The extreme right wing parties have overtaken many of the traditional conservative parties all over the globe. In Western world especially by appealing to nationalism, Christian cultural heritage and closing the borders from immigrants and refugees alike. Especially the feared Muslims, but anyone with a different tone of skin seems to qualify. Their populist policies have influenced the general political athmosphere, by appealing to a fear of the unknown, the outsider and foreigner, turning the fear of the foreigner into a more and more discussed political issue. In countries like my native Finland it has become “normal” to discuss how Finland could be made into less attractive country for immigration. This is not a very smart long term policy for a country that suffers from low birth rates even though it has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

In reality the world is not going to be devoid of Finns any time in the near future, as we have doubled our number just within a half of a century. That is a very short span of time, even in the terms of human history, not to mention biology. However it is true, that soon there will be a lot of pensioners in comparrison to the working population here. At the moment Finland suffers rather high rate of unemployment. Mostly young adults. But as the big generations born after the WWII grow older, that amount of unemployed Finns will simply not be enough to run the economy as a labour force. Hence, we actually do need the immigrants.

As the amount of immigrants and refugees from outside of Europe has slowly been growing, so have the deportations from Finland back to countries from wich some of these people came from. To me, the entire business of paying tickets for someone to fly back to a country where they do not want to live in, is simply nonsensical. Never mind the fact, that many of those people are infact in mortal danger in their countries of origin. Like for example an Iraqi police officer who had been threatened several times, and when he was deported back, got killed by the very people he had run away from to Finland. What sort of self flagellation the official responsible for making this particular deportation descision has succumbed to since, I do not know. I fear they are too stupid to even understand their own responsibility on using power over the life of a nother person. It is too sad, that people with enough of presence of mind to recognize the higher responsibility of using more power over the life of a nother, do not want thatburden of responsibility and thus the power is directed to people who do not understand such responsibilities and as a result often even want the sensation of power.

The Finns have a high regard of our police and other officials. We have good reason to think they are well paid, highly trained and educated professionals, who have a remarkably low rate of corruption. If the law sets certain parametres as to who is entiteled to live in Finland, the average Finn believes those should be respected.

On the other hand, at the moment our Office of Immigration MIGRI, is found constantly in the news topics from ridiculous descisions they have made to accomodate the new government instructions issued to satisfy the “immigration critical” right wing political populists. For example, there was this man from somewhere in the Middle-East, who had applied for sanctuary as he was a homosexual, and in his homecountry it was not uncomon to stone homosexuals to death. To find out wether his story was true or not the officials at MIGRI had asked him to prove he is a homosexual. How stupid is that? How does one prove such a thing? What did they expect him to do to prove it?

They are even trying to assess, wether some marriages between Finns and immigrants are “actual marriages” or simply marriages of convinience for the married immigrant or a refugee to get a permission to live in Finland. I mean really? How stupid is that? I bet, by their parametres they could have a lot to say about the marriage of president Donald Trump and his much younger immigrant wife…

The right wingers in Finland often appeal to the nationalist feelings by referencing to the WWII, and how Finland stood against the agression of Stalinist Soviet Union. All of us Finns have been taught, that our grandfathers fought for our indipendence and especially for freedom. But the freedom of whom and to do what? To live where people want to live? The Freedom of some particular group defined as Finns, by someone else. What about the people who would want to become Finns? Live in Finland, because this is, or at least used to be, a relatively good country to live in? What was the worst that could have happened to the average Finn, if the Soviets had conquered Finland. To the Estonians, our neighbours, who were invaded by the Soviets, it meant, that a lot of the most richest ones lost good part of their property. That the invaders could impose their power and rule over the individual Estonian and for example deport them somewhere (in Siberia) where they would not want to live, or where they could even be in mortal danger. Have we Finns now employed the rule of Stalin upon the people living in Finland, by providing bureaucrates the power and responsibility to try to decide for other people wether if their marriages are for love or for convinience? Wether they really are homosexuals as they claim to be, or what? Would even Stalin have made the distinction of harrasing people into not living where they want mainly according to their ethnicity. Finland is not making descisions wether someone may live in Finland if they are a born Finn, but for some reason the same rules do not apply, if one has been born elswhere. I find this different treatment of individuals appalling.

TS/<br />Talvisodassa menetetty Viipuri oli elokuussa 1941 jälleen suomalaisilla. Kuvassa 2. tiedotuskomppanian partio, joka on juuri vaihtanut Viipurinlinnan lipputankoon oikeankokoisen Suomen lipun.Vasemmalta tulkkina toiminut sotilasvirkamies Sadri Arifulla, sotilasvirkailija Lehesma, jolla on kainalossaan taistelujoukkojen linnantorniin nostama väliaikainen lippu, sekä luutnantit Jansson ja Myllymäki.

One of the dudes in the picture in their very nazi-like Finnish uniforms, was one of the Finnish Muslims, who fought for the freedom against the Stalinist Soviet union, and at the same time the allied forces of USSR, and in a way GB and USA. By looking at the picture you could not say wich one he is, but if you could, would that make any difference? Would our “immigration critical” voters recognize him as a “true Finn”? Should they have any say on wether this man had, or anyone else has, for that matter, a right to live in Finland? He risked more than any of them on behalf of Finland, but also for freedom wich is a contrary concept to their ideology. Could I ask them even to recognize that much? The moral of the world is not an easy black and white thing. Yet, liberty and freedom to choose where we want to go and live is not such a complex concept. Is it?

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Robin Hood is one of the legendary symbols for fight against oppression. A famous and popular symbol of the little people fighting against the greed of the mighty. The story has had many, many film adaptations along the years. Every filmmaker gives their own interpretation of the legend. As it is legend and not an historical story, it is quite malleable, without any good reason to tell people, that is not how it actually went.

Exept, that while art owes nothing to history as such, when a legend is set in historical backround, history is often distorted totally out of proportion when historicity is not an issue interresting to the storyteller. In the 1960’s there was a time where a western movie telling a story about cowboys had a certain look. None of it looked remotely like the 19th century in wich the stories were set. Both men and women had their hair and makeup made according to the latest fashion of the release date of the film and much of what they wore followed the same logic. Infact, one could say, there was a genre of western fantasy and the expectations of the audiences echoed suit. Then some Italian dudes made their own westerns, and because they were poor, they could not afford all the gimmicks and fashions of the Bonanza-style western fantasy and they had a vision of gritty, but realistic poor west. The basic story was always the same, not much different from Robin Hood, where the poor man has to fight for his rights against the magnate. After that all the western movies made before, turned into total camp. The fantasy version of old west, was suddenly percieved as it was – a bit silly.

Now me, I expect, that some day a scriptwriter, a director and a producer will see this opportunity to do to the film industry what the spaghetti westerns did to the western movies in regard to medieval and for example viking-age stories. There have been attempts to make something authentic, such as for example the film Being Human (starring Robin Williams), but as of yet, none of them has prevailed the genre. The day someone does this to the Biblical movie genre, will be a day to remember, but alas – I do not expect that to change anything, because the major audiences of that particular genre are so invested and indoctrinated, that they could not possibly see the difference between an authentic version of what may have happened in comparrison to the fantasy, because to them the fantasy versions are part of their identity. Even though, the fantasy in Biblical stories is quite fansy indeed.

My favourite filmatisation of Robin Hood remains the 1980’s TV series Robin of Sherwood. This even despite the occasional silly bursts of nationalistic nonsense. Though low on budget, they at least tried to make it look like it actually could have happened during the reign of John Lackland in the turn of 12th and 13th centuries. What they achieved was far too often only showing the time of the making of the film. Yet, at least they tried, wich is more than can be said about most high budget movies or TV adaptations of the story. My favourite version too had some mythical elements to it, but at least during the first two seasons, the idea was much, that some events seemed supernatural to the characters who lived in a superstitious culture and we modern viewers were only led to their perception of the situation, rather than that these were supposed to seem like supernatural to us. The characters were well built and grew during the series and my personal favourit still remains the frustrated bureaucrate the sheriff of Nottingham as portrayed by Nicholas Grace.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle robin of sherwood

Well, I was a kid and every generation seems to get their own Robin Hood. I guess the story remains popular as long as people can see the injustice in the abuse of power and the poor man forced to fight it. Just as in the western movies. That sort of injustice has not disappeared from the world, not by a long shot, but do we get many movies about modern day Robin Hoods taking a stand against it?

I am affraid, that most filmatisations from Errol Flynn to Prince of Thieves, through Robin Hood (starring Russel Crowe), to the new movie (of wich I have not yet seen more than the teaser) are so fantastic – and more fantastic by the number- that they have a tendency to turn the historical events behind the legend into a blurr in the minds of the greater audiences. That ultimately as a result of such medievalist fantasy the line between fantasy and history gets more and more bogged. That people will be having more difficulty to understand what is known about history and what is mere legend. Or that the real history actually took place and that we have something to learn from it.

 

I never thought I would find myself defending the rights of the ultra religious conservative right. But here we go. The funny thing is, that I have to take a stand on the issue against themselves.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle joulupukki

Denmark has something against Santa Claus! Denmark has issued a ban on the Burka, Niqab, balaclavas, hoodies and false beards. Yes really – false beards… The purpose of this law is quite ridiculous. They mean to follow the example of France and some other European countries in order to make sure people could not hide their identity by obscuring their faces in public. Why obviously, because typical people to wear false beards like Santa Claus actors, and often the older Muslim women wearing niqab are the real menace to peace and order in public. Are they not?

Hiding one’s identity or face can not be stopped by such nonsensical laws. A person may alter their appearance by so many different methods. Make-up, or a wig may change the face totally, just like sunglasses. Why ban false beards? Why not real beards?

This finally proves how the right wing conservatism is equally stupid all over the world, based on subjective world views resulting in fearmongering and having the ultimate goal of getting to order other people around. Here you must wear a burka because they get to say what you may wear and there you must not wear a burka because the same sort of nincompoops get to say what you may wear. They want to oppress people by ordering them even in as seemingly trivial issues as what clothes to wear. What is wrong whith people who want to decide for other people what to wear?

However, it is not trivial to make such laws, because what you wear is about identity and freedom of expression and usually does not harm anyone else. The niqab may harm the person wearing it emotionally, if she is forced to do so, but a ban on the use of such a garment is just as bad as if you were forced to wear it.

The goal of such a ban has absolutely nothing to do with equality or feminism. If you thought so, you were sadly mislead. This can easily be observed by who expressed their joy about it. It was not the social movements fighting for equality, but all the xenophobes celebrating the idea, that this might somehow turn immigrants from Islamic countries back from Denmark. The very same people who constantly express their misogynism. Because they are affraid of Muslim women!

If the purpose of the Danish government was to fight against terrorism, and specifically Islamically motivated terrorism, they have just failed miserably. Such laws, that are direct attacks on the liberties of Muslims (although I suppose the attack on Santa was a clumsy way to try to hide the agenda) and the freedom to express their faith and/or identity are not only hypocritical, but also very dangerous, as they are the causes that drive Muslims already living or later moving to Denmark into radicalization.

People really need to understand, that religions do not cause political radicalization. The real causes are always political in nature. Religions provide people with identity and sadly also excuses by the imaginary divine authority they represent to put tribal moralism into action and ultimately unethical deeds, such as violence. You may think that Islamist terrorism is the only violence at hand, but you would be wrong. You should take a look at history and what the western nations have been doing in Islamic countries for the past century. Remember though, how the Islamists started out only by issuing orders about who gets to wear and what (especially women).

I am becoming really worried about Europe, as the right wing conservatives, both Islamist extremists and our own political opportunistic populists have caused changes on politics through fearmongering. Our right wing nationalists are handing on a plate again and again reasons to hate the western culture for the Islamist extremists to point out to other Muslims.

I wonder how long will it take for the Europeans to wake up and see how we are increasingly governed by so many people who have totally lost contact with reality and whose actions are motivated by fear and hatred. A niqab may be a tool for oppression, but it is also a strong religious and/or cultural symbol and it is pointles, cruel and barbaric to attack the women wearing them, wether by their own choise or not. What this sort of law can achieve, is only that the woman having to wear one, for any reason, shall find it much harder to go out into the society. It is a law of segregation, not different from the stars of David forced on the Jews during WWII, and it will close the woman into a very small ghetto of her home.

I am now expecting reports from Denmark about the police enforcing the law and fining Santa Claus actors for wearing false beards… Well, at least when the season comes again.

Within the many sects of Christianity there is this ideal of evangelism. Some Christians really do think that they would do you a favour by turning you into a believer.  I find this curious. What are they actually offering and have they thought it through?

The evangelical Christian is offering you a path to salvation. But to a salvation from what? The wrath of their god for not following the will of this god of theirs (given to the humanity in an iron age mythical pamphlet of a particular nation). What is the path? To worship this god and hoping for “Him” to forgive you your transgressions despite this god thinks you are worthy of being tortured for an eternity, or at very least being destroyed while those who worship “Him” may get a second chance and  an eternal afterlife in some sort of bliss. What is wrong with me, for not finding this a moral suggestion at all?

It is evermore difficult because how is one to know what this god of the Christians really considers a transgression. What?  Well, some of these alledged transgressions against the will of this particular deity may, or may not be – depending on the particular sect of Christianity and the mindset of the individual believer one happens to ask – for example male homosexual sex, or according to the Bible eating of pigs, but not for example rape, or childmolestation). Is the entire point to make the rules so ambiguous and hard to know, that they inevitably result into a failure of following them?

This all gets even more complicated and immoral as the religion insists, that you and everything EVERYTHING in the world or even the universe were alledgedly created by this same creator entity, who also knew beforehand how it would all turn out and who now demands you are guilty for not following the guidelines provided in, let us be honest, quite an unreasonable method for most of human kind. Many Christians would like to release their god from any responsibility of human actions by appealing to the concept of free will. Yet, at the same time they are all too happy to declare, that in the alledged afterlife there is no suffering. Is there then no free will either? If it is possible, that there exist free will and at the same time no suffering, then all the suffering in this material universe would be totally pointless, and the creator of such pointless suffering would necessarily be responsible for it.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle hieronymus bosch

One preacher on the street reasoned the notion, that everyone is deserving of helfire for an eternity, to me by claiming that a perfect judge would not be leanient, but just. Then he offered the belief in Jesus as a pathway to salvation. I wondered and still do, how the preacher could think, that his god was at the same time the just and unrelenting judge for transgressions made by humans and mercifull for a select group of people who choose to worship “Him”. What sort of judge would be mercifull and leanient to a group of criminals who worship him? Would we not call such a judge totally immoral and corrupt?

In reality, the entire idea of evangelism is based on a blame-the-victim mentality and tribal moralism in wich the few select see it perfectly moral of their god to cast most of humanity to eternal torture, or if they have even a slight suspicion, that everything is not right with this system, they simply prefer not to think about it. Such segregationist ideals are very harmfull indeed, as they dehumanize the outgroup. People who are not part of the tribe are not really humans to the tribalist, as they are deserving of the eternal punishment, but at the same time the god who is willing to punish the non-believer, the infidel, the heretic, or pagan by inhumane measure. I have even run into Christians who justify this by appealing to might makes right, as if their god had the right to torture “His” creation or set impossible rules simply because he can and he somehow owns all of us sentient beings. This is a dreadfull demonstration of how a religion may twist, corrupt, or simply excuse the most heinous moralism.

The evangelical is often totally unaware of the harm they cause even when they themselves are among the victims of it. This makes the entire idea terribly insidious. They think they are relieving death anxiety, while they are actually causing it by creating this fear of hell. I guess, it is because of the seeming relief they provide, that makes them blind to how such empty threats are typical for a cult to stop people from questioning the unfalsifiable, unverifiable, unverified and unwarranted bold claims about the supernatural, so that they keep in and as a group keep the pyramid scheme going.

I think the entire thing is based on a myth written long before the concept of human rights and holds no truth to it. Most people who believe in it have been taught to do so without question. As have their parents and ancestors for ages from beyond times immemorial before the scientific method or skeptical thinking, let alone natural sciences, were not widely understood. Even today some of them are actually obstructing scientific research and the rest give credence to the wildest superstitious claims, that they themselves do not share, by not opposing them because they share the religious motivation. Putting that aside, one would expect that any myth that people commit themselves with equal fervour would at least be internally consistent. Yet, who is to say a myth needs to be moral?

Steve Bannon promised to support US president Trump after he had resigned from the White House. He went back to Breitbart and now we are told, that Breitbart has been very critical of the latest descisions of the US president and some of his staff. I do not see any controversy here. A critical newsmedia should be critical even about the political leader they otherwise support. Otherwise it stops being critical and becomes just a form of propaganda for the politician. This is a positive sign.

The US president Donald Trump made a comment about the intended demolition of the statue of Confederate general Lee. He defended the statue and asked wich statues are the next to be tumbled. I agree with him. Pulling down statues, even those of people whose values we no longer share is a bit barbaric.

Of course, if a dictator has littered the landscape with enormous statues of himself or symbols of regressive and oppressive regime all over, it is only natural that when such a dictatorship falls, the people vent some of their anger on those statues and that a good number of them do not need to be in the open any more.

I do not think we should hide our past by taking down old statues, even if they represent ideals we no longer share. History should not be re-written as such, but rather that some of those statues should stand in order to remind us how we have been wrong once.

Now, in the US, it seems to me as an outsider, the problem is actually not so much the taking down of such a statue, or pulling the rug over history, as it is the crowd that came to protest the statue being taken down. People organized into paramilitant groups toting automatic guns and waving the Swasticas and the Confederate flags. These people were not there to protest against the cultural barbarism of pulling down an historical monument, but to demonstrate that they dare still openly hold racist values. I guess, it is these groups, and their audacity to publicly demonstrate their ultra-conservative extremist right-wing values really existing, why such a statue as the one representing general Lee was decided to take down at the first place. To make a gesture, that the US society no longer finds racism, or slavery as values to support, or even to flirt with. The fact that there was a counter protest finally made the gestrure. So in order to defend the statue, these right-wing extremists actually made the gesture bigger. It would have been even bigger if the US president had taken a firm stand against the neo-nazies. But he wavored. I guess he felt he had to accomodate for some of his most scared and angry voters.

Now poor president Trump is in dire straits with this. He has pulled much of his most loyal support from such extremist groups and even more from large amounts of individuals who may not be members of any of these groups, but symphatize with them, and share their concern of the world changing around them. Many of his supporters may not be open racists, but feel anguished about being monitored by demands of political correctness and not really knowing how to behave, when their former inhereted values no longer seem to be seen as valid by the ever changing society around them. Having a cultural heritage of already a bit old fashioned set of values, that as so many ancient cultural traditions are more based on arbitrary authoritarian dictates, than the ability to reason what is actually good and what is poor behaviour, these people have elected a president who seems to fit the picture of an authoritarian, white, strong, conservative male, who in addition speaks in simple phrases, rather than using complex political jargon. The thing is, that one of the many misconceptions of these sorts of voters of the president, is that they think they represent the majority and that the not only have the democratic majority, but the right of might of the majority and indeed even the right of might of their god, who no doubt agrees with them about all the moral issues. Yet, that is not how reality works and this means they are in for a nasty ride in the future and that they may get even more desperate, if this president fails to provide them the imaginary golden age of the past, they think existed when they were kids.

What options does president Trump have? He tries to provide a picture where he has not abandoned this large support group of ignorant and possibly desperate people. He has the advantage, that they often are limited in their cognitive abilities to analyze reality, so he – knowing his own crowd – may be able to numb them down with his message, that the “other side” was just as much to blame as the right-wing conservative extremists who demonstrated waving open the flags of Nazi-regime and those of the slave-owning Confederate magnates. The main question is what other side? Should we not stand against nazies? What follows, if we do not? I truly hope, that not even president Trump would really want that as in his own family there are people who would be among the first victims of such extremist right-wing conservatives would reach the sort of authoritarian absolute political power they expect him to weild, now that he is the elected president.

Ultimately, just as the ultra-conservatively motivated right-wing extremist Islamist terrorist is good at igniting the fear and hatred of the ultra-conservatively motivated Western right-wing extremist to demands of segregation and even violence (wich I might add is the goal of the Islamist terrorist), both are good at slowly waking up the great majority of the modern people, who just want to live their lives in peace, that at least some of the values they may share with these conservatively motivated right-wing extremists may indeed be bunk.

It may be slow progress, that no longer do we need to only argue with religious conservatives, that there are atheists even among conservatives, that liberal values like freedom of speech is defended as a conservative value, while it has not been that for a very long period of time, and in most extremely conservative and authoritarian cultures it is not valued even today and that some regressive extremist conservative political movements are infact led by women, but I call it progress never the less. Now there are even homosexual advocates of the right-wing conservative extremist values. Women and homosexuals have thus emancipated within the conservative culture up to a point even though opposing such emancipation used to be and still is, so very centrall to so many extremist conservatives of the right-wing tradition. Now, even a political leader who obviously is trying to fill in the leadership model of an authoritarian strong-man such as Donald Trump is critizised by his own supporters, like the Breitbart, who otherwise have had a tendency to spout out all manner of authoritarian propaganda in his defence. The world is turning and it changes. Let us hope it changes fast enough in comparrison to how fast we are detereorating it around us.

Hundreds and thousands of refugees flood Europe from the so called third world countries. Some of these people come to seek better income and are not refugees as those who come from countries where there is a war going on. But we no longer speak of war, because conflict seems like a better description of the situation in countries like for example Afghanishtan.

Many of the people who come to Europe are young men. Instead of fighting for one or a nother faction or a cause in their homecountries these young men have chosen to flee the conflict area and leave their families behind. Why? Because they are the ones who can leave, are most likely drafted to to this or that militia to fight for a cause they do not even recognize, or support. In Europe our wars both against other Europeans and the rest of the world have been fought with countless young men who did not have a clue about the cause and were drafted to do the fighting. Sometimes some of them even thought they had a notion of the cause they were fighting for. Most often those causes were quite abstract, like a “Fatherland”, or the “King and country”, or even “The Empire”. If a cause can not raise enough people to fight for it, is it a good enough cause to fight and die for? If it can rally masses to the banner, does that make it a good cause to die for?

Europe seems to be divided, or perhaps even a bit schitzofrenic about how the refugees should be met. Some fear the outsider, or simply have suspicions based on the culture and religion of the newcomers. Some see them as a representation of the faceless threat that the modern times, cultural changes, or even globalization represent. Some view them as humans in need of help, or see their desperation when they brave the Mediterranean with tiny, but very full boats. Most recognize these people as the victims of human traficking.

The European countries try to limit the amount of refugees coming in to satisfy their voters who fear the change the refugees represent. Be that change the fear for increased amount of terrorism, something strange called “Islamization”, or even the amount of cheap labour. In reality, countries like for example my native Finland has an actual problem in how our population is growing older and older.  What terrorism we have had has been domestic and not motivated by extreme Islam. Some of the political violence one could call terrorism in Finland has been motivated by racism and the fear of the outsider. Some of it seems to be a direct result of some populist politicians riding on the fear of the change and of the outsider.

We have a refugee crisis going on. The crisis is not that there are many people coming to our countries. It is a crisis to the people who need to leave their homes and seek new fortunes elswhere. It is a crisis to families, who spend a lot of money to send their young men away from all sorts of militia draft systems just because that is the one person who can leave and they can afford to send to the perillous journey. A crisis to families who pack their few belongings to move to a foreign country, a destination they often know almost next to nothing about just to get away from the war – sorry, conflict. A crisis to thousands of people who get abused and robbed to get to Europe. A very real crisis to thousands of people who have already drowned and drown on their way. A humanitarian crisis to untold thousands who end up in refugee camps mostly at the outskirts of Europe.

The populists of Europe are against specifically Islamic refugees. This should reveal their game to everyone. As if Islam was somehow more intolerant religion than Christianity. It is not. In Europe Christianity has simply been pacified by secularism. The people who come may have their own problems, but it is childish to think we can recognize their specific problems when they come. The terror attack in Manchester a couple of days ago, was committed by an Islamist radical. The previous terror attack in Manchester was made by a Christian extremist. It was made in 1994 by the IRA. Both attacks were motivated, by politics and were done by emotionally unstable people. Let us face it, sane people do not engage in terror attacks. Do they? Not even when they commit such by the commands of some military organization and not even when they use a bomber to deliver the bomb, instead of blowing themselves up with a suitcase bomb.

Finally, I have to say, that the idea of “Islamization” is ridiculous. It is only a threat if the society to wich the Islamic people come to join is not a truly secular. If religion holds any political power and people are segragated according to their superstitions, only then many Islamic people may hold political power in a democracy. Secularism is the cure to extremist religiously motivated violence, not some other religion, as we have so often throughout history witnessed, the most peacefull religions, like for example Buddhism can be distorted to be used as motivation to violence. The extremist Islamist terrorist has exactly the same motives as the neo-nazi. The neo-nazi may even be totally non-religious, but has a similar misunderstanding of reality as that of a Theist extremist. Their common motive is to create division and conflict between cultures, because they can not stand pluralism. They have difficulty to stomach other people not living up to their standards, even when the other people are not stepping on their individual rights. Should we ever again yield to the demands of such lunatics?

A gender neutral marriage law was recently affirmed in the Finnish parliament. This aroused some attention and controversy. There were arguments for and against it being presented. They were much the same as in this issue around the globe where ever it has become into focus. I do not even try to repeat them all here. There are a couple of concerns I would like to address about this discussion.

“Born this way.” The question wether, or not, homosexuality is a trait a person has from birth is not and should not be brought up in the entire discussion about marriage. It is totally irrelevant. Even the question, if someone chooses, or not, to be a homosexual is irrelevant to the question of marriage. We do not really know, if people are genetically caused to be homosexuals or wether it is a trait that developes onto the person. We do know that a lot of homosexuals would choose not to be homosexuals, if they possibly could. The reason to that is, that the society around them has trouble accepting them as they are and in respect to that some of them even learn to have similar cultural reasons of having trouble of accepting themselves as they are.

The real question is not what causes homosexuality, but wether we have any actually rational and sane reasons to think it is wrong on any level. We do not. The “reasons” presented to make the claim, that there is something wrong about homosexuality are presented as follows and often the path from one claim to a nother are presented on this line of thought:

Is it a sin? Now, sin is something determined to be some sort of violation of the will of some particular gods. Freedom of religion however dictates necessarily for a peacefull and mutually respectfull society to exist, that the beliefs about the divinities, or the supernatural in general, may not decide legal processes, or be used to step on the rights of a nother individual. Not even within a religious group that has accepted one doctrine or a nother. That is, even if the Catholic church and all the victims of rape by Catholic priests thought it was not really a crime, by the secular mutual standards of the modern soceity, they still are and should be treated as such. Therefore even if the majority of religions in any given country thought, that eating shellfish or being homosexual was a sin, they could not ethically make it illegal based on that imaginary guess on what their god supposedly thought was a sin.

Because the entire issue of marriage equality has been raised mostly in secular countries (and not in the Vatican or Iran), the question wether it is a sin is irrelevant. In modern democracies religions are a private matter and sin is something you discuss privately with your particular god, if you wish, who then redeems you from it, or judges you from it. Or you do not bring this or any other subjects to your god, if you even have one in the first place. This is why the people whose dislike of something like homosexuality often is derived from religious prejudices, often move to the camp of inventing seemingly secular “reasons” to justify their feelings about the issue.

Is it unnatural? There are people who try to frame sexuality into this tight box of reproduction. They have the right to do so in the privacy of their own homes, but not force the idea on others. No doubt that this line of argumentation appeals to all sorts of simpletons, as it seems simple. However, human sexuality is far from simple. I could discuss how a lot of animal species have homosexual behaviour, but from experience I know that this tends to lead down the rabbit hole of humans not being animals. Wich strangely often leads us back to the idea of sin. No, humans are not the same animals as those other animals that also engage in homosexual behaviour. That is there just to show you, that it is natural in the sense that it happens in the nature. But wether or not any animals engaged in homosexual behaviour does not in any way address wether it is right or wrong. Animals do not drive cars, but we do not try to ban driving a car because we see it as unnatural. Sex is as much just a form of reproduction and should be as much limited to that, as human transportation is all about walking and should be limited to walking. If you do not want to run or ride a bike, fine then don’t. But do not try to make running illegal. OK?

Gods are by definition unnatural. They are not part of nature, if they even exist beyond our natural brains. Should we ban gods because they are unnatural? Everything that happens in nature is natural. Salt is natural. Polio is natural. Homosexuality is natural. The only relevant question about homosexuality regarding laws is wether it is harmfull or not and if then to what extent. The entire question wether it is unnatural is ridiculous.

Is it harmfull? People see a lot of harm done to the homosexuals by people who feel justified in disliking, or even hating them for the “reasons” they give, that I listed abowe. There are also people who have been harmed by homosexuals. This works much the same way as with racism. When people are harmed by the representative of this, or that group of people, they make the connection between the group and the deed. Despite wether or not the group identity, or what ever makes the purpetrator of the harm part of that group – even skin colour, or sexual orientation –  was actually the motive for the deed. If a homosexual rapes a child, it is not the homosexuality that caused the deed. Any more than, if a white man shoots a black man, him being white was his motive for the act. The rape of a child is the result of the rapist being a) rapist and b) pedophile not being homosexual. If the rapist was not a homosexual, he would simply have chosen his target differently. The white man shooting the black man may have been motivated by any number of reasons from theft to racism. But even if it was racism, the motive was not him being white.

As for the marriage equality, there have been a number of more, or less comic attempts to stop the change, that has now finally taken place. There is this notion, that a family unit ideally consists of a father, a mother and some children. The idea has been, that the reason why the society recognizes a marriage as a special status between two people is because they are able to reproduce and should be given social support to be better able to do this. It is a ridiculous notion, in that even if that could be proven to be some form of ideal family unit, it does not mean all families need to reach such an ideal. Especially not those families who do not find the arrangement ideal in any way. By the same token, people who can not have children should not be allowed to get married and old people whose children have grown to adulthood should divorce.

There is this claim, that there is some sort of harm done to adopted children in same sex marriages. This claim has not been confirmed in any scientific arena. But even if it could ever be proven that the children have it better in a heterosexual family than in a same sex family, that would be a moot point. It is like saying that since the rich families can better nourish the needs of their kids, than the poor ones we should ban the poor people from getting married, and/or from having children.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle aito avioliitto mielenosoitus

The picture abowe is from a “Genuine Marriage” demonstration at 24. september 2016 , that gathered almost a hundred demonstrators (wich is pretty few even in Finnish terms) in Helsinki to protest against the gender neutral marriage law. It seems they had more balloons than demonstrators.

Last but not least the most stupid argument against the gender neutral marriage must be the slippery slope argument. Wich is that if this is allowed, what next? Shall we allow polygamy, marriages with children and marriages with house pets? It shows the level of stupid from the political side that opposed the gender neutral marriage, that they themselves did not laugh at the representative who presented this ridiculous argument. Was it not the same as arguing that if we allow people to drive cars, we may have to allow people to drive tanks next? If you do not understand the difference between two consenting adults havign sex and sex with a child or an animal, never get any children or pets. As for the polygamy, where in any holy books ever does it even hint that, that was a sin? It is a separate discussion we may have in the future, but it has absolutely nothing at all to do with the gender neutral marriage law.