Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Deeper, Deeper, and Deeper

Great stuff in response to my post below. Mahan, in particular, has been very helpful.

To review, I am wondering if being touchy about the Koran and depictions of Mohammed is a new thing or if it has always been there. The way I think about the Koran (and the Gitmo controversy about water being splashed on it, etc.) is that it is like a combination of an American flag and a communion host in a Catholic mass. It has both a symbolic nature that would cause one to become enraged at desecration and a sacred nature where it becomes like the body of a deity. Am I wrong?

There are some Christians who refuse to swear an oath in court, in a deposition, or for a government office. This is not like the atheist who objects to the reference to God. The Christian who "affirms" rather than swearing an oath is concerned about scriptural requirements to give only your word. Is there a similar school of thought in Islam? If so, does the special treatment of the Koran noted above play into the taking of a government oath?


Blogger Mayor of Tommyville said...

I suspect there are two elements involved here, the first being the sacred associations given within religion of Islam, and the second being the increased value of victomization (or perceptions of victomization) as a political commodity.

For example, one might interpret Ahmadinejad's recent conference on the validity of the holocaust as an attempt to "corner the market on victomhood". He sees the power behind Israel's statehood as built on a foundation of global sympathy in the wake of Hitler's madness, and accordingly (in Amahdinejad's mind) if you take the status of "victomhood" for the jewish people, you weaken the global support structure for the state of Israel. Hence he denies the holocaust. More importantly however, he shores up support amongst his Islamic base and consolidates personal power in the region. Is it any wonder that their is such an outcry in the Islamic world over something as harmless as a cartoon depiction of Muhammad...it's a double whammy, not only does it violate a religious taboo, but it energizes a culture already infused with a vast martyr's complex.

December 13, 2006 12:42 AM  
Blogger Mayor of Tommyville said...

As an aside, I'm assuming that Christians who refuse to take an oath are referring to James 5:12;

"But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation."

When a Christian refuses to take an oath on such grounds, what is the court's response? Are they allowed to refrain from swearing, and what happens if they perjur themselves after the fact?

December 13, 2006 12:57 AM  

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