Tag: homosexuality

Finland military warned homosexuality was ‘obstacle’ to training

Finland

Finland military troops (Creative Commons/A. v. Z.)

Finland’s defence forces have been criticised for using discriminatory training material that described homosexuality as an “obstacle” to service.

The shocking advice came from the Centre for Military Medicine, which is responsible for the health of conscripts and defence personnel.

According to a report by the Finnish Parliamentary Ombudsman, the centre said in a training manual that sexual orientation, specifically homosexuality, was an obstacle to military service.

The material referred to “demanding terms of service” and community housing, Nord News reported. For this reason, it said, cadets should doubt their chances of successfully completing the training.

Gay cadets were advised to opt for the Class C category in fitness checks, a category that is exempt from peacetime military service and includes those with mental health issues.

In response to criticism from the ombudsman, the Defence Command insisted that the Finnish military does not consider homosexuality to be a mental disorder, nor should it have been a criterion in Class C.

However, the ombudsman said that the training material might have given health professionals the impression that sexuality could hinder military service, despite Finland declassifying homosexuality as an illness in 1981.

The ombudsman found that the material was offensive and discriminatory, and these sections have now been removed from the document.

The controversial guidance is surprising coming from Finland, which is widely viewed as one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in the world.

Last year the Gay Happiness Index ranked it as the happiest country for LGBT+ people, beating Denmark, Norway, Iceland, The Netherlands, Sweden and New Zealand.

Public opinion is similarly high: a 2019 poll found that 80 per cent of Finns think LGBT+ people should enjoy all the same rights as heterosexual people, and their newly-elected prime minister Sanna Marin is the proud daughter of same-sex parents. She says her family’s strong belief in equality is the foundation of her political views.

Franklin Graham hits out at Pope Francis for ‘normalising homosexuality’

Franklin Graham hits out at Pope Francis for 'normalising homosexuality'

Evangelical preacher Franklin Graham has lashed out at Pope Francis for “trivialising Christ’s sacrifice” by “normalising homosexuality”.

Pope Francis suggested in a documentary that premiered on Wednesday (October 21) that gay people “have a right to be part of the family” and threw his support behind “civil union law” so same-sex relationships can be “legally covered”.

The comments made global headlines and represented a major break from traditional Catholic teaching.

And it’s safe to say that Franklin Graham is not impressed.

In a lengthy Facebook post on Thursday (October 22), Graham hit out at Pope Francis, branding his comments “unthinkable in light of the Word of God”.

Graham went on to reference the Old Testament in his efforts to prove that the family is composed of a “male husband and a female wife” and a number of children.

The right-wing preacher suggested that the love of God is “completely inclusive”, but went on to claim that people must “repent” in order for society to be “saved”.

Franklin Graham hit out at Pope Francis for ‘trivialising Christ’s sacrifice’.

“For Pope Francis to attempt to normalise homosexuality is to say that Holy Scriptures are false, that our sins really don’t matter, and that we can continue living in them,” Graham wrote.

“If that were true, then Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection wouldn’t have been needed. The cross would have been for nothing. No one has the right or the authority to trivialise Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.”

Graham continued: “I want everyone to know the truth and to find the peace that come sonly from fully surrendering our lives to Him and His commands.

“The consequence of an unrepentant, unbelieving heart is also clear in the Word of God – eternal death.

“Unless we repent and receive His offer of forgiveness, surrendering our lives to Him, we will spend eternity as part of a different family when we leave this earth – the family of the condemned.”

No one has the right or the authority to trivialise Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.

Graham’s firm rebuke came just hours after Pope Francis sent shockwaves across the world when his comments were revealed in the documentary Francesco, which debuted at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday.

His pro-gay remarks came as a surprise to many within the LGBT+ community, as the pope has previously kept firmly with Catholic Church teachings that oppose any progress in LGBT+ rights.

In 2013, he made global headlines when he called on the Catholic church to “show mercy, not condemnation” to gay people – representing a stark shift in tone from his predecessors.

But in 2019, he told a Spanish newspaper that parents who see signs of homosexuality in their children should “consult a professional” – a comment that was considered by many to endorse conversion therapy.

Meanwhile, he has been staunch in his opposition to trans identities, comparing them to nuclear war and genetic manipulation in 2015.

In 2019, the Vatican released a document claiming that “gender ideology” is a “move away from nature”.