John M. Becker

Lutheran Finns Resign in Droves Over Bishop's Support for Equal Marriage

Filed By John M. Becker | December 05, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Finland, gay marriage, Lutherans, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

kari-makinen-finland.jpgLast week, the parliament of Finland passed a law that will bring marriage equality to the Nordic country by around 2016.

Kari Mäkinen, the Lutheran Archbishop of Turku and Finland, supported the law and said that he "rejoiced" after the historic vote. But the archbishop's pro-LGBT comments appear to have caused an exodus of homophobes from his church, Yleisradio reports:

Between the law's approval on Friday and midnight on Saturday nearly 7,800 people had resigned from the church via an online service designed to ease the resignation process. That means they will no longer pay church taxes--the main source of revenue for the Lutheran Church in Finland.

According to the comments given to the website, most of the resignations were in protest at Archbishop Mäkinen's comments.

What exactly did the good archbishop say that has people so riled up? Find out, after the break.

PinkNews reports Mäkinen made the following remarks after the vote:

"I know how much this day means for rainbow people, their loved ones and many others. I rejoice with my whole heart for them and with them.

"We are in the same situation as our neighboring Nordic Churches: our concept of marriage needs a fundamental examination. Speaking for myself, I think it is time for reconsideration. It will take place from the standpoint of the church's own principles.

"I would like to warmly thank the proponents of the law, and all those who have taken part in the debates, regardless of position.

"There are many who are now disappointed and feel concern. This is understandable. Their experience will be respected, and the Church will listen to their fears in future, as well as in society as a whole.

"I would like to say to them: I don't think anyone's marriage will lose importance, the Church's faith is not under threat, and human dignity is not in decline - quite the contrary.

"I hope and pray that this discussion is open to all in the future, and portrays the diversity and richness of the world."

Am I crazy, or are Archbishop Mäkinen's comments not offensive at all?!? How profoundly sad it is that even in a country as progressive as Finland, there are still so many people who are so blinded by homophobia that they can't bear the thought of LGBT people having the same freedom to marry that everyone else has.

Earth to homophobic Finnish Lutherans: if your spirituality is that dependent upon the continued persecution and stigmatization of others, you should probably reevaluate your priorities.

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