I am using my little bully pulpit here to join my voice with the ones of those who abhor the so-called “honor killings” that happened in Canada, for which three family members — a father, his wife, and son — were sentenced to life in prison today. The blood of the three young women and an “illegal” wife cries out today and there is no comfort in the verdict.

Just today another story out of Afghanistan reminded us of the plight of women who have no one to defend them. A man strangled his wife for not being able to conceive a male heir. The man fled to another city and is now finding refuge with relatives who apparently approve of his coward act. What world is this we live in?

And some people are still trying to use the so-called “religious” argument: “this is our religion, stay out of it.” I take an exception. If I were a Muslim, I would be the first to disavow this type of thing from having anything to do with my beliefs. I would be protesting. I would be condemning these murderers in the strongest possible terms. I would be setting up foundations to defend innocent victims.

Others use the so-called “cultural” argument: “this is our culture, you can’t possibly understand it.” I would say any culture that preys on innocent women and children needs to be vanished. I don’t care how politically incorrect that is. If a civilization is not willing to defend its most vulnerable citizens, it must be thrown into the dustbins of history.

Some ideas are clearly superior than others and we should not be afraid to say it. “Honor killings,” “suicide bombers,” “genital mutilation,” “taking multiple wives” are clearly inferior ideas that need to be surpassed. No, suppressed!

Call me “euro-centric,” “American-imperialist,” “ethnocentric.” I don’t care. I hate the killing of anyone but in my flesh I sometimes feel like I could eliminate someone who kills innocent people, in cold blood,  just because they dare to be different or desire a level of independence from a particular way of life. Enough!

I am a religious person but any religion that does not offer freedom is a cheap substitute for the ways of God.That’s why I despise any form of religion that forces people to do what they don’t yearn to do with all their heart. Even repentance requires a conscious act. God does not bang anyone’s head against the wall. He comes gently like the breeze and He thunders like the summer storm, but He never forces anyone against their will. My Bible says, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

Ivanildo C. Trindade