Sharia law ban proposed in Tennessee

By Elizabeth Tenety State Sen. Bill Ketron speaks outside the Senate chamber in Nashville on Feb. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Erik … Continued

By Elizabeth Tenety


State Sen. Bill Ketron speaks outside the Senate chamber in Nashville on Feb. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

Tennessee State Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and state Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma) introduced a bill last week outlawing the practice of Sharia, a complex set of religious laws that guide behavior for Muslims.

The bill, embedded below, attempts to define Sharia law and to make following it a felony punishable by 15 years in jail.

SB1028: Outlawing Sharia law in Tennessee

The bill’s authors make several generalizations about Islamic interpretation of Sharia.

My former Post colleague Andrea Useem, a Muslim journalist, wrote this summary of Sharia in 2005:

In its broadest sense, sharia is a system of laws based on the Koran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Like other legal systems, it has been elaborated on and debated by trained scholars over the years. The result? Competing schools of legal thought over a body of work that primarily addressed the concerns of Muslim life beginning in the seventh and eighth centuries.

Across the Muslim world, sharia plays out in different ways, depending on whether the local government is secular, strictly Islamist or somewhere in between. It also depends on how local Muslim scholars interpret the law.

Tennessee legislators see Sharia differently. Here’s how they describe the religious laws:

Sharia as legal-political-military doctrinal system:

“Sharia, as defined and understood by traditional and authoritative sharia scholars and leaders, is a legal-political-military doctrinal system combined with certain religious beliefs; further, sharia is based historically and traditionally on a full corpus of law and jurisprudence termed fiqh and usul al-fiqh, respectively, dealing with all aspects of a sharia-adherent’s personal and social life and political society.”

Then, political Islam as required by Sharia:

“Sharia as a political doctrine requires all its adherents to actively support the establishment of a political society based upon sharia as foundational or supreme law and the replacement of any political entity not governed by sharia with a sharia political order.”

Sharia as inherently subversive to American values:

“Sharia requires all its adherents to actively and passively support the replacement of America’s constitutional republic, including the representative government of this state with a political system based upon sharia.”

Violent jihad as required by Islam:

“Sharia in particular includes a war doctrine known as jihad”… then… “The unchanging and ultimate aim of jihad is the imposition of sharia on all states and nations, including the United States and this state; further, pursuant to its own dictates, sharia requires the abrogation, destruction, or violation of the United States and Tennessee Constitutions and the imposition of sharia through violence and criminal activity”

So while the bill’s sponsors say that the legislation only seeks to stop Sharia practices that conflict with the Constitution, the legislation implies that Islam requires Muslims to subvert the Constitution through violent or criminal means. Tennessee Muslim leaders have rejected that interpretation of their faith.

The legislation emerges against a backdrop of tense religious relations.

An ongoing debate over whether or not Muslim citizens should be allowed to build a new mosque in Murfreesboro, shows just how fraught relations are between Muslim residents and Islam skeptics. One recent headline read “Vanderbilt Poll Finds 62% Surveyed Say Muslims Should Have Same Rights.”


Naim Mohammed, middle, and other community members converse after breaking their fast for Ramadan and eating a meal prepared by community members Friday night at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Erin Parker/ The Washington Post

Oklahoma voters approved a measure similar to the Tennessee legislation in November. The measure, which outlaws the use of Sharia as a legal system, read, in part:

This measure amends the State Constitution. It changes a section that deals with the courts of this state. It would amend Article 7, Section 1. It makes courts rely on federal and state law when deciding cases. It forbids courts from considering or using international law. It forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law.

Sharia Law is Islamic law. It is based on two principal sources, the Koran and the teaching of Mohammed.

Shall the proposal be approved?

70 percent of Oklahoma voters said yes.

How do you interpret the events unfolding in Tennessee?

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • sassafrasnewport

    Sharia law in Tennessee? Hmmm, I didn’t know that Tennessee currently practices Sharia law. Redneck law, maybe, but Sharia? If this piece of legislation isn’t the biggest butt kisser of all time.

  • fiveinchtaint

    Leave it to Tennessee to lead the nation in crazy…

  • andrew23boyle

    No citizen of the Republic should be under ANY sort of religious law, Muslim or otherwise. I can’t believe that there are people who find something wrong with forbidding a PUBLIC COURT in a SECULAR REPUBLIC from “considering or using Sharia Law.”Regardless of our religion or lack thereof, we should ALL be under ONE law, CIVIL law.Besides being a blatant violation of the disestablishment clause, allowing various communities to hold themselves to different standards according to their particular religious belief is a receipe for chaos. Would we try Catholics under Vatican law or Jews under Talmudic Law? If not, why should Sha’aria recieve special treatment.Religion belongs in the home, the temple, the church or the Mosque. It does NOT belong in court.

  • WmarkW

    In Maryland recently, there was a case in which a Muslim immigrant couple (who had been married in their homeland) were divorcing. The husband claimed they were already divorced, because while visiting their homeland, he had repeated “I divorce thee” three times, as required by Sharia.The Maryland court threw out the claim as lacking due process. Good for them. But is this the sort of thing Sharia advocates want?

  • jeffc6578

    Does this law cover tea-bagger “Christian” sharia law, too????

  • ppeck56

    This law goes beyond having the courts refuse to recognize Sharia law concepts and actually make it a crime to push for one’s religious views. They might as well add a section that arrests people who follow Talmudic law and any other religious sets of principles because I’m sure everyone of them doesn’t fully follow the concepts of the Constitution. Speaking of which,I can’t understand the mentality of people who are elected officials pushing such garbage which will obviously be over turned by the courts. Aren’t they ever embarrassed for wasting everyone’s time?

  • claireunga

    This bill is categorically offensive and implies that Sharia law dictates adherence over the Constitution. Why does our country tolerate this level of racism, as long as it applies to Muslims? There would be an outrageous backlash if someone proposed a ban of Talmudic law, but since Tennessee is targeting Muslims in particular, this barely fuels a public reaction. The ban is also highly problematic since there are several different versions of Sharia that range in their conservatism and liberalism and the law does not specify which version(s) it is banning. Also, Andrew23boyle, there is no such thing as the “disestablisment clause.” The first amendment has an establishment clause that prevents the establishment of a state religion. However, that really isn’t relevant to this conversation.

  • fluxgirl

    What’s next from Tennesee? Declaring war on martians?

  • OldUncleTom

    Who wants to bet that Tennessee will use this silly and irrelevant legislation to persecute their Islamic community?

  • thompst1

    Thank God for this law!! And, while they are at it, I DEMAND that they forbid the “Flying Spaghetti Monster Laws” from being used in Tennessee!! And the dolphins… did I mention the dolphins? Sneaky devils– there must be a law against DOLPHIN LAW!

  • DCSteve1

    Replying to:Posted by: andrew23boyle | February 24, 2011 2:06 PM Couldn’t agree more with that sentiment, Andrew. Unfortunately, it sure sounds like the folks supporting this law have NO problem with treating Christianity as the one and only foundation of our legal system (as shown by their support for posting the Ten Commandments everywhere). They don’t care at all about maintaining a level playing field for those of all faiths (or none).

  • amstphd

    If I remember my American history correctly, the evangelical churches, which were prominent in Tennessee, actually held religious courts that punished church members for a variety of violations of Biblical law. The southern states in which these courts convened seem to have survived, although the collective IQ seems to have dropped considerably.

  • srb2

    @’SASSAFRASNEWPORT’, says [2/24, 1:56p, partial]:Tennessee currently practices Sharia law. Redneck law, maybe, but Sharia?Sure… redneck law in Tennesse… blackneck law in Washington, DC… brownneck law in California…It’s called ‘diversity’ dumff**kk… it’ll be hard for a bigot like you — but you’ll have to live with it…

  • ravensfan20008

    I interpret these events as a bunch of kooks trying to pass a bill that won’t last five minutes under constitutional scrutiny.

  • cassandra9

    The First Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits the use of Sharia in its Anti-establishment Clause. This is known as the separation of church and state, which is equally the separation of temple and state, synagogue and state and mosque and state. Criminalizing the use of Sharia law is simply silly and hyterical. Move on to jobs and deficits, Tennessee legislature. The Founding Fathers already took care of this. You’re just pushing a political hot button for political gain.Additionally, because the law is only directed at Sharia, it probably wouldn’t pass constitutional review. Like the First Amendment, such a law should be written to exclude all religious law. But really, you can’t criminalize it, you can only prohibit the government from enacting and the courts from enforcing religious law. Yet again, its redundant since the First Amendment already does this.

  • calmseas

    Worked in Mahgreb and Middle East for quite a few years … over 17 years. Have seen Sharia law ‘in practice’ many times … to many times. Why in the world would a supposed ‘civilized’ state like Tennessee need to enact such a law? Have people been cutting off hands there and going unpunished? If so, maybe they need to enact this.

  • joann5

    Since I’m currently living in TN, I’m so relieved to read that until the house we’re building back home in the Pacific Northwest is finished, I’ll have someone trying to protect me from the evils of Sharia Law. (Though, thanks to THOMPST1, I’m now going to lie awake nights worrying about those sneaky devil dolphins!) And sorry, FIVEINCHTAINT, even with this insane bill, Tennessee doesn’t yet lead the country in crazy. That title belongs to the state we lived in before TN — AZ.

  • dcheretic

    Now that it is no longer socially acceptable to bash gays and lesbians and anti-Semitism is so 1950s, the Christian Right has found a new boogeyman: Muslims! Anything for a buck….

  • YEAL9

    The Solution!!!The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths (and Sharia law):( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost Islamic souls- Priceless!!!)Are you ready? Using “The 77 Branches of Islamic “faith” a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true “faith” (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.” i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs. The First Five of the 77 Branches:”1. Belief in Allah”aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.”2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.”Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gib Gnab” (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “creationist”.”3. To believe in the existence of angels.”A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker be-lls”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented.”4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.”5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone.”Mohammed spent thirty days “fasting” (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the “two-minute” cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

  • sarahabc

    This silliness won’t past Constitutional challenges and is therefore just a couple of guy’s efforts to court the anti-Muslim vote (sad to say there is such a thing).

  • Garak

    Blatantly unconstitutional, but that never worries the teahadists.@srb2: So you oppose the dumff**kks who want to make the Bible trump the Constitution. Right?

  • JoeT1

    this is idiotic. no court could ever apply any other law than state or federal, so the concept of the bill is meaningless and only proves that the legislator is ignorant of the US system of laws and courts he purports to defend.and it’s already illegal to commit any crimes sharia law would supposedly call on its members to commit against the state or US constitutions, and sharia law would be no defense.as for merely “recognizing” sharia law as such, that’s silly as well, and the courts would likely ignore the TN legislation. If two parties to a contract agree that the food to be delivered shall be certified Kosher, that’s simply a factual proposition that the court will enforce under ordinary contract principles, not the replacement of US laws with Jewish laws.how do we elect buffoons like this?

  • ScottChallenger

    Seems Tennesee Republicans are about as interested in job creation as those Republicans in Wisconsin.More sociol experiments from the GOP….meanwhile, hundreds of thousands remain unemployed looking for work.You quacks voted these clowns in – you sleep with them.

  • adamdawson9681

    This might as well be called “The Cleetus and Simpleton Appeasement Act of 2011.” These guys might as well pass laws against dragon cloning or time travel, both of which are just as likely to occur in Tennessee as Sharia Law.

  • StanKlein

    Actually, Muslim Sharia law is enforceable under certain circumstances in the United States, as is Jewish Halacha law, and as would be any other religious law or other legal principles. The circumstance is a civil lawsuit in which both parties agree on arbitration and that the arbitrator will decide the case according to the legal principles that the parties prescribe. A religious court can serve as the arbitrator.It happens all the time.

  • ward29800

    Wasn’t Canon Law cited as a reason for not reporting sexual abuse to the civil authorities? The accused rights were to be fully protected under Canon Law and all its procedures. Let’s add Canon Law prohibition to the bill while we are at it.

  • jckdoors

    The fear-mongerers obviously run Tenn. Where are the adults? Does religious freedom mean anything. I’m sure Tenn. has laws against assault, murder, etc. should sharia enforcement reach that level. Sheesh.

  • jckdoors

    Christians on the warpath.

  • swiftsmail

    Talk about a waste of taxpayer time and money. Wow. Puts a capital D on dumb.

  • tdelo1

    States that rank near the bottom in how well they educate their residents such as Oklahoma and Tennessee actually take stuff like this seriously .. as they vote against their own best interests by voting for Republicans. Hey, Tennessee and Oklahoma (and every other red state) how about some more cuts to education to help balance out those tax breaks for the rich and greedy corporations. God, guns, and gays dominate the limited space in many of these people’s minds as they are easy prey for the likes of the Koch Brothers and other very rich manipulators of the Tea Party.

  • DrainYou

    Yes….because ‘Sharia Law’ is spreading all over the country.In fact just this morning when I was getting ready for work, I looked under my bed, and there it was! ‘Sharia Law’ was hiding under my bed waiting for me to go to sleep so it could attack!Tennesse = A Bunch Of Slack Jawed Yokels!.

  • Muddy_Buddy_2000

    It might have been a good law if they forbade consideration of any religious text or set of religious laws in the creating of legislation, or in court decisions. Kick them all out of the playing field and keepBTW are there even enough Muslims in the entire country to win a majority in TN, I know their are not enough Muslims in the USA who would ever try and enforce Sharia Law to take over TN, maybe Alaska

  • johncberg

    The article describes the Oklahoma law as “similar” to the proposed Tennessee law; that’s not correct. The Oklahoma law applies to courts, instructing them not to apply principles of shari’a (or of international law) in making decisions. That’s dumb, but at least it is coherent. The Tennessee law, as described, applies to individuals, forbidding them from practicing the principles of shari’a. What on earth does that mean? If shari’a requires believers to pray, will it now be illegal to pray? This is nuttiness on a really grand scale!John Berg

  • willandjansdad1

    “Southern Baptist Christianity requires all its adherents to actively and passively support the replacement of America’s constitutional republic, including the representative government of this state with a political system based upon Southern Baptist Christianity.”I ran the bill through my truth-machine and this came out.

  • rolandberger

    Banning Christian laws would empty almost the whole code of law.

  • jgsr

    People get too confused with differing versions/interpretations of nouns and lose sight of the Concept.

  • chuck8

    A century after the Scopes monkey trial, Tennessee Republicans are making monkeys of themselves.

  • willandjansdad1

    Judging by this bill, TN must be a virtual hotbed of Sharia enforcing mullah-thugs.

  • ThinkB4USpeak1

    I wonder how many of you actually took the time to read the bill. There is specific provision for the practice of religion. This bill directly targets ONLY activities that are harmful. Take a moment to read section 39-13-903 paragraphs 3 & 4 You will see that there is no intent to limit religious freedom. I would find the bill incredibly appalling if there was intent to curb religious freedom, however, the two paragraphs mentioned above leave no question about the purpose of the bill. I think that the author of this article has purposely tried to raise hackles on the reader, and she did exactly that, however, taking the time to read through or get a clear understanding of what is going on BEFORE making comments would help ease tensions a great deal. PEACE…

  • sheriazali

    This governor SHOULD be punished for even creating such an inhumane statement, I beleive tennesse is known for where KKK resides and this governor is seriously among one of them… It is no such thing as white power or black power or brown power. Its up to Almighty Allah and this whole universe is Allahs no matter what a human being tries to pass We shall see very soon that your plan will fail Mr governor of tennessee ..

  • jefflourie

    I believe it was Thomas Friedman of The New York Times who characterized the conflict as a battle of ideas between the Eighteenth Century [The Age of Enlightenment in the West] and the Thirteenth Century or thereabout [the era of Islamic florescence]. It is comforting to know that the Tennessee legislators wish to level the playing field by moving Western Civilization five centuries backwards to Medieval times. Let us all sharpen our lances and polish our greaves.

  • shadowknows

    This is the state that elected Jim Bunning to the U.S. Senate and then replaced him with Rand Paul. They elected two senators in a row who just don’t get it, now it’s apparent that they elect state legislators who are just as benighted.

  • jvmorris1

    This should be an embarassment to thinking Tennesseans and an affront to it’s Muslim citizens. Tennessee courts must follow State and federal laws. Should we have a law banning the use of French, Italian, and Danish law?Perhaps there should be a law in our state setting a minimum IQ for running for State office.

  • marc85

    It seems to me that the Judeo-Christian 10 Commandments form a large base for current U.S. laws, on the national, state and local levels. When the Moslems constitute the majority of the U.S. population they may want to try to introduce Sharia law into the legal mixture; until that Moslem population-majority occurs in this democracy we’ll still refer to our theocratic “provider” as “God”, not “Allah”–another human-conceived deity who’s also been interpeted by saber-carrying amirs as having decreed the unforgiving rationales of “fatwah” and “jihad”. What other world-wide religion publicly supports the concept of the religiously inspired killing of individuals (“fatwah”) and/or the killing of entire groups of non-Moslem-believing humans? The Moslem amirs encourage their mosque members to engage in killing different politically boundried populations (“jihad”) who may refer to the diety by a different name–but I suppose they would also just kill those who don’t subscribe to their own brand of Islamic dogma: think “Shiah” vs. “Sunni”. The way “the prophet Mohammed” spread his self-proclaimed religion was via his paid army, which killed any of the unarmed invaded populace which didn’t pledge belief in Commander Mohammed as the identity of deity-on-earth. And the Moslems think they’re civilized? They may have more efficient and more murderous weaponry, but little more.

  • truepatriot2

    Muslims have NO right to expect us to change our faith, way of life and laws for them and their insanity..who the heck do they think they are anyway….if they want to live as they choose then they go where that rubbish is believed and leave the US alone. We are a Christian nation and do not believe in that stuff they spew..We have the Bible and Christ and that is all we need…they must either assimilate to us and our ways or leave America, period…there is NO discussion here on this! They make me furiuos to think they can change what we believe in….the devils army, is who they are!

  • foolmoon77

    IT IS A RİDİCULOUS PROPOSE.ITS UNBELİEVABLE

  • RAPProds

    Putting aside the merits of Sharia (an alien doctrine subjugating women, hacking off hands of thieves, just for starters), we have one rule of law in this country. If you don’t like it and want another, leave. Go back. Or found your own country. Simple as that. Why should we adapt to immigrants. When In Rome. That’s been the rule of human habitation since the beginning of time.The Founders carefully and assiduously avoiding Religion in The Constitution because it was for ALL the people of the US.American law is based on the maximum freedom for the individual. Sharia is about shackles on humanity.The word Islam itself means “submit.” Personally, having read various histories of Islam and the Koran (highly recommended) it is a vile and evil “religion.” The Koran itself is the Mein Kampf of a power mad egomaniac pedophile whose last wife was nine-years old. Islam is a “juridical” religion. Judaism is another juridical religion based on Mosaic LAW (but the Jews do not try to impose their religion on others). Tolerance has limits. Would we admit Nazi Law into this country to demonstrate our “tolerance?”

  • DwightCollins

    women are like cattle in sharia law…

  • kingcranky

    The anti-Muslim blithering comments in this thread show complete hypocrisy in that they caterwaul and carp about Christianity being the law of the land.Which version of Christianity, exactly, is the basis for our secular laws, and why is a far-right, extremist form of “Christianity”, which has the same goals as the “Sharia” these irrationally irate and willfully-ignorant wingnuts are blubbering on about, so much less of a threat to us, especially women?I don’t expect an answer, especially one grounded in logic and rationality.Then again, what these whiners refuse to acknowledge is that no one religion is objectively more “legitimate” than any other, as faith cannot be measured objectively, only subjectively.

  • JoeT1

    the only laws any court can enforce or recognize are the ones passed by the state or federal legislatures, so the bill reflects total ignorance by the author.as for allowing religious freedom, except for “dangerous” practices, such practices are either already illegal or they are not. if they are, the bill is ignorant and spiteful, if they aren’t, it’s unconstitutional because you are making a specific act illegal only if it is done in the name of sharia, but not otherwise. what does the bill outlaw that isn’t already illegal, or that shouldn’t be illegal whowever does it for whatever reason, sharia or not.as for merely considering sharia concepts stipulated to by the parties or otherwise relevant to a lawsuit, that would be absurd, and also unconstitutional. You can’t allow a court to enforce a food contract calling for the delivery of Kosher food, and not similarly dependent on some sharia concept the parties agreed to. either way, the author is playing to an ignorant crowd with a stunningly ignorant bill that should be an embarassment to anyone elected to write laws in our system of government, one he obviously knows little about.

  • waynecole

    The laws of the United States Constitution are set and can not be ammended in any state. We do not require a particular law in a state that outlaws Shira law because the Constitution already does that. Lawmakers need to be very careful in trying to ban something that is already banned. The problem is that if we are not careful we will be moving into the “Freedom of religion” issue which can open up a “can of worms”. Let’s walk softly.

  • kacameron

    My suggestion is:

  • davetheman

    They preach this hate in the churches here. CONSTANTLY! It is the mega-churches. This is my hometown, where I live now. And they are the majority- the most mean spirited, narrow minded, inbred, redneck, hillbilly, dumb ass, uneducated, buck tooth bunch of trouble makers out there. There are good things about the South, and some good people, but we’ve just always got to be hating something down here. BTW- they are also preaching (and believing) that Obama is the anti-Christ, so you better not under estimate the danger of these backwoods, money-raising, fear mongering SOBS. They are determined to drag America into World War III.

  • orgbluspider

    And now a word from our sponsors:”When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed . . . .The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression.”Federalist 10.Even as he was writing our Constitution, James Madison understood what so many contemporary proponents of state’s right forget; it is states that are the greatest natural threat to liberty (i.e., not the Federal government).

  • mandinka2

    This wouldn’t have even been anissue until a Judge in NJ applied the law in allowing a wife beater to go free

  • Sherry91

    What’s the difference between a muslim man using sharia to beat his wife and a redneck beating his wife because she didn’t listen to his “woman get me a beer!”? Answer: the muslim man wouldn’t ask for a beer, therefore his wife wouldn’t get beaten. And if she was beaten for other reasons the koran says he is to beat her lightly and with a stick no wider than the width of his little finger. Poor Mrs. Redneck–good luck…but we’re sure the ER and Medicaid will take good care of you and Leroy will expect you to obey next time!

  • GeorgeS1

    I’m not sure if the First Amendment has been interpreted to apply to the States. Its origin was to restrain the central federal government. States did have established churches, and many ammended their constitutions to be consistent with the First Amendment.To be consistent Tennessee will have to expand their law to include all religious thinking in the ban.

  • ThishowIseeit

    Bet Bill Ketron and Judd Matheny will be re-elected, because Muslims and gullible liberals are a minority in that State. Also this bill will foster a careful re-study of history, but please, don’t rely on Wikipedia to learn the truth about Islam. IMO many entries on Wikipedia are un-true.

  • andrew23boyle

    This bill is categorically offensive and implies that Sharia law dictates adherence over the Constitution. Why does our country tolerate this level of racism, as long as it applies to Muslims? There would be an outrageous backlash if someone proposed a ban of Talmudic law, but since Tennessee is targeting Muslims in particular, this barely fuels a public reaction. The ban is also highly problematic since there are several different versions of Sharia that range in their conservatism and liberalism and the law does not specify which version(s) it is banning. Also, Andrew23boyle, there is no such thing as the “disestablisment clause.” The first amendment has an establishment clause that prevents the establishment of a state religion. However, that really isn’t relevant to this conversation. I meant the “establishment” clause:”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. I disagree with your assertion that this clause is irrelevant to this issue. To allow and endorse religious law for certain adherents of the religion in question is to use the resources and power of the state to promote that religion; ie. establish it. Our courts are secular and MUST remain secular for the good of ALL citizens, including Muslims.Islam, by the way, is a philosophy. It is a religion, not a race. There are Muslims representing all the “races”. There can therefore be nothing at all ‘racist’ about such laws even IF you think they are unfair.You yourself point out that most Muslims DON’T adhere to the more radical versions of Sharia. Those Muslims, I’m sure, don’t have a problem with being tried under civil law in civl courts. This law is directed against those who DO think that their religion takes precedence over the Constitutional right of ALL citizens, including Muslim, to an trial under due process and US laws.This law again, “forbids courts from considering or using Sharia Law”. Please explain, if you will, why you think it would be Constitutional to ALLOW Sharia law in OUR courts.I do, however, agree with you that certain Muslims are NOT the only people in this country who want special treatment for their “faith”, even going to the point of demanding special rules in court for their community. This too is unexceptable.

  • andrew23boyle

    Replying to:Couldn’t agree more with that sentiment, Andrew. Unfortunately, it sure sounds like the folks supporting this law have NO problem with treating Christianity as the one and only foundation of our legal system (as shown by their support for posting the Ten Commandments everywhere). I completely agree with you. I am an atheist myself so I don’t have a dog in this race but I have noticed that adherents of pretty much ALL religions run the gambit from crazy extremists to benign to charitable and humanitarian.I’d like to see this law rewritten to outlaw ANY religious law being introduced into our courts.The fact that some Christian, like some Muslims, however, can’t handle the fact that they live in a secular Republic and that their particular philosophy is not imposed on their fellow citizens by coercion, is deplorable and something that should itself be addressed, but it doesn’t mean we can or should tolerate Sharia in our courts: two wrongs don’t make a right.That I have no problem with a law such as this specifically banning religious law from courts doesn’t mean that I think it goes far enough or that I think only Muslims engage in this sort of nonsense. I haven’t seen, for instance, any great movement among Christians to impose Christian law on Christian citizens in the courst but they can’t seem to stay away from the history books or, as you point out, refrain from erecting religious monument on public land.I think you’re right that a lot of people who are supporting this don’t care a whit about the principle but unfortunately just want to stick it to “them Islams”. Not, however, all of them as I hope my comments in support of it make clear. I, however, expect religious fanaticism from religios fanatics. Who I don’t understand are those of my fellow citizen who call themselves ‘liberals’ but support this sort of right-wing religious interference in our courts simply (it seems) because in this case the religion in question is Islam. At least, I can’t see any other reason why right-wing Muslim fanatics are OK while right-wing Christian fanatics are anathema. So far as I am concerned, religious slavery is religious slavery and we ALL have a duty to guard against it and keep it OUT of our courts even if we can’t always keep it our of our government altogether.In any case, it was very nice speaking with you! Have a great day and take care of yourself if we don’t have the chance to speak again!

  • eezmamata

    Do you ever wonder why there’s no tech industry in Tennessee?These political types are only pandering to their constituents. Why the christians fear some overwhelming influence of islam in such hillbilly country is beyond sense.Perhaps they know deep down inside how ridiculous their own religious beliefs are, and know that anybody susceptible to their currently favored christian nonsense will be equally susceptible to muslim nonsense.

  • WmarkW

    “Do you ever wonder why there’s no tech industry in Tennessee?”On the other hand, there isn’t much tech industry anyplace that has Sharia law, either.

  • itsthedax

    Typical empty, meaningless posturing by fear mongering christian politicians. The supremacy clause of the US Constitution prohibits any states or municipalities from enacting any laws that conflict with the constitution itself.This means no sharia law, or biblical law either.

  • ThankaVeteran2day

    Amazing – the number of supposed Americans posting here, shunning Tennessee’s actions, while attempting humor with redneck jokes. This nation’s laws were founded based on Judeo-Christian values, and to all of you anti-Christian, anti-fly-over country, and anti-American bigots, you should be grateful for those elected officials with the sense to be proactive and protect this country’s freedoms and law – which represents ALL citizens. Have you ever attempted to get a cab with a dog or a bottle of wine in hand at the Minneapolis airport? Have you been to London lately? Do not be so naive. Leave the country if you are so offended.

  • Josjepha

    Hey this is Great!

  • cpmondello

    Eliminate all conservative Christians. Only the elimination of all conservative Christians will allow all Americans to be free and the world to no longer have to live in fear of the U.S.A.’s imperialist, terrorist holy war. The conservative ideology has never helped mankind in any way, it has not only never helped mankind in anyway, it has oppressed, murdered, raped and killed all those in it’s way to gain power. History shows us this. Fact shows us this. James Madison, the “Father of the U.S. Constitution”, along with many founders of this country, regardless of their religious or non-religious affiliations, knew keeping politics and religion separate not only preserves each, but helps them flourish: “The number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church and the State.”

  • Truth-Be-Told

    The First Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits the use of Sharia in its Anti-establishment Clause. This is known as the separation of church and state, which is equally the separation of temple and state, synagogue and state and mosque and state. Criminalizing the use of Sharia law is simply silly and hyterical. Move on to jobs and deficits, Tennessee legislature. The Founding Fathers already took care of this. You’re just pushing a political hot button for political gain.#########################Sharia law might seem “silly and hystrical” to *you* — until the day comes when it’s *your* head being chopped off for saying a few harmless words … These “Sharia Muslims” may seem silly, even “quaint”, until they gain power and non-Muslim heads start rolling …

  • cmmdesigner

    Several different people of the Muslim faith have confidently stated their intent to spread sharia law across the U.S.

  • cmmdesigner

    Several different people of the Muslim faith have confidently stated their intent to spread sharia law across the U.S.

  • YEAL9

    Sharia law is simply another part of the Great Angelic/Satanic Con Game:To wit:Joe Smith had his Moroni.Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;Mohammed had his Gabriel (this “tin-kerbell” got around)and his jinn.Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other “no-namers” to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

  • prasadbinoy

    The fact that a Tennessee senator had to bring a piece of legislation to prevent Sharia law from ever becoming a part of the state law indicates that the legislator or the constituency he represents is fearful of it. A volley of reaction in this column makes sense. The WP readers are intelligent enough to place the issue in perspective.Have a faith or not, the fact is that in the process of social evolution, the popular religious values of the time were borrowed to frame laws. The contemporary faith gave the law wider acceptance and legitimacy. Laws were always made by the powerful over the weak. The law or part of it has always been abrogated or modified to suit the powerful.From this perspective, the law based on Christianity was enforced in the land conquered by the Christians, just as Islamic laws were implemented in the areas ruled by the Muslims. The non-conformists were always forcibly converted or punished with excessive penalty.Fast forward history, we find adherents of all faiths and religions, agnostics as well as atheists becoming neighbors in this global township. We all bring our religious, cultural baggage, and try to live peacefully, at the same time we promote our faiths also. In the sweep of cultural amalgamation forced by demographic shifts and the stampede unleashed by globalization, we are fearful of losing our identity, our cultural roots, our relationship with our kids.This is precisely the reason why the senator wants to fortress his territory against any future onslaught and this also explains why the Muslims, the late comers, wish to have a place on the table. Put simply, the table is crowded and everyone wants to have his table manners accepted. Since there is a conflict of manners, there will be problems. How to sort them out remains the problem.The conflict of and between the religions on the one hand, and the state on the other were historically resolved by a long fought bloody war. As a result, the western society agreed to a civil law. There is a constitutional amendment in the US that protects the constitution from being overtaken by a religion, even though “In God We Trust.” So, why not to follow a secular principle which is respectful of all religions and yet keeps laws within the domain of civic behavior; it doesn’t allow itself to be governed by the outdated-contradictory interpretations of religions.However, follow the debate carefully: one side says the Sharia laws are full of barbaric punishments like chopping off of arms etc.; the other side reasons all the problems the decadent Western society suffers from are because Sharia is not adhered to.In the West, a person is innocent until proven guilty. If you find your wife in bed with others, take a divorce by following a procedure. In Iran, as reports suggest, you can kill your adulterous wife and just inform the police or the local elders. It will take some time to settle the debate!Binoy S. Prasad

  • allen9485

    Skimming these comments, I am simply appalled at these idiotic, anti-American conformists that share the same freedoms that we’ve enjoyed since c. 1790.These shallow people like to humor and validate themselves by using buzzwords to discredit southern states — passing them off as “racist” and “stupid.” It’s too easy, it requires no original thought or creativity (just listen to Bill Maher & you’re automatically educated), and if a college professor discusses it, it must be gospel.The average reader of the Washington Post has had a severe blow dealt to their credibility, with their repetitive, monotonous rants against this new law in Tennessee.Sharia Law calls for death (by stoning in most cases) to women accused of infidelity; and death by other crimes lesser than capital.Before you bash Tennessee for doing a service to this country, look at your own, shallow selves. Your grandfathers fought on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day to ensure that even stupid people, like you, has the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the law of the land — the CONSTITUTION, and NOT Sharia Law.All you deadbeat liberals, who dismiss this law, deserve to have your freedoms stripped. Please do us all a favor and move to Iran, and find out, first-hand, what living under Sharia Law is all about.

  • jonweiss1

    Actually I find this entire debate a bit silly, since at the Federal Level, by the Constitution, Sharia is prohibited from being enacted by the Federal Government.As I am not a Muslim, I would disregard Sharia anyway, which I do already. If a member of my family violates Sharia Law but is not in violation of the Constitution, or local civil laws, then their actions were not an infraction to begin with. If the civil laws are changed to Sharia compliance, then the government that enacts sharia in my city, county, or state, will simply have to make do without my taxes or any other support, since when they enact the law locally, I will demand the Sharia laws be repeal, failing that, I’ll be leaving the locality, moving to a Non Sharia compliant area, taking my possessions and my tax payments with me. Note to all of the politicians who are considering implementing Sharia law, One of the aspects of immigration is that the immigrants are coming to the U.S. to adopt America as their country of choice and generally to start a new way of life. If they are intent on bringing the old ways of life like the antiquated code of Sharia, then they need to stay in the backward 7th century non progressing nations where they were born, and stop trying to convert the U.S. to Islam, which is the eventual goal, all of the “Islamic tolerance” propaganda notwithstanding. I for one refuse to be converted. I like my life as an American, and Christian, and I do not need to change…I especially have no need to take any advice on how to live my life from a group of men who are married to women whom the men are ashamed of displaying in public, if a Muslims wife is so displeasing to look at that they must go through life hidden away, then the husband must have extremely poor taste in women, or is it just that 7th Century bass-ackwards way of life that they love so much?

  • jonweiss1

    After reading the Tennessee bill, I downloaded the PDF and sent it to my Rep at my state’s legislature with the recommendation that we also adopt the law, or a similar one of local creation.

  • jonweiss1

    The Biggest Hoot in this whole discussion is the liberal factions who see the inclusion of Sharia into the legal system as completely acceptable based on “diversity”, yet the same dimwits fight tooth an nail against a simple innocuous display of the Ten Commandments in a county court house. What a bunch of liberal loons.

  • eezmamata

    JONWEISS1 the liberals may be loons, but you conservatives are wackoes if you think those of us who think both liberals and conservatives are equally useless will be allowing either sharia law or you rabid christianists to poison our government with your primitive nonsense.The only diversity I see is you christians and those muslims simply spell your name differently, you still want the same thing – domination of all based on your facetious fairy tales.

  • cmmdesigner

    VERY GOOD comment Allen9485.THIS is what Americans before us gave their lives for? I can’t see why this is so hard to understand. First off, it is about respect and boundaries. You really don’t see a problem with somebody going into another country and stating that they will change their laws and faiths? I DO see a problem with that! People who do not have respect and boundaries in place will do who knows what! And some of our citizens are backing this in the name of diversity?!? Yeah. They are so diverse, they believe you should be killed if you are not Muslim (an infidel). So, go preach diversity to THEM! And yes, that is true, that these folks don’t want the ten commandments displayed but want to give room to this stuff! CRAZY!

  • schmidt1

    How are non muslim religions doing in those countries,,great respect for them no doubt.Certainly catholic churches with tall spires and crosses are everywhere,as mosques with their mideast look are being constructed everywhere.Perhaps muslim men who cant wait to get to this country will stop killing their daughters for becoming westernized,,

  • Sara121

    If you make a law based on a religious opinion, you have effectively established that religious opinion as law. Since Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, plus the supremacy clause, there’s no need for further laws. It applies equally to every and any religion. For those who seem to think we ought to have Bible based law, you will need to amend the First Amendment first to exempt Christianity. But if that happens, don’t be surprised if you lose all credibility when trying to tell other countries that they should respect their Christian minorities. If we can bash on our religious minorities, why can’t Pakistan? Or Saudi Arabia? Or India? Or China? Or Iraq? Or Sudan? Or Egypt? American service members give their lives to protect and defend a Constitution that protects everyone of every faith, equally, not just the group that happens to be in the majority. Otherwise we’d be no better than places like Pakistan. Everyone of every faith must be equally subject to the same laws, which must be based on no one’s faith, so that everyone can be equally protected.

  • yasseryousufi

    Middle America is the country of racist xenophobes who hate anyone that is unlike them. They are a threat to the free world. The world should join hands to obliterate this cancer. These people aren’t enlightened enough to deserve the right to vote. They aren’t ready for democracy yet. They should be occupied by a coalition of the willing untill they are ready to join the civilized world.

  • YEAL9

    Lower, Middle and Upper America’s response to terror and horror:-Operation Iraqi Freedom- The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed as of 8/10/2010 mostly due the Shiite and Sunni suicide bombers.- Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror,- Saddam, his sons and major he-nchmen have been deleted. Saddam’s bravado about WMD was one of his major mistakes. Kuwait was saved.- Iran is being been contained. (beside containing the Sunni-Shiite civil war in Baghdad, that is the main reason we are in Iraq. And yes, essential oil continues to flow from the region.)- Libya has become almost civil. Recently Libya agreed to pay $1.5 billion to the victims of their terrorist activities. Apparently this new reality from an Islamic country has upset OBL and his “crazies” as they have threatened Libya. OBL sure is a di-sgrace to the world especially the Moslem world!!! Or is he???- North Korea is still uncivil but is contained. – Northern Ireland is finally at peace.- The Jews and Palestinians are being separated by walls. Hopefully the walls will follow the 1948 UN accords. Unfortunately the Annapolis Peace Conference was not successful. And unfortunately the recent events in Gaza has put this situation back to “square one”. And this significant stupidity is driven by the mythical foundations of both religions!!!- Bin Laden has been cornered under a rock in Western Pakistan since 9/11.- Fanatical Islam has basically been contained to the Middle East but a wall between India and Pakistan would be a plus for world peace. Ditto for a wall between Afghanistan and Pakistan.- Timothy McVeigh was executed. Terry Nichols will follow soon.- Eric Rudolph is spending three life terms in prison with no parole. – Jim Jones, David Koresh, Kaczynski, the “nuns” from Rwanda, and the KKK were all dealt with and either eliminated themselves or are being punished. – Islamic Sudan, Darfur and Somalia are still terror hot spots. – The terror and tor-ture of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo and Kuwait were ended by the proper application of the military forces of the USA and her freedom-loving friends. Ra-dovan Karadzic was finally captured on 7/23/08 and is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the law of war – charges related to the 1992-1995 civil war that followed Bosnia-Herzegovina’s secession from Yugoslavia.- And of course the bloody terror brought about by the Japanese, Nazis and Communists was with great difficulty eliminated by the good guys.

  • YEAL9

    Simplifying the saving of 1.5 billion lost Muslim souls:Simplifying the saving of 2 billion lost Christian souls:Simplifying the saving of 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:Added details upon request.

  • whyyesbrain

    This provides a perfect model for the pro-choice movement. First crimalize the use of catholic/vatican law, making it a felony. Then, arrest anyone objecting to abortion on religious grounds and send them to jail.

  • ThomasBaum

    yasseryousufi You wrote, “Don’t scratch your “brains” too much! (…and please don’t ask “who is your brains”)Take your pills and retire to your hole.”Not much of an answer.Is the answer, that you seem to be afraid of writing or speaking clearly, that not only should Israel be wiped off the earth but also America?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • schnauzer21

    For all the uneducated islamaphobes- Sharia law is not a specific set of laws. It is the concept of using the quran to look at how things are done legally. Every person who sees something different in the Quran will have a different idea of what is Sharia and what isn’t.Example: (a pretend situtation for illsutration purposes only)Just like Judaic law is considred in US courts if both parties are jewish AND wish to follow it (and provided it does NOT violate any standing US law). These are only ever used in civil cases when all parties involved are in agreement about it and request it. Criminal cases are ajudicated by US laws, period.

  • ThomasBaum

    yasseryousufi You wrote, “Middle America is the country of racist xenophobes who hate anyone that is unlike them.”Just who do you consider “Middle America”?At least on the surface, this statement of yours seems rather bigoted and phobic in it’s own right.You then wrote, “They are a threat to the free world.”What, in your opinion, is the “free world”?Who is this “they”?You then wrote, “The world should join hands to obliterate this cancer.”Isn’t “Middle America” part of the world?I know that America is not perfect but is anywhere in this world perfect?Just who gets to decide which “cancer” to obliterate and just who gets to decide what constitutes the “cancer” to be obliterated?You then wrote, “These people aren’t enlightened enough to deserve the right to vote.”Who, in your opinion, are the “enlightened ones” that get to decide just who should “deserve the right to vote” and who should not “deserve the right to vote”?You then wrote, “They aren’t ready for democracy yet.”Just who are the “they” that aren’t ready for democracy yet?If democracy turns out to be no more than “mob rule” than I would hope to God that no one is ready for it yet.You then wrote, “They should be occupied by a coalition of the willing untill they are ready to join the civilized world.”Who is or are this “they” that you are referring too?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • yasseryousufi

    ThomasBaum,Don’t scratch your “brains” too much! (…and please don’t ask “who is your brains”)Take your pills and retire to your hole.

  • cmmdesigner

    Americans aren’t in the civilized world? Oh, but cutting off people’s heads, treating women worse than cattle and making them wear ‘burqas’, killing your daughter for being ‘too American’ (you moved to America, what did you expect?), stoning people….and THAT is civilized?!?

  • yasseryousufi

    ThomasBaum,Why do you Israel first neocons have to bring up that illegitimate state in every debate? Do you love Israel more than your own country? You spew venom against Islam in all your posts. Do you NOT want to see the destruction of Islam Mr. Jesus reincarnate? Can we have an honest answer for a change? All you anti-Islamic ignoramuses are like that naughty child who learns a bad word and keeps repeating it without even knowing its meaning. Before it used to be Wahhabi and Jihadi all muslims were Wahabis and Jihadis to you. Now its Shariah. Well go to Hell! Thats all I care about your views.

  • ThomasBaum

    yasseryousufi Part I You wrote, “Why do you Israel first neocons have to bring up that illegitimate state in every debate?”First, I don’t consider myself a “Israel first neocon” whatever that is.Second, it seems that at least some Muslims have an almost pathological hatred toward the Jews and their almost universal target is Israel.Third, I have met God the Father and the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit revealed to me that the Catholic Eucharist is Jesus, here is the Trinity and here is God-Incarnate Who was born, lived and died a Jew.You then wrote, “Do you love Israel more than your own country?”I am not here to speak for the country of Israel or the country of the USA but to tell the world that God has a Plan and that God’s Plan is for ALL to, ultimately, be with God in God’s Kingdom.You then wrote, “You spew venom against Islam in all your posts.”I merely point out that since God is a Trinity and that Jesus is God-Incarnate and the god of islam not only denies these two Truths but then claims Jesus as his prophet then the god of islam is satan.You then asked, “Do you NOT want to see the destruction of Islam Mr. Jesus reincarnate?”First off, I am not Jesus reincarnate but I have been chosen by God to speak.Second, I want to see the Plan of God come to Fruition.

  • ThomasBaum

    yasseryousufi Part IIYou then asked, “Can we have an honest answer for a change?”As you can read, it is not “for a change” but I have given you an answer and this is not the first time I have supplied an answer to why I say and write what I say and write.You then wrote, “All you anti-Islamic ignoramuses are like that naughty child who learns a bad word and keeps repeating it without even knowing its meaning.”Question: Except for Jesus’s Name and His Mom’s name, how much do the Jesus of the bible have in common with the Jesus of the koran?I am just pointing out that what is written about Jesus in the bible and the koran can not be both right, only one or the other can be right or they could be both wrong.As I have already pointed out about the Trinity and the Catholic Eucharist, you should be able to see that my answer to Jesus’s question, “Who do you say that I AM?” is, Jesus, You Are God-Incarnate.You then wrote, ” Before it used to be Wahhabi and Jihadi all muslims were Wahabis and Jihadis to you.”I have never said that.Then you wrote, “Now its Shariah.”I am not saying that it is all, but by reading what some of the “moderates” say, it is obvious that many want sharia law and that the koran is about “present political power”, also what has been going on in various places around the earth points this out.You then wrote, “Well go to Hell! Thats all I care about your views.”I would never wish “hell” or “spiritual death” on anyone and I am thankful that God won the “keys” to both “hell” and “spiritual death” and will use them in due time, God’s Time.God will use these “keys” to “free the captives” and to “raise the dead”.As I have said many times, the True, Living, Triune, Triumphant God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof.God’s Plan, which includes God becoming One of us which has already happened, will come to Fruition.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Freestinker

    Thomas,Should Christians also be prohibited by law from voluntarily observing Christian laws and customs?

  • ThomasBaum

    Freestinker You wrote, “Thomas,Should Christians also be prohibited by law from voluntarily observing Christian laws and customs?”Do you happen to have a “Christian law and/or custom” in mind?If any of these so-called “Christian laws and customs” are to be “forced” upon another than I would say, yes.Just as they do not use canon law in the courts or the law of the land neither should sharia law be used in the courts or the law of the land.This country is not a theocracy and contrary to what many “Christians” thru the age have attempted to do, it was not and is not Jesus’s intention to set up a theocracy anywhere on earth.As a matter of fact, I believe that the “founding fathers” of this country were divinely inspired, whether they knew it or not, when they came up with the seperation of church and state.Questions to you: Do you think that Muslims should have the right to stone to death, for adultery or for any reason, people in this country?Do you think that “Christians” should have the right to burn “heretics” at the stake?If you want a theocracy or a theowannabeocracy to be more precise or for that matter don’t want it, just hang around, you might be surprized what hiding one’s head in the sand can do to the environment.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • julie_anjaani

    In Tennessee “the bill’s sponsors say that the legislation only seeks to stop Sharia practices that conflict with the Constitution” So its okay if the constitution conflicts with people’s freedom?(what happened to amendment 1>>Freedom of Religion? [amendment 1 says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"])

  • persiflage

    Whoever said Christians and Muslims had no similarities? This mindset is somehow familiar …..’All you deadbeat liberals, who dismiss this law, deserve to have your freedoms stripped. Please do us all a favor and move to Iran, and find out, first-hand, what living under Sharia Law is all about.’…and sounds alot like this:’They are a threat to the free world. The world should join hands to obliterate this cancer. These people aren’t enlightened enough to deserve the right to vote. They aren’t ready for democracy yet. They should be occupied by a coalition of the willing untill they are ready to join the civilized world.’ It’s odd how easily bigotry (and ‘satanic’ forces) seems to transcend borders or national boundries. In this so-called move to preempt Sharia Law, the rightwing bible thumper/politicians in Tennessee are simply making a disingenuous political statement that appeals to their like-minded constituents. I’m proud that South Carolina didn’t lead the way, for a change. Sharia law cannot function as a legal parallel to civil law anywhere in the USA – although Canada had at one time allowed it to function in Muslim communities on a limited basis. All of this may have been rescinded by now. Here’s the deal – if you move here, abide by the laws of the land and keep your cultural traditions as you choose, but do not seek to codify religious traditions and rules in a formal legal structure that has no bearing outside that particular religious community, or is otherwise contrary to the established secular laws of the land. In the mean time, Sharia Law has no validity this side of Saudi Arabia…… and it will very likely stay that way, so no further action is required.

  • natasha1954

    Fear, Fear, Fear. That is what this bill is all about. I was born in Tennessee, and I’ve lived here all my life. I have fought the bigotry and ignorance around me all my life, and sometimes I just feel that it is so hopeless here when I see something like this bill introduced in our state. Unfortunately, it will probably pass. Senator Ketron introduced a bill to allow all people to carry handguns to work and it passed 30-1. There are very good arguments and comments here that explain why this bill is so ridiculous so I don’t think I can add anything to that. I just have one more comment: Why do conservatives always tell liberals that they need to leave the country? I never get that. I love my country. My brother made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam so I really don’t think me or my eighty-seven year old mother who spent a lifetime as a teacher trying to teach people to think should be told to leave this country just because we are liberal Democrats.

  • ThomasBaum

    natasha1954 You wrote, “Why do conservatives always tell liberals that they need to leave the country?”I don’t really have an answer but I remember a few years back when, concerning the bumper sticker, (America, love it or leave it), I said that the founding fathers would throw up if they saw that sticker.I’m sure that you have heard the term “bleeding heart liberal” spoken with such derision and scorn, well one thing I say is that at least they have a heart and it seems as if some that spew such things out appear to be lacking in that department.I thank God that it is God that is our (everyone’s) Judge.I don’t think that any religious law and/or belief should be forced on anyone else which happens to be one of the, I believe, divinely inspired tenets of this country.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

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This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

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Just As I Am

My childhood conversion to Christianity was only the first of many.

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Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church?

In an age of rising singlehood, many churches are still focused on being family ministry centers.

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Mysterious Tremors

People like me who have mystical experiences may be encountering some unknown Other. What can we learn about what that Other is?

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Five Bible Verses You Need to Stop Misusing

That verse you keep quoting? It may not mean what you think it means.

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What C.S. Lewis’ Marriage Can Tell Us About the Gay Marriage Controversy

Why “welcome and wanted” is a biblical response to gay and lesbian couples in evangelical churches.