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The New Double Standard

Has anyone noticed that, for decades now, media pundits and cultural elites have accused the Catholic Church of hating gays, denying women equal rights, and imposing her moral system on everyone else? These claims — false though they are and frequently and easily debunked — continue to be relentless. Sure, the Church opposes same-sex marriage, for sound moral reasons, and believes that homosexual acts are good for neither body nor soul, but that does not mean that the Church “hates” gays. Yes, the Church has stood strong against abortion and contraception, again for sound moral reasons, but that does not mean that the Church denies women equal rights and dignity. To be sure, the Church articulates a clear moral code by which Catholics ought to live, but that hardly means that the Church “imposes” her morality on anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic. In fact, the Church is the world’s greatest supporter of free will — the human right to make one’s own choices, moral and political — and religious liberty. The Church never “forces” anything on anyone, especially non-Catholics. Nor does she impose penalties on those who do not accept the Catholic faith.

It is interesting to note that all these specious accusations hurled at the Church can accurately be applied to Islam. But the same media pundits and cultural elites who excoriate the Church with these false charges are silent when it comes to flagrant transgressions by Muslims against gays, women, and non-Muslims. Not only does Islam oppose same-sex marriage, but in most Muslim countries, homosexuality (sodomy and public expressions of same-sex attraction) is illegal. In fact, Islamic law calls for punishment of those accused of committing homosexual acts — and the prescribed punishment is both capital and horrific. In January, for example, a 15-year-old boy was pushed to his death off a ten-story building in the Deir Ezzor province of Syria by Islamic State (ISIS) militants after he was merely accused of “being homosexual” (The Guardian, Jan. 3). In March a video surfaced (yep, it’s on YouTube) showing ISIS members in Mosul hurling four people, one by one, to their deaths, all to triumphant shouts of Allahu Akbar! Those who don’t die from the fall are typically stoned to death.

As Muslim migrants continue to flow freely into Europe by the tens of thousands, these issues are surfacing more and more in places like Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Sweden. Though gays are not yet being hurled from rooftops or stoned to death in Europe, we see indications of a movement in that direction. Attacks on gay refugees by other Muslim refugees are common. In December, for example, two Muslim migrants in Sweden were charged after beating a gay man to death and then dressing him in women’s clothing and wrapping a snake around his neck (Express, Dec. 18). The two Muslims attacked the man after he offered to give them clothes and food.

While some Americans are exercised over whether transgendered men can choose to use women’s restrooms, the government of Saudi Arabia is pressing for the death penalty for those who show their homosexuality in public or on social media. One Muslim cleric, Sheikh Khalid Yasin, explained that this is a Koranic imperative: “God is very straightforward about this — not we Muslims, not subjective, the Sharia is very clear about it, the punishment for homosexuality, bestiality or anything like that is death. We don’t make any excuses about that, it’s not our law — it’s the Koran.”

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