Whose "rights" will rule in a "democratized" world?
by Berit Kjos, March 2006
A storm of Western fury has saved the life Abdul Rahman -- at least for now. The criminalized Christian convert may soon be shuttled out of the "democratized" nation that demands his death under Islamic law. Will Afghanistan now change its constitution or must Western leaders continue to stand guard?
We can't. But we can look behind the illusive promises of "democratic freedom" and see the paradox. Since democracy implies majority rule, some minorities will always be left without some promised "rights." For example, even in "free" America, parents are now required to submit their children to mental health screening. This intrusive process determines whether or not their thoughts and attitudes match the new standards for "socialization" into a global community. Naturally, those who base their beliefs on Biblical absolutes will not score well on tests that reward compromise and collective thinking.
Families that resist the pressure to conform to the global standards risk remediation. They also risk losing their children to the adoption-minded Department of Social Services, which receives federal grants for claiming and re-assigning children. Christian families are the innocent victims in this transformational scheme.
Yet, the most dramatic violation of promised justice is now being played out in Afghanistan. America and other nations have paid a huge price for trying to democratize this nation torn by tribal rivalries. The result? Christians may be less free than five years ago.
In her article "Who will save Abdul Rahman?" Michelle Malkin wrote,
"Despite the defeat of the totalitarian Taliban and the existence of a U.S.-backed 'moderate' democratic government, it is a capital crime for Afghanis to openly embrace any religion other than Islam. Sharia law, embedded in the Afghan constitution, overrides its human rights provisions....Rahman's family has denounced him as mentally ill. Afghan officials are thirsting for his blood..... [But his cellmate] reported: 'He keeps looking up to the sky, to God.'"2
I thank God for such faith! If only we American Christians would practice the same kind of perseverance in the spiritual battle for God's truth and honor! Too often we value trivia more than truth -- and comforts more than loyalty to our Lord!
The article "Apostasy Case Raises Questions About Islamic Constitutions" highlights a recurring paradox:
"Afghanistan's constitution, signed into law in January 2004, includes in the preamble adherence to 'the holy religion of Islam' as well as respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article two states that Islam is the official religion, but 'followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rights.' Article three, however, states that 'no law shall contravene the tenets and provisions of the holy religion of Islam.'... In effect, the requirement of article three abrogates any perceived suggestion of religious liberty in article two.'"3
This sham applies to Iraq's constitution as well. While it promises to uphold religious freedom, it also warns that "no law may be passed that contradicts the constitution, the undisputed laws of Islam, or the principles of democracy."3 Alarmed, Christian leaders in Iraq issued repeated pleas to delete those words. But their minority concerns were eclipsed by the ruling majority. Islamic shari'a laws would prevail. And those who dare to violate its ban against conversion could reap torturous death.
Doesn't sound much like democracy, does it? But the celebrated United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights is no better. In an article titled, Trading U.S. Rights for UN Rules, I wrote,
"At the first glance, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sounds good, as do all the intrusive UN human rights treaties. Article 18 upholds 'the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion...' Article 19 affirms 'the right to freedom of opinion and expression... and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.'
"But Article 29 states that 'these rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.' In other words, these 'rights' or 'freedoms' don't apply to those who would criticize the UN or its policies."4
The world's lofty vision of freedom and solidarity in a global democracy is an illusion. So is the "Christian" dominionist dream of "christianized" nations everywhere. Yet both sound good to those who have traded facts for "positive thinking." Even churches are setting aside the logical thinking that prompted America's founders to establish a republic rather than a democracy. They knew better than to trust human nature or majority rule.
America's early years were neither perfect nor peaceable. But people generally based their thinking on facts and truth, therefore they could logically evaluate their options in this world. That capacity is fading fast, and many Americans neither care nor notice the change. Of course, that's just what leading American educators planned back in the early part of the 20th century. And by the time regional educational laboratories for social experimentation were established across the country, the transformational program was falling into place.
By 1969, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare knew social change was headed in the "right" direction. It's "Behavioral Science Teacher Education Program (B-STEP), 1969, included this statement:
"The Protestant Ethic will atrophy as more and more enjoy varied leisure and guaranteed sustenance.... Most people will tend to be hedonistic..."5
The next year, Professor Raymond Houghton wrote this statement in a book published by the curriculum arm of the mighty National Education Association,
"...absolute behavior control is imminent.... The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will... never self-consciously know that it has happened."6
Facing a global outcry against its persecution of Abdul Rahman, Afghanistan changed the public issue from Sharia law to mental health. But Rahman stayed calm in the midst of last week's confusion.
"I am not an infidel or a fugitive," he said. "I am a Christian. If they want to sentence me to death, I accept that."7
3. Patrick Goodenough, "Apostasy Case Raises Questions About Islamic Constitutions," CNSNews.com, 3-21-06.