I recently came across and advertisement of a group called Answers in Genesis. The advertisement was a video of a young, blond haired, blue eyed teenager walking toward the screen, holding a gun and gradually lifting up the gun only to pull the trigger. While he did so, a voice over, and a poor one at that, said, “If God doesn’t care about you, then nobody does.” I was rather shocked at the point of this advertisement, and not to mention disgusted at such a violent message coming from people who claim to be so peaceful.
I looked on to find that this organization was responsible for a billboard in the south which made quite the irrational and demonstrably untrue claims about a country that is known to be the second least religious country on the planet, Sweden.
The billboard read, “Sweden is one of the most secular countries in the world. It’s a land of no color where children will kill you for candy.”
Obviously, the first thing I thought was that this had to be a joke. This had to be like my popular Minister Phibes Character, or something like the Landover Baptist Church. There’s no way that someone could say something seriously that I would have had to take a day of comedy writing to think up. Something so absurd I would be comfortable saying in character because there’s no way that anyone could take me seriously. But I’ve come to find out that these people are serious. In fact, it was founded by Creation Museum founder Ken Ham, a famously inaccurate “scientists” who greatly resembles an Amish Pilgrim in crack.
I thought, ‘Well, I know that these people are full of it, but what about people who don’t?’ So, I figured I’d take it upon myself to answer their two claims about the country of Sweden. I’m going to leave out all of the other stuff on their site, because I’ve talked much of it to death. Let’s start with the children killing you for candy.
Sweden is known, by the rational world anyway, as one of the safest countries in the world. Whereas, when there is a gun violence or violent crime problem in Europe, it’s mostly referred to as an American problem. Here’s why. In 2003, there were two homicides per 100,000 residents in the country of Sweden. Since then, in 2009, for example, there was one homicide per almost 200,000 citizens. I’d hardly call that a country where children will kill you for your candy. How about something to compare that number to? How about the second most religious country next to Turkey according to a 2008 Gallup poll? In 2004, the United States had the lowest homicide rate in over thirty years at 4,852 homicides per 100,000 residents. So, tell me again how Sweden is a crime ridden hell hole because it’s a secular, irreligious dump? And did I mention that of all of the homicides in the country of Sweden in 2009, none of which were committed by, or even involved children? That’s sort of a point worth making. In fact, there has not been a homicide involving a child in over five years. In 2005, a child was killed when a couple was held at gunpoint, in case you were wondering where the one five years ago came from. On the other hand, the US has over 1,000 incidents of gun violence involving children every year, including over 500 homicides.
What’s going on here? I thought we were supposed to be the second most religious country in the world? Could it be that more religion maybe isn’t the answer to defeating violent crime? Could it be that there is a direct correlation between the fact that the most irreligious countries have the least amounts of teen pregnancy, violent crime, STDs, murder and suicide than the most religious? Could it be that there’s something to be said for the most irreligious countries being the most prosperous as well? Who knows? Let us continue, eh?
Answers in Genesis claim that Sweden is a “Country without color.” Gee, let me think about this for just a moment. Or rather, let’s compare some numbers, shall we? Although Sweden is the world’s second most irreligious country, it is the home to over 350,000 Muslims of African and Middle Eastern descent, over 50% of which were brought into the country because of Sweden’s generous refugee program. And with Sweden at a small population of 9,219,637 people, this makes the country 3.8% Muslim of African or Middle Eastern descent. Doesn’t sound like much? Well, let’s compare this to the United States. The United States has an overall population of over 310 million people. The US is home to 2.8 million Muslims, which places the percentage at 0.9% Muslim of African or Middle Eastern descent. So, you tell me which country is an all white, racist nation? In fact, to go one step further, the US is home to a population of 80% white people, whereas many of Sweden’s major cities are up to 84% non-white citizens.
So, I guess I don’t get where Answers in Genesis are getting their numbers, or rather, how they’ve managed to skew them so that people actually believe their lies, but the truth is far from what this rampant, radical and violent organization claims to be the truth.