We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in Europe (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). The latest example of hate speech laws curtailing free speech is found in Finland where a politician is under criminal investigation for sharing a Bible verse to criticize a church for participating in a LGBT Pride festival.
Congresswoman Päivi Räsänen is a Christian Democratic member of parliament and former Minister of the Interior. Räsänen is also a member of and is married to a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.
She was critical of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland for its support of the Helsinki LGBT Pride events in June. She spoke out against the involvement while highlighting a quote from Romans 1:24-27 which reads:
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
According to the Helsinki Times, police have said that they will be filing the case with a prosecutor when their investigation is complete.
From someone who is a member a party called “Christian Democrats,” it should not be too surprising that she is engaging in either religious or political speech — or in this case religious political speech. Räsänen is opposed to abortion and has run on morality platforms. This is core protected speech in any nation that respected free speech. The fact that she could be investigated demonstrates how such laws create a chilling effect on speech.