Thursday, August 18, 2005

Indians and Swedes

At the big Justice Sunday II granfalloon this past weekend, one of the speakers (I can't really be bothered to look up his name or care anything about him) said to the effect that:

India was the most religious nation,

Sweden was the least religious,

and the USA was a nation of Indians governed by Swedes.

Now, apart from the complete and utter illogic of that statement, I was struck by the sweeping generality used by the speaker.

India is a big country, with a population over three times that of the United States. Not all of them are religious, and the vast majority are Hindus (it must be noted here that the overwhelming majority of people at Justice Sunday II were self-identified Christians). I'm not certain that the crowd would feel entirely comfortable with identifying themselves, even by analogy, with a religion that many of them would consider idolatrous, if not downright pagan. Further, India has had a rather long history of sectarian violence between the majority Hindus and the minority Muslims and Sikhs. Did the Christians in the audience really think about what the speaker was saying?

Now, to say that America is a nation of Indians is wrong. We are a far more polyglot nation than India, with a multiplicity of religions and many different pathways to what could be defined as spiritual truth. We also do not have the same bloody history of sectarian violence as India, where thousands have been killed in clashes since its independence in 1947.

Sweden now. It's a much smaller country, whose original religion supposed that the gods would all die eventually. It's a Christian nation now, but a very sane and mature Christian nation. It has, like many other nations, started to outgrow the need to be reliant on metaphysical parental figures. It had some sectarian violence (Lutheran v Catholic) over 200 years ago.

Saying that we are ruled by 'Swedes' is also wrong. After all, Justice Sunday people, you (or statistically 51% of the eligible voters in the nation) voted in a Republican President, a Republican House and a Republican Senate. Supposedly they all share your agenda (at least their rhetoric points to that conclusion). So why all the fuss?

They were talking about the great Satan. Activist judges.


Judges (particularly the Supreme Court) are tasked with interpreting the laws of the country, comparing them against the Constitution as well as settled case law (stare decisis to you legal types). They do not create laws or execute them - that's the job of the legislative and executive branches of government. If they had taken civics in school, they'd know that.

Also, were it not for "activist judges," many of the rights you now enjoy would not exist. Right to remain silent? Sorry, the police can beat a confession from you if they want. Right to an attorney if you're poor? Nope.

Justice Sunday II? More like "Just Us Sunday," and this American doesn't want to be a party to their illogical fantasies.


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