Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Front Row Seat to an Execution

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz. (2002 photo)Image via Wikipedia
This article brought back memories of some trips to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Occasionally there would be an article in the Jeddah paper about a public execution that had occurred the Friday before. What made the whole thing macabre was the beheading took place at the end of a Muslim worship service.

I was told that if westerners attended, they made a point of putting them in the front row, where they'd get a real good look at Saudi-style justice.

The image came to mind of a Southern Baptist service in the US or Canada ending with announcements: "at the end of the service today, we will be beheading brother Bob for adultery. Please stick around, if you can. We'll be serving strawberries and cream on the lawn afterwards...."

I just can't understand the mind that uncritically celebrates multiculturalism. To me the unwillingness to differentiate among religions and cultures is an abnegation of rationality. I suspect what is at work in many cases is an effort to deny the supremacy of one particular culture --  western judeo-christianity.

Meanwhile, raise a glass to multiculturalism, and give the sheik a wave -- "see you at the beheading"!
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3 comments:

P@J said...

Interesting. Isn’t your religion is based on a public execution? You wear the symbol of a public execution as a token of faith, and one cannot walk into your place or worship without seeing an (often graphic) display of this public execution.

I suppose, based on your attitude about this aspect of the Saudi justice system, that you would not support the return of capital punishment in Canada?

RkBall said...

The key issues about the Cross are

a) it was more than just capital punishment; it was designed to be as painful and degrading as possible. In other words, it was intentional torture.

b) in the case of Christ, an innocent man was put to death.

I have no problem with the death penalty assuming there is no reasonable doubt about guilt, but see it as a proper function of the State, not the Church, and certainly not tacked on to the end of a Christian church service.

RkBall said...

The reason that the Cross is on display is not because of the injustice or gruesomeness of it but because of what it represents

* the dreadful penalty for man's transgressions against a holy God

* the supreme act of self-giving that Christ would take our sin, our sins, our guilt and shame upon himself for our sakes

* a reminder that we are called to be "crucified with Christ", i.e., we are to repent of wilful rebellion and self-sufficiency, and turn to God with all our hearts, minds, and bodies

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"