Monday, 9 August 2010

Right to wed?

The majority of the Finns are Lutherans, even though not many seem to practise their religion much, except maybe when getting married and having their offspring christened.

If I have not got it completely wrong, in Finland the church and the state have been separated from each other since the reformation when Finland was a part of Sweden.

According to an interview in a newspaper the bishop of Oulu thinks that “the church should marry couples of the same sex, if Finland is to have a gender neutral marriage law”, and adds “this should be done for the church to save its’ right to marry people”.

I am here not taking any sides on the issue about people of the same sex getting married or not, neither am I talking about them being wed in the church. I am just wondering what the church has to do with the state, as they are separated, that is not married so both can go either way, so to say, if you know what I mean.


  1. Despite the apparent non-religiousness of Finns and Finnish politics, the state has indeed not been separated from the church. The president was the head of the church until year 2000 - and to be honest I think the main reason it got separated was the fact that Tarja Halonen did not belong to the state church when she got elected as a president.

  2. Church taxes (at least for the largest churches) are collected during the normal taxation. There's also a requirement of a degree in theology in order to become an ordained minister (although I think it's the church's own requirement).

    The Lutheran church gets a portion of the community tax because they own e.g. the cemeteries and take care of them (and they are required to allow others to use them as well).
    So, in a way the church is nt separated from the state.

    On the other hand, the link also serves to reign down the church so that there's less of the stuff harmful to society that's going on e.g. in America.

  3. Thank you "anonymous" for your comment, it's always nice to get a discussion going.