Sunday, April 29, 2007

primitive savages

Breaking news:

Hundreds of thousands of pro-secular citizens flooded the nation's capital today to demand the resignation of the government, which they fear is leading the country towards theocratic rule. People from all walks of life marched together to protest the merging of religion and politics and to protect the rule of law and the equality of all citizens, regardless of their religious preferences.

Sounds like some sanity is finally starting to return to the USA, doesn't it?

It would, if only this story was about the United States.

You know we're in trouble when Turkey is a beacon of enlightenment for America.


Blogger KimArar said...

I'm Turkish and take issue with two points.

The first, a point of fact, is that Istanbul is not our capital. The Queen of Cities aka Babylon on the Bosphorus is merely our main tourist attraction. :)

Second, given the level of religiosity in the US, why are you surprised? For those of us who've had a little longer than you to ponder the relationship between church and state the answer is simple.

A million people demonstrate in Istanbul. The equivalent US number would be, say, 4 million in New York. Fat chance.

Fortunately, there do seem to be a few people in the US who do not agree with St George in his modern-day quests. May you help yourselves.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Milo Johnson said...


Thank you very much for commenting. I will adress your points in the order presented. First, I am embarrassed to admit that although I know that Ankara is the capital of Turkey, it escaped my notice when I cut and pasted copy from a story that I found on Google News. For one with my appetite for correctness, that shames me! While I make no pretense to being a journalist, it is sadder still that a major news organization would commit the blunder in the first place.

Second, I would like to openly state that I have no antipathy towards any people other than on the basis of individual and personal willful stupidity. I very clumsily commented on the cultural construct that permeates our country that nations with different customs than those that Americans are familiar with are usually considered as "backwards" by many of my fellow countrymen.

I grew up traveling the world, and I recall a time when it was possible to be proud as an American abroad, a time when we were respected for freedom, progress, and the rule of law, and I think that the position we find ourselves in with regards to world opinion today is the single greatest problem we face as a nation. So, please understand that no offense was intended to your country and countrymen by me.

I was actually trying to be somewhat sarcastic about the level of religiosity in the United States at this time. I was a teenager when the new christianist movement began some thirty-five years ago, and I viewed it with the same revulsion and trepidation at that time with which I think I would have viewed the Nazi rise to power in pre-WWII Germany. My fears of those long-ago days have come to pass.

I am an unabashed and absolutely certain atheist and secularist, and hopefully, if you read my post one last time, you will realize that it is a clumsy use of irony and sarcasm which actually is intended to congratulate your country and your countrymen and women for choosing empirical reality over myth as the driver of the political process.

I sincerely hope that my country can follow yours in that direction.

Best wishes, and please feel free to comment any time!

1:46 PM  

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