The trouble with religion is that it can only ever regulate the outward behaviour. To that extent the rules that it imposes to rein in human sinfulness become ever more nit-picky and bizarre, regulating behaviours that have nothing to do with the root problem.
This was the conundrum that the Pharisees wrestled with in Jesus' time and the Muslim Religious Police battle today. It is also the issue that in the West the various thought police such as "Equal Opportunity" and "Human Rights" tribunals fail to recognise.
The problem is with our heart not our words or our bodies or our pets.
Only Jesus can transform our broken hearts and heal the deep issues which lead us to put our own need for affirmation above the needs of others.
From the SMH
Saudi religious police ban pet cats and dogs
Saudi Arabia's religious police have banned selling cats and dogs or exercising them in public in the Saudi capital, because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said.
Othman al-Othman, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh, known as the Muttawa, told the Saudi edition of al-Hayat daily the commission has started enforcing an old religious edict.
He said the commission was implementing a decision taken a month ago by the acting governor of the capital, Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, adding it followed an old edict issued by the supreme council of Saudi scholars.
The reason behind reinforcing the edict now was a rising fashion among some men using pets in public "to make passes on women and disturb families," he said, without giving more details.
Othman said that the commission has instructed its offices in the capital to tell pet shops "to stop selling cats and dogs".
The 5000-strong religious police oversees the adherence to Wahabism – a strict version of Sunni Islam, which also forces women to cover from head to toe when in public, and bans them from driving.