A few weeks ago, I posted a blog entitled “Could They Convict.” In it I asked the question, “If you were put on trial for your Christian faith, would they have enough evidence to convict you?” I posed it as a hypothetical question, but perhaps it’s no longer hypothetical. Your time of trial may be near.
In Finland, member of Parliament Paivi Rasanen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola are on trial for their faith, concluding an almost three-year-long campaign of legal harassment from the Finnish government. They and the prosecution made their final arguments Tuesday, February 15. A decision should come in March, but either side can appeal.
Päivi Räsänen, a 62-year-old medical doctor and grandmother of seven, faces three charges of so-called “ethnic agitation.” Charge 1: Rasanen expressed her belief in the Biblical view of marriage (as only being between a man and a woman) in a pamphlet published in 2004. Charge 2: She took part in a radio show in 2019 and defended that viewpoint. Charge 3: Also in 2019, she tweeted a picture of a Bible passage condemning homosexual acts.
If convicted, Rasanen faces up to two years in prison.
Bishop Pohjola faces a single charge of “ethnic agitation” for merely posting Räsänen’s booklet on his church’s website — that’s the total charge! If convicted, Bishop Pohjola also faces the prospect of two years in prison.
The Finnish prosecutor tried to explain the government’s position by distinguishing between the internal and external side of religious freedom. People are allowed to think what they want, but the expression of faith can be restricted. As the prosecutor explained it, “I emphasize that freedom of thought and conscience is unrestricted. This court does not address the religious views of the Bible and homosexuality. It is addressing the expression of these views.”
There are growing numbers of leftists in our own country who wish to throw the weight of government against bible-believing Christians. So long as they are in the minority, these progressives scream for tolerance; but as soon as they achieve political dominance, they wish to crush dissent. They use the same argument as the Finnish prosecutor. In their view, stupid Christians can believe whatever they wish and are free to observe their arcane practices an hour or so each week inside a specific building, but the moment these idiots bring their superstitious, judgmental nonsense into the public arena they must be crushed.
I’m one of these idiots – a fool for God.
What about you?
Let’s prepare for trial.