John Andrist: Understanding Islam, A Strange Comparison, And Booze Always Wins


There must be eight or ten waitresses here in the facility where I live, who are of Iraqi origin.

I suspect most of them came with refugee families, but one of them wears a head scarf and says she practices Islam.

I visited with her after dinner the other night, and her story is interesting. She was married and has six daughters.

She said her husband was unhappy, because he didn’t have a son, so he wanted to marry another woman to move in with them.

She was outraged at the suggestion, and after he insisted, she secured a divorce.

Because of community reaction to the divorce, her family was in danger, so they helped finance passage to the U.S.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I can’t think of a single proposal for expansion of selling booze since the repeal of prohibition, which ultimately didn’t win the day.[/mks_pullquote]

I thought she must either be a Sunni or a Shiite. She said she could never identify herself with either.

She resents all of the sects, abhors the violence between religious factions, and is very grateful to be in this country and in a secure, peaceful neighborhood.

The interaction was good for me. I’ve struggled to try figure out whether the violence in that part of the world is a product of their religion or is culturally based.

I suspect the latter, but culture and religion seem to coexist in that region of our world. Perhaps they do on our side too.

In any event it was a reminder that the religion most of us are most familiar with on this side of the ocean is one that is based on love and ministering to the needs of others.

If a religion is not based on elevating our lives, and those of others, it simply is not true religion. 

Strange comparison

Two big stories dominated the news last week. One was the alleged revelation that Planned Parenthood, which receives millions of federal tax dollars, is guilty of selling organs from babies they have aborted.

I suspect there could be more to the story than what has been revealed, but there has been little follow-up reporting.

At the same time Cecil the lion was shot in far away Zimbabwe by a Minneapolis dentist, causing international outrage.

He claims to have purchased permits which made the killing perfectly lawful. Time will tell as the drama plays out amid a storm of publicity.

The interesting thing to me is the incident involving an animal has received tons of media coverage, compared to the revelation of the alleged abuse of the abortion industry, which involves human fetuses.

The media mostly stays away from that one.

Booze always wins

There is spirited debate going on in the Fargo community over whether to permit the sale of beer at the Fargo Dome during Bison football games.

I can tell you how it will turn out.  It will happen. Booze always wins.

I can’t think of a single proposal for expansion of selling booze since the repeal of prohibition, which ultimately didn’t win the day.

Whether for Sunday sales, for closing hours of the establishments, or expanding numbers of liquor outlets, states and local communities always give in.

The lone exception came when states began lowering the age of legal consumption to 18. The federal government stepped in and said no, promising penalties if states did not comply. That’s the trump card Washington always plays.

I’m not saying whether it is good or bad, even though expansions always have consequences. I’m just saying it will happen.

Booze always wins.