According to Michael Corkery and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, there is a growing movement in the United States to use religious arbitration to make holy scripture binding on legal proceedings.
The case they use to build sympathy for their claim that it is a bad idea, and yes the piece has a clear bias against religion in arbitration, is of a gay man who went through a Christian program that purportedly helped him move beyond his lifestyle choice.
He later “took a toxic mix of drugs and died on a stranger’s couch.” Naturally, his parents decided to sue the Christians, but had to deal with an arbitration process that allowed consideration of Christian views.
“Like his mother, Mr. Ellison was a committed Christian…. Mr. Ellison was also openly gay …. Friends and family said Mr. Ellison drank and took drugs to escape the pressures of not fitting in,” opined the New York Times reporters. Mr. Ellison also lived in … wait for it … wait for it … the South. He was eventually ordered off to this Christian program by a judge — a program praised by President George W. Bush.
It does, in fact, sound like the program that Mr. Ellison had been enrolled in was problematic. But what the New York Times leaves out is even more problematic.
While focusing on Christians and a smattering of Scientologists, the New York Times fails to even mention Islam or sharia law. More and more Islamic communities in the United States are using the same arbitration devices and sharia law courts to settle disputes. Islamic law is well outside even what the New York Times thinks is nutty Christianity. The rights of women, in particular, are seriously impacted.
It is just absurd and laughable that when the nation, every month, has another ballot issue or local municipality dealing with sharia, the New York Times decides it will focus on Christianity as some sort of outrageous abuser of arbitration processes.
It is a good thing Christians do not blow themselves up to kill others or the New York Times would be in a world of hurt. That might also explain why the words “Islam” and “Sharia” never once appear in the article.