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Iran’s Stoning Victims: One Person Matters

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Posted on July 15 2010 11:12 am
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by Theo Caldwell

Last week, I wrote about Sakineh Ashtiani, a woman who has been imprisoned, beaten, and sentenced to death by stoning in Iran for the crime of “adultery.” Recently, Iranian authorities announced they probably won’t stone Ms. Ashtiani after all. That’s tepid progress, inasmuch as she may yet be hanged and at least 15 other people await stoning deaths in that nation.

Mine is one of many voices calling for Ashtiani’s release, and I am encouraged that her supporters include folks from various countries, cultures and backgrounds, spanning the political spectrum from right to left. I am fascinated, however, by those who insist on staying in the middle.

For example, I participated in a BBC radio program about Ashtiani and the brutality of the Iranian regime. Bafflegab was thick on the ground, and at one point the host mused that Iran’s death penalty for homosexuals is a moral judgment akin to the United States banning gay marriage.

Equating two obviously unequal situations is not clever or nuanced. It is idiotic and irresponsible. Similarly, asking the insipid modern question, “Who are we to decide?” only serves to evince moral vacuity but, if you must pose the query, let me help you with the answer.

You are a human being, born with the capacity to determine right from wrong. Further, if you are reading this column, chances are you have the magnificent good fortune to live in a part of the world that allows freedom of thought and expression. If you grew up in Western society during the last generation or so, you have likely been browbeaten into believing there is no absolute right and wrong and even if there were, you have no business deciding which is which, since your ancestors probably owned slaves or didn’t recycle.

Read more at TheoCaldwell.com

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