This business in Iran is bothering me. In fact, all this business in the "middle east" has been bothering me for a while now. I tend to see the world through historically tinted glasses, a bit foggy, I will admit. Even with this truism about myself, I must say, there's something very toxic brewing here.
If you click on the title of this post, you will find yourself at a very interesting article in Salon.com by Michael Lind. Basically, Mr.Lind argues against theocratic governments and how Iran is attempting to hide a theocracy behind the current "free" elections.
There's nothing "free" about a theocracy, ladies and gentlemen. In a theocracy, clergy interpret and decide what is "right and wrong", "good and bad", "acceptable and unacceptable" in the society. They even define what/who "God" is and whether God is the God of all or just those who agree with them.
From a purely spiritual point of view, every person has the right to choose their path in life, not have it defined for them and then subjected to scrutiny 24/7. At least, that's what I believe based on my spiritual education. Naturally, there should be some rules, some guidelines so keep order in the world, however, to apply religious dogma to the daily functioning of government has never worked. Just ask the Jews.
God promised the Israelites the land of Canaan if they simply obeyed him. They did for a while, then, seeing the other nations function under kings and judges and religious leadership, they wanted what others had. Becoming disobedient, they set up a government that resulted in corruption of the laws of Moses. That particular theocracy/nation has never been quite the same, has it?
In our country, we have the right to worship as we please, the right to speak our mind concerning what the government does or doesn't do, and all sorts of other rights. The government attempts to remain secular, although, naturally, depending on the fervor (real or imagined) of whoever is in charge at any given time, we find ourselves being "corralled" with religious undertones attached to it all.
Natural rights, as Mr. Lind calls them, belong to everyone. To control how another human being functions in the world under the guise of "I'm doing this for your own good" only leads to rebellion. Sort of like what's happening in Iran right now.
Yet, the clergy/government seems shocked and confused by it all. Did they really believe everyone would just say, ok, we accept your (our) choice.
I think our founding fathers got it pretty much on point... even if we do battle it out daily about what we should and shouldn't be allowed to do, whether the government should interfere in our rights to do things, etc. and all the other stuff people don't really think about until a law is passed and they don't like what its about.
Oh well.... nations under God... gotta love them.