BBC reports that an Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, recently suggested that promiscuity causes earthquakes. “Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society,” said Sedighi, “which increases earthquakes.”
The Weekly Standard’s Gabriel Schoenfeld suggests that such clerical wackiness “can teach us a serious lesson” about Iran:
The question it poses is: How well do we understand the thinking of the Iranian leadership on questions small and large? […]
The assumption that the Iranians are “rational” in the way we normally understand that term is open to doubt. If promiscuous women can cause earthquakes, what kinds of human behavior, one wonders, might cause a nuclear bomb to detonate or be detonated?
Quite right! What will those nutty, nutty clerics think of next? Maybe gays cause hurricanes? Perhaps feminists cause terrorism? What about abortion causing illegal immigration? Soon they’ll be telling us that God supports political assassinations! Or even that God intervenes in Republican primaries! It’s just so ridiculous.
In reality, off course, those are all views proudly expressed by conservative American clerics, and shared by the millions of Americans who follow them. Which just shows, as I’m sure Schoenfeld would agree, that the assumption that the Americans are “rational” in the way we normally understand that term is open to doubt.