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Finland for Thought » 2005 » February | Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & the United States | Blog of an American living in Finland

Finland for Thought
             Politics, current events, culture - In Finland & United States

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Keep the state the hell out of religion

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 4:21 pm

According to this article from YLE, more and more people are leaving the Lutheran Church…

Nearly 30,000 people resigned from the state-supported church last year, 152 people more than in the previous year.

So are Finns all of a sudden dropping Christianity? Are they done with the whole Jesus thing? Does it have something to do with that 1% or 2% which is taken out of their paychecks each month? How many times have you heard a Finn say, “Well I belong to the church, just so I can get married” or “Only my spouse is a member of the church because we want our baby to be christened”?

If the government detached themselves from the Finnish church and didn’t garnish your wages each month – would that increase membership or decrease it? On one hand, people would be less likely to drop out due to the 1 or 2% fee – but on the otherhand if they didn’t require you belong to the church in order to be married or have a christening…membership would decrease.

Of course, money for the church has to come from somewhere, it would be unfair of you to join the church but not pay your dues. But I wonder – would the pastors rather have their parishoners abandon the church or remain with the church and not pay their 1 or 2%? What would Jebus do?

The Luthern Church of Finland could move towards the U.S. system where the government is not (supposed to be) attached to the church. American churches seem to be quite wealthy and attendance is quite high. Under the U.S. system, my country is full of religious whackos……..on second thought, let’s just keep the Finnish system the way it is. ;-)

Keep TV Free?

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 10:27 am

From Stay Free! and Boing! Boing!

Gee, who would have thought that some of the same suits who are now trying to dictate what you can watch and record on television once urged Americans to “Keep TV Free”? Well, here’s a PSA from the late 1960s Hollywood that does just that.

In 1967, when one of the first pay TV services was preparing to launch in California, Hollywood and the networks helped defeat the service because they didn’t want the competition. Theater owners organized a KEEP TV FREE campaign, with PSAs like this one running in movie houses before feature films.


Two cross the Finnish line, to cook up a sweet new tradition

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:19 am

Blend traditional New England pastries with the best of Finnish baking

Lehtonen Among World’s Top Three NHL Prospects

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:18 am

League¹s first-half MVP and the No. 1 AHL prospect

Finland on the rise, giants on the wane

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:15 am

Janne Ahonen overcome lingering bouts of fevered flu and some contestable judging

Ahtisaari, Vanhanen Keep NATO Debate Alive

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:14 am

Vanhanen: Decision Not Based on Polls

Researchers Open Medieval Treasure Trove

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:13 am

Biggest medieval treasure trove found so far in the country

Government Eyes Incentives for Short-Term Jobs

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:12 am

Many decline to take fixed-term jobs for fear of losing their jobless benefits

Finnair safest airline – Survey

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:11 am

Nordic airline SAS did worst of the big European airlines making 28th place

Finnair pledges to fly Finns home during possible cabin crew strike

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 8:09 am

Finnair promises not to charge extra fees

High wages in Finnish capital more than offset dear accommodation -Survey

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:51 am

Low-income households in Helsinki are that much worse off

Disgruntled businessman threatened to shoot Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:48 am

5-month suspended sentence given to a 55-year-old entrepreneur

One in three wants civil wedding in Finland

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:47 am

Fewer than two couples out of three had a church wedding last year

Significant rise in overall alcohol consumption in Finland last year

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:46 am

10.3 litres per capita or more than a bottle of spirits a week per head of population


Fabulous Finns – Taking things literally

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 9:23 pm

One of the many (yet not-so-many) differences between Finns and Americans is how Finns take things so literally. Here’s an example of what I mean…

A Finnish friend of mine was spending a year working in the states. When she met up with her American colleagues, they would discuss “getting together sometime soon.” The Finn whipped out her calendar book to set a date. The Americans thought this was quite odd because either 1) they weren’t really serious about meeting up, they were just being “nice” or 2) They’d be willing to meet up…eventually.

Here’s another example…

My girlfriend and I were briefly chatting with some new friends of ours. I said “how we all need to get together soon” and they said, “ok, how about tonight?”

I guess we Americans are somewhat cryptic about what we really mean. I’m accustomed to it since I was raised in the U.S., but I could imagine a Finn (or any foreigner) being quite baffled over an American’s “doublespeak”. I definitely prefer the Finn’s frankness compared to the American ambiguousness.

Anyone been confused by an American before? (Oh Christ, I’m opening up a can of worms here, please no mention of George Bush ;-) )

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