The Finnish prosecutor’s office has filed a complaint against the country’s former interior minister, and today MP Päivi Räsänen, for a publication on social networks in which she quoted what the Bible says about homosexuality.
She is threatened with up to two years in prison, and the reason, the prosecution claims, is that she “incites hatred and intolerance towards homosexuals.”
What did a politician do?
Well, she criticized the fact that the church she is a member of – the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland – supports Gay Pride.
Räsänen, the former head of the Christian Democrats party, asked on Twitter how this fits in with the Christian doctrine on homosexuality – and posted a photo of a Scripture quote, Letter to the Romans, in which the apostle Paul condemns homosexuality.
After her entry, an investigation was launched against the politician, who had to attend several interrogations at the police station. Meanwhile, the investigation was extended, so the prosecution also examined her text, written 17 years ago, in which she defended the Christian understanding of marriage. And also one of her 2018 TV appearances where she also condemned homosexuality.
The investigation has now been completed and the prosecutor has announced that the Finnish politician will be charged in all three cases.
In a liberal democratic state, a Lutheran woman who is a MP was accused of hate speech because she preached Bible teaching
—Wrote the American conservative columnist Rod Dreher and added ironically:
But the problem is illiberal democracies like Hungary.
Räsänen herself issued a statement in which she stated:
The allegations brought against me concern whether it is allowed in Finland to express a conviction based on traditional teaching of the Bible and Christian churches. I do not think that I would in any way defame homosexuals, whose human dignity and human rights, about which I constantly talked, respected and defended.
She warned that the stakes are much higher and it is not just about her, but about defending freedom of religion and speech.
I will not go back and change neither my beliefs nor what I wrote. Nor do I apologize for the writings of the apostle Paul. I am ready to defend freedom of speech and religion if necessary
—Wrote in a statement.
The trial against her is sure to attract a lot of public attention in the coming months. The whole case clearly shows just how far the censorship of Christian positions has come in the Western democracies.