As much of the world watches in dismay, the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan. Most religious rule ends up being harmful to women, it seems. We have centuries of male-run Catholicism showing how both witch hunts and heretic murder became common in Europe. Do we expect any better now that religious extremists have taken over a nation next door to Iran? The mix of politics and religion has generally not been favorable and unfortunately if the Republican Party could have its way we would see a similar thing here in the United States. An ill-executed coup d’état on January 6 of just this year led to the epiphany that the Republican jurists would protect those who tried to overthrow the US constitution in the name of religion. And we know how they feel about women’s rights. We should look at Afghanistan and tremble.
It seems difficult to believe that less than a century ago we went to war to defend democracy. Senators alive to witnesses the privations of war are now recklessly trying to remake America in the image of a fascist state. Instead of looking at Afghanistan as a mirror, the only thing they can see is this is a Muslim nation. Christians would surely never try to take over a capital by force. They turn a blind eye to our own insurrection, not yet nearly a year old. Ironically the book they claim to follow contains a often quoted but more often ignored statement: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…” It’s no accident that their intended victim was a woman.
Religious politics can be maintained by force of arms or legal maneuvering. Both are evil. The result is the same either way: women and thinking people suffer while the self-righteous rule. Even such basic assumptions as protecting their own people from a horrible disease by the simple expedient of a free vaccine has been politicized for purposes of keeping in power. When the moderates in their own party speak up they are shouted down. How different is this than the shouts of triumph heard in Kabul? The alternative—government that allows the freedom to believe what you will as long as all people are treated fairly—has been made out to be a sin. The god worshipped both by Republicans and the Taliban has little sympathy for humanity. He, and most certainly he is male, is all about power. We watch in dismay.