That’s the title of a Sinclair Lewis novel about the coming of fascism to America. The Nobel Prize winning writer contended that, if it could happen in civilized Europe, it could happen in the United States as well. Here’s one form it will take:
The Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (Suomen evankelisluterilainen Lähetyshiippakunta – ELMDF) is under investigation by Finland’s Prosecutor General for the publication of a booklet upholding historic Christian teachings on human sexuality.
The Lutheran Foundation Finland (Suomen Luther-säätiö)—the legal entity behind the ELMDF—is being investigated for its 2004 booklet “Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual Relationships Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity.” The Prosecutor General alleges that the booklet incites hatred against homosexual people, despite an earlier decision by Helsinki Police which concluded no crimes had been committed. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Finland since 2017.
“The decision of the Prosecutor General to conduct a preliminary investigation of our publication is surprising, as I believe the police have already thoroughly investigated and concluded that this is not a criminal offense,” said Rev. Juhana Pohjola, the Deacon of the ELMDF. “It is our job to teach the entire Word of the Bible in peace, including on marriage as created by God.”
The booklet’s author, Dr. Päivi Räsänen is also under investigation by the Prosecutor General. Dr. Räsänen is a Member of Parliament in Finland and former Minister of the Interior.
The booklet can be found here.
American Christians like to think that this kind of thing can’t happen here, what with the First Amendment and all. There are Christians in Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, and now Finland who thought the same thing. While those nations don’t have our First Amendment, they all have guarantees of freedom of religion and speech in their foundational documents and laws. So does the European Union. It’s happening in those places anyway.
One of the unnoticed (at least in many quarters) elements of the leftist project of the last sixty years has been the destruction of language as a fixed entity. Taking Orwell’s 1984 as an instruction manual rather than a warning, the left has recognized that in order to be able to impose its agenda regardless of constitutional or legal impediments, it was necessary to turn each society’s language into a putty nose, drained of any intrinsic meaning. Then, when constitutional or legal obstacles are cited, they can be simply waved away, or maneuvered around through linguistic legerdemain (hence the “penumbras” and “emanations” that Supreme Court justices found in the Constitution to justify the creation of a right to abortion ex nihilo).
Nobody on the left has used this technique more than the LGBTQIA+ movement. Words like “sex,” “gender,” “male”, “female,” “family,” etc., no longer have fixed meanings, but rather are infinitely adaptable to serve whatever political purpose happens to be foremost. And when anyone–especially traditionalist Christians and Jews–continue to use language in the way it has always been used, they can be ostracized, investigated, and even prosecuted for stubbornly insisting that the Word of God says what it has always said, and that they are conscious-bound to believe, teach, and proclaim what it says.
The destruction (or deconstruction, as leftist academics prefer to put it) of language is not the only reason why this is happening, of course. It is, however, foundational to the effort to put the power of the state in the service of the ideology. Make no mistake, American Christians: this is coming to a jurisdiction near you–if it hasn’t already.