Okay, so, I guess you’re still allowed to read the Bible in Finland.
That’s good news, right?
A court of appeal dismissed all charges of “hate speech” and “ethnic agitation” against Finnish lawmaker Päivi Räsänen on Tuesday in what has been hailed as a victory for free speech.
The Finnish member of Parliament had been charged in 2021 after publicly sharing in 2019 her biblical, religious views on marriage as between one man and one woman.
Though Räsänen, 63, was unanimously acquitted by a Finnish District Court in 2022, prosecutors appealed her acquittal to the Helsinki Court of Appeal. The former minister of the interior faced the possibility of tens of thousands of euros in fines and two years in prison.
Two years in prison for quoting the Bible. In Finland, a country that isn’t really even very politically correct (just innocent and generally confused and bedazzled by modernity).
This is the extreme nature of our plight.
On Nov. 14, the Helsinki Court of Appeal unanimously ruled to uphold the 2022 acquittal, finding that it had “no reason, on the basis of the evidence received at the main hearing, to assess the case in any respect differently from the district court. There is therefore no reason to alter the final result of the district court’s judgment.”
The charges against a Finnish Lutheran bishop named Juhana Pohjola were also dismissed by the court of appeal on Nov. 14. Pohjola had also been tried for hate speech for publishing a pamphlet written by Räsänen in 2004 that advocated for the biblical understanding of sexuality and marriage.
“I am deeply relieved,” Räsänen said Nov. 14 via a statement from her legal representatives, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) International. “The court has fully endorsed and upheld the decision of the district court, which recognized everyone’s right to free speech.”
In the 2019 tweet that landed Räsänen in legal troubles, she criticized her denomination for embracing LGBTQ+ ideology, asking how these views could be reconciled with Scripture. In the tweet, she referenced Romans 1:24-27, which clearly states that homosexual activity is against God’s will.
Really, this shouldn’t even be considered a win, and the fact that this is considered a win should be considered a big loss.
If you’re having a discussion about sending people to prison for being Christians, you’ve already lost.
A win for Christians would be something like, say, removing women’s right to vote, or abolishing the age of consent. When you’re losing very badly, “losing a tiny bit less” is not a win. If a sports team is down by 40 points, they don’t say “we’re winning” after scoring one point.
Longer video about the case