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Suing for Blasphemy

United States exports are doing well now that the dollar is so weak, but our strongest export may be our passion for litigation.

It used to be that only the United States was lawsuit-crazy, with citizens and companies suing each other for even the smallest things.

That passion for litigation appears to have made its way over to Indonesia.

The Jakarta Post reports that the Alliance of Christian Students and Youths (AMPK) is suing Tempo magazine for alleged blasphemy.

Suing for blasphemy is a strange concept. Won't God just strike down the offenders with a lightning bolt or something? Do we really need to take them to court when they are surely on a fast path to H-E-Double-Toothpicks?

This particular blasphemy lawsuit is all about Tempo magazine's depicting a satirical version of Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper on the magazine cover.

The lawsuit alleges a violation of Article 156 of the Indonesia Criminal Codes. Those laws prevent public defamation, hostility and hatred against certain communities, including religious groups.

On the magazine cover, the late former president Soeharto was shown having dinner with his six children in the same composition as Da Vinci's painting. We guess that the depiction was suggesting that Soeharto is a god or something. It's an Indonesian inside joke that we don't really get.

But our job here at's Interesting Lawsuits blog is to post occasionally about strange lawsuits or interesting lawsuits. Suing for blasphemy seems strange in and of itself, but this is also interesting because it shows that other countries around the world are catching lawsuit fever.

The United States certainly holds the title for Litigation Nation, but other countries may soon give the United States a run for the money to become the most litigiousn nation.

How appropriate. After all, isn't "running for the money" what litigation is all about?


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