A Finnish politician who recently faced her second trial for sharing her biblical views on sexuality described her legal nightmare as “absurd,” “crazy,” and akin to “medieval times.”
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“It was absurd and it was crazy that I had to defend the biblical truths and my interpretation about the Bible, my faith, and my beliefs in front of the judges,” Dr. Päivi Räsänen, the embattled member of Finland’s parliament, told CBN’s Faithwire of her recently completed trial. “It is like in medieval times.”
Räsänen said the prosecutor gave “false statements” about her writings and comments, claiming Räsänen had “said that some people are inferior to others” — something the politicians said is patently untrue.
“I think that all people are equal,” Räsänen said. “We all are sinners; we all are … in need of grace, what Jesus has given, but the prosecutor was very stubborn with these arguments, even though the district court had already said that they didn’t find such statements in my writings or in my pamphlet.”
She added, “But the prosecutor said that it is not important if it is true or not, but if the interpretation is insulting, then it is criminal.”
Räsänen explained why she believes the entire ordeal is truly “dangerous,” explaining why the government’s role in defining truth and morality is so concerning.
“It is not a court that should decide what is the right interpretation of the Bible and what is not,” she said. “Because I think that this kind of interpretation of discussions … it is not the court who starts to teach about the Bible or discuss what is the right interpretation of the Bible.”
Prosecutors also reportedly argued there are many Protestant churches that accept gay marriage and same-sex relationships, thus underscoring Räsänen’s views.
As CBN’s Faithwire has reported, Räsänen’s plight began June 17, 2019, when she tweeted the text of Romans 1:24-27, which condemns homosexuality as sinful. She was alarmed over a decision by her denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to support an LGBTQ Pride event, so she responded by sharing Scripture on her X account, sparking a criminal complaint.
Then, a pamphlet detailing biblical views on sexuality she wrote nearly 20 years ago and a radio interview also landed her in legal hot water, culminating in a trial last year. She was acquitted in the first legal battle before the prosecutor appealed and she ended up back in court again in the most recent legal debacle.
In the latest trial, Räsänen said the prosecutor argued she’s allowed to “believe in her mind whatever about the Bible, but it is illegal to express it outwardly.”
A verdict is expected by the end of November.
“The maximum punishment would be two years of jail, but the prosecutor is demanding a heavy fine — the heaviest fine that we have in our law,” Räsänen said. “The most dangerous consequence of this case [is the] censorship … because then it would have some big consequences to our freedoms.”
The politician, Finland’s former minister of the interior, the leader responsible for overseeing the very police who came to interrogate her, said the most shocking part of the court case was being labeled as hateful.
“Of course, it was very painful to be accused [of] hate speech — of hatred against some people, because I think that these opinions, these views, they do not rise from hatred, but from love,” Räsänen said. “They are something that is … from what is classical Christianity, what is taught in classical Christianity about humanity and sexuality.”
Räsänen believes the Bible is on trial in Finland, despite the fact the nation has freedom of faith and speech enshrined in its constitution.
If she loses, she believes, it could reverberate throughout Finnish culture.
“It would start the time of persecution of Christians in Finland, if I would be convicted,” Räsänen said. “Many lawyers agree with me, and then it would have … ramifications to other European countries.”
As Räsänen awaits her verdict, she encouraged Christians to see her plight as an inspiration to stand up and share their views.
“I pray that this would wake up Christians to be courageous, to be open about their faiths and worship,” she said. “[I hope] it would also encourage people to read the Bible, and, so I, I pray for awakening of our society.”