Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Choose Your Favorite Theocracy

In the UK, Pink News reports that last February US ally Bahrain, one of the more liberal and democratic Muslim nations in the Middle East, proposed a crackdown on homosexuality, which it views as a "threat to society and Islamic values."

For decades now, homosexuality has been a crime in Bahrain (since the days when it was a colonial outpost of Great Britain), but the new proposal calls for increased police vigilance in stopping homosexuals at the airport before they can enter the country and encourages teachers of school-age children to identify gay-acting children and punish them accordingly.

The ban on homosexuality is viewed as a means of protecting Islam, not as the tired old vestige of colonialism that it is.

Lest we Americans feel too smug, yesterday on conservative talk show host Dennis Prager's radio broadcast, Prager asked televangelist John Hagee, a valued supporter of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, whether he stood by his 2006 statement that Hurricane Katrina was God's judgment against New Orleans for permitting gay celebrations like Southern Decadence.

Hagee reconfirmed his previous statement, noting that the hurricane struck because New Orleans was a "city that was planning a sinful conduct."

We'll have to wait and see whether Hagee's remarks draw the same fire onto McCain that pastor Jeremiah Wright's comments on American racism drew onto Obama.

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