Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘world affairs’

Prosecuting Paivi Rasanen for Quoting the Bible Is Making Her an International Star


BY: JOY PULLMANN | AUGUST 15, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/15/prosecuting-paivi-rasanen-for-quoting-the-bible-is-making-her-an-international-star/

Paivi Rasanen speaking at the Issues Etc. conference

Author Joy Pullmann profile

JOY PULLMANN

VISIT ON TWITTER@JOYPULLMANN

MORE ARTICLES

Paivi Rasanen must make God laugh. The 27-year member of Finland’s Parliament on trial for tweeting a Bible verse confounds so many pagan slogans.

She’s a mother of five children and grandmother of 10 who didn’t need abortion to simultaneously pull off two demanding careers: medicine and politics. An empathetic woman who eagerly shows pictures of grandbabies on her phone and expresses concern for strangers’ travel plans, Paivi (pie-EE-vee) also refuses to subjugate her reason to emotional manipulation.

She holds fast to Christian teachings about sex as reserved exclusively for lifelong marriage between one man and one woman, for which she’s been prosecuted and investigated now for three years and will be in court again this November. Her case could affect international law and is a foreboding example of where identity politics policies are quickly heading across the world.

“If we break the gender system and if we break the natural marriage system between one man and one woman, then we have dangerous consequences, especially to children,” Paivi told The Federalist in person this summer in Chicago.

This woman of science also firmly believes in supernatural revelation. In her pamphlet on Christian marriage that Finland’s top prosecutor is seeking to ban as “hate speech,” Paivi writes that “Jesus’s death and resurrection is the core of the entire Christian faith. On this the Bible stands or falls. If one does not believe it, there is nothing left of Christianity. And … if I believe this, it follows logically that I must believe everything else Christ teaches in the Bible through the Apostles and Prophets.”

Paivi speaking to a sold-out audience of Christians in Chicago, Illinois, this summer. (Joy Pullmann / The Federalist)

Persecution Spreads the Gospel

As it has often in history, persecution has created global opportunities for Paivi to spread Christian theology: about sex, its design for lasting human happiness, and Christianity’s warm welcome to those struggling with every kind of sin from the God “who hates nothing He has made.” The 2004 booklet “Male and Female He Created Them,” which prosecutors want to ban entirely and fine Paivi for writing, has gone from a few copies in a few conservative Lutheran churches to translated into half a dozen languages and read all over the world.

Rasanen’s 2004 booklet, printed from the online PDF and in its new second edition distributed worldwide.

Paivi and her husband Niilo (nee-loh) spoke this June in Budapest alongside megastar Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and his wife. Paivi said she’s seen especially strong support from Eastern European countries because many there still remember the Communists interrogating people about the Bible, as Finnish police did to Paivi three times for a total of 13 hours.

The Rasanens flew to Chicago right after Budapest so Paivi could speak at the sold-out Christian “Issues, Etc.” conference on June 25. In pearls, a flowered dress, and silvered golden hair, the petite 62-year-old asked the American crowd to pray that her case would “allow for more chances to preach the gospel in public.”

Rasanen’s case is on appeal in Finland and may end up in the European Court of Human Rights, developing precedents that could affect the world. If she loses in court, Paivi told a Christian outlet last year, “It will also affect religious freedom in other Western countries. LGBT groups have a very good network across national borders. They will try to achieve the same in other countries in Europe.”

In Q&A after her talk, Paivi said Finnish Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen is expected to push the case as far as possible because Toiviainen has said identity politics is her top priority. Paivi’s legal help from Alliance Defending Freedom International has told The Federalist they are also prepared to appeal her case as far as possible should she lose.

Paivi Rasanen speaking at the Issues Etc. conference
Image courtesy Issues, Etc.

Persecution Amplifies Word of God’s Mercy for Sinners

Toiviainen claims agreeing with the Bible that sodomy is a sin is a criminal expression of hatred toward homosexuals. Paivi and her legal team have pointed out that if the court interprets the law this way, it will effectively outlaw Christianity and free speech in Finland.

Rather than rejecting homosexuals, as she’s been accused in court, Paivi glows with happiness when relating that gay people have disclosed her “Bible trial” has brought them to faith. In speeches and court testimony, Paivi has emphasized she not only bears no animosity toward homosexuals or transsexuals, she earnestly desires them to join her Christian family by receiving the eternal life that Jesus Christ offers freely to every person.

Paivi has been dragged into European courts and smeared in the press for years as a spewer of “hate speech.” Yet while battling severe jet lag that her husband said often gives her migraines, Paivi expressed not even a flicker of animosity toward her persecutors in Chicago.

Instead, when The Federalist asked if her three-year-and-counting prosecution might be orchestrated by political enemies, she seemed stumped. She conferred with her husband and finally suggested she was simply an easy target as a well-known figure in Finland.

“In all my career I have been known as a Christian and as a biblical Christian who doesn’t accept abortion and homosexual acts and so on,” Paivi told The Federalist. “And that’s why I think that perhaps it is the reason why the prosecutor has targeted just me.”

Family Unites to Fight for Other Families

Acknowledging the Biblical directive that only men serve as pastors has never tied Paivi to the kitchen — although perhaps she’d like to retire there given the suffering her political career has inflicted. Niilo prodded Paivi into running for office nearly three decades ago to try to stop Finland from forcing doctors like her to perform abortions, they told The Federalist.

Niilo Rasanen is a pastor and theology professor at a Lutheran Bible college. Niilo’s widowed mother lived with the couple while their children were young, and Paivi’s parents moved nearby and “helped a lot,” Paivi said. That, with Niilo’s flexibility while earning his doctorate, allowed Paivi to enter public service without sacrificing their children’s needs, they said.

During the five years when Niilo was writing his dissertation, “he was always at home when the children came home” from school, Paivi noted. Paivi and Niilo occasionally pulled out their phones to translate Finnish words into English or check they were using the right words, but Finns learn at least two foreign languages in school, Swedish and English.

Niilo and Paivi Rasanen in Chicago, Illinois, in June 2022. (Joy Pullmann / The Federalist)

In response to a question from the Chicago audience, Paivi revealed threats against her family. When she campaigned against child pornography, she said, a convicted pedophile entered their front yard and threatened their children: “It was quite a difficult time because we had to keep safe our children and they were a little bit afraid many years after that.” The most violent of the recent threats include a rape threat against her son, she said.

These external threats may have helped strengthen family bonds. Paivi and Niilo’s faces light up when they talk about their now-grown children, whom the Rasanens say are a great joy and regularly text their parents Bible verses and prayers.

“The task is communal, we do it together,” Niilo said of their marriage and family. “It has been so busy and hard time in this politic area — very, very busy, very long days. If you are not doing it together, it will not work.”

“I think what has been a great power in our life is that we have felt that these callings and tasks that we have, that they are common,” Paivi added.

From Church Only at Christmas to Global Witness

Born in 1959, Paivi grew up in a remote area near Finland’s border with Sweden, in the village of Konnunsuo. Her father was the agricultural director for a prison there. He oversaw the prisoners raising vegetables and animals to feed and support themselves. Paivi remembers as a girl watching piglets being born.

Her parents went to church only at Christmas, she said, but she learned the Bible from Sunday School and at prison church services. Her family also hosted missionaries to the prison, and they explained Christianity to Paivi and her two younger siblings.

A skilled student, especially in mathematics, young Paivi read all the books in her tiny village library that was open only two hours per week, she said. An adult biography of Nobel Prize-winning Polish scientist Marie Curie particularly inspired Paivi: “I admired her. I thought that I would like to be like her, to do something great.”

At the University of Helsinki, she studied both mathematics and medicine for a half year, but it was too much. So Paivi decided to focus on medicine because “I wanted to work with people.”

Organizing up to 70 Christian students for five years of weekly door-to-door evangelism in university deepened her faith, Paivi told The Federalist: “It was a very important time for me because there were students from different faculties and I had to defend my views, and I had to know [the] Bible because they asked difficult questions.”

She met Niilo doing summer missionary work among immigrants in London, and they married in February 1985, a year after Paivi started working as a doctor. They welcomed their children in 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, and 1996.

Because Paivi kept organizing debates and speakers about abortion among fellow medical students and doctors, the Christian Democrat political party asked her to run for office. The Christian Democrats are a small party that focuses on faith and family. From 2011 to 2015, Paivi served as Finland’s Minister of the Interior as part of a coalition government.

She Fights Like a Woman

Paivi has fought steadfastly not by disposition, but by compunction. She and Niilo chuckled quietly when noting that in university, she flatly refused all public speaking offers and leadership positions.

In person, the two Finns are true to type and their “Minnesota nice” American cousins: polite, soft-spoken, and deferential. In Chicago, Paivi and Niilo attempted for some 15 minutes to get the Uber app to work on their Finnish cell phones before they could be prevailed upon by this journalist to accept a ride.

She would have walked the mile to the conference, Paivi assured, as they had the day before, but that morning’s rain would bedraggle her hair and dress right before her speech. After a bit of emotional discomfort at allegedly imposing, followed by a quick, rain-unaffected arrival, Paivi laughed softly, expressed thanks, and commented that this would be a good anecdote for The Federalist profile.

Paivi Rasanen during audience Q&A in Chicago. Because English is a second language for Paivi, she was given the written questions in advance.

Although she’s a public figure who regularly appears on TV, including a variety show that dressed her in a bear costume to sing to her grandchildren (she showed photographic evidence), Paivi habitually asks for others’ thoughts rather than discussing her own. It’s yet another contradiction to women’s mag-celebrated attributes: expressing her femininity not only doesn’t abrade Paivi’s character, it complements it.

Paivi doesn’t assert herself as a “girl boss” who assumes masculine prosthetics, despite years of public leadership that could have taught her to do so. Her apparent emotional security in being the woman God made her bestows its own authority and charm.

Only Men and Women Fit Perfectly Together

That acceptance of one’s sex as a gift from God is also a foundation of the theological booklet that helped land Paivi in court indefinitely. Cultural Marxism foments a war between the sexes, but the Bible teaches that love means total self-giving: Husbands sacrifice everything to love their wives, and wives submit to their husbands as they do to God. The true war is not between the sexes, but against them, and in war clear chains of command are necessary to protect everyone.

The 1960s feminist war fomented between the sexes has now expanded into a war on sex itself. Now even recognizing the differences between men and women and the exclusive fertility of natural marriage is heading toward being criminalized across the West, and with it the Christianity that protects and celebrates these natural realities.

When she wrote the booklet, Paivi was already well-known as a Christian member of Parliament representing Hame, a rural Finnish province about an hour north of Helsinki. Pastor Juhana Pohjola, elected bishop of Finland’s non-state Lutheran church in 2021, had asked Rasanen to respond to proposals for government licensing of homosexual relationships. Here was a government endorsement of severing natural biological bonds between parents and children that raised both political and theological concerns.

Rasanen’s resulting 24-page booklet is a succinct summary of Christian sexual ethics. “People who submit themselves to God’s guidance in the Bible are repeatedly amazed at how the very Bible teachings hardest to understand contain God’s deep wisdoms,” Rasanen writes in the English translation.

“No choice of policies is ethically neutral,” she notes. “…In actuality, the acceptance of homosexual partnerships meant a more profound change in values than was willingly acknowledged at the time.” For example, she notes, in Finland, those proposing a homosexual partnerships act promised it would affect adults only. Yet immediately after the act passed, the proponents moved to make taxpayers pay for lesbians to be artificially inseminated and for homosexual couples to adopt children who could never know either a father or mother.

The act’s proponents also promised that Finland’s state church could maintain Christianity’s historic teachings if state recognition of homosexual couples passed. Paivi’s trial today, under a law passed seven years after the booklet was published, directly refutes that claim. It also highlights how impossible it is to reconcile the hard-won natural law framework that protects everyone equally with the identity politics that provides special rights to only government-favored groups.

Seeking an Internet Interdiction

Writing the booklet is one of three charges Toiviainen has filed against Paivi. It forms the sole count against Pohjola, the pastor who published the booklet. The two other counts against Paivi relate to her tweet of a Bible verse at the nominally Lutheran state church for sponsoring a homosexual pride parade and comments in a public radio debate she participated in years ago.

How can the #church ’s doctrinal foundation, the #bible, be compatible with the lifting up of shame and sin as a subject of #pride ?” #lgbt #helsinkipride2019
Finnish Christian MP under hate crime investigation for quoting scripture – Premier

In 2019, several Finns lodged complaints against Paivi’s tweet. Police investigated, interrogating Paivi about her beliefs three times. Although the police ultimately recommended against prosecuting Paivi, prosecutors sifted through her three-decade public record. They dug up the three alleged hate crimes and charged her.

The charges against Paivi fall under the legal category of “war crimes and crimes against humanity.” The prosecutors have asked for Paivi’s writings and audio clips to be completely banned from the internet and for her, Pohjola, and his church to be fined up to a third of their annual incomes, but courts could put Paivi in prison for up to six years if she’s found guilty. Pohjola could be imprisoned for up to two years.

During Paivi and Pohjola’s trial in early 2022, thousands of Finnish supporters gathered in Helsinki outside the court. Free speech supporters in other countries rallied at Finnish embassies. The American Family Research Council sent Pastor Andrew Brunson, whom Turkey detained for two years for preaching Christianity, to give Paivi a pledge of prayers from Christians around the world. U.S. members of Congress, international human rights groups, and coalitions of religious believers have also petitioned the Finnish government to stop prosecuting Rasanen and Pohjola’s human rights to free speech and religious exercise.

“It is important that we have the freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Paivi told The Federalist in Chicago. “Freedom of speech because it is important for everyone. It is important for every minority and majority. For Christians, it is crucial because we have the commandments of Jesus to tell the good gospel to all people…”

“Also I think that it is important to respect in society also everyone’s right to speak and argue and oppose you,” she continued. “So this is [a] fundamental issue.”

For more on this case, read this profile of Bishop Pohjola, who spoke to The Federalist in person in November 2021.


Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Sign up here to get early access to her next ebook, “101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation.” Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. She is also the author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. In 2013-14 she won a Robert Novak journalism fellowship for in-depth reporting on Common Core national education mandates. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.

Here’s Why the Media Don’t Want You to Know About the Massive Protests Going on Around the Globe


REPORTED BY: BETH WHITEHEAD | JULY 15, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/15/heres-why-the-media-dont-want-you-to-know-about-the-massive-protests-going-on-around-the-globe/

Mass protests in Buenos Aires amid Argentina inflation crisis

Discontent with left-wing policy failures is triggering massive protests all over the world. Just don’t expect to read all about it in the New York Times.

Author Beth Whitehead profile

BETH WHITEHEAD

MORE ARTICLES

If you skim the front pages of major corporate news outlets, you’ll find no mention of the economic protests raging in Spain, Morocco, Greece, and the United Kingdom.

On The Washington Post homepage these days, you’ll find headlines such as, “How To Deal With A Chatty Coworker Who Won’t Get Out Of Your Office,” but you won’t find mention of the more than 100,000 people protesting in Madrid. You’ll find the story of a gay union entitled, “What’s Two ‘Yentas’ Plus One Senator? A Lifetime Together” at The New York Times, but you won’t see a single heading on the more than 10,000 protesters in Athens. Corporate media has largely glossed over the tens of thousands of farmers in the Netherlands who clogged up roadways and distributions centers by holding Canadian-trucker-convoy-style demonstrations to protest radical climate policies.

According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which records protests worldwide, 11 countries are currently seeing protests of more than 1,000 people in response to the rising cost of living and other economic woes in 2022. As of July 5, Carnegie had recorded protests of more than 120,000 people in France, 100,000 in Spain, 10,000 in Greece, 10,000 in Kazakhstan, 10,000 in Sri Lanka, 10,000 in India, 5,000 in Iran, 5,000 in Peru, 1,000 people in Argentina, 1,000 in Morocco, and 1,000 in the U.K.

Many of the French protesters took to the streets on May Day for salary increases and against President Emmanuel Macron’s increase of the retirement age. Fifty-four people were reportedly arrested in Paris after some demonstrations turned violent. France’s economy, Europe’s third-largest, shrank in the first quarter of 2022, and in June, inflation shot up 5.8 percent compared to last year. Protesters also held demonstrations in March, with some complaining they had lost 15 to 20 percent of their purchasing power. Meanwhile, France’s answer to inflation? Keep spending; the country is throwing $20.4 billion at the problem.

In Spain, with gas subsidies, direct grants, and an increase in the minimum wage, the socialist-leaning government has seen only rising inflation rates (10.2 percent), and the accompanying price hikes are driving thousands of people onto the streets to protest. The country is finding out the hard way what a 40 percent reliance on renewable energy will do to the labor market. With its high unemployment rate at 13.65 percent as of the first quarter of 2022, labor shortages are raising prices on staple grocery items to an almost 30-year high. Thousands of demonstrators protested in March for relief in the form of tax cuts.

Meanwhile, it’s no surprise that any supply issues, aggravated or initiated by the Russia-Ukraine war, would burden Greece’s weakened economy that only just emerged from a decade-long crisis in 2018 to be sent right back by Covid shutdowns in 2020. In April, thousands gathered at a labor union-organized rally outside parliament in protest of inflation, which followed a February demonstration where about 10,000 people showed up to protest electricity prices that had leaped 56 percent, fuel prices that had jumped 21.6 percent, and natural gas prices that had skyrocketed 156 percent in January.

In India, a country locked in a vicious cycle of going into debt to pay off interest of former debts, the increasing cost of living is racking the country. In March, an estimated 50 million workers participated in a two-day strike to protest the loss of jobs and income, with communist groups organizing rallies in May decrying the high rate of inflation.

The socialist government in Argentina that led the country to default seven times and produced the largest decline in the relative standard of living in the world since 1900 is trying to do something new. On Monday, Argentina’s new economy minister Silvina Batakis announced her plan to cut the fiscal deficit — a proposal more than a thousand Argentines are protesting.

Decades of government spending and faulty economic policies have led to Argentina’s inflation rate growing to 58 percent. Prices are liquid and through the roof, with iPhones costing six months’ rent and a two-hour plane ticket equaling the cost of a month’s college tuition. Batakis plans to hold Argentina to the terms of a $44 billion debt deal it made earlier this year with the International Monetary Fund. Thousands of Argentines meanwhile flocked to protest against the economic hardships felt by the country upon cutting spending and took up banners crying for Argentina’s separation from the IMF.

The United Kingdom is suffering from a high 9.1 percent inflation rate as of May, and many are tired of the government’s response. Brits flocked out in February to protest rising costs of living, with demonstrations held in at least 25 towns and cities and signs reading, “tax the rich” and “freeze prices not the poor.” The U.K.’s inflation rate was already at 5.4 percent in January of this year due in part to the 2020 Covid shutdowns, but it has since almost doubled, largely due to the EU’s sanctions on Russian oil. In June, thousands marched down central London in protest, wanting the government to boost its welfare response.

Still reeling from the worst drought it has had in 40 years, Morocco is seeing price spikes on even the most basic goods. Thousands of Moroccans joined protests in February to decry the increasing cost of living, with unions staging more demonstrations in April. The country has high unemployment rates and large public debt, along with a heavy reliance on imports.

Aside from a scant headline here and there, America’s most popular news providers, The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, and NBC, did not cover these protests, despite the French and Spanish protests being 10 to 100 times larger than the protests these corporate media giants did report.

None of these four major outlets wrote a single line on the protests of more than 100,000 demonstrators in Spain, more than 10,000 in Greece, more than 1,000 in Morocco, and more than 1,000 in the U.K. The New York Times published one lone article on the strike in India, where an estimated 50 million people walked off the job. The Washington Post has two small articles on the Argentinian protests of more than 1,000 as inflation appears set to hit 70 percent, and it has reported once on the May Day protests in France where more than 120,000 people protested government pension reforms. NBC mentioned the May Day protests once in a world report. This is the entire 2022 coverage by these media giants of these countries’ protests over economic turmoil.

Of these 11 countries, only four made any major headlines. The corporate press oftentimes only highlights these economic protests when they get so loud they can no longer be ignored, as we saw with Kazakhstan’s kill order to quell protests and the Sri Lankans’ attack on their president’s home. Over the weekend, the biased media finally began covering the Sri Lanka protests that are over 10,000 people strong — but only because footage of demonstrators swarming the president’s residence by the thousands on Saturday went viral.

Corporate media won’t talk about the rest of these protests because the countries are struggling from economically disastrous policies akin to President Joe Biden’s. Any show of economic turmoil in EU member states could be traced back to EU sanctions on Russia or green energy failures, which would fly in the face of the corporate media’s agenda. Many of these countries have inflationary monetary policies.

The leftist media will tell you about Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Iran, and Peru, however, but only to bolster its pro-Ukraine/anti-Russia narrative that denies the realities of war to promote Biden’s efforts to empty our pockets and replenish Ukraine’s.

In its treatment of the Kazakhstan protests, The Washington Post made sure to mention the country’s relationship with Russia. The Times’ articles on the Sri Lanka protests framed the economic downturns in terms of problems stemming from Russia’s invasion and ignored Sri Lanka’s Green Deal ban on chemical fertilizer that ultimately crashed its economy. Both CNN’s coverage of protests in Iran and NBC’s reports of those in Peru likewise stressed the Russia-Ukraine war as the cause for economic turmoil.

The media only highlight these world protests when they grow too big to ignore or when the facts can be skewed toward their preferring narratives. Cherry-picking which protests to highlight gives media cover to paint them as isolated incidents in non-Western countries instead of a worldwide trend showing the consequences of embracing left-wing policies. After all, Biden is making the same blunders in the United States, and corporate media can’t have Americans connecting those dots.

The U.S. labor market is in shambles. Inflation has skyrocketed to a 40-year high at 9.1 percent. The Biden administration is drawing down our emergency oil reserves, shipping it overseas to nations that can’t function on their “Green Energy” policies any more than we can. Irony alert: The oil will go through a European pipeline despite Biden citing climate conservation to shut down our own Keystone pipeline.

Discontent with these policy failures is triggering massive protests all over the world. Just don’t expect to read all about it in the New York Times.


Beth Whitehead is an intern at The Federalist and a journalism major at Patrick Henry College where she fondly excuses the excess amount of coffee she drinks as an occupational hazard.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: