US Votes in Favor of Executing Homosexuals and Apostates Around the Globe
With all of the horrific things that dominate the news cycle in the US, it's easy to lose coverage of something that should be a bombshell. This week alone we've had the biggest mass shooting in modern American history, the secretary of state reportedly calling the president a 'fucking moron,' and the international embarrassment of Trump's visit to Puerto Rico, where he threw paper towel rolls out to desperate people like they were t-shirts from a radio station booth during spring break. It's been a busy few days. But one of the most abhorrent showings by the US during a UN resolution seems to have all but eluded any real coverage.
On Friday, September 29th, the US was one of 13 countries to vote against the proposition by The Human Rights Council to condemn the use of “the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery, and consensual same-sex relations.” As with everything else that Trump's Administration is in favor of, the vote landed in the other direction, but it's still telling. A few of the other countries on the list of naysayers were Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates, all of whom are governed by at least some form of Sharia Law. It takes no mental gymnastics or great stretches of logic to figure out why these countries voted against restricting the death penalty worthy infractions that they actually carry out. The real mystery is trying to understand how the “land of the free” joined their ranks.
Say what you will about the death penalty, but America has been pretty consistent with the stated qualifications for its use against citizens of the US. After the Witch Trials and slavery, we really tightened our belts on executions. In modern America, we've only allowed it through the courts as a punishment for homicide. This doesn't account for the wrongly convicted or covert assassinations or whatever else is spinning around under some of those tin foil hats out there, so relax. I'm just talking about a matter of legislative agreement for capital punishment. So why the odd vote?
One argument is that it curries favor by supporting one of our few remaining allies. With countries like Germany and England becoming increasingly trepidatious about their alliances with the US, our options are becoming fewer. This leaves a vacuum for the oil rich Saudis to take their relationship with our government to the next level. Maybe this was our way of going from third base to borderline exclusive with our wealthy ally.
The official reason that was given by The US State Department was that the proposal was calling for full abolition of the death penalty. In reality, it urged nations who use the measure to consider doing away with it. It's kind of parallel to the 1960s rhetoric that if North Vietnam won, the whole world would become communists. It's an easy out for explaining away a shitty decision.
The element of Sharia Law shouldn't be glossed over here. Not because there's any real danger of it replacing our current form of religiously minded oppression in governance, but because of the eight years of hysteria on the topic from the same party that elected the people who just sided with the idea.
From 2008-2016, there was a constant narrative; humming at times, shouting at others, that Obama was 'a damned mooslim who wanted Sharia Law in the U.S. of A!' These proclamations were, of course, completely devoid of any facts or examples in policy, but that never dulled the roar of the people who spent years thinking that a birth certificate was fake news. In fact, we got marriage equality under the Obama Administration; a move that was about as anti-Sharia as is possible.
It seems unimaginable that the United States would ever sit for anything even resembling the actual execution of people based on their sexual orientation or propensity for blasphemy, but this is the minor point. The fact that such an un-American vote was cast for the whole world to see, speaks to the organ-twisting mentality of those in power at the moment. Even if there is no intention of adopting such practices here, the Trump Administration has sent a clear message about what they prioritize. Allowing for the possibility that the statement that they were worried about losing the autonomy to carry out death sentences under current US law is true, it still plants a very unsettling flag. This band is willing to put their desire to have the freedom to execute people over the hard won rights of the LGBT community, the founding principle of religious freedom, and the image that America is a champion of human rights across the globe. There is no way to brighten that stain. The current administration is beyond redemption, and this vote is the clearest demonstration of that so far.