Here in Finland religion is considered very much a private issue, but may it be critizised?

A fellow Finnish atheist said to me, that we really do not need militant atheism here, because religion does not have such a hold on our society. My first reaction was to disagree, for we do have a state church and I have experienced it as a terribly unfair system both in taxation and in practice, like in school and in the military. This is all rapidly changing, but in my opinion it could change even more rapidly. Then I got to thinking what does the term “militant atheist” even mean. Am I “militant” just for speaking my mind in very carefully chosen situations on this subject and writing about it under a pseudonym here?

There are no “militant” or otherwise atheists blowing up or burning churches (well some soviets did even that to Orthodox churches about a 100 years ago in Russia during the revolution, but so did Lutheran Finnish Christians at the same time). What does it take to be called “militant”? If we say someone is a militant Christian does it refer to a person open about their Christianity? Or does it mean people who blow up abortion clinques? If we say someone is militant Muslim does it refer to them openly telling other people they go to the mosk? Or does it mean someone who kidnappes little girls from school?

Who decided to call openly atheist people “militant”? Does not the use of that word in this respect reflect a deep dishonesty?

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