So, after money, what tales do we have to tell about sex? There is never any shortage of those. How about this one for starters? Several Pakistani police officers have been suspended after they were accused of parading a couple naked in public. According to witnesses, police in the Sindh town of Gambat forced the man and woman to walk to the police station naked as punishment for trying to have sex outside marriage. Trying?Incidents of public dishonouring are not uncommon in Pakistan, but this incident is particularly shocking because it was carried out by police and filmed on mobile phones. Last year, several men were arrested for stripping a middle aged woman naked and parading her round the village as punishment for her son allegedly having an affair with a woman in their family. So why punish the mother? The footage of this latest incident shows the man being pushed around and abused by police officers on his property. He is then forced to walk naked to the police station, alongside his alleged partner, as a large crowd looks on. Quite naturally (tell me you are surprised!) religion enters into it. The police said they took action in response to several public complaints against the man who has been reportedly holding drink and dance parties during the holy month of Ramadan.
Now here is another on a much larger scale. It would appear a certain question is creating a minor tsunami in the southern states of the US. Two Republican politicians have urged people to eat at a US fast food chain, amid a row over gay marriage. Crowds flocked to outlets in several states after ex-presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee urged supporters of "traditional values" to eat at Chick-fil-A. Boss of the fast-food chain, one Dan Cathy said in July he backed the "biblical definition of a family". He also told the Baptist Press he thought those who supported gay marriage were "arrogant". Chick-fil-A restaurants in cities across southern states of the US were reported to be bustling with customers who turned out in support of the chain on Wednesday. The Houston Chronicle reports that branches in Houston, Texas, were packed and another restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, was said to be so busy two employees were needed to direct traffic in the car park. Wowie! Think of all that lovely money just pouring in in the name of Jesus. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. Customers posted videos on line expressing solidarity with Chick-fil-A, and social media sites including Twitter hummed with contributions to the discussion."The goal is simple: let's affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick-fil-A," said Mr. Huckabee, a Baptist minister and former governor of the state of Arkansas.
It’s not going all their way though. The general manager of the only Chick-fil-A outlet in the north-eastern state of New Hampshire has become a sponsor of that state's gay pride festival, due to take place in August. In a statement, Anthony Picolia said his restaurant "has gay employees and serves gay customers with honour, dignity and respect". It’s a pity those southern fundamentalists don’t have his common sense if nothing else.
I still maintain the use of that emotive word marriage for same-sex unions has been a big mistake but anyway, what can you do with brain-washed Bible thumping good Old Testament southern Baptists? Not a lot.