Saturday, January 27, 2007

religious prostitution

The Shi'ites' religious prostitution by Gene Edward Veith points to the hypocrisy practiced within religion. According to the Washington Post, a man can temporarily marry and divorce simply by saying the words. This is an "enjoyment marriage".

Shiite clerics and others who practice mutaa say such marriages are keeping young women from having unwed sex and widowed or divorced women from resorting to prostitution to make money ...

"It was designed as a humanitarian help for women," said Mahdi al-Shog, a Shiite cleric. According to Shiite religious law, a mutaa relationship can last for a few minutes or several years. A man can have an unlimited number of mutaa wives and a permanent wife at the same time. A woman can have only one husband at a time, permanent or temporary. No written contract or official ceremony is required in a mutaa. When the time limit ends, the man and woman go their separate ways with none of the messiness of a regular divorce.

Most Shiites believe that the prophet Muhammad encouraged the practice as a way to give widows an income. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric, has sanctioned it and offers advice on his Web site.
Not surprising. The article gave me pause to think of the ways we have compromised to put religious tradition (or worse, false notions of church growth, outreach, etc.) over truth. Just another reminder of way we need to continue to come back to the anchor, the Word of God, lest we drift in our wickedness.

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