A Finnish local politician from the town of Joensuu, Marjatta Räty got upset while visiting a rock festival. She is the representative of the very small party of Kristillisdemokraatit (Christian Democrats). She got in for free to see the local rock festival Ilosaarirock, where among others a Finnish rocker Olavi Uusivirta was performing. She was so upset about Olavi kissing his male band members, that she wrote a column in a local newspaper the Karjalainen. In her article she wrote, that it is horrific how the lyrics of rock songs can twist the true meaning of the Bible, how the singer Olavi Uusivirta had chanted to tell people to become prostitutes and how the kisses he had shared with the band had been outrageous kissing on the mouth. In addition Räty called for the event organizers to choose carefully their performers, because the rock stars are like demi-gods to many young people.

The target of Marjatta Räty’s outrage was poorly chosen as Olavi Uusivirta is rather wellspoken for a rock star. He responded by calling Räty out for lying. He and the rest of the audience claim that what he was actually chanting was that one should not pay for prostitution, but to love one’s near ones and told people to take hands and kiss them after wich the band kissed each other as an example. As they tend to do before performing their song Reeperbahn. Olavi said, that the column barely worked even as an opening for a discussion, because of total lack of any reasonable arguments. He also send a message to Räty saying, that the world is complex and that there is not just one kind of form of love.

I would be a bit curious of the “true meaning of the Bible”, because if anything, that is a lost cause. Who gets to decide what is the true meaning of that particular book? I would say, if any book, then it is that one, wich has been totally analyzed to death. For every paragraph there are dozens of interpretations. Now there may exist more or less popular ideas of what each and every one of them might mean, but it really does not represent itself as a book with one true meaning. More like a collection of stories, anecdotes and myths. Now, if it really has one true meaning, then that seems to be deliberately hidden, because of people getting so different interpretation of it’s content in all honesty. I mean it is not like the evangelical creationists, the pope, or for example the Lutheran archibishops were deliberately twisting “the true meaning” of the book when they disagree about it. Not to mention actual historians with no invested interrest to find some sort of divine influence from this particular book.

The event organizers of Ilosaarirock answered Räty, that they respect the freedom of speach by the artists and that they could not possibly think what the kind of sencorship as suggested by her could even be.

What does the outcry by Marjatta Räty tell us of the Finnish society? It tells us that there is this deeply rooted religiosity even in such a secular country. That the small minority who adhere to such religious feelings have not yet grasped the reality that they are indeed a small minority with very little political influence. That they should take the time considering what happens to them, as a minority, if they do not participate in a society that supports the rights of minorities. That their values are outdated by decades. That they are ready to lie in public in order to promote their own agenda. And I personally think that poor Marjatta even believed in her own lies when she represented them, or otherwise she would not have made them. The positive side of this is, that even she had realized on some subconscious level, that men kissing each other in a rock concert is not enough to outrage most other people, so she had to bolster her need to be outraged by “colouring” what the rocker had said to people. And in addition she, like so many religious zealots before her, appealed to the final authority she could conjure – the “true meaning of the Bible”.

A few days ago, the head of Finnish Lutheran church archibishop Kari Mäkinen said in an interview, that both church and the Finnish society should ask for forgivenes from the homosexuals and other sexual minorities for their cruel treatment. On part of the rest of the society I am all for an appology and in agreement with the civil gentleman Kari Mäkinen. For the church to appologize, is their matter. As I am not a member, nor have I ever been a member of any churches. However, what I think we as a society should be appologizing is that we led the church lead us on this path for so long.

To be fair, the maltreatment of homosexuals is not only because the Bible says so, rather it has been for centuries just an excuse for nasty people to get their way in the society on a minority because of their personal phobias and ikky-factor. The bible condemns eating pigs but we have not maltreated pig-eaters for generations. The problem I see here is the alledged supreme authority of a god, that seems to be awailable as an excuse for any sort of opression of homosexuals, women, the poor, or whomever who has no other defence, exept a justified demand for ethical treatment. No gods ever appear to tell people committing oppression, that what they are doing is wrong, even when those oppressors are acting in good faith that what they are doing is for their gods. This tells us that either the oppression is exactly what the gods do demand from people, or that no gods exist. In the lack of any actual evidence for any gods, I would say the latter is rather much more likelier explantion.

I do not know wether or not Olavi and his band performed this song Elvis istuu oikealla (or roughly translated “Elvis sits on the right side”), but I bet, if they did, it upset Räty as much: