There I was, reading about this Sri Lankan-American teenaged cheerleader who ran away from her parents to live with a pastor and his wife, then claimed that her parents threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity. The parents say that’s ridiculous, the police consider the parents credible, and the coverage is relatively even-handed.
But then there was this, right there in a Time/CNN story:
…they are hardly the kind of fundamentalist Muslims who would declare a medieval fatwa, or death sentence, on their daughter.
A fatwa, medieval or not, is not a death sentence!!! It’s a legal opinion based on Islamic law.
And how would someone in 2009 declare a medieval fatwa? Time travel?
The teenager met the pastor on Facebook. This’ll give you an idea what he’s like:
Blake Lorenz, who insists that Rifqa will be killed if she goes home, earlier this month made clear to reporters his Crusades-era belief that this is part of Christianity’s holy struggle against Islam: “These are the last days; these are the end times,” he said, “and this conflict between Islam and Christianity is going to grow greater. This conflict between good and evil is going to grow greater.”
I trust that the authorities in pastor Lorenz’s city are investigating him for using Facebook to lure a teenaged girl across the country into his clutches.
Let’s round out this story thusly:
Florida’s moderate Republican governor and U.S. Senate candidate, Charlie Crist, who needs conservative voters to win his state’s closed GOP primary next year, issued a statement on Aug. 21 saying he’s “grateful to Circuit Judge Daniel Dawson for his decision to grant [Rifqa] the right to remain in Florida … We will continue to fight to protect Rifqa’s safety and well-being as we move forward.” Of course, Crist’s conservative primary opponent, former Florida house speaker Marco Rubio, released his own communiqué: “Florida not only has a responsibility to protect [Rifqa’s] innocent life, but also to defend her sacred right to worship freely.”
UPDATE: realisticbird asked in the comments: What would their reaction be if the case war reversed and the Christian girl went to the Muslim family?
I was going to say that few Americans would give any credence to the claims of death threats from a Christian family for changing religions, but then I found this helpful web page that highlighted these biblical directives:
13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
13:10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
17:2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
17:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.