these conservative Christians are articulating: no one in a free country should be forced to live by another’s religious codes or ethics.
I mean, that should be a simple concept, right? Everyone is free to practice their religion, but no, your religious rules and regulations should not become the law of the land. If such religious codes were to become part of law, this by definition would mean these religious rules would be enforced through violence or the threat of violence, as all laws ultimately are. And well, I’m not interested in having anyone’s religious code forced on me by threat of violence.
That seems like a concept most people could get on board with. In fact, I can’t really think what would even be controversial about it.
You’re free to live your life and practice your religion, I’m free to live my life and practice my religion, and neither one of us gets to use the violence of government to force the other to comply to our individual religious convictions.
While I think most of these anti-Sharia Christians are often guilty of half-truths, stereotypes, and outright lies when it comes to Islam and Sharia, I do agree with them in principle. It would be morally wrong for one group to make their religious codes the law of the land, and then hold others to our own ethics.
However, here’s the thing: it seems most of the anti-Sharia Christians are gross hypocrites in this department.
You see, conservative Christians often aren’t really anti-Sharia, they’re just anti-Islamic Sharia.
They’re actually very pro-Sharia, highly engaged in trying to establish more Sharia, but instead are trying to establish Christian Sharia.
We’ve seen this most notably in recent history with conservative Christians fighting against LGBTQ equality. While they totally lost the marriage issue, they have taken the fight to new corners, and they’ll continue doing so. Most recently, they went to the polls in Houston to vote down a bill that would have given transgender individuals the legal right to use the correct bathroom in public, instead of being forced into the humiliation of using the opposite gender bathroom.
And, they won’t stop there. Between now and election day, Franklin Graham will be touring the country encouraging Christians to run for government office so they can “turn America back to God.” Which, I can translate for you: he wants more Christians to run for office so we can make laws that reflect a very particular conservative Christian viewpoint.
AKA, he wants more people to run for office so they’ll have the numbers to overturn their losses and expand Sharia law when it comes to LGBTQ individuals (and a host of other issues).
And this is the hypocrisy of this whole “let’s be afraid of Sharia law” thing: those who systematically fight agains the rights of LGBTQ citizens on the basis of their individual religious conviction, already support Sharia law.
Just not that Sharia law, cause, you know, Muslims.
Personally, I think we should use this fear of Sharia to our advantage. Next time you encounter a Christian who wants US law to reflect their personal religious code on LGBTQ issues, let’s ask them why they support Sharia law in America.
Because let’s be honest: we already have oppressive Sharia law in the United States– it’s just the anti-LGBTQ, conservative-Christian version.