Republican Senator Ordered to Recite Bible After Porn Incident


Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.) has been ordered to recite the Old and New Testament at least once (from cover to cover) within 30 days following the widely spread photographs depicting him looking at all-male pornographic materials on his tablet computer during recent budget debates in the U.S. Senate.

“Graham has been removed from the Republican Presidential Campaign Committee,” Republican Biblical Living Council head Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) said on Monday.

The order was on the list of sanctions imposed upon Graham by the Biblical Living Council late on Sunday night after his embarrassing behavior that triggered enormous amounts of criticism of the “patriotic, pro-family” party.

Included on the list was an order for Graham to give alms to 60 poor people and to ask for “pastoral counseling” from members of the Republican Biblical Living Council, as directed by the party’s theologians.

The Biblical Living Council further ordered Graham to recite the bible verse, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Lk 5:8) at least 100 times within 40 days.

“We have also suggested that he asks for forgiveness from all the Republican Party’s donors, supporters, constituents and all lawmakers and the American people,” Vitter said.

Earlier on Monday, Graham held a press conference to announce his decision to resign from the Senate. “As a pioneer in my party, I am drawn to take responsibility [for my actions] for the sake of the continuity and good image of my party,” he said.

Graham claimed his decision to resign had been made clearly on his own “without any intervention and pressure from anybody”, although the first point on the list of the sanctions was “to convince [Graham] to voluntarily resign from the Senate.”

Okay, I was kidding about that. In fact, the real news story runs as follows:

PKS lawmaker ordered to recite Koran after porn incident
Bagus B. T. Saragih, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 04/11/2011 6:39 PM Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) lawmaker Arifinto has been ordered to recite the Koran at least one khatam (from cover to cover) within 30 days following the widely spread photographs depicting him looking at pornographic materials on his tablet computer during a plenary session at the parliament.

“Arifinto has also been sacked from PKS’ Patron Council,” PKS Central Sharia Council head Surahman Hidayat said on Monday.

The order was on the list of sanctions imposed upon Arifinto by the Sharia Council late on Sunday night after his embarrassing behavior that triggered enormous amounts of criticism of the “clean, caring and professional” party.

Included on the list was an order for Arifinto to give alms to 60 poor people and to ask for tausyiah (religious advice) from members of the PKS’ Central Sharia Council as the party’s muftis (religious scholar).

The Sharia Council further ordered Arifinto to read istigfar (asking for God’s mercy) at least 100 times within 40 days.

“We have also suggested that he asks for forgiveness from all the PKS’ cadres, supporters, constituents and all lawmakers and Indonesian people,” Surahman said.

Earlier on Monday, Arifinto held a press conference to announce his decision to resign from the House of Representatives.

“As a pioneer in my party, I am drawn to take responsibility [for my actions] for the sake of the continuity and good image of my party,” he said.

Arifinto claimed his decision to resign had been made clearly on his own “without any intervention and pressure from anybody”, although the first point on the list of the sanctions was “to convince [Arifinto] to voluntarily resign from the parliament”.

The point of this exercise? To demonstrate the profound, irrevocable gap that lies between even the most overtly Christian major country in the West, the United States, and the most “secularized” and “tolerant” nation in the Islamic world, Indonesia. Our major political parties may speak about God, invoke religious precedents, and base their policy preferences on broadly Christian principles—typically defended with reference to Natural Law, not scriptures. And an American politician caught looking at naughty pictures instead of Obama’s dismal budget numbers would no doubt face political consequences; he might even summon his pastor to appear alongside his wife at the sheepish press conference that followed. But no one can imagine that his party leadership would direct him to resign for explicitly theological reasons, or force him to jump through the hoops of public penitence.
Keep this comparison in mind the next time a Muslim apologist or leftist tries some moral equivalence argument to make the world’s mad mullahs seem interchangeable with figures like Rick Warren. The Grand Canyon yawns between the Islamic attitude toward politics and religion, and that we treasure in the West. Nor did this begin with the French Revolution or the U.S. Constitution. Its origins, as Roger Scruton and Robert Reilly have shown, lie all the way back with the conflict between Pope Gregory VII and the Holy Roman Emperor, or perhaps even further—with the fact that Christianity won the allegiance of the Roman empire not through jihad but honest martyrdom. You know, the kind where only the martyr dies, rather than all the women and children who happen to be in blast range.

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