Monday, December 21, 2015

Seperation v Integration of Church and State in U.S. v Saudi Arabia

In a place with a Free Exercise clause, "religion" is not a thing which occurs only within the four corners of a particular lot and then only for one hour a week.  Or it's not supposed to be . . . .

Whereas in places without a Bill of Rights - - written or not (such as the U.K.) - - the very concept of a distinction between "public" and "private" life may not exist.  When Mussolini said "nothing outside the state" he was renouncing a tradition already about 400 years old in the West.

Anyway, interesting reading for Christmas.  And, like Scrooge's Nephew, I wish you both a Merry one! [whether you keep it or not; Bah! Humbug!  ;)]


The Death of God Is Greatly Exaggerated
Kate Bachelder interviews Eric Metaxas
The Wall Street Journal
The Weekend Interview (Fri 18 Dec 2015)
The happy warrior for a muscular Christianity on why faith and science are not opposed, and why the public square benefits from expressions of belief.

"Part of my life’s thesis is that we live in a culture that has bought into the patently silly idea that there is a divide between the secular world and the faith world," he says, the idea that religion can be walled off exclusively into private life or pitched altogether, particularly when 70% or so of U.S. residents identify as Christian. "Culture presents us with this false choice between channels that are exclusively faith-based" versus those that are "exclusively secular." Yet "that’s not how most Americans process the world."


U.S. Department of State: Marriage to Saudis
Middle East Quarterly
WINTER 2003 • VOLUME 10: NUMBER 1, pp. 74-81

The document is an advisory to American women contemplating marriage to Saudi men, based on the long experience of U.S. consular personnel in the kingdom. It is remarkable for its undiplomatic and anecdotal tone, so distant from the department's standard bureaucratic style. For prospective spouses, "Marriage to Saudis" constituted an official tutorial in Saudi culture; for others, it served as a fascinating example of practical anthropology, school of hard knocks.

The straightforward and talkative frankness of "Marriage to Saudis" also led to its retraction by the department. The Saudis themselves were not perturbed by the document.[4] But when the brochure went up on the department's website, the American Muslim Council demanded its removal, calling it "hurtful," "derogatory and biased." In February 2000, the department removed the document from its website for "revision," but it was never replaced. (The department has since published a straightforward fact brochure on child abduction in Saudi Arabia.)[5]

No subsequent revision could supersede "Marriage to Saudis," a minor classic by an anonymous diplomat determined to tell it straight. The document appears here in its entirety.

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