- Finish MP Criminally Charged After Quoting Bible in Opposition to LGBT Event
by JONATHAN TURLEY, https://jonathanturley.wordpress.com/
Finland may be viewed as “the happiest place to live” but not if you value free speech. A major free speech case is brewing in the country after Member of Parliament (and former Interior Minister) Päivi Räsänen was criminally charged after tweeting a quotation from the Bible in opposition to her church’s sponsorship of an LGBT pride event. Räsänen, 61, is reportedly facing up to two years in prison for exercising her rights of free speech and freedom of religion.
On June 17, 2019, Räsänen asked in a Twitter post how the sponsorship was compatible with the Bible, linking to a photograph of a biblical passage, Romans 1:24-27, on Instagram. She also posted the text and image on Facebook. However, she also insisted that “The purpose [of] my tweet was in no way to insult sexual minorities. My criticism was aimed at the leadership of the church.”
The Prosecutor General charged Räsänen with incitement against a minority group, arguing that her statements were “likely to cause intolerance, contempt, and hatred towards homosexuals.”
Räsänen has stood firm on her free speech rights “I cannot accept that voicing my religious beliefs could mean imprisonment. I do not consider myself guilty of threatening, slandering, or insulting anyone. My statements were all based on the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexuality.”