I like to regard myself as an American patriot, but I think I can see the flaws of the nation as well as its virtues. One of its flaws can be a certain tackiness. A minor example: having cartoon chipmunks singing patriotic songs. However, before I become too embarrassed for the land of my birth, I am usually strongly reminded by a news story why I greatly appreciate living in this country.
Such a reminder occurred this week:
Schadenfreude, the enjoyment of others’ suffering, may be a famously German concept, but it is apparently not a feeling that many Germans aspire to. The political and public fallout following Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement on Monday that she was “glad” Osama bin Laden had been killed was among the most hotly debated topics in the German media this week.
But Hamburg judge Heinz Uthmann went even further. He alleges that the chancellor’s statement was nothing short of illegal, and filed a criminal complaint against Merkel midweek, the daily Hamburger Morgenpost reported Friday.
In his two-page document, Uthmann, a judge for 21 years, cites section 140 of the German Criminal Code, which forbids the “rewarding and approving” of crimes. In this case, Merkel endorsed a “homicide,” Uthmann claimed. The violation is punishable by up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine.
Go here to read the rest of the story. Compared to this example of raw euroweeniness, lack of understanding of the concept of freedom of speech, and deep, deep stupidity, singing chipmunks don’t seem so bad after all!
Perhaps Herr Uthmann will be happy to find this former German leader showing the proper sadness over the slaying of bin Laden: