The Christian freedom of speech organization founded in support of Räsänen also supported the candidates of the fascist party – Resigning now from fascism
The Christian freedom of speech organization founded in the summer of 2021 in support of MP Päivi Räsänen (kd) urges candidates who are committed to freedom of speech to vote. Fascists have also made the list.
One of the four blue-black candidates recommended by the Freedom of Speech and Religion Association is Toni Jalonen. The picture is from November 2020. ILSamuli Suonpää Today at 11:30 (edited at 13:30)
Freedom of Speech and Religion defends the freedom of speech of Päivi Räsänen and other conservative Christians and opposes rainbow education in schools and new translation law.
The organization was founded in support of Räsänen after he was charged for his speeches about homosexuals. Later, the charges were dropped in the district court.
The organization's board includes Christian influencers from the revival movements of the Lutheran Church and other denominations. The former chairman of Basic Finns, minister and MP, Timo Soini is also a member of the organization's board.
The organization is preparing for the 2023 parliamentary elections with the Pro Freedom of Speech theme. On its website and social media, it presents candidates who sign the organization's goals.
– The purpose is to make it easier for people to find candidates who are committed to freedom of speech and religion, says the chairman of the Association for Freedom of Speech and Religion < strong>Santeri Marjokorpi.
– We have tried to gather candidates who are committed to our values and work for freedom of speech and religion.
The Sinimusta movement is also included
A third of about a hundred for the candidate committed to defending freedom of speech, there are Christian Democrats. The second largest group is Ano Turtiainen's Power Belongs to the People party, the Freedom Alliance with more than 20 candidates.
Perussuomalaiset and Liike Nyt are also well represented on the list. There is not a single candidate from the coalition, the Social Democrats and the Left Alliance.
The most special color among the defenders of freedom of speech is the far-right and openly fascist Sinimusta movement.
On its website, Sinimusta the movement demands strict restrictions on freedom of speech and religion. According to it, the “moral health” of Finnish society must be defended against “harmful influences”.
The party demands “the criminalization of the denigration of Finnishness in the same way as the denigration of Turkishness is criminalized in Turkey”.
According to the party, other harmful influences are, for example, foreign religions and homosexuality. It would ban communication in which “a lifestyle deviating from heteronormativity” is presented in an overly positive light.
The party would also ban the construction of minarets and mosques.
“It's about Christians about freedom of speech”
A researcher familiar with issues of religion and politics Tuomas Äystö from the University of Helsinki describes the concept of freedom of speech of both the blue-blacks and the Freedom of Speech Association as “selective”.
– Speech in the political debate about freedom of speech, there is rarely a sincere defense of everyone's freedom of speech. In the case of these two movements, it is specifically about the freedom of speech of Christians, in the case of the Blue Black movement, especially Finnish Christians.
The organizations are especially united by a conservative concept of family.
– In both, the line seems similar to that of, for example, Aito Avioliitto ry, which has most clearly represented the international anti-gender movement in Finland. There it is seen that diversity related to gender and sexuality threatens Christian morality and therefore must be resisted.
For the crowd, the demands of the Blues bring to mind prior censorship and the Soviet Union.
– The Blues would oblige telecom operators to block content that mocks Finland or Finnishness. It is quite special if the candidates of this movement try to profile themselves as supporters of freedom of speech.
Sinimusta's concept of freedom of speech
One of the four Blue Blacks recommended by the Freedom of Speech and Religion association the candidate is Toni Jalonen.
Jalonen rose to national prominence in 2020, when he, as the then vice-president of the Fundamental Finns Youth, declared in a video shot at an event of the youth organization of the far-right Estonian Ekre party that he was an “ethnonationalist, traditionalist and fascist”.
As a result of the uproar, the Basic Finns ended up expelling Jalonen from the party. Jalonen's racist tweet had already led to the Ministry of Education and Culture canceling the organization's support. In the spring of 2020, the parent party broke off cooperation with its youth organization and the organization filed for bankruptcy.
Is Toni Jalonen a fascist?
– No get rid of the F-word, but nowadays I wouldn't describe myself as a straight-up fascist anymore, answers Jalonen.
– Fascism is not mentioned in the party program, but you can read it there. The legacy of IKL lives on in our party.
Jalonen says he is primarily nationalist and also uses the word “ethnofuturist”.
– It is a cultural movement originating in Estonia, which the Ekre youth organization had taken into political use. An ethnofuturist does not long for a return to the past, but bases his future and development goals on the ethnicity of his people and his own roots.
What is the concept of freedom of speech of the Blue and Black movement?
– All political movements want to support the kind of freedom of speech that is in line with their values and oppose freedom of speech that, in their view, promotes bad values.
Christian values are important to Jalose. Toni Jalonen says that he is a Lutheran Christian and that he is studying theology at the University of Helsinki.
Is a priestly career on the horizon?
– I am not at least ruled it out. However, I don't know if that is a realistic idea after a prominent political career.
How well does supporting a fascist candidate fit into the value base of a Christian organization, Santeri Marjokorpi?
– We share information about candidates who sign our values. We have not limited in any way who can sign it. It may be that not all signatories stand behind these until the end.
Antisemitism and freedom of speech
In Finland, revival Christianity also includes defending Israel and the Jews. There are also several friends of Israel in the activities of the Freedom of Speech and Religion association.
One of the candidates of the Sinimusta movement received a three-month suspended prison sentence in the district court in December 2022 for the attack on the Turku synagogue. On Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, the man had daubed the walls of the synagogue with red paint and attached a sign to the gate accusing Jews of bloodlust and atrocities.
According to the Jewish congregation of Helsinki, the ideology of the Blue Black movement is clearly anti-Semitic.
Isn't there a contradiction between anti-Semitism and revivalist Christian freedom of speech and religion?
– Freedom of Speech and Religion Association works absolutely for the fact that Jews also have the right to their own religion. We don't have any other line, says Marjokorpi.
What does the organization have planned after the parliamentary elections?
– Päivi will have the next court hearing in August. We were already thinking about that. There have also been quite a lot of contacts about these issues of sex education in the school world. There is a clear order and need for the organization.
The organization resigns
Between the making of the Iltalehti story and the publication of the story, the Freedom of Speech Association announced that it was resigning from the extremists.< /p>
A text appeared on the association's website at 11 o'clock on Sunday, which mentions, among other things, the following:
There have been inquiries and discussions about the list. Naturally, we are not responsible for the other opinions of the candidates and the values they represent. In the spirit of freedom of speech, we have not removed anyone from the list, but rather we hope that every candidate of every single party would be on our list defending freedom of speech and religion.
It goes without saying that as an association we renounce all extremist movements opposing freedom of speech and religion. Such are, for example, fascism and communism, which historically have been very destructive to freedom of speech and religion. We renounce racism because it wants to remove agency from some groups of people and thereby affects their freedom of speech and religion. There is no room for anti-Semitism of any kind in our association, but we are also strongly committed to the freedom of speech and religion of Jews. There is therefore no room for the ideas listed above in our association or our activities.
The matter was corrected on 26.3. at 1:28 p.m.: Originally, the story read that “Jalonen's racist tweet had led to the Ministry of Education and Culture ending the support of the youth organization and the organization going bankrupt”. A more correct wording is that “Jalonen's racist tweet had led to the Ministry of Education and Culture terminating the organization's support. In the spring of 2020, the parent party broke off cooperation with its youth organization and the organization filed for bankruptcy”.