- On February 16, 2013
- By Gavin & Yvonne Frost
Let’s imagine we’re back in 1600 CE, and let’s believe for a moment that being a Witch and having a deviant view of “god” (or goddess) is legal in England–but we’re in New England!, and in New England people are being murdered for holding “deviant” beliefs. Would it be reasonable to suppose that England would declare war on New England to prevent more people being murdered in the name of religion?
Now let’s move forward to the present day. Let’s think about a country, something like, say, Iran, where they have sharia law, where women get murdered if they are caught in public without a male member of their family to escort them (make that chaperone them). Would it be reasonable for America to go to war to enforce US ways on Iran?
We may assume consensus from our US perspective, ostensibly democratic, that sharia law is not something we can agree with. First of all, the US purports to separate church from state: That is, official enforcers (ostensibly) do not inflict one franchise’s tenets and/or practices on the whole population.
Should we go to war to change it? What right does the United States have to impose its standards on another nation? We all agree–at least we Frosts hope we all agree–that the killing of people who are trying to advance women’s education or to improve the health of people is not desirable. But how far are we entitled to go in forcing a whole nation to change its law system just because we don’t like it?
Around 500 BCE in a time known as the Axial Age, give or take some centuries, men began to dominate women; Goddesses were universally overrun by male gods. From the Axial Age on in history, society has been subjected to laws designed for one purpose only: that is, to control women and to resist their advancement through education and even to prevent their benefitting from advances in medicine. Again: How far are we justified in going to war against those people who refuse to allow women what we perceive as their rightful place in society?
We Americans boast of how “good” our democratic law system is … or is it? Really? Two examples come to mind.
1. Let’s consider the position of pregnant women. Is a pregnant woman not a person? We attribute personhood (woo hoo) to the zygote. Does a woman give up her personhood when she becomes pregnant? If a zygote is a person and should not be “killed” through abortion, what is the pregnant woman? I guess she must have stopped being a person when the pregnancy happened.
Surely every woman has the right to govern her own uterus. She has the right, and indeed sometimes the duty, to terminate, especially if the father’s DNA carries undesirable traits. Only she can decide when she wants to exercise her right. Only she can decide when she will follow through on her duty.
2. In many places in this nation, carrying a concealed weapon is legal.
If a foreign country disagrees with our law, should its leaders go to the United Nations and get sanctions against the United States? Why, then, is it all right for us to interfere with the laws of other nations?