Do you know how atheist Democrats like Bernie Sanders praise “Scandinavian countries”? Well, it turns out that those countries are not very good at protecting basic liberties, like free speech and freedom of religion. One of them in particular – Finland – has declared war on Christians, and is dragging them into court.
The Federalist reports:
In more than two decades as a pastor, [Juhana] Pohjola has ministered to congregations as small as 30. He has spent his life building a network of faithful churches across Finland, many of which started with a few people gathered for prayer, Bible study, hymn-singing—and communion, if they can get a pastor. In an in-person interview with The Federalist, Pohjola urged fellow Christian leaders to be willing to seek out “one lost sheep” instead of crowds and acclaim.
This is the man who appears to be the first in the post-Soviet Union West to be brought up on criminal charges for preaching the Christian message as it has been established for thousands of years. Also charged in the case that goes to trial on January 24 is Pohjola’s fellow Lutheran and a Finnish member of Parliament, Paivi Rasanen.
Rasanen’s alleged crime… include tweeting a picture of a Bible verse. Potential penalties if they are convicted include fines and up to two years in prison.
Rasanen and Pohjola are being charged with “hate speech” for respectively writing and publishing a 24-page 2004 booklet that explains basic Christian theology about sex and marriage, which reserves sex exclusively for within marriage, which can only consist of one man and one woman, for life. The Finnish prosecutor claims centuries-old Christian teachings about sex “incite hatred” and violate legal preferences for government-privileged identity groups.
What’s interesting is that the booklet was written 7 years before Finland decided that speech critical of LGBT was “hate speech”. You would think that it would be exempt, but it’s not. If the same thing happened here, that means that any public defense of Christian teachings on sexual morality would become “criminal” after the bill, e.g. – the “Equality Act”, were signed into law.
The article notes that laws that criminalize “hate speech”, i.e. – Biblical teachings on sexuality, already exist in European countries, and even in some Commonwealth countries like Australia and Canada.
Humans rights lawyer Paul Coleman of the ADF is quoted in the article:
“Although all European countries have these hate speech laws, and these hate speech laws are increasingly being used against citizens for things that they say, this is the first time we’ve really seen Christians face criminal prosecution for explaining their biblical views,” Coleman said. “…It’s unprecedented. We’ve not seen attacks on free speech on this level in Europe, and that’s why they are extremely important cases, not just for the people of Finland and Paivi Rasanen and the bishop themselves, but for all of Europe. If this is upheld in one jurisdiction, we will no doubt see it in other jurisdictions as well.”
Such “hate speech” laws exist in every European country and Western countries such as Canada and Australia, and descend from Soviet influence. Coleman called them “sleeper laws,” saying that in other countries “they could be used any time just like they are in Finland. People need to mobilize against these laws and overturn them.”
These laws are typically used to frighten all the Christians from promoting their views. If they torture one Christian and make an example of them, then the others learn to fall in line. Many “Christians” even join with their oppressors, hoping to avoid punishment.
What I really get concerned about is when conservative Christians show no interest in reading about these things. They say things like “well, maybe the church will get stronger with persecution?” and “well, the Bible says that things like this will happen in the last days?” But that’s not what happened in Canada when these laws were passed. Christians in Canada went underground on these issues, so much that the “Conservative” Party of Canada has completely given up on social issues. (Although you should still vote for them as the best of several bad alternatives) I think Christians who say these things just don’t want to be bothered with having to read about these issues, and then be convincing to others. That’s why I read books by people like Michael Brown and Ryan T. Anderson, to learn how to argue these controversial issues. It seems to me that some people are using pious-sounding words as a way to get out from having to prepare to fight, and then fighting. We need to do better. And that’s not to even mention the large-scale capitulation to the secular left being done by leaders of formerly conservative denominations like the SBC.