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Mahsa Amini: The Horrific Reality of Fundamentalist Theocracies
As we are consumed by national "crises" - as some would call them -, such as the repealing of Roe v. Wade, we seem to blur out international crises that are so great, that Roe v. Wade seems like a minor setback, in comparison.
A prominent example of this is Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman that was beaten to death because she wasn't wearing her hijab "properly".
One of the most significant issues in society is that we are so focused on our environment and don't care or even simply observe the environment of others, whether they live in tyranny or democracy; whether they are from this era or not.
If we choose to be closed-minded, not only are we failing ourselves, but the future of what we are meant to be. As a wise man once said, "The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see."
Christians and Dominion Theology
Many Christians to this day believe that the government should be directly affected by their religion. To those that are Christian, this would be very appealing, as they see their God as the one true God.
However, if one looks deep within history and theology in itself, it is clear that whether you are a Christian or not, "God's work" is better off without the state. A historical example of this is the use of indulgences (A way to "pay off" your sins). This allowed the church to extend its influence. A famous example of this is when Pope Julius II used indulgences to fund St. Peter's Basilica.
If we look even deeper into history, we can see countless of examples of what happens in a theocratic society, we can and should reflect that knowledge on what we see as the status quo.
Theocracy - The Hate in Faith
Due to the corrupt nature of theocracies, past and present, as stated above: theocracies will, by all means, weaponize religion for their gains, and extremism is not off limits. A famous example of this is the crusades, a brutal holy war in which millions upon millions were killed, simply over sites that were considered "holy" to a particular religion. One of the main reasons for the justification of this high death toll is a means of control. A more modern example, that sent shockwaves around the world when Vatican archives were uncovered that Pope Pius XII did nothing, even with knowledge of the Holocaust, and simply allowed it to happen. Simply due to the potential prejudices and interests of a religious leader wielding an unimaginable amount of power.
Now if we look at the present day, there are much fewer fundamentalist countries, however, but they still exist. If someone ought to have their country like that, and wants to live in such a governing style- they ought to know that the conditions in such countries, such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Iran are least favorable.
If we look through the past, and we observe countries today that have similar styles of governing with religion, we can reflect on who we are as a people, and where we want to be as a nation.
Everyone, from every corner of the world, should say her name: Mahsa Amini. She was a Muslim, yet she was killed by theocrats. If we want true religious prosperity, not religious extremism such as state-mandated religious education, etc we must remember the first amendment, and what it means:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion.