Sharia Law and Fundamentalist Christianity

For a few years, secularists and scholars have claimed Sharia law and fundamentalist Christian tenets are mirror images of one another. We’ve all heard fundamentalist Christians compared to the Taliban, or read articles about the Quiverfull movement or listened, horrified, as Rick Santorum compared homosexuality to bestiality, but I wanted to know more. Are there true similarities, blindingly clear similarities, between Sharia law and fundamental Christianity? Yes.

We’ll begin with homosexuality, because it is here that Sharia law and fundamentalist Christianity truly collide. According to a 2012 article in The Guardian, the Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, an Islamic scholar, stated that homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs. Citing the Qur’an, he made the argument for killing homosexuals by hanging. Pastor Curtis Knapp recently said, during a sermon, that the United States government should kill all gay people. Pastor Charles Worley wants to put the LGBT community in concentration camps and let them die out. So, fundamentalist Christian leaders agree with an Islamic scholar, a follower of Sharia law, that all homosexuals should be killed.

We can take this one step further. Michele Bachmann, current congresswoman in Minnesota’s 6th district and former Republican presidential candidate, hired a man named Peter Waldron during her campaign. Peter Waldron has been linked to Martin Ssempa, the Ugandan pastor. Ssempa is the religious arm of Ugandan politician and chief sponsor of the “kill the gays” bill in Uganda, David Bahati. Michele Bachmann herself has called homosexuality “of Satan,” and her husband, Marcus, runs a reparative therapy clinic in Minnesota, allegedly using an odd combination of aversion therapy and prayer to “repair” gay men and women. The Bachmanns are, at the very least, evangelical Christians.

When it comes to women working outside the home, fundamentalist Christianity and Sharia law once again agree to a point. Both believe that it’s fine, as long it does not cause the woman to neglect her role as wife and mother. From Got Questions.org:

Question: “What does the Bible say about women working outside the home?”

Answer: Whether or not a woman should work outside the home is a struggle for many couples and families. The Bible does have instructions regarding the role of women. InTitus 2:3-4, Paul gives these instructions as to how a young married woman is to be trained by older women: “…train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the Word of God.” In this passage, the Bible is clear that when children are in the picture, that is where the young woman’s responsibility lies. The older women are to teach the younger women and to live lives that glorify God. Keeping these responsibilities in mind, an older woman’s time can be spent at the Lord’s leading and her discretion.

Proverbs 31 speaks of “a wife of noble character.” Starting at verse 11, the writer praises this woman as one who does everything in her power to care for her family. She works hard to keep her house and her family in order. Verses 16, 18, 24, and 25 show that she is so industrious that she also moonlights with a cottage industry that provides additional income for her family. This woman’s motivation is important in that her business activities were the means to an end, not an end in themselves. She was providing for her family, not furthering her career, or working to keep up with the neighbors. Her employment was secondary to her true calling—the stewardship of her husband, children, and home.

According to the website, Islam-qa.com, Sharia law regarding women working outside the home is interpreted as:

That should not lead to her neglecting things that are more essential for her, such as looking after her house, husband and children. 

In Sharia law and Christianity, women are allowed to work  as long as it does not distract from their more important duties at home.

Adultery is quite a horror, according to both Sharia law and the Christian Bible. Sharia law requires that adulterers be stoned to death, an example set by Muhammad. The Christian God also condemns adultery, going so far as to make one of the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” There are numerous passages in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, that lay out quite clearly the Biblical punishment for adultery. Grace Centered.com lists two specific Bible passages that resemble the laws laid down in Sharia law regarding adultery:

Leviticus 20:10 declares that when an adulterous situation occurs, both “the adulterer and the adulteress (i.e., both the man and the woman) shall surely be put to death.” Deuteronomy 22:22-24 clearly states the same severe penalty.

Finally, freedom of religion. We visit Saudi Arabia, via Wikipedia, to discover that country is an Islamist theocracy, where no other religions are allowed. Non-Islamic proselytism is forbidden. Pastor Dennis Terry, an evangelical Christian minister, said in a sermon he gave before introducing Rick Santorum, the following:

“I don’t care what the liberals say, I don’t care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation…There is only one God and his name is Jesus. I’m tired of people telling me that I can’t say those words.. Listen to me, If you don’t love America, If you don’t like the way we do things I have one thing to say – GET OUT. We don’t worship Buddha, we don’t worship Mohammad, we don’t worship Allah, we worship God, we worship God’s son Jesus Christ.”

This is the first in a series I will be writing, examining the similarities between Sharia law, of which the right wing is so terrified, and fundamentalist Christianity, which they embrace.

Thanks to the Huffington Post for the quote from Dennis Terry

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Posted by on June 18, 2012. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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6 Responses to Sharia Law and Fundamentalist Christianity

  1. John Brock

    June 18, 2012 at 9:15 am

    One quibble. Jesus very specifically rejects the Old Testament laws on adultery (e.g., the woman at the well who is surprised that he will even speak to her, the incident where he interrupts the stoning of an adulterous woman with the line, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.).

    • Erin Nanasi

      June 18, 2012 at 9:46 am

      I’ve been told, by a fundamentalist Christian, that the New Testament is “interpretive” while the Old Testament is “literal.” I’ve been told the exact opposite by liberal Christians. I just find the similarities interesting, especially since right wing Christians are the ones who seem to be the most afraid of Sharia law.

    • Stewy

      June 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      The story you speak of is a well known (and beautiful) part of the bible that was not seen in any manuscripts whatsoever before the 4th or 5th century BCE. In other words, it was either inserted by scribes who deemed it necessary to alter the original text for whatever reason, or for 500-600 years it was censored by authorities to avoid giving the impression that Jesus sanctioned adultery. The first manuscript I know of that contains the verse is the Codex Bezae (which contains several potential additions and omissions when compared with older manuscripts).

    • Harold Miller

      August 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      In Leviticus and elsewhere in the Old Testament, the Jews where instructed to kill lawbreakers. There was no qualification about who did the stoning, It simply had to be done and done promptly. Therefore when Jesus confronted the elders who where commencing to stone the adulteress with questions of who was qualified to carry out the stoning, he was adding qualifications to the Old Testament laws concerning carrying out the Law not found in the Old Testament. He, himself, by definition was “without the first sin” and qualified to administer the Law. He did not and forgave her and admonished her to go and sin no more. Forgiveness is not in the Law of Moses or the Sharia. Law breaking must be punished. The New Testament is about forgiveness.

  2. Michael John Scott

    June 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

    The Fundies interpret the Bible to suit their agenda. Where I live there are 7 churches in a one mile stretch of road and I warrant each will interpret the Silly Book differently.