The legal problems for a Finnish parliamentarian charged with “hate speech” for social media posts that cited verses from the Bible are not Finnish-ed.
Finnish police interrogated Päivi Räsänen, 62, in June 2019 for tweeting her biblical worldview that questioned her church’s official sponsorship of the Helsinki LGBTQ Pride 2019 event, according to an ADF report.
The member of her country’s Parliament was arrested and tried for “crimes against humanity” by Finnish prosecutors.
Helsinki District Court justices unanimously dismissed the hate speech charges levied against Räsänen and Bishop Juhana Pohjola’s Christian beliefs about marriage, according to a Fox News report.
Not so fast, cried prosecutors who are pursuing another case against her for the same alleged offense.
“The [#church] has announced that it is the official partner of #seta #Pride2019,” tweeted the parliamentarian in 2019.
“How does the doctrine of the church, [the #bible,] fit together with the fact that shame and sin are raised as a matter of pride?”
Beneath her caption, translated from the original Finnish, is a photo of a Bible verse in Finnish, which enraged law enforcement and led to her arrest for allegedly disseminating hate speech.
Räsänen, a medical professional and grandmother of seven, expressed her commitment to defending her right to freedom of speech.
“I am ready to defend my freedom of expression in all necessary courts.”
The upcoming court hearing is scheduled for two consecutive days, beginning August 31 at the Helsinki Court of Appeals.
“The content of my writings and my speeches represents the classical Christian view of marriage and sexuality, the same as the Churches have generally taught for two millennia,” she said of her four-year legal ordeal.
“I do not condone insulting, threatening or slandering anyone, and my statements have not included content of such a nature.”
Räsänen voiced concerns about the complaint against her, which she described as an “open attack on the core teachings of the Christian faith.”
This comes after certain comparisons were made by prosecutors between the Bible and Mein Kampf, according to the Fox report.
When the charges were initially announced, the state prosecutor of Finland asserted that Räsänen’s remarks were intended to foster intolerance, disdain and animosity towards the homosexual community.
During the initial trial, prosecutors cited unrelated Bible verses, labeling them as “bad” speech and suggesting that the term “sin” could be potentially harmful.
Highlighting the broader implications of the trial, Räsänen commented on the “deterrent effect of curtailing freedom of expression and religion.”
“If writings based on biblical teachings were to be condemned, that would mean a serious restriction of freedom of religion,” Räsänen said. “It is natural that this would raise concerns among Christians both in Finland and internationally.”
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