Both a member of the Finnish Parliament and a Lutheran bishop reportedly face criminal prosecution by Finland’s state prosecutor for the alleged crime of expressing religious views that belie the global left’s increasingly radical LGBT ideology.
At the center of the case is former Finnish interior minister MP Päivi Räsänen of the Christian Democrats party, who’s been accused by the state of incitement against a minority group (the LGBT community) that’s allegedly “likely to cause intolerance, contempt, and hatred towards homosexuals,”as reported by Euronews.
Speaking with Fox News this week, Räsänen warned that her conviction “would be dangerous for” the most “basic freedoms,” namely the freedom of religion.
According to her attorneys with the Alliance to Defend Freedom’s international unit, ADF International, the charges against her are linked to a pamphlet on marriage that she published in 2004, a radio discussion on homosexuality she had in 2019 and a tweet she published containing a picture of a Bible passage.
In the pamphlet, named “Male and Female He Created Them,” Räsänen simply discussed the Bible’s messages regarding marriage and homosexuality, and then contrasted them with the messages of prevailing left-wing ideology.
The pamphlet was reportedly published online by Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, also known as The Mission Diocese. He too faces a charge of incitement.
The radio discussion meanwhile occurred “during an interview on an Yle Puhe radio programme — entitled “What Did Jesus Think About Homosexuals?” — broadcast on 20 December 2019 and hosted by journalist Ruben Stiller,” according to Yle, Finland’s national public broadcasting company.
“The issue of Christian sexual morality as well as the topic of marriage were discussed during the interview, and the prosecutor [has] argued that Räsänen’s comments during the broadcast amounted to incitement against a minority group,” YLE notes.
“The prosecutor has requested that the court hand Räsänen a penalty of 120 income-linked day fines for the comments as well as for two other incidents involving written statements.”
The state has reportedly also demanded that Yle remove the parts of the program that contain the discussion on homosexuality, but thus far the company has reportedly said “no.”
The tweet was also posted in 2019, and in it Räsänen reportedly criticized the Finnish Lutehran Church for sponsoring an LGBT Pride event and included a link to an Instagram post containing a screenshot of a Bible passage that calls homosexuality “shameful” and “unnatural.”
Below is the tweet:
Kirkko, jonka jäsen olen, on ilmoittanut olevansa SETA:n Helsinki Pride 2019 virallinen kumppani. Miten kirkon oppiperusta, Raamattu, sopii yhteen aatteen kanssa, jossa häpeä ja synti nostetaan ylpeyden aiheeksi?… https://t.co/dSGNJqdf9F
— Päivi Räsänen (@PaiviRasanen) June 17, 2019
“The church of which I am a member has announced that it is an official partner of SETA Helsinki Pride 2019. How does the doctrine of the Church, the Bible, fit in with the idea that shame and sin are raised to the point of pride?” its translation reads.
And below is the Instagram post she linked to:
View this post on Instagram
In her remarks to Fox News, Räsänen said that, as far as the state is concerned, it’s illegal to agree with the Bible.
“It is still allowed to have Bibles in the libraries and to have debates and discussions about the Bible and even to cite the Bible, but what is forbidden is to agree with the Bible,” she said.
Why? Because according to Finnish Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen, the Bible is equivalent to “Mein Kampf.”
Despite Toiviainen’s apparent radicalism, Räsänen is hesitantly optimistic about winning her case.
“I’m very optimistic to win the case, but I have to say I’ve been very optimistic all the time. I would never have believed that this happens in Finland because we are a democracy with freedom of speech and freedom of religion in our Constitution,” she said to Fox News.
She was suggesting that her current optimism may be naive. And as evidence, she was pointing to the fact that she’d once naively thought she’d never be prosecuted for simply sharing different beliefs than the establishment.
“It has been very unbelievable … that this process has continued. So you never can know what happens,” she added.
The good news is that she’s received a great deal of support, with thousands of people reportedly protesting on her behalf.
Amazingly, much of the support has come from outside Finland. Below, for instance, are protesters in the Hungarian capital of Budapest:
Even Americans have taken notice. In a Fox News op-ed published Wednesday, Republican Rep. Chip Roy and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins warned that Räsänen’s prosecution “has implications for a growing war on faith in America.”
“For years, many have warned that Western governments have been overtaken by radical secularism — guided by a disdain of Christianity — and that the slippery slope would result in people of faith facing trial for living out their beliefs in the public square. In Finland, the slide has stopped; that day has come,” the two wrote.
“Yet, this is not just a Finnish problem for the Finnish people. With media from all over the world covering this case, it is a critical reminder of what is to come – especially here in America when a modern society chooses to push acceptance of radical and unproven ideologies rather than embracing the very freedoms of religion and speech that allowed the West to flourish. It is evidently clear the rot has already begun to set in on our side of the Atlantic.”
Listen to Räsänen’s full remarks below:
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