Christianity As “Hate Speech”: Will What’s Happening in Finland Finish America?
Having magnificent soldiers, small Finland’s claim to historical fame is having savaged Soviet forces during World War II. Now, however, the nation is turning its guns on Christian faith — at least, that is, insofar as it’s expressed authentically. If this seems an exaggeration, just consider what has befallen Päivi Räsänen, an ex-minister of the interior of Finland and currently a member of the nation’s parliament.
Taking cancel culture up more than a notch, the 61-year-old lawmaker has been criminally charged for expressing traditional views on marriage and sexuality.
As the press release from the state prosecutor explains (hat tip: American Conservative’s Rod Dreher, who auto-translated the below):
Räsänen has written, “God created them as men and women. Gay relationships challenge the Christian conception of man.” In her writing, Räsänen has presented opinions and information that denigrate homosexuals. Among other things, Räsänen has claimed that homosexuality is a scientifically proven disorder of psychosexual development. Pohjola has published the article on the websites of the Finnish Luther Foundation and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission.
In addition, Räsänen has published on her Twitter and Instagram account and Facebook page an opinion that denigrates homosexuals, according to which homosexuality is a shame and a sin. [Note: She tweeted out a Bible verse. —RD]
Räsänen, on the program of the Yle Puhe radio channel, in its episode “What did Jesus think about gays?” made derogatory statements about homosexuals. In it, Räsänen has said that if homosexuality is genetic, then it is a genetic degeneration and a genetic disease that causes the disease. In Räsänen’s view, homosexuals are also not created by God like heterosexuals.
According to the indictment, the statements further specified in Räsänen’s indictments are derogatory and discriminatory against homosexuals. The statements violate the equality and dignity of homosexuals, so they transcend the boundaries of freedom of speech and religion .
This is unsurprising when considering that Finland is now part of the post-Christian West. As commentator Andrea Widburg writes, “Seventy percent of Finns call themselves ‘Christians.’ Indeed, according to Wikipedia, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland isn’t just Finland’s largest religious body; it’s also one of the largest Lutheran churches in the world. As is true across the Western world, though, Finland’s allegiance to Christianity is fading, with the Church losing roughly 1% of its members every year. Religion is mostly a pro forma activity.”
Widburg then supports her assertion with the following Wikipedia passage:
In 2016, 69.3% of Finnish children were baptized and 82.3% were confirmed in 2012 at the age of 15, and over 90% of the funerals are Christian. However, the majority of Lutherans attend church only for special occasions like Christmas ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. The Lutheran Church estimates that approximately 1.8% of its members attend church services weekly. The average number of church visits per year by church members is approximately two.
According to a 2010 Eurobarometer poll, 33% of Finnish citizens responded that they “believe there is a God”; 42% answered that they “believe there is some sort of spirit or life force”; and 22% that they “do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force.”
Yes, feel the force, Luke.
In other words, Finland, hollowed out and devoid of spiritual substance, became ripe for what homosexuality activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen predicted would happen in their 1989 book After the Ball.
Once we “produce a major realignment solidly in favour of gay rights,” they wrote, “the intransigents (like the racists of twenty years ago) will eventually be effectively silenced by both law and polite society.”
And so it has happened. In America the muzzling is effected by “[im]polite society”; in the rest of the West law is used, too. Räsänen is just one of the latest victims.
Of course, American leftists would also love to be able to use the law against believers, and they have already done so with Christian businessmen who’ve refused to service same-sex “weddings.” And standing between us and the Finnish standard is only the “thin line” that is our “Constitution,” Widburg asserts.
Oh, Finland has a Constitution, too. But unlike ours, its rights aren’t predicated on the belief that they’re granted by God; moreover, aside from the enumerated rights you’d expect, the Finnish constitution additionally guarantees rights to things such as “language and culture” and “social security.”
This said, the Finns’ constitution does also state, “Everyone has the freedom of religion and conscience.” But as Widburg notes, this “guarantee” “isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” The question is, however, will our Constitution’s guarantees be in the near future?
It was decades ago that journalist Joseph Sobran (I believe) said our Constitution was already a “dead letter.” Oh, the document is important and certainly matters. But if it is a line between us and tyranny, as Widburg said, it’s very, very fine — and fragile. And our Constitution, wonderful though it is, is not the main thing separating us from a Finnish freedom finish.
Noting that our Constitution could be viewed as the contract the American people have with one another, imagine you had the opportunity to enter into a possibly lucrative business contract with a man you knew to be underhanded, deceitful, untrustworthy, and vice-ridden. Would you bite?
Of course, the courts are there to settle contract disputes. But now let’s say that the judges are so flighty, relativistic, and detached from reason that they’ll not only view the contract as a “living document,” but are simpatico with the immoral man and would likely take his side. Would you bite?
Or take flight?
This is analogous to 2021 America. Many of us speak as if our problems are just a matter of politics and/or law (ergo, “An Article V convention will solve our problems”). But they don’t fully understand why John Adams, our second president, said in 1798, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In reality, no document can thwart the dark will of a people comprising a majority indifferent to it and a passionate minority bent on subverting it. Why, it doesn’t matter what the Constitution says because it doesn’t say anything: A document can’t be put on a stand and give testimony.
Unless we rediscover faith and virtue and cultivate them in the people, we’ll wish we were Finland — because we’ll degenerate into something far worse. As morality goes, so goes a nation.
Published at Thu, 06 May 2021 21:10:18 +0000
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