Morality police are conducting their annual crackdown and women who reveal strands of hair are liable to be stopped in the streets for failing to respect the dress code, or “hijab”.

Ahmadinejad’s surprisingly liberal view was condemned by fellow hard-liner politicians and senior clerics “I wish he had not said those words about the hijab,” Grand Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told the faithful during the week’s Friday prayers, in a rare criticism of the president.

“We are grappling with many problems including economic and political ones but the issues of morality and ethical security are among the important issues that cannot be ignored,” he said.


When BP sank an oil shaft deep into the earth — a mile below the surface of the Gulf, and another two miles through rock — it showed a stunning lack of prudence and foresight. For the sake of economy, the company left off an indispensable safety valve; and out poured an unstoppable torrent of oil. The heavy crude oil and asphalt immediately began killing all the creatures that swim in the sea, fly through the air or build their nests on land.

Those who viewed the environmental damage ‚Äî Christians and non-believers alike ‚Äî called the damage “apocalyptic.” Our culture is awash in a flood of impurity of another kind, and that is the loosening of the rules intended to conserve and perpetuate life.

The shining whiteness of the bridal gown, symbolizing purity and the power that purity conveys, has been stained — or smudged, if you will — by pornography, sex before marriage, marital infidelity, divorce, abortion and, now, so-called marriages between people of the same sex.

Like the dirty oil that pours uncontrollably into the waters of the Gulf, this withering tide of immorality at times seems impossible to control. No one has been successful in stopping the onslaught, since many parts of our society share a mistaken view of human freedom. When used properly, freedom is good and life-enhancing, but when misapplied, freedom works against life.

Not all free actions are moral; and not all actions that are legal are good. In the case of slavery, free and legal actions were profoundly cruel and hateful. The same is true of abortion, the worst moral evil of our time.

The title of that piece? “Immorality is Worse Than Oil Spill.”

Who needs radical Muslim ayatollahs when you have radical Christian clerics saying basically the same things? There is a pattern throughout literalist, orthodox religion, of all kinds, that seeks to distract people from real issues (like economic and political freedom in Iran, or the millions of gallons of oil destroying the Gulf of Mexico) and refocus them on issues of no import (like the hijab or the freedom of two people in the United States to fall in love and build a life together).

This is why it’s so funny to me when hardline Christians criticize hardline Muslims. They have so much in common!

(h/t G-A-Y)