Criminalizing Christian Teachings about Sex

Police in Finland are investigating the leader of an entire denomination for publishing a booklet that disapproves of homosexuality.  The author of that booklet, which sets forth the Biblical teachings about sexuality, is also under investigation for the crime of “agitation against an ethnic group,” a statute which added “sexual orientation” to the list of protected classes.  The maximum punishment is two years in prison.

Link to the English version of the book which is a 10 page pdf.

I agree with @Cranach on Patheos that religions have the right to their teachings, on the other hand I do not agree that they have a free pass to make potentially misleading claims about scientific evidence and proofs on origins of sexual orientations and then claim their Christian teaching are being criminalized.

From the book by Dean Pohjola

Medical studies have obtained no proof for the claims that homosexuality is genetic, hereditary or inborn. Without any exception,talks of the discovery of homosexual genes have proved false.

While it is true that there is no specific gene for homosexuality the good Rev is ignoring evidence of multiple genes linked to same-sex sexual behavior

The largest study with 493,001 participants from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden “found new evidence that genes contribute to same-sex sexual behavior, but it echoes research that says there are no specific genes that make people gay.”

The inclination to homosexuality as such is not a characteristic comparable to mental health issues or physical ailments. Instead, the scientific material unequivocally proves that homosexuality is a disorder of psycho-sexual development. Those who claim that homosexuality is a natural “healthy” variety of sexuality nullify the evidentiary value found in family background studies for political reasons. Due to pressure from homosexual activists, political objectives have overridden scientific facts.

It appears that the good Rev is ignoring the fact that homosexuality was depathologized in 1973 and by doing so he is giving the appears that he is misleading his congregation?

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed the diagnosis of “homosexuality” from the second edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). This resulted after comparing competing theories, those that pathologized homosexuality and those that viewed it as normal.

In another place in the book the Rev talks about a 1991 study (no citation given).

In 1991, a study of over 34,000 students indicated that 25.9% of 12-year-olds were uncertain about their sexual identity. Only 5% of 18-year-olds were unsure. At the latter age only one out of 100 described himself/herself as being homosexual or bisexual.

I am unsure about the Rev’s point but I do wonder how he can draw any conclusions about today’s youth from a generation old study on demographics and from a time when homosexuality was taboo. The Rev could have easily found contemporary information with just a few mouse clicks. For example, Nearly half of young people don’t think they are exclusively heterosexual and Less Than 50% of Teens Identify as Straight, Says New Study.

I found the book replete with errors and potentially misleading information.

The preliminary investigation will now go on and the interrogation protocol will be passed on to the Prosecutor. Dean Pohjola will still have the opportunity to give a final statement before the Prosecutor decides whether to prosecute and bring the charge to the District Court, or not to prosecute.

Questions:

  1. How would you rate Dean Pohjola’s knowledge on homosexuality?
  2. How would you rate Dean Pohjola’s scholarship.
  3. Do you think that the investigation of Dean Pohjola’s is criminalizing Christianity?
%d bloggers like this: