I find it frustrating to have to do this again and again, but as long as states keep passing ridiculous anti-Shari'a laws, I guess I'll keep talking about how silly this kind of legislation is.
For a good rundown and explanation, read this Religious News Service piece. It's as good a brief description of Shari'a and where it's used as I've seen recently.
But if you want an exhaustive look at Shari'a, along with a thorough explanation about why Americans need not fear it, read a book by a University of Kansas professor, Raj Bhala, that I wrote about here and here. I really urge you to go back and read those entries.
In those two 2011 posts I talked at some length about why laws banning Shari'a in U.S. and state courts is self-destructive (to say nothing of xenophobic).
And yet just a few days ago North Carolina became the latest state to forbid courts to consider "foreign law" (read Shari'a) in cases.
This is a solution in search of a problem.
For a 4-plus-minute video clip in which Raj Bhala talks about Shari'a, click here and scroll down to the second video. And by the way, Bhala will be speaking about Shari'a at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Witherspoon Class of my congregation, Second Presbyterian Church. Come get your quetions answered.
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SIZING UP POPE FRANCIS
The current trip of Pope Francis to Brazil was the occasion for The Washington Post to do this good analysis of why he seems to have struck a chord with so many people and why Catholics who identify themselves as traditionalists aren't all that happy with the new pope so far.
* * *P.S.: My latest Presbyterian Outlook column now is online. To read it, click here.