Thanks to St. Louis Activitist Hub, I got my first real introduction to the strange mixture of hysteria and ignorance that is Dr. Gina Loudon, local Tea Party luminary. Adam at the Hub was having a little fun with her over the top spiel about the Burlington Coat Factory Muslim community center (known on Fox News as the Ground-Zero mosque), which she compared to a Nazi war memorial in the center of London. Enough said. What struck me, though, was Loudon’s evocation of a tenet of “Sharia law”* to justify her bigotry.
Sharia law seems to have become one of the concepts that gets wingers salivating right now. Oklahomans will vote this November, for instance, on whether or not to ban Sharia law – in spite of the fact that there is not even the slightest indication that anyone would ever try to impose Sharia in Oklahoma.
Closer to home, winger William Teach wonders why those who have a problem with the religous overtones of Missouri’s most recent anti-abortion legislation aren’t fighting Sharia law instead. The fact that right-wing Christians rather than Muslims have a stranglehold on the Missouri legislature doesn’t seem to strike him as germane to the topic.
Nevertheless, Teach’s emphasis on religious law is suggestive. If you go to Loudon’s Webpage, you will find, immediately following the mosque harangue, a post titled “A Call to Christians,” the burden of which is the need to get Christians energized to take back the country.
Now, I’m not too keen on Sharia law, but neither am I keen on Christian theocracy. While I have no evidence that Muslims in the U.S. want to impose Sharia, there’s lots of evidence that many in the Christian-leaning right-wing here in Missouri would just love, as Loudon suggests, to take back the country and stick me with their version of biblical law.
Consider Cynthia Davis, dogged purveyor of Christian Nation legislation. Davis takes her cues from people like David Barton, revisionist pseudo-historian and founder of the Wallbuilders, a group dedicated to establishing a Christian nation – or as Barton would prefer, returning the nation to its Christian roots.
*Photo of Cynthia Davis and David Barton
And who could forget Todd Akin – who carried the Barton banner into battle to retain “under God” in the pledge of allegiance? If you doubt his Christian Nation credentials, just listen to his discussion of the topic at last year’s prayercast against Health Care Reform (beginning at 49:45):
To summarize the highlights, Akin is unequivocal that the Bible provides:
“… a blueprint for all of mankind … a blueprint to tell us abut the economy, to tell us about education, to tell us about government … an entire blueprint for how civilization can be structured.”
Akin, is of course, limited in his role in the U.S. House – he seems to spend lots of time on mostly symbolic gestures. Davis and her ilk, however, are apparently able to lead the Missouri legislature around by a ring in the nose – even our Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, doesn’t dare veto her Christian-inspired abortion legislation. So while, I don’t see Sharia law hiding over the horizon, the proponents of a particular, narrow brand of Christian law seem to stand a much better chance of success.
* Loudon is quoted on the St. Louis Activist Hub as saying: “They are using the Sharia law concept of lying in the best interest of Allah … .” Her Webpage now reads: “They are using the concept of taqiyya (lying) in the best interest of Islam … .” Unfortunately, that is not exactly what taqiyya means. It is a Sharia tenet that allows Muslims to conceal their faith when under threat and its use is carefully circumscribed.