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Ideas

Champions of wrong causes
Recycling arguments made by every religious fundamentalist

April 21, 2005
iranian.com

Jordan Cross and Cid Davoodi ,

I'd like to congratulate you on your willingness to think about social issues and express your views in "Say no to same sex marriage" and "Shahid Schiavo". However, I am struck by the tone and lack of information in both. I realize your teenage youth and enthusiasm may taint your views, just as my age and (lack of) knowledge taint mine. However, youth should not be an excuse for lack of research. I say this, not because I necessarily disagree with your perspectives, but because you seem woefully misguided.

"Say no to same sex marriage" recycles arguments made by religious fundamentalists of every background (Jewish, Christian, Muslim ...). While I don't necessarily disagree, I find your supporting arguments fascinating:

1) You state that marriage is a religious institution. Actually, that's not necessarily true. It is a social and economic institution, that has been sanctified by religions because it helps establish social order, especially when it comes to inheritance rights and property ownership.

2) You wonder what will happen if same sex marriage is legalized? Will other 'deviant' behaviour also be eventually legalized? Well, in the conclusion of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lott's two daughters sleep with their father (in an icky, incestuous way). So, by the book you're holding as model of how civil society should be, incest isn't so bad.

Also, forgive me for presuming, but it seems that at least one of you may be familiar with marriage laws in Islam, where polygamy (while highly restricted, etc) is allowed for men -- they can have up to four wives legally. This is a tradition in all Abrahamic traditions -- Abraham himself had two wives, as did King Solomon. Now Canada is considering allowing Sharia law be applied to Muslim residents. So should they be allowed to practice polygamy? I'm just asking.

The thing that really got me, was your second article, "Shahid Schiavo". Shahid? REALLY?!? While Schiavo's death was tragic and heart wrenching, your implication that her husband starved her to death and various judges, doctors, nurses and medical professionals assisted him is unjustified.

I will not defend Schiavo's husband because I don't know him. However, I refuse to jump into the ring with a bunch of loud mouth lunatics with no knowledge of medicine. In Schiavo's case in particular, I would not state that she was on her way to recovery.

According to court and medical documents, after her stroke she was not spared any expense or treatment. The fact that most of her brain had turned into liquid (and brain tissue, like the rest of the nervous system doesn't regenerate), she had no ability to react to stimulation and did not show any kind of response to various treatments, led her medical team to discuss options with her family. The fact that her husband, and legal guardian by marriage (something that you argue is a religiously sacred privilege) decided that he was fulfilling her wishes is something that is difficult for many to understand and accept.

The fact that he tried to help her live and die with dignity in his mind is something that he will have to live and die with. I don't blame her family for resisting such a decision -- mine probably would as well. I'm just saying that people who are unfamiliar with the scientific, legal and personal details of Schiavo's story, should not make unfair accusations and claims.

If you are looking for a cause to champion, lives to save and deaths to be outraged by, may I point out the millions of innocent men, women and children all around the world that are nameless and far from TV cameras, dying every day, starving for months and sometimes years because people like you and I don't have time or attention to spare them?

In hopes that no one is the victim of injustice, hunger or bad information.

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