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Friday, August 19, 2005

Voice from the Hartland

Hartland, Michigan is about 25 miles north of Ann Arbor. Here's a great letter to the editor from yesterday's Ann Arbor News:
I don't understand these rumors that we might attack Iran next. I would think conservatives would envy Iran, not attack it. Here's why: Religious leaders practically run their country. They have school prayer four times a day, abortion is illegal, being gay and having pre-marital sex are crimes and women are all covered up.

Birth control is illegal, nontraditional influences are banned, morality police comb the country, porn is illegal - even Playboy - they don't teach evolution and they have capital punishment - even for 14-year-olds. It's a perfect picture of what America would look like if George Bush and friends got their way here.

Axis of evil? Come on! This is a fundamentalist's heaven.

Why isn't Bush praising the social morality of the Iranian people, instead of wanting to bomb them? They seem to have the exact same values as he does, so an agreement should be easy.

So instead of all this talk of war, maybe the fundamentalists here can strike a bargain with the fundamentalists over there. If we get really lucky, they'll all agree to find a fundamentalist homeland that they can coexist in (Bush wants to go to Mars, right?). Then, maybe the rest of us can start moving ahead, instead of moving back to the Stone Age.

David S. Monk, Hartland
[Update] A reader from Houston, who lived in Iran for thirteen years, sends some corrections to Mr. Monk's information on Iran:
* Birth control is legal (even encouraged) in Iran

* Shia students pray usually once a day at noon (the other two times
are at dawn and dusk, both outside of school hours). When I was in
middle school there, at the height of Islamic revolutionary fervor, no
one forced me to pray, and I generally avoided it with no
consequences. I believe there's a concept in Islam that you can't
force anyone into the religion, and the mullahs apparently took this
seriously. Having said that, they did try to encourage us to attend
prayers by promising field trips during school hours. I fell for it
once :)

*Teaching of evolution is not illegal. This whole "intelligent design"
thing is an invention of the whacko "Christian" right.

* Abortion is legal, albeit in a *very* limited way

Mr. Monk from Hartland, while making a very valid comparison between the religious nut jobs who run these two countries, is over-reaching in some parts of his letter.
So maybe the Cheney administration wants war with Iran not because they think it's developing nuclear weapons, but because they think the mullahs are just a bunch of godless tax-and-spend liberals from Taxichusistan. Seriously, there seem to be only two things the neocons want: war and oil, in that order.

Thanks to the reader from Houston for keeping me on my toes!