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

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15.10.2010

Church is Gay

Tags: Politics,Traditions — Author:   @ 4:55 pm

The Finnish national broadcaster YLE had a tv-debate over Church and gays last Tuesday, aptly named Homoilta (Gay Night), there has been propositions of amending the law for gay marriage, or actually “gender-neutral-marriage” that would replace the current marriage laws and registered partnership laws. The debate went fine – so fine that after listening to the Christian Democrat’s Päivi Räsänen and Evangelic-Lutheran reverend Leena Huovinen and bishop of Tampere Matti Repo voice their opinions, a record of 5500 church members have so far resigned through the free-thinkers’ website www.eroakirkosta.fi in only four days. Update Monday 18.10, the amount has risen to 20 000, normally there is a peak in December as the “church tax” (*) liability depends on the membership at the end of the year. As the average payment of tax per member is 300 euros, its estimated the church has lost about 6 million euros.

(*) To those readers who are unfamiliar with Finland, the Ev-Lut. Church is one of the “State Churches” with taxation rights, to which traditionally 85% of the population belongs – and pays about 2% church tax – how many people actually go to church on a Sunday is maybe 2% of that, most people seldom visit unless its for a baptism, confirmation, wedding or funeral. The church also gets taxes from businesses, which none of them are tax-exempt, so tbe it a halal butcher or a kosher bakery – all pay taxes to the Ev-Lut Church. The church does have obligations, such as maintaining graveyards etc. but most of its historical chores, such as keeping population data has been taken over by the government.

The new archbishop Kari Mäkinen is “bewildered and sorry” of the reaction. He would rather see people would stay as members and voice their opinions within the church, but I guess the old “voting with your feet” and with your purse is a more effective way to convey your message. This might imply, that the conservative opinion within the church and among Finns has seen a rise, but people do then also vote with their feet as for some conservatives the church has had too liberal opinions. Tightrope walking trying to please everyone.

For those who understand Finnish (and can get the feed) http://areena.yle.fi/video/1354542
No doubt it’ll eventually end up in youtube with subtitles.

  • JoenuunJenkki

    If the Lutheran Church wants to voice an unpopular opinion against gay “unions”, let people vote with their feet. If deviant marriage is the cultural norm, let people endorse it without the encumberance and implicit approval of church membership.

  • Jason

    I’m sure that there are quite a number of Finns who attend churches other than the official state church, and who probably are more free to take a more conservative stand because they belong to a church that is – more than likely – not state-supported.

  • unit

    The Finnish State church membership has long been populated by a majority of people who neither like nor care about Christian values. Only tradition has kept membership numbers high. Homosexuality is forbidden in many places throughout the bible, and this should come as no surprise to Christians. Hopefully there is even a bigger exodus of members who are not really Christians. The church nowadays only cares about money, and very little about Christianity.

  • Hetero

    Wasn’t Jesus talking like all the persons are equal and tolerance?
    Many churches are too much into money and homophobia.

  • Hank w.

    Actually, Räsänen seems to have hit the jackpot. Theflakgoes to the church, but the Cristian Democrat party has gotten a landslide amount of new paying members.

  • Anonymous

    They may have borrowed some electors from the extreme right.

  • tibor

    Your experience is just a sign of the times. Anything gay is forced upon us through entertainment and media. Any criticism is considered “homophobia” or quasi fascist. Gay tolerance has changed into mandatory gay acceptance, and approval. Just look at the state of the Lutheran Church in Finland with gay and lesbian ministers, condoning it all. This is happening in all Western societies and nations. Soon it will be frowned upon to be a traditional male who likes women, football, ice hockey, beer, fishing, hunting… ah yes, the first and the last are already vilified.

  • x

    Yes to women.
    Yes to football.
    No to hunting.
    And no to cerain priests.

  • Be Free Be Wise

    Have to know that people are susceptible to the avalanche of propaganda produced daily in all forms of secular media to force the pro-gay agenda onto people.
    It is only a matter of a decade or most two, before we see throughout Europe the same acceptance for paedophilia and euthanasia on the grounds of social non-productivity.
    I doubt if the Allies beating the Nazis in WW2 will be seen as anything but the good side lost.

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