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November 14, 2023
Court Dismisses Hate Crime Charges Against Politician, "It Isn’t a Crime to Tweet a Bible Verse"
Religious freedom is essential for maintaining a free society. Unfortunately, all around the Western World, Religious liberty continues to be under attack.
The Helsinki Court of Appeal has dismissed all charges against Finnish Member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola, who were both tried for “hate speech” after they publicly expressed their Christian beliefs.
Räsänen, Finland’s former Interior Minister, was charged with “agitation against a minority group” in 2021 for “war crimes and crimes against humanity” for sharing her Christian beliefs on marriage in a 2019 tweet, as well as a 2019 live radio debate and 2004 church pamphlet. Bishop Pohjola was charged with publishing Räsänen’s pamphlet.
For most of history, marriage was defined as a religious institution between a man and a woman. Now that it is de facto meaningless for most of the Western World, Christians are essential “war criminals” engaging in “crimes against humanity.”
You cannot make that crap up. And I would honestly like to know in what way were the “victims” of her words and thoughts affected by these “crimes against humanity.”
The District Court unanimously cleared the defendants of all charges in March 2022, but prosecutors appealed the case.
“In order to protect the dignity and equality of homosexuals, it is necessary to exclude Räsänen’s statements from freedom of expression by interpreting them as punishable hate speech directed at them [homosexuals],” the prosecution argues.
If believing that marriage is between a man and a woman is considered a threat to the dignity of gay people, does that mean being in a traditional marriage is a hate crime?
Is it really the job of prosecutors in Finland to protect the “dignity” of gay people? What about the “dignity” of Christians? Or would that get in the way of “equality”?
The district court had ruled that it isn’t the court’s job “to interpret biblical concepts" and that it “has no reason, on the basis of evidence received at the main hearing, to assess the case in any respect differently from the District Court.”
The Court has ordered the prosecution to pay the legal fees to cover costs incurred by both defendants.
“I am deeply relieved. The court has fully endorsed and upheld the decision of the district court, which recognized everyone’s right to free speech,” said Päivi Räsänen after her victory.
“It isn’t a crime to tweet a Bible verse or to engage in public discourse with a Christian perspective. The attempts made to prosecute me for expressing my beliefs have resulted in an immensely trying four years, but my hope is that the result will stand as a key precedent to protect the human right to free speech. I sincerely hope other innocent people will be spared the same ordeal for simply voicing their convictions,” added Räsänen, the former Finnish Interior Minister and grandmother of eleven.
Marriage is an institution that has formed the foundation of the family throughout history. For most of Western history, people have respected that union as the fundamental building block of society. Marriage is based on reproductive facts that depend on this union. But because too many Conservatives have fully surrendered under the lie of "equality", we are now faced with the repercussions of discarding this historic understanding.