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Fanatics, Feminists, and Freedom

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Earlier this summer, I heard a feminist talk about injustice in her small country. The government is influenced by religious zealots who have every legal right to issue edicts that affect the lives of millions of women, men, and racial minorities. She lives in a religious state where freedom of religion has limitations. She, and others like her, practice a more liberal form of the national religion, and are not allowed to pray as they choose. Their clergy are not permitted to conduct marriages or grant divorces. There’s a bill before the parliament to end the authority of progressive movements to accept religious converts to the faith. She is an attorney and fights against unfair laws and violations of Supreme Court rulings. Her story drove me to action. I took very strong measures to ensure that I did my part to end the detestable discriminatory practices. I ‘Liked’ her Facebook page.

Breaking news … this same brave woman is arrested for carrying a bible at a sacred site. Women are restricted from praying with Holy scrolls in designated locations. They are breaking a law if they raise their voices in prayer where there is a possibility of being heard by men. Photographers were on hand to capture the arrest. Although news agencies had access to the footage, the news wires did not pick up the story. I read about it on Facebook. Once again, I took definitive action: I commented (with great passion) on the post.

This is not a backwards developing nation. Women enjoy full equality in every other area of public life. They are required to serve in the military alongside men and contribute equally in the workplace. The country has one of the highest GDP (an economic indicator) rankings in the world. It ranks third in having the most college graduates per capita. Its researchers, scientists, and entrepreneurs lead the world in innovations in medicine, technology and science. In a country where they should know better, there is an on-going struggle against injustice in the name of religion. This is a big insult to free-thinking citizens living in a democratic society. We must stand with civil rights leader Anat Hoffman. We must take a stand for pluralism in the Holy Land of Israel.

Let It Ring

I woke this morning in America,
and I know what freedom is.

Where there is injustice,
I am free to fight.
Where there is silence,
I am free to speak,
Where there is hate,
I am free to love.

And when I grope in the darkness for understanding,
I am free to seek the light—
I am free to find You.

Thank You for this bold and open-hearted nation.
and for the bold and open-hearted leaders who protect
my life of precious liberty.
Tonight, my soul explodes with praise,
my joy bursting its colors against the night sky.


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