Author Topic: ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland  (Read 580 times)

jtpless

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ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland
« on: July 29, 2021, 10:59:47 AM »
This just out from the International Lutheran Council: https://ilc-online.org/2021/07/29/a-protest-and-call-for-free-religious-speech-in-finland/?fbclid=IwAR2MsMfjJa542qz7i6JjwGlhN5waKoTABpLmOaLjHBltcqJjIcNiDdDwtsg

I note the absence of signatures of church leaders from ILC members in Australia, New Guinea, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 11:08:07 AM by jtpless »

jebutler

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Re: ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2021, 11:07:46 AM »
This just out from the International Lutheran Council: https://ilc-online.org/2021/07/29/a-protest-and-call-for-free-religious-speech-in-finland/?fbclid=IwAR2MsMfjJa542qz7i6JjwGlhN5waKoTABpLmOaLjHBltcqJjIcNiDdDwtsg

I note the absence of signatures of church leaders from ILC members in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea.

On the bright side, I noted the names of church leaders from the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference.
The truth we preach is not an abstract thing. The truth is a Person. The goodness we preach is not an ideal quality. The goodness is Someone who is good. The love we preach is God himself in Christ. --H. Grady Davis

Dave Benke

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Re: ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2021, 12:00:07 PM »
This seems to me like a matter of fundamental religious freedom.  I know almost nothing of the back story except what's in the statement.  But there must be a back story there somewhere, because it's a criminal charge.

In catch-up mode, I see five LCMS signatories, including two in positions I missed - Tim Quill (whom I remember as being very ill at one time in the not-too-distant past, so prayers availed!) who is General Secretary of the ILC, and Jonathan Shaw, who's now the Director of Church Relations (which I believe was the Al Collver post).  Anyway, is there more to the story, given the lack of signature by some of the ILC? 

Dave Benke

Michael Slusser

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Re: ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2021, 12:05:59 PM »
A similar legal situation has just arisen in Germany, where Fr. Wolfgang F. Rothe has brought a case in a German court in Köln  against a Polish theologian, Fr. Dariusz Oko, for "Volksverhetzung," hate speech, on the basis of an article he published in a Swiss journal. The question seems to be (though I have not read the article or the charges) whether Oko's denunciation of homosexual cliques in the RCC constitutes hate speech. Is he simply speaking on the basis of Catholic doctrine (freedom of religious expression) or do his words constitute incitement of attack on other people's rights?
https://www.katholisch.de/artikel/30724-nach-strafbefehl-herausgeber-hauke-verteidigt-text-zu-homosexuellen

It could well be that this topic, involving conflicting rights, may bring smoldering embers into flame internationally.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
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jtpless

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Re: ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2021, 03:40:04 PM »
Background from ILC: https://ilc-online.org/2021/04/30/finnish-bishop-elect-charged-over-historic-christian-teachings-on-human-sexuality/

I understand that Bishop Dan Sebo of the NALC has also written a letter to the Finnish ambassador.

Charles Austin

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Re: ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2021, 05:03:43 PM »
The news article says (my emphasis added) “The booklet argues that homosexual activity must be identified as sin by the church on the basis of the teachings of Scripture. The author, Dr. Päivi Räsänen—a Finnish Member of Parliament—further argues that a failure to recognize sin as sin undermines the very need for a Saviour.  Dr. Räsänen has now been charged with incitement by the Prosecutor General, both for the booklet and for other comments on human sexuality. As Dean Pohjola is editor-in-chief of Luther Foundation Finland’s publications—including the booklet “Male and Female He Created Them”—he also was charged.
   It might be interesting to know what those “other comments” were. One can teach the way the man wants to teach without the words sounding like hate speech or inciting others. But the words, if not carefully chosen, can also sound like inciting hate or other actions.
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Charles Austin

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Re: ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2021, 05:37:19 PM »
Same sex marriage has been legal in Finland since 2014.
The majority Church of Finland is comfortable with that and allows pastors to help such couples.
Those being investigated are not Church of Finland, but the schismatics who have dissented for years and at times broke state laws in doing so.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Dave Benke

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Re: ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2021, 05:51:53 PM »
The news article says (my emphasis added) “The booklet argues that homosexual activity must be identified as sin by the church on the basis of the teachings of Scripture. The author, Dr. Päivi Räsänen—a Finnish Member of Parliament—further argues that a failure to recognize sin as sin undermines the very need for a Saviour.  Dr. Räsänen has now been charged with incitement by the Prosecutor General, both for the booklet and for other comments on human sexuality. As Dean Pohjola is editor-in-chief of Luther Foundation Finland’s publications—including the booklet “Male and Female He Created Them”—he also was charged.
   It might be interesting to know what those “other comments” were. One can teach the way the man wants to teach without the words sounding like hate speech or inciting others. But the words, if not carefully chosen, can also sound like inciting hate or other actions.

Here, from the Missouri Synod site on the topic, are the "other comments," as the LCMS as them:   Two further charges brought against Dr. Räsänen. One is based on a short June 2019 tweet, after the national church (Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church) announced its official partnership with the LGBT event “Pride 2019.” In the tweet, Dr. Räsänen questioned the action in light of Scripture, and attached an image of Romans 1:24–27. The other charge is based on a short excerpt from a December 2019 one-hour Finnish Broadcasting Corporation radio program on theology, sexual ethics, and politics. On the program, Dr. Räsänen said that God did not create man as a homosexual.

If that's all there is to it, filing criminal charges seems way over the top.  Compare the lovely woman from New Jersey who's a Biden-hater and doesn't mind saying so profanely:  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/27/nyregion/nj-biden-signs-profanity.html

And taking a more worldly perspective, from the point of view of the Finnish government, why would you pump air into a church organization that might represent a quarter of one percent of the population (or less?) by seeking to make the leaders criminals for quoting the Bible?  Hardly anyone would know or care who these guys were if they were left alone.  Instead, on some kind of moral grounds, they take a highly censorial and oppressive tack, which is actually counter-productive.   

Dave Benke

ThePaul711

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Re: ILC Statement on Freedom of Religion in Finland
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2021, 11:41:41 PM »
Same sex marriage has been legal in Finland since 2014.
The majority Church of Finland is comfortable with that and allows pastors to help such couples.
Those being investigated are not Church of Finland, but the schismatics who have dissented for years and at times broke state laws in doing so.
That may be true, but it's another argument for why state churches shouldn't exist.