Swedish Pentecostal Pastor On Trial For Anti-Gay Hate Speech

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by GotZoom, Nov 9, 2005.

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  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - A Pentecostal pastor charged with hate speech for denouncing homosexuality as a "cancerous tumor" defended his views in Sweden's highest court Wednesday, saying gay sex was an abnormality on a par with pedophilia.

    Ake Green, 64, delivered a fiery anti-gay sermon two years ago that triggered a legal battle testing the limits of Sweden's freedom of speech.

    Green told the Supreme Court that his sermon was meant to warn gays that their lifestyle will result in an "eternal divorce" from God.

    "If two men sleep with each other, or if two women do so, it is abnormal, just like pedophilia," Green said in his testimony.

    Audio broadcasts from the much-awaited hearing were carried live on nationwide TV, which is unusual in Sweden. The hearing was expected to last one day, but a ruling could take several weeks.

    Green became the first clergyman convicted under Sweden's hate crimes legislation, which was modified in 2003 to include attacks against homosexuals. An appeals court overturned the ruling earlier this year, but Sweden's chief prosecutor appealed the acquittal at the Supreme Court.

    The case has attracted widespread international attention, with some religious groups saying a conviction would be a threat to freedom of religion and speech. Others say an acquittal would open the door to fiercer attacks against Jews, Muslims and gays by right-wing extremists.

    In 2003, Green told his congregation on the small island of Oland that homosexuality was "a deep cancerous tumor on all of society," and warned that Sweden risked a natural disaster because of leniency toward gays. He also said gays were more likely than others to rape children and animals.

    Green on Wednesday testified that the "tumor" reference was directed toward the gay lifestyle, not the individuals who practice it.

    Prosecutor Stefan Johansson urged the court to send Green to jail for his sermon. He challenged Green's views that gay lifestyle was the root of HIV/AIDS and could bring natural disasters to a country.

    "Don't you think that is deeply offensive to homosexuals?" Johansson asked.

    A defiant Green answered he understood that gays could be insulted by his sermon, but insisted the purpose was to encourage homosexuals to change their "ungodly" behavior.

    "I want to warn young people about the consequences," he said. "When you tell the truth to a person, it can hurt."

    Protesters and supporters of Green gathered outside the courthouse.

    "We want to defend freedom of religion," said Lewi Freijd, a 16-year-old high school student holding a large orange banner with the same message. "If he is convicted, then you will not be allowed to preach what is in the Bible."

    Robert Karlsson Svard, holding a sign reading "I am not a cancerous tumor," told newspaper Dagens Nyheter he hoped Green would be sent to jail.

    "I don't want to be cured or surgically removed," he was quoted as saying.

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20051109/D8DOV1603.html
     
  2. Powerman
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    Powerman Active Member

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    Doesn't sound terribly different than some posters here. Comparing homosexuality with pedophilia...
     
  3. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    What is your problem with understanding that comparing TWO willfull actions is fine. EQUATING, however, is another story...although I personally feel the two actions ARE equatable...However, simply comparing/contrasting the willfull behaviours is fine.

    (shrug).

    This story is ONE example of prophecy starting to be fullfilled. "As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be before His coming"...or something.

    :-/
     
  4. Powerman
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    Powerman Active Member

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    You my friend are a fucking lunatic. Anyone who starts talking about end time prophecies being fullfilled should be immediately dismissed as a fucking loon by anyone on this board.

    And I love how you criticize me for making an accusation and willfully admit that you are guilty of equating the 2 yourself. You're a pathetic retrograde individual.
     
  5. The ClayTaurus
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    The ClayTaurus Senior Member

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    I compare you to Hitler, Darin. ;)
     
  6. KarlMarx
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    KarlMarx Senior Member

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    I think you all missed the point....

    A pastor is jailed for expressing his religious beliefs and for exercising free speech....

    The Roman Catholic Church's position on homosexuality is that it is a sin and "gravely disordered"... so a Cathoic priest saying the same thing in that country would have been jailed, too. And for nothing more than preaching the teachings of the Catholic Church.

    It doesn't matter whether you agree with him or not.... this is the same type of crap that happens in China (why just the other day, some Pentacostals where jailed in China for printed bibles)

    When you start labelling speech that you don't agree with as "hate speech"... it won't be long before other political freedoms are lost.
     
  7. The ClayTaurus
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    The ClayTaurus Senior Member

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    Darin is hardly a lunatic. You missed the entire point: you can compare anything you want to anything. I can compare him to Hitler. I might not find anything to equate between the two of them, besides that they both had two legs and two arms, but I can compare them all day long. It's one of Darin's pet peeves, the whole YOU CAN'T COMPARE THINGS argument.

    Why don't you ease up on the insults? Simply no need.
     
  8. Powerman
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    Powerman Active Member

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    Well I believe it is hate speech. It just so happens to be hate speech that is consistent with the Bible. Why should something hateful be protected just because it is part of a religion? I personally believe that he should be able to say what he wants if for no other reason to expose himself and his stupid religion for what it is. Hateful primitive nonsense.
     
  9. Powerman
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    Powerman Active Member

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    I didn't call him a lunatic for the comparison argument. I called him a lunatic for speaking of end times prophecies. That's absolutely insane and anyone who walks around saying such should be treated as a lunatic.
     
  10. The ClayTaurus
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    The ClayTaurus Senior Member

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    All speech should be protected, hateful or otherwise. That's the point.
     
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