Dr. Paivi Rasanen

A Preview Of Coming Attractions? Finnish Politician Faces Prison Time For Criticizing Her Church’s Support For Pride Events

If you want to see where liberals want to take America, look to Finland.

The Washington Times reported recently that Dr. Päivi Räsänen, a member of the Finnish parliament, faces up to two years in prison for criticizing her church’s stance on gay rights and for sharing Bible verses considered “derogatory” toward homosexuals.

Räsänen, a medical doctor and Finland’s former interior minister could be on trial in November, the Times noted.

According to the English translation of a statement issued by the prosecutor’s office, Räsänen called homosexuality “a sexual distortion” and that it also is a “scientifically proven psychosexual developmental disorder,” something that was first published in 2004. Such comments, the prosecutor maintains, are “derogatory” and “discriminatory” against gays.

Räsänen also has publicly referenced the Bible’s teaching that God “created them for man and woman,” and that “homosexual relationships challenge the Christian conception of man.” The prosecutor also has cited social media posts in which the doctor referred to homosexuality as “a shame and a sin.”

The Finnish government also “believes that Räsänen’s statements lead to prejudice, contempt and hatred towards homosexuals.”

“The statements violate the equality and human dignity of homosexuals, which is why they exceed the limits of freedom of expression and religion,” the prosecutor’s statement said.

Räsänen apparently made the statements in criticizing the support for gay pride events by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the country’s national church.

In response to the charges, Räsänen told the Times, “I am ready to defend free speech and freedom of religion as far as needed. The purpose for my tweet was in no way to insult sexual minorities. My criticism was aimed at the leadership of the church and their decision regarding Helsinki Pride.”

Räsänen also told the Times that Finnish law requires the church to “confess its faith and actions” in public, and since she is a member of the local church council, she believes she has permission and “a duty to evaluate the actions of my church in light of the Bible.”

Forcing her to take down her posts, she added, “might open up an avenue leading to further publication bans and modern book burnings.”

“I think this whole chain of events is part of my calling as a Christian influencer,” Räsänen told the Times. “The early Christians did not renounce their faith in the lion’s dens. Why should I renounce my faith in the courtrooms?”

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