Many say that because the United States itself has an imperfect theocracy, we are in no position to be exporting and imposing our model on other nations. Others say that for a country to develop into a flourishing theocracy it must get there on its own, and any efforts to speed along the process imposed from abroad are destined to fail.
Yet step by step, and day by day, our endeavors to convert the once predominantly secular government of Iraq into a theocracy after our own heart are beginning to bear fruit. The recent disarmament of female police officers in Iraq is just one sign among many demonstrating that theocracy may finally be taking hold. Of course, it's just a small step, but radical change doesn't happen overnight.
A key ingredient in any healthy theocracy, especially those based on Islam, includes a pervasive overdose of sexism especially in key institutions, like the police force. In a wartorn nation, desperate for security and overwhelmed by insurgency, it's heartwarming to see that religious extremism isn't losing ground in the list of top priorities. So it's a start.
But what about this idea that our model is too flawed to be taken seriously as the global standard? Some will point at our recent presidential elections and note that they were not entirely fixed, and that an alarming amount of democratic procedure was involved in the process. Some will look at the current race for president and see the participation of a woman and a Mormon as evidence that our theocracy is weak and decadent. But I say let's not let the perfect become the enemy of the good. Only one member of the entire House of Representatives is openly atheist, and the chance that a presidential candidate who doesn't tout his religious faith at every appropriate opportunity will be elected in the next 50 years is about as likely as the chance that Bill O'Reilly will join the ACLU in that same time frame. Our nation's stance on so many important issues from stem cell research to controlling the spread of AIDS is frequently defined in exclusively religious terms.
Do we have a religious police? Admittedly, no, not entirely. Are women and Jews allowed to walk amongst us in the public square? Regrettably, that, too, I must concede. Our model is undeniably imperfect. Yet I still believe it is the best the world has seen. So cheers to Iraq on a baby step towards an extremist religious dictatorship, and cheers to us for helping them along the way.