Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Plethora of Interesting WaPo Articles

Today's WaPo is a veritable bounty of information ...

I found this quite intriquing: Islamic Divorce Ruled Not Valid in Maryland

The article discusses the Islamic divorce custom talaq, in which a man can divorce his wife by saying (writing?) "I divorce you" three times.

"Talaq lacks any significant 'due process' for the wife, its use, moreover, directly deprives the wife of the 'due process' she is entitled to when she initiates divorce litigation in this state. The lack and deprivation of due process is itself contrary to this state's public policy," the court wrote.

Reaction from a representative of the Muslim community:

"For the most part, Muslims expected this kind of ruling," said Muneer Fareed, secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield, Ind. "The contrary would be a surprise to them. They do not expect the U.S. legal system to give full recognition of talaq."

Um ... well ... duh. Srsly, people, finding a practice which is inherently discriminatory to be invalid is pretty much a no-brainer. I would imagine that if another world religion had a similar way in which a man could divorce his wife the Maryland court would also deem that to be unconstitutional.

Yet, in affirming the separation of church and state, I wonder if the court has inadvertantly created a situtation in which someone could be religiously divorced, yet legally married. [I really want to use the word ramifications but can't quite make it work ...]

I find it oddly compelling that the court willingly removes religion from divorce, yet continues to uphold religion's deathgrip on marriage. Now, discuss (a) Christianity's contribution to marriage rites in the US and (b) how the court should abolish the discriminatory practice of heterosexual-only religious marriage and recognize equal under the law civil unions for all.

And, speaking of gay sex ...

Duck-billed platypuses have ten (yes, 10!) sex chromosomes and "the key gene on the Y chromosome that confers maleness in most mammals is not on any of the platypus's sex chromosomes. It is on another chromosome, where it seems to have nothing to do with sex."

Read more about the wacky genome of the platypus here: Platypus Genome Found Fittingly Strange.

OK. Fine. You caught me. That has nothing to do with gay sex. It was a cheap tactic designed to keep you reading. Sorry.


  1. I would venture a guess that in most (Christian/Judaic) religions, "religious divorce" isn't much allowed. However, I can think of the contrary - folks who practice polygamy have "spiritual" marriages that aren't recognized by the law.
    And wrt marriage in general - I think NO ONE should be married secularly. We should all have domestic partnerships, and if we want to call ourselves married, we let the churches decide who gets to do that. But everyone is eligible for domestic partnerships and religious married-status confers no further benefits.

  2. David and I are doing it the European way, with separate church and civil ceremonies. Of course, since the legal part will be done in Canadia, until Maine recognizes it any divorce would require one of us moving north for at least a year before initiating proceedings. Guess it's a good thing we're so compatible.

    The platypus thing is biology, which is enough to keep me reading.

  3. The common thread is that both gay marriage and Islamic customs are things that the conservative Christians disapprove of, and as far as this country is concerned, it's a-ok to have laws against all these horrible things that are sins unto the eyes of the Lord. Separation of church and state? What's that?


    Srsly, the government should not be in the business of regulating marriage. I could go on and on about this but I think there's a word limit in the comment box thingie...

  4. I saw that platypus article - fascinating!

    So wait a minute "srsly" is okay, but you get to rag on misspellers? Also, is woot a word? I always imagine it like an owl hooting, you should do a little video of that and it's proper delivery, lol.

  5. I was nodding vigorously regarding the Islamic marriage ruling discussion and then you lost me on the platypus.