UK: ACTOR/COMEDIAN JOHN CLEESE BEMOANS POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, COULD LEAD TO 1984-STYLE SOCIETY…….

In a world (most importantly in the West) given over to statist, post-enlightenment thinking, 1984-style horrors can become a reality.

george_orwell_1984_3

Political correctness is killing comedy, says John Cleese: Monty Python star believes fear of offending certain groups could lead to 1984-style society where free expression is not allowed

John Cleese (pictured) says that political correctness and fear of offending could lead to a 1984-style society

John Cleese (pictured) says that political correctness and fear of offending could lead to a 1984-style society

  • Cleese speaks out on Big Think video about effect of political correctness
  • Says can no longer perform at universities as any criticism seen as ‘cruel’
  • Claims those who can’t control emotions want to control others’ behaviour
  • Says loss of humour will lead to dystopian police state, like Orwell novel 

John Cleese says that political correctness and fear of offending could lead to a 1984-style society.

The Monty Python star said he has now been advised not to perform on university campuses as the idea of political correctness has expanded so far that any kind of criticism is now seen as ‘cruel’.

Veteran comic Cleese said it is down to people who cannot control their emotions, so seek to control others, and worries that it could lead to a society like that in the iconic dystopian Orwell Novel.

He says: ‘If you start to think “ooh, we mustn’t criticise or offend them”, humour is gone, with humour goes a sense of proportion, and then as far as I’m concerned we’re living in 1984.’

Cleese, whose jokes about Germans and Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers could well be considered offensive today, said that ‘all comedy is critical,’ in a video for The Big Think.

He explained how British newspapers offend him everyday with ‘laziness, nastiness and inaccuracy,’ but that he doesn’t expect someone to stop it happening, he simply speaks out about it.

Read more:

SWEDEN BLOCKS DAILY MAIL ARTICLE ON ASYLUM RECEPTION AID WORKER’S MURDER, CITES ‘AVOIDING PREJUDICE OF ONGOING CASE’……

More likely, ruling elites need to keep their citizenry in the dark surrounding the facts of the case.

CONFIRMED: Daily Mail Article BLOCKED In Sweden Due To Migrant Murder Court Case

An article on website of the Daily Mail newspaper (Mail Online) is being blocked in Sweden after the news outlet cast doubts on the age of the alleged migrant attacker currently on trial in the country following the stabbing of a 22-year-old asylum centre worker.

Earlier this week the Mail Online reported that the family of the deceased 22-year-old Alexandra Mezher had revealed that she told them before her death that some of the ages of the so-called “child” migrants in the asylum centre were suspicious to her. She said she was dealing with “big powerful guys” aged up to 24 years old.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 22.51.34

Swedish web users are met with the following link

The news article has now been blocked voluntarily by the Daily Mail following “legal advice”, Breitbart London can confirm.

A source at the newspaper told Breitbart London this evening that the reporting on the article and the website were both fine, but that in Sweden alone the paper has had to take action “to avoid prejudicing” ongoing legal proceedings concerning the alleged murderer.

The source said the Mail Online “have to have a block” on “one article”.

But Mail Online readers in Sweden are reporting blackouts on several different stories, and a Swedish website reports:

“The murder suspect, Somali, claims he is only 15 years old, but the Daily Mail articles portrayed him as much older than that. One of the articles was blocked also contains an interview with a Swedish policeman who openly talks about an “explosion of crime” in the immigration track. The officer has worked as a police officer for 30 years and says that the situation in Sweden today is markedly different to how it looked in the 80th century.

“During the week, the Daily Mail flew a journalist team from Great Britain into Göteborg to monitor the ongoing lawsuit against the applicant Somali. The British journalists have written numerous articles about the murder.”

Miss Mezher, 22, was rushed to a nearby hospital after being stabbed repeatedly earlier this week.

More here

UK: TAPE OF DETECTIVE WARNING SEX GROOMING VICTIM NO HELP FROM POLICE WHO SAW HER BEING ABUSED…….

There you have modern day 7th century Britain……

Detective ‘was taped warning alleged child grooming victim that police officers who saw her being abused would not give evidence – because they might get in trouble for not stopping it’

An alleged victim of Arshid Hussain, pictured seating in wheelchair, recorded police officers when she went to make a complaint about him

An alleged victim of Arshid Hussain, pictured seating in wheelchair, recorded police officers when she went to make a complaint about him

  • Five men and two women are on trial over alleged grooming ring
  • One of the complainants recorded police when she made a complaint
  • Transcript shown to jury says detective told her police wouldn’t testify
  • He said officers wouldn’t make statements if they thought they would ‘get in the s***’ for not acting

A detective in the Rotherham abuse case was recorded by an alleged victim saying police wouldn’t give evidence in case they got in trouble for not acting sooner, a court heard.

Arshid Hussain is one of five men and two women standing trial over an alleged grooming ring in the South Yorkshire town from 1987 to 2003.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that one of the complainants in the case recorded a policeman involved in the investigation on her mobile phone in 2013 as she spoke about Hussain.

The woman, who is now 30, is said to have told police that she had been found having sex with Hussain aged just 14 on a day she was arrested for stealing.

She asked police to look into whether there were any records from the police who found her, showing she was with the defendant, the Sheffield Star reported.

But, in a transcript provided to the jury, DC Lee Robinson said: ‘If they walked in there and they saw you were having sex on the floor and they know you’re only 14 and they’ve seen this Asian male, if they put that in a statement, they know full well they’re going to get in the s*** because why didn’t they do something about that?’

He went on: ‘It may be that if we went to speak to that person, they might turn around and say, “I didn’t see anything like that”,’ the court heard.

He later added: ‘Opinions have changed now. Now we identify that as child abuse. Before they’d see it as sort of a lovesick teenager who keeps going back to this fella.’

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard that police allegedly missed the chance to spare another young girl an appalling sexual abuse ordeal by accusing her of lying when she turned to them for help.

Seven people are standing trial over the alleged grooming ring. Pictured left to right: Qurban Ali, Arshid Hussein, Karen Macgregor, Shelley Davies, Majid Bostan and Sajid Bostan

Seven people are standing trial over the alleged grooming ring. Pictured left to right: Qurban Ali, Arshid Hussein, Karen Macgregor, Shelley Davies, Majid Bostan and Sajid Bostan

More here.  H/T: Buck

FINLAND: CULT OF DIVERSITY WANTS TO RECRUIT WOMEN AND IMMIGRANTS FOR FIRE DEPT…….

The line of thinking is racist, whether in the United States or in Finland.

Hakala said that the lack of diversity within the ranks of the rescue department has become a problem and the demographic of the department doesn’t reflect that of the city’s population.

So what that there’s not many of them in the depts?

What they are inferring by default, is that ethnic Finns are racist (you know, whitey) and that minorities are racist as well, that they want, desire and need ”people of color” in the ranks so they can be put more at ease when the fire dept. comes around.

What kind of racist/bigoted crap is that? Are they going to question these non-ethnic looking Finns on what minority they happen to be so they feel like they’re a part of society? What about opening the doors to all who can pass the test at becoming a firefighter, and leave the PC multi-culti bullcrap out of it?

Stop splicing and dicing us up into this and that group (pure Leftist/multi-culti tactics) and think of us as individuals. But they won’t, because western societies in general are statist run leftist (post-enlightenment) enterprises, without which multiculturalism could not exist.

Fire departments seek women, immigrants

The Helsinki Rescue School is actively looking to fill student spots with women and people with foreign backgrounds, Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet reports.

A campaign started this year by Helsinki Rescue School aims to increase the proportion of women and immigrants on its student roster.

“This has nothing to do with quotas,” Taisto Hakala, the rescue department’s communications manager told the paper. “We are simply looking for the very best people for the double-subject curriculum to become firefighters and rescue workers.”

Hakala said that the lack of diversity within the ranks of the rescue department has become a problem and the demographic of the department doesn’t reflect that of the city’s population.

“We need both women and immigrants among our firefighters and rescue workers so that we are able to serve all of our clients and to strengthen our language and cultural knowledge,” Hakala told the paper.

The Helsinki Rescue School is part of the city’s rescue department, and has trained firefighters and rescue personnel since 1972.

More here.

UK: BRAVE MUSLIM WARNING OF ISLAM 101’ERS TAKING OVER COMMUNITY FALLS ON DEAF EARS…….

But this is what happens everywhere when Islam 101’ers spread the full measure of mohammedan scripture, remember, the post-hijra portion of the koran supersedes the former.

korans

That there are ‘brave Muslims’ is nice, meaning that, non-Islamic culture and its values have penetrated the thin meninges surrounding their brains. It however is no reflection on the koran itself, nor negating powers to limit its impact. Post-hijra Islam is a de facto key component of the koran, it is its most identifying feature.

KATIE HOPKINS: A brave Muslim tried to warn us this week about the extremists taking over his community. What a tragedy it is that our PC politicians would rather not know 

Muslim tried to warn about extremists taking over his community writes KATIE HOPKINS

Britain’s third-generation Muslims have watched their community transform from complete integration with other Brits, to almost utter separation, writes KATIE HOPKINS. Many are now afraid to speak out about their fears of extremists and radicalised Muslims, no longer sure who is friend or foe, who is British at heart and who is loyal to another ideology or country. They can’t even send their own children to the mosque because they’re frightened of what they might learn there.

Having listened to these tales of racism inside the mosques, examples of extremism and conformism from Muslims and Imams, it seems to me that surveillance would be doing good, moderate Muslims a favour. There may be complaints about freedom of speech, but when moderates can’t challenge their own community, what freedom do they really have? (Pictured left is Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed who managed to go into a mosque in Acton, remove his security tag, don a burka and escape police surveillance – all without anyone there noticing a thing) More here.

‘SAFE SPACE’ PANTYWASTES OF THE POLITICALLY CORRECT LEFT ARE RUINING UNIVERSITIES…….

Yllands-Posten’s Flemming Rose said as much in Helsinki this past Fall.

I have said more than once, “that it’s highly ironic that in no period in human history have more people gone to institutions of higher learning than in our modern age, only to graduate being more ignorant than when they started.”

Politically correct universities ‘are killing free speech’

British universities have become too politically correct and are stifling free speech by banning anything that causes the least offence to anyone, academics argue

Statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford

Politically correct universities ‘are killing free speech’ Photo: David Sandison/The Independent/REX

British universities have become too politically correct and are stifling free speech by banning anything that causes the least offence to anyone, a group of leading academics warns on Saturday.

A whole generation of students is being denied the “intellectual challenge of debating conflicting views” because self-censorship is turning campuses into over-sanitised “safe spaces”, they say.

 “The College does not share Cecil Rhodes’s values or condone his racist views or actions.”
Oriel College

Oriel College says the statue of Rhodes, on a building he paid for, jars with the values of a modern university. It is facing a battle with Historic England, which has listed the statue as an object of historical interest.

Writing in The Telegraph, the academics, led by Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Canterbury, say it is part of a “long and growing” list of people and objects banned from British campuses, including pop songs, sombreros and atheists.

More here. H/T: Pat Condell

PC POLITICS REMOVES HEROINE NUN (WHO RESCUED CHRISTIAN/YAZIDI GIRLS) FROM FILM ON ISLAMIC STATE SEX SLAVES…….

This is way beyond the pale.

Scumbag……….

Reason why Sr.Hatune and her efforts were sidelined and subverted by this scumbag:

Sr. Hatune said that “Islam is ISIS and ISIS is Islam; they would have a lot in common, even though ISIS pursues them with more barbaric means.” Sr. Hatune also mentioned that “atrocities like beheadings and crucifixions [are] justified by verses in the Quran, and have been going on in Iraq long before ISIS. Saudi Arabia is also conducting beheadings and other draconian punishments.”

‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’ ABOUT ISLAM CAUSING ABANDONMENT OF ISIS SEX SLAVES 

Why a British filmmaker removed a heroine nun from his film about her work rescuing Yazidi and Christian girls.

Phyllis Chesler

Western “political correctness” about Islam has not only led to terrorist attacks in European, Israeli, and American cities—but it has now also led to the cruel abandonment of the Yazidi and Christian sex slaves still being tortured by ISIS.

In 2014, Sister Hatune Dogan had been rescuing Christian and Yazidi girls from ISIS captivity for eight months, but she was desperate. If only the world could see the harm being done, understand that rescues were possible, people would open their hearts and their wallets.

Sister Hatune and her international director, Hans Erling Jensen, found an independent British filmmaker, Edward Watts. In an email dated February 6, 2015, Watts’s producer, Rosie Garthwaite, wrote: “Hatune you will be the lead story in a documentary about women living under IS.”

Watts spent nine days in Germany, Turkey, and Iraq with Sister Hatune. She introduced him to Sheikh Khaire, the head of the powerful local relief organization Ezdan Humanity, and to his co-workers, Sheikh Hassan and Khalil. The girls and their families would never have agreed to talk to him, or to be filmed, without Sister Hatune’s having persuaded them that doing so would allow her to rescue more girls. She also served as Watt’s interpreter.

However, Watts removed the nun from his prize-winning film, Escape from ISIS. He did not tell viewers to send funds to the Hatune Foundation to help with further rescues.

Watts decided that the rescues could take a back seat while he set up his own online charity to build a psychiatric center in the UK, to do the work that the Hatune Foundation had already been doing for years.

Now, with the French and American retaliatory bombing raids of ISIS, Watts may also have inadvertently condemned the captive girls to death.

More here.

H/T Hans Erling Jensen

UK: YET ANOTHER VICTIM OF ACADEMIC POLITICAL CORRECTNESS BY THE CULTURAL MARXIST GANG…….

So Leftist students are the new (sole) arbitrators for what’s to be deemed as proper in society?

I think not, it’s the rest of us who never went to college, I’d choose the first thousand names in a phone book from a non-muslim populated portion of society where people actually earn a living, to deem what’s best for society.

NOTE: The man is one riveting speaker. He knows how to tell a story.

Cambridge University axes historian David Starkey from its funding video after students branded him ‘sexist and racist’ 

Historian David Starkey was due to lead a £2bn fundraising drive by Cambridge University in a video featuring alumni but an open letter signed by both student union officials and lecturers called for him to be edited out

Historian David Starkey was due to lead a £2bn fundraising drive by Cambridge University in a video featuring alumni but an open letter signed by both student union officials and lecturers called for him to be edited out

  • Cambridge University dropped David Starkey from its funding campaign
  • Students branded the historian and broadcaster as ‘sexist and racist’ 
  • He was going to lead a £2billion fundraising drive in a three-minute video
  • But open letter signed by student union officials and lecturers called for him to be edited out, adding they were ‘deeply offended’ by his inclusion 

Cambridge University has dropped historian David Starkey from its funding campaign – because students branded him sexist and racist.

The historian and broadcaster was due to lead a £2bn fundraising drive by the University in a three-minute video featuring alumni including Stephen Hawking and Sir Ian McKellen.

But an open letter signed by both student union officials and lecturers called for him to be edited out, saying they had been ‘deeply offended’ by his inclusion.

Read more:

HIJAB FROM LUTON ENGLAND WINS BAKING CHAMPIONSHIP ON TV……..

OF COURSE SHE WON……….

The lords and ladies of multiculturalism deemed it so. Luton is the epicenter of anti-western sentiment in the UK, more jihadi sympathizers can be found there than anywhere else in the UK.

Before the win she said she feared being dismissed by viewers as a ‘Muslim in a headscarf’ ahead of her appearance on this year’s Great British Bake Off.

I dismiss her as a shariah compliant muslim whose Islam 101 belief system is as repugnant as German fascism. That scarf is anti-you and I as was the German swastika was anti-anyone not “aryan”. The German’s had the “master race”, this muslima has the “master faith”.

Nadiya cried, Mary Berry cried… then we all cried: Viewers reduced to tears as Bake Off favourite secures emotional victory by making the British wedding cake she missed out on at her own ceremony

2015 Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain cries with Mary Berry in finale

Pitted against fellow finalists Tamal Ray, 29, and Ian Cumming, 41, – who seemingly crumbled under the pressure of the final – Nadiya Jamir Hussain, the three-time Star Baker and bookies favourite triumphed. The diminutive Luton-born mum-of-three, 30,said winning the final made her feel like “a giant”.

The baker, who has become a social media sensation for her expressive face, said she hoped people would remember her baking abilities most. Nadiya – congratulated by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (main) – impressed in the signature bake with her iced buns, topped the technical challenge with a batch of raspberry millefeuille before her piece de resistance in the showstopper challenge.

She created a My Big Fat British Wedding cake to make up for not having one at her marriage in Bangladesh. She said: “I bought a sari that was red, white and blue, in the colours of the Union Jack, and I decorated my stand with that. “My husband Abdal’s favourite cake is lemon drizzle, so I decided to make that. “At the very end of the filming I took the cake out to my family’s table and we all had a slice. “So my husband and I did get our wedding cake after all.”

More here.

FINNISH IGNORAMUSES OF ALL POLITICAL STRIPES AND BELIEFS TO HOLD ”PRO-MULTICULTURAL” RALLY IN HELSINKI TODAY……

The anti-Enlightenment juggernaut continues. 

Most of the useful stooges are either completely ignorant of what ”multiculturalism” really stands for, (a post-modern ideology that returns society to tribalism) or are just out to knee cap a MP (and party) with whom they are in opposition to.

NOTE: Nothing Olli Immonen said was either ”controversial” nor grounds (under Finnish law) for a civil suit against him for inciting hatred. The iron triangle of the political status quo, media and academy are sharpening their knives and spinning the situation for their own political advantage for maintaining the status quo.

Soini breaks silence over rogue MP’s statement

A call by a far-right Finns Party MP to battle against the “nightmare of multiculturalism” has sparked a criminal complaint and a plans for a pro-diversity rally.

Yhdistelmäkuvassa ovat Timo Soini ja Sampo Terho vierekkäin.

Timo Soini (left) passed off responsibility for handling the latest Immonen incident to group leader Sampo Terho (right). Image: Yle

Finns Party chair and Deputy Prime Minister Timo Soini has finally broken his silence over an inflammatory Facebook post denouncing multiculturalism by ultranationalist MP Olli Immonen.

Over the weekend the 29-year-old MP posted an English-language statement calling on his “fellow fighters” to “fight until the end” against “this nightmare of multiculturalism” in Finland. In an interview with the Lännen Media newspaper group on Monday, Immonen denied that he had timed the posting to coincide with last week’s anniversary of Norway’s Utøya massacre.

Despite the furore, the vacationing Soini had remained unavailable for comment since last week.

On Monday evening, the tabloid Ilta-Sanomat published an exclusive interview with Soini, who spoke with a reporter at a petrol station in Kiikoinen, near his holiday home between Tampere and Pori.

Soini declined to speculate on whether Immonen would be asked to step down from the party or Parliament.

“Immonen forgot group solidarity”

“The parliamentary group led by Sampo Terho will decide on that later,” he said. “I think they will go over him with a fine-toothed comb.”

Soini, who co-founded the party 20 years ago, added: “It’s also important that our party understands that, whether something is good or bad, that they don’t always have to coming running around my feet. In other words the party has to grow to adulthood, which means that parliamentary group matters are handled in the parliamentary group.”

In June, when Immonen posed with members of a neo-Nazi group, Soini similarly deferred handling of it to Terho.

The party chair said he believed that the timing of Immonen’s statement, two days after the Utøya massacre anniversary, was a coincidence.

“This is not good for the party’s reputation,” Soini admitted, adding that “Immonen forgot group solidarity.”

Comments spur criminal complaint

Earlier on Monday the National Bureau of Investigation tweeted that it had received a criminal investigation request from a private individual over the statement.

However professors of law Dan Frände of Helsinki University and Matti Tolvanen of the University of Eastern Finland told Yle that Immonen’s statement is too vaguely worded to meet the definition of hate speech, noting that he does not specifically target any groups or individuals.

Demo set for Tuesday

On Tuesday Finnish politicians and pop stars will lead a pro-multiculturalism demonstration in downtown Helsinki. Most of the politicians scheduled to speak represent opposition parties, such as former SDP chair and foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja. However organiser Aleksi Pahkala told Yle Radio 1 on Monday afternoon that all parties had been invited to send representatives.

At least three from government parties will speak: Fatbardhe Hetemaj, a Kosovo-born Helsinki city councillor from the conservative National Coalition Party, Matias Turkkila, editor of the Finns Party newspaper, and Centre Party secretary Timo Laaninen.

Other speakers will include Lutheran Bishop Irja Askola and the Chief Rabbi of Finland, Simon Livson.

The hastily-arranged event begins at 5 pm at Kansalaistori (“Citizens’ Square”) behind the Helsinki Music Centre and across from the House of Parliament. Organisers expect at least 11,000 people to attend. Billed as “a demonstration on behalf of an open, multi-cultural Finland,” the event’s slogan is “We Have a Dream” — playing on both Martin Luther King Jr’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech and Immonen’s use of the words “dream” and “nightmare”.

Similar events will also be held simultaneously in the cities of Tampere and Oulu at least.

Sources Yle, Ilta-Sanomat, Lännen Media

FORMER NAACP REP (TRANS-RACIAL FRAUD) NOW DOES CORN ROWS AFTER BEING OUTED AS WHITE AND DEFROCKED…….

According to PC mind think, we’re supposed to believe she’s actually black, just like were supposed to believe Bruce Jenner’s name & dress change make him into a woman.

Laughing_Chimp

NOTE: I don’t mind people doing what they want as long as it has no consequences to me and/or society at large, but don’t expect/demand that I adhere and buy into their lunacy. Remember, it wasn’t enough that Winston Smith admitted he was wrong and got his mind straight in order for Big Brother to finally dispatch him from the land of the living dead, he also had to show sincere love for him as well.

H/T: Buck

Rachel Dolezal the black hairdresser: Former lecturer now does weaves and braids for women in a salon after losing her job in race row

  • Dolezal revealed to Vanity Fair she resorted to styling skills she learned in college after Eastern Washington University didn’t renew her contract
  • The former NAACP officer and African Studies professor claims people’s perceptions of race are to blame for the outcry – and not her own actions
  • She added: ‘I wouldn’t say I’m African American, but I say I’m black… it’s not something that I can put on and take off any more’
  • The 37-year-old divorcee was outed as white by her parents last month 

Former NAACP official Rachel Dolezal has resorted to doing weaves and braiding hair three times a week to make ends meet after losing her job lecturing on the history of black hair at a university.

Dolezal, who still insists she is black six weeks after she was publicly outed by her parents as white, did not have her contract with Eastern Washington University renewed after all of the controversy.

Now the ex-African Studies professor is using the styling skills she learned while attending college in Mississippi to put food on the table for her 13-year-old son Franklin at their Spokane-area home

Rachel Dolezal, pictured last month, insists she is black six weeks after she was publicly outed as white. It's been revealed she has resorted to weaving and braiding hair three times a week to make ends meet

Rachel Dolezal, pictured last month, insists she is black six weeks after she was publicly outed as white. It’s been revealed she has resorted to weaving and braiding hair three times a week to make ends meet

Read more:

SWEDEN’S ‘THE LOCAL’ SAYS TODAY’S REFUGEES COULD BE TOMORROW’S ZLATAN……..

And they could be tomorrow’s al-Abdaly.

Remember, according to the highly protected and projected political elite meme, there are only positive sides to mass refugee/asylum muslim immigration.

‘Today’s refugees could be tomorrow’s Zlatan’

'Today's refugees could be tomorrow's Zlatan'

Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Sweden is grappling with how to handle a large influx of asylum seekers while some other EU nations brush off responsibility – but it’s important to focus on the benefits of immigration as well, high-profile panelists agreed at an Almedalen event. READ  

NOTE: Zlatan is a well known ‘Swedish’ soccer player that the Swedish (self deemed) elite like to point to as proof of their irrational policies

BISHOP OF HELSINKI SAYS ITS SYMBOLLICALLY IMPORTANT FOR CHURCH TO JOIN GAY PRIDE FESTIVITIES…….

Further examples of Western civilization collapse.

In normal times this bishop would be yanked from her position, but this is not normal times, it’s the ”gay old times”, and anything goes.

NOTE: This faux representative of the church will continue to dance around the biblical ban on homosexuality, and will have nothing to say against multiple partner marriages once the advocates of it are banging on her church office door.

Helsinki Bishop: Church joining Pride symbolically important

Bishop Irja Askola says that the Lutheran church’s mettle is being tested in the ongoing discussion surrounding the gender-neutral marriage law and LGBT rights.

Irja Askola
Helsinki Bishop Irja Askola says the church should do more for its LGBT flock. Image: Yle

The Lutheran church is more actively involved than ever in the ongoing Pride Week, a festival celebrating sexual diversity and solidarity with sexual minorities. Churches and Christian communities have held about a dozen events of their own, and Saturday saw a joint three-church tent erected in Kaivopuisto park as part of the Helsinki Pride festivities.

Helsinki Bishop Irja Askola says she is delighted with the progress, and that she feels the church should be involved in social events. Taking part in Pride takes on a symbolic meaning.

“So many people in sexual and gender minorities or their friends and relatives have experienced the shame and fearmongering brought on by the church’s attitudes,” she says. “In light of that, the symbolic message in church workers joining in with events like this is clear.”

Askola says that attitudes towards sexual and gender minorities is still difficult for many in the church, but that the atmosphere is growing more equitable. She has Archbishop Kari Mäkinen to thank for that, she says, but also all LGBT employees and leaders within the Lutheran church who are speaking openly about their own background.

“Prejudice is based on a mask, and when a real person’s real story is found behind such a mask it is easier to identify with,” Askola says.

Stance towards marriage law unspecified

Attitudes towards the approved gender-neutral marriage law are a topic of constant talk and debate within the Lutheran church. Askola describes the discussion as partly “stormy”. When marriage law is extended to everybody, the church has to decide whether to only marry or bless heterosexual couples in the future or not.

One proposed alternative is also for the church to forgo its right to marry couples entirely.

Askola says that the process is likely to drag on. She does not want to comment on the possible outcome.

“We will see how the church reacts. We’re starting the discussion, and then the decision-making body will sift through what we discuss. The possibilities are all open.”

But she says she wishes for the conversation to be true it has to include more people whom the issue directly affects.

“We will also be gauging the church’s ability to deliberate on this and to take strides in issues that raise emotions, conflict with theology and cause difficulties for many,” she says. “My hope is that the Lutheran church could be the element that brings real light into the foray.”