Quran Read-A-Long: The Cow 229- 231 Talks of Divorce Laws

It’s nice to see healthy divorce laws in a religion, just as it was nice last week to discuss healthy sexual laws within a religion. I would reiterate that living in a post-Puritanical culture means that divorce was only legal because people had “irreconcilable differences” within the past 50 years. And for such high divorce rates, we’re not talking about a country that handles marriage particularly well – nor its dissolution. In Catholicism, it’s still not kosher, so to speak, to get divorced, and I think it’s important that the Quran has such a healthy attitude towards the whole affair.

When it says in 230 that “you are not allowed to take away the least of what you have given your wives” does it simply mean that you can’t take away everything and leave – you have to leave her with a means of supporting herself (i.e. alimony, in a sense)?

What are these limits set by God that are spoken of? Are they how many times you can divorce and get back together (two acceptable, three not). Interesting that a marriage can be legal again between a man and a woman once that woman has married another man. That is a lot of back and forth. How common is this situation? It seems like one that would be far less common in the early years of Islam (though the very existence of this verse contradicts that, I think) and far more useful in modern Islamic societies today (I don’t pass a cultural value with the word modern – I simply mean that the mobility of today’s life, the lack of more local tribal affiliations, the comparative plethora of options make divorce and husband-hopping a more plausible situation).

Thoughts about these verses and their historical context and modern application would be most appreciated. All other comments welcome as well!

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The Cow 229-231

230. Divorce is (revocable) two times (after pronouncement), after which (there are two ways open for husbands), either (to) keep (the wives) honorably, or part with them in a decent way. You are not allowed to take away the least of what you have given your wives, unless both of you fear that you would not be able to keep within the limits set by God. If you fear you cannot maintain the bounds fixed by God, there will be no blame on either if the woman redeems herself. Do not exceed the limits of God, for those who exceed the bounds set by God are transgressors. 231. If a man divorces her again (a third time), she becomes unlawful for him (and he cannot remarry her) until she has married another man. Then if he divorces her there is no harm if the two unite again if they think they will keep within the bounds set by God and made clear for those who understand. 232. When you have divorced your wives, and they have reached the end of the period of waiting, then keep them honorably (by revoking the divorce), or let them go with honor, and do not detain them with the intent of harassing lest you should transgress. He who does so will wrong himself. Do not mock the decrees of God, and remember the favors God has bestowed on you, and revealed to you the Book and the Law to warn you of the consequences of doing wrong. Have fear of God, and remember, God is cognizant of everything.

The Boys Rescue Willzyx in South Park Episode 913, “Free Willzyx”

Si, fly.

During a day at the aquarium, Kyle sticks around the orca whale’s tank to watch it a little longer when all of a sudden, the whale talks to him. It reveals that its name is Willzyx (pronounced Will-Zee-Ack) and that it is from the moon, where it desperately hopes to return one day to be with its family.

Si, fly.

As it happens, Willzyx is only talking because the announcers at the whale show are playing a little joke an an unsuspecting little boy.

Si, fly.

Convinced that Willzyx must be saved – and successfully convincing his friends of the same thing – the boys break the whale out of the aquarium at night and negotiate with the Mexican space program to send him to the moon for $200. Their adventure getting Willzyx to the moon is pretty funny.

Si, fly.

What did you think of this episode? What was your favorite part?

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Si, fly.

Cheesing – Getting High from Cat Piss – Is the Latest Drug Craze in South Park Episode 1203, “Major Boobage”

This episode is pretty f-ed up, particularly as the central theme is cheesing, a process whereby one gets ridiculously high by scaring a cat into pissing into one’s face. The episode is an homage to the 1981 film, “Heavy Metal.”

It is Kenny who adopts a particularly potent addiction to cheesing, sure that he is only moments away from achieving the goal of his hallucination – to see the breasts of the princess in his fantasy. But you never quite see them.

In an attempt to force people to get off cheesing, Gerald pushes for the banning of all cats form South Park, yet it is he who returns to a terrible cheesing habit in the process – despite having not cheesed for a decade. Cats are sent away yet it is Cartman who rescues many by keeping them safely in his attack. Though Kyle pushes him, Cartman can’t seem to find any parallel in history to a group being forced to go into hiding for their very survival (and he makes his own Mr. Kitty write a diary…).

When Mr. Broflovski’s addiction is revealed in all its monstrosity, he apologizes publicly, just like Eliot Spitzer when he apologized for the hooker incident after being the one who fought so vehemently against such improprietous behavior. He also gives an excellent speech about how making things illegal is not the way to solve any problems because people will always find ways to get high (incidentally, this is also the only time Gerald has ever been pictured without his kipa).

What did you think? What was your favorite part?

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