Now You Know

No, by the grace of God, you will NOT plead ignorance. You will NOT testify that you never knew any better because no one ever taught you anything better. You will not plead that you were never told.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

New Insights From Crossroads Arabia

John, the always insightful and informative blogger at Crossroads Arabia, has 2 new posts that are worthy of your time and attention. His first post to which I am referring is here. It concerns the US Commission on International Religious Freedom which has called upon Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to act by March 15 in response to the lack of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and Eritrea.

John's expertise and experience concerns Saudi Arabia, so he comments on the commission's report and its recommendations concerning Saudi Arabia:

"The Commission’s report is all well and good. There is no question about the lack of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia: there absolutely is no religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. I won’t comment on the other countries as I don’t know them well enough to make an informed comment.

There is also no question but that this situation needs to be changed. Some way of accommodating the practice of religion–at least by non-Sunni Muslims–must be found. The actions this Commission report demand, though, are not going to get there."

[Emphasis mine.]

That last bolded sentence in the above excerpt is the crux of John's post and merits you reading the whole thing. When a man has both intelligence and a lifetime of experience in a field or area of expertise, one should listen (or in this case, READ) and learn. Knowledge is power.

The next post by John is an extension of the first post. It poses some intriguing questions about the US Commission on International Religious Freedom's recommendations concerning Saudi Arabia and whether that same commission would make similar recommendations regarding the Vatican. You can read John's considered reasoning and analogy here.

Let me take this opportunity to re-iterate what John himself makes clear: he is NOT anti-Catholic and his analogy and questions are not meant as any slur to Roman Catholics or the Roman Catholic Church. Let me also state that I am myself Roman Catholic and I found nothing whatsoever offensive in John's post.

True, the Vatican is not Saudi Arabia and an ecclesiastical city-state is not the same thing as a "nation," however, the purpose of an analogy is not to point out the differences between the example and the thing exemplified. The whole purpose of an analogy is to emphasize the similarities between the two in order to make a comparison with an underlying insightful message.

Read John's two thought-provoking posts. Then don't forget to check back at Crossroads Arabia. He's linked in my blogroll that you can see to the left of my posts.

You've been told and NOW YOU KNOW.