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If Pope does not insist on reciprocity it's a mistake

Reader comment on item: Churches in Saudi Arabia?
in response to reader comment: It is hard to argue with even limited success on this stunning development

Submitted by Claire (United States), Apr 3, 2008 at 23:51

I'm neither Christian nor Muslim, but since so many people believe their doctrine, it's important to follow their actions in the world. In the U.S., a secular country, not only are Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and traditional religious groups welcomed to openly exist, but newer religions and revived older religions as well.

Even agnostics and atheists can form church-like organizations for the purpose of fellowship, teaching ethics, social justice, etc. That's why we welcome the Church of Scientology, New Thought, the Brights, Religious Science, Unity, Divine Science, Ethical Culture Society, Secular Humanists, Duids, Wiccans, etc.--unlike some countries who claim to have freedom of religion, but do not truly practice it (even some European countries that refer to themselves as liberal).

Until people are free to believe or not, worldwide, as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others (noise, dress, equality, etc.), no one is free. And at this point in time, Islam is the major world force denying freedom of religion and expression, or even full humanity to women, on a grand scale. Islam has even approached the U.N. to do its bidding by calling any action that doesn't follow shari'a to be "defamation" of Islam. It's just another example of Islamic bullying to force the world to adopt its doctrine.

If moderate Islamists think the treatment of non-Muslims and even Muslims we read about everyday is wrong, or that our interpretation is wrong, they need to step out, speak up, and squash the extremists. Islam is a political ideology, and not just a religion. I can't say that on many forums, because it is edited out, but it is a fact. Islam is not just how some people pray. It is an ideology that combines government, culture, and what we think of as "religion" in the West.

The Pope should insist on reciprocity, and since he heads another organization that marginalizes women and uses fear and intimidation against the church's own adherents, he also needs to understand that, like Islamic leaders, he, too, may be viewed as a bully. Since Catholicism evolved out of the Middle Ages, it has been much more aligned with Jesus' teachings, but it still needs major work.

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