Back around the year 1000 in England, the Vikings raiding the English coast on their longships were often called “Danes”, because some of them were from Denmark. And like most folks, these Vikings were not dumb. Early on they just raided, fought battles. But after while they wised up. They turned it into your basic Mafia-style extortion scam—they would land and say “Nice village you got there … be a terrible shame if someone were to burn it to the ground …”. And the villagers would pay them to go raid somewhere else. Better deal for everyone, no risk of battle in a time when a scratch could mean death.
Eventually, a tax was instituted under the rule of some King hight Elthelfred the Improbable or something equally English, called the “Dane-geld”, which means the “Danish Tax”. The money and valuables collected through the “Dane-geld” were used to pay off the Danish raiders so they wouldn’t attack England.
Here’s the first part of a Rudyard Kipling poem regarding the payment of Dane-geld to avert a threat:
Dane-Geld A.D. 980-1016 It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation To call upon a neighbour and to say: -- "We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight, Unless you pay us cash to go away." And that is called asking for Dane-geld, And the people who ask it explain That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld And then you'll get rid of the Dane!
What brought this to mind is the sad decay of Europe. I discussed in an earlier post called “Forbidden Words” the case of Geert Wilders. He’s the Dutch politician who was tried and arrested for asking a simple question. He uttered in public the following horrendous and clearly criminal sentence:
“Should we have more or fewer Moroccans in our country?”
He was tried and convicted for merely asking that question, using what the Hollandians and other Europeans vaguely call “hate speech against Moslems” … think about that in the light of Dane-geld.
And in the latest incarnation of this madness, a Danish man has just been charged under Clause 140 of Danish law, the blasphemy clause which says:
Anybody who publicly mocks or insults any in this country legally existing religious community tenets of faith or worship, will be punished by fine or imprisonment for up to 4 months.
Now, people around the planet routinely mock and insult the tenets of other religions. It’s a sport in some circles in the US, where any and all speech of every kind is called “free speech” and is protected by the Constitution.
And it seems to be a religious tenet of Islam, they waste lots of time railing against Christian beliefs of all kind. Here is a most ironic fact: you could charge the Koran itself under Danish Law for what it says about Jews and Christians …
So when an American sees that Danish Clause 140, we find it most bizarre and anti-human. We find it a Middle-Ages anachronism that you guys cannot speak your minds freely.
But in practice, the Danish Clause 140 has only been invoked a few times. The font of misinformation, Wikipedia, links to sites saying that in 1938 someone was convicted of passing out anti-Semitic literature. In 1946 two people were convicted of performing a sham “baptism” at a ball … the horror. And in 1971, a couple of people working for Denmark radio were acquitted for airing a song mocking Christianity.
So … anyone care to guess what religion was insulted leading to Clause 140 being applied this week?
Ponder that for a moment while we enjoy the second part of Kipling’s rollicking poem, viz:
It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation, To puff and look important and to say: -- "Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you. We will therefore pay you cash to go away." And that is called paying the Dane-geld; But we've proved it again and again, That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld You never get rid of the Dane.
Returning to our story, I’d asked which religion was insulted. And yes, you’re right. Clause 140 was used to charge a man with blasphemy for an insult to Islam, in this case burning the Koran. Plenty of other insults around that the Danes could charge, insults by Muslims against Christian tenets occur frequently in Denmark, but noooo …
Bad news, folks. In a greatly ironic historical twist, the Danes are now preemptively paying Dane-geld to the Muslim mob.
The good news that theirs is not a new situation. After all, the name Dane-geld is a thousand years old … and Kipling’s poem, while not that ancient, is from a couple of centuries back. The bad news is that their situation is everyone’s situation …
We need to deal with the resurgent Islamic militarism that is once again taking up arms in their endless war on the West. But in this centuries-long battle, paying them even the slightest Dane-geld is a huge mistake. The nations need to pay attention to Kipling, who closes by saying:
It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation, For fear they should succumb and go astray; So when you are requested to pay up or be molested, You will find it better policy to say: -- "We never pay any-one Dane-geld, No matter how trifling the cost; For the end of that game is oppression and shame, And the nation that pays it is lost!"
Sadly, it does appear that Europe is mostly lost at this point, with the possible exception of the UK fortunately pulling back from the brink … they have foolishly invited into their homes an entire nation of people whose very “Holy Book” violates Danish Law. And in response to the demands of that nation-within-a-nation, they are symbolically burning one of their own at the stake in the vain and foolish hope that this and other Dane-geld will appease the Muslim mob … good luck with that …
Dark times, dear friends. People are correct to be concerned and cautious about who we let into the US.
Meanwhile, here near the northern California coast we’re bathing in both freedom of speech and sunshine. Storm yesterday and storm predicted tomorrow, but today is glorious … sounds like a metaphor for life.
My best to each of you,
PS—Don’t imagine that because Danish prosecutions for blasphemy are rare, that the Danes don’t prosecute what we describe as “free speech” and they call “hate speech”. What they call “hate speech” is prosecuted under another statute, Clause 266b:
Whoever publicly, or with intention to disseminating in a larger circle makes statements or other pronouncement, by which a group of persons is threatened, derided or degraded because of their race, colour of skin, national or ethnic background, faith or sexual orientation, will be punished by fine or imprisonment for up to 2 years.
Two years in the slammer just because some snowflake feels “threatened, derided, or degraded”? Give me a break! That’s not a law, that is a crime in itself!
There is NO WAY TO TELL IF YOU ARE BREAKING THAT LAW!! That’s dumb as a bag of ball bearings. A law has to have a “bright line” so the governed can be clear if they are or are not breaking the law. For example, is it “deriding” Catholicism to talk negatively about the Inquisition? Does it “degrade” the rest of us to point out that Asian Americans do better on tests than any other group here? There is no bright line to tell us.
And don’t get me started about people being “threatened”. Being “threatened” is a lifestyle choice these days. Publicly announcing their fear about whatever the huge threat du jour might be is a wonderful way to show that they are simultaneously virtuous and sensitive. Hollywood actors are famous for it … while in reality, you get to attack your opponent by posing as their victim. These days it is common for people to say “I’m terrified about X, you must stop threatening me with X!”, with their purported terror being held up as the “proof” that the threat is real … nice try.
A law without a bright line dividing legal from illegal allows the Government prosecutors to decide what is illegal. This is a huge danger to free people.
PPS—My usual request. When you comment, please QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS YOU ARE DISCUSSING. This lets us all be crystal-clear regarding what you are referring to.