The use of Reason and reasonable argumentation, the reclaiming of the idea of Progress and the struggle against dogma. In this post-modern world, reinventing Enlightenment is of the utmost importance.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The other side of The Law.

Until recently I thought that if you lived in a certain country you would logically understand that you would have to abide by the laws of that country. In Rome be Roman as the saying goes.

This would mean a certain degree of adaptation but eventually you would understand that some actions that were adequate back home might grant you a hefty fine or a few nights in jail if enacted in a different country. From that point of view it would become clear that stoning your wife to death because she slept with your neighbour would prove to be an even more costly affair than divorcing her through the normal channels. So far so good I thought.

This morning however, it came to my attention that things were not as simple as that, that in fact even within the same country there can be more than one set of laws a citizen must abide to, sometimes with contrary guidelines. I am of course talking about the law of Man and the law of God.

It came about on a small article in the Sunday Times “Law lords to rule on Kirk sex case”. It tells the story of a woman seeking compensation from the Church of Scotland for Sexual Discrimination. It comes out that she was dismissed as a clergywoman “for having an affair with a married man” whilst “the Kirk had failed to take similar action against male colleagues accused of extra marital affair”

Worryingly her case had been dismissed previously “after an employment tribunal and the court of Session in Edinburgh both ruled that the Church of Scotland, being answerable only to God, was outside the jurisdiction of civil law”

This ruling is enshrined in a 1921 act that states that “The Church receives its right and power from “the Lord Jesus Christ, its divine King and Head” and is “ subject to no civil authority to legislate, and to adjudicate finally, in all matters of doctrine, worship, government and discipline in the Church …”
Now replace the words “The Church” by “Islam” and “the Lord Jesus Christ “ by “ Allah “ and tell me how it sounds.

It is easy to place misguided attacks on Islam; but we loose much moral high ground when right here on the doorstep of the Western world we have blatant example of the separation of the Law of Man from the Law of God. How can we then expect Muslins to put the law of man above the law of god when Christian religions do not do it either?

The bottom line is that it should be clear; both for Muslins and other that wherever they are there can only be one law and that is the law that men created for men. In Rome be Roman.

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