I am a few weeks into the month of Ramadan, where, according to Muslim tradition, you fast from sunrise (about 3:30 a.m. here) until sunset (about 6:30 p.m.). This is required, but it’s a privilege to believers, not a punishment. I wish I had that kind of conviction about anything.
I also wish that holier-than-though Christians who are currently occupying important State and Federal government could live here during Ramadan and see what that kind of dedication to God really looks like. Would their dedication to faith withstand that kind of sacrifice? Given the highly public sexual infractions of the “devout,” like New Gingrich, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, David Vitter, Larry Craig, and so on, one has to wonder.
Many of these wasting taxpayer money pushing through their agendas (including establishing state or national religions) as opposed to what they run on, which is “jobs.” Maybe they should spend some time here. In Qatar, it is unlawful for any resident, Muslim or otherwise, to be seen in public eating or drinking during these hours (it’s okay in the home). At the moment, the government is looking to establish morality police to speak to Westerners about the way they dress; shorts and bare shoulders on either gender are considered extremely disrespectful. This process is taking a while, because they’re trying to find a way to be polite about it, which is generous, considering how rude cleavage is in this culture.
This is what a state religion looks like. And Qatar is a very liberal theocracy.
Cognitive dissonance would, of course, make this kind of learning experience a wasted experience (“See what Sharia does! Ban it everywhere! In America we have freedom! That’s why everyone needs to follow Jesus!”) but still, it’s something.