Or ,,atheists ignore the facts.
Here is a response to an atheist nicced 'nybrit's assertions and claims regarding the 'belief system' refered to as 'secular humanism' that shows atheists allready have what they claim they want.He/she/it/they also erroneously present Christian cultures as 'secular super states',,and gives me opportunity to not only 'dicover the truth' but show that the truth of the matter doesn't seem to matter to those like nybrit who like to 'have faith' in an 'alledged faithless belief system' in which 'men' are the 'final arbiters of truth' and place their 'faith in the beliefs' those men present as 'truth'.
You can find the original posts here:
I sort of hate to be the one to point this out,,but I'll do it
(sometimes ya just gotta do stuff others may think is mean for the advancement of truth and equity)
nybrit once posted some comments about a few countries being some kind of bastion for 'secular/atheistic' ideologies having developed some sort of utopian societies.
Well,,me being me,,I did what I do,,and found out that either nybrit is just slinging hash or actually has no idea what nybrit is talking about.
Here,,let me show you.
~If atheist wanted a moraless society then you would see atheist commiting more crimes.~
Considering that most folks who commit crimes are dishonest or 'religiously ignorant' enough to not be trusted regarding the veracity of the info,,but by definition,,if they are committing crimes,,they aren't 'following a christian tradition' of not breaking laws.
IOW,,it is not 'ethical' to define the religion by the actions of 'the aberrant few' found amongst them,,is it?
As well as,,isn't it more accurately assumable that they are most likely 'atheistic or agnostic' if they are NOT following the tenents of their 'proffessed religion'?
~You would see secular countries such as Finland, Sweden and Norway with high crime rates, instead of some of the lowest.~
Here is the 'erroneous' concept nybrit tossed out.
The inference is that these particular countries are somehow NOT christian cultures.
More on this later because I would like to let you see the 'tainted thought' effect in the rest of the post.
~The main reason for crime and lack of morals is abject poverty, not religion or lack of it.~
This is a part of the 'muddying' that the previous statement enables.
My response to this is:
NO,,the main reason for 'crime' is 'laws' of any sort.
(i.e.;'no laws'='no crimes')
The main reason for 'laws' is to provide 'conflict resolution' or 'removal of aberrant individuals' as in 'protecting public safety' and removal of undesirable gene packages that carry extreme 'anti-social' proclivities.
The main for reason for 'more laws' is a desire of government/others to control the masses and provide revenue for the ;orgs' infrastructure.
Ergo,,considering that 'religion' had 'law' before 'government' did,,'laws' are 'religion or faith based' in origin.
As in,,'laws only control the lawful minded individual',,not the 'definitive criminal'.
Besides,,,most,,and I have some INSIDE knowledge of this subject,,literally,,most crimes are not committed for 'needed items'.The common crime is committed due to 'desire for luxury items' such as recreational drugs or 'bling'.
IOW,,an honest poor man doesn't steal,,he just goes without.
And that blows the 'theory'' that poor has more to do with crime than 'religion'.
Crime is the result of 'desire to fulfill goals above one's means' and regardless of 'cost' to others.
~Morals are decided by societies and laws are created to enforce these values.~
And every last society on the face of the Earth has 'religion' at the heart of and as the 'source of' the morals of that society,,don't they?
Even science agrees that the very concept of 'morals' and 'ethics' are a direct result of 'culture imposed rules' generated from and through 'religious based concepts and ideologies'.
(again,,that's why I call 'organized religion' the original politics.Through it's 'practices' the original religion became 'fragmented' giving rise to different dieties and resulting in a 'power base' for the priests to gain profit and position)
~Atheist do not want religion removed from society.~
There are many examples to the contrary.
Besides,,if they actually don't,,do you think it could mean that they realize the benefits of 'folks not believing they are simply and only animals'?
Do you think that maybe they know that if you remove the 'divine' from the 'self image' of mankind that he will act like an animal and simply lie,cheat,steal,rape and murder?
(NOW,,if they did or do,,then why can't they admit it as a group and face the fact that the 'results' of attacking religion are right in front of your eyes,,today?And if thy can't do that,,why don't they shut up about it like a rational individual would do regarding something they don't believe in yet benefits them to have in their society?)
Of course,,I in no way have 'believe' that YOU can speak for all 'atheists' of any flavor,,except your own particular individual one.
~I do not know what you mean by Judea-Christain values (and how these differ from societies values),~
If that is a true statement,,then I fell bad for you.
Here you are openly admitting to 'commenting' on stuff you have insufficient knowledge of to NOT seem rather uneducated about.
Judeo-Christian values are the 'ethics' which arose out of the 'Judeo-Christian' religious tenents,,i.e.;'the ten commandments'.
Judeo represents 'Jewish' as in Hebrew as in Israeli as in the people of The Book or Yahaveh.
The race and nation of peoples from which Yeshua Emmanuel,,The Annoited One,,Christ came out of.(as in He was the genetic and cultural product of the Judeo traditions and religious system)
And that's the point that 'Christian religionists' make regarding the 'values and ethics' of our country being Bible based,,IF EVEN AN ATHEIST LIKE YOU CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE then a duck is a duck,,according to science,,right?
~but I believe America should be secular, as the Founders wanted,~
If your version of secular is the same as this:
~Secular humanism is a vital force in the contemporary world. It is now under unwarranted and intemperate attack from various quarters. This declaration defends only that form of secular humanism which is explicitly committed to democracy. It is opposed to all varieties of belief that seek supernatural sanction for their values or espouse rule by dictatorship.~
Then you can plainly see that as long as there is a majority of 'religionists' then you have what you what when the 'laws' reflect the 'desires of the largest demographic' like it has and still does,,don't you?
MOST folks believe in a 'god'.Our country is not a dictatorship,,,so,,you have what you want.
Or do you disagree with what the 'self proclaimed' leaders of the movements 'declaration'?
~and not how either Atheist or Christains want.~
uhh,,in case you haven't noticed,,neither side is happy,,so again,,you have what you claim you want.
So,,why don't you shut-up and be happy?
Wait,,don't go away yet,,I know you are peeved but I ain't finished.
I said there would be more about the 'use Norway,Finland and Sweden' as a 'exemplary illustration od secular societies'.
I won't say nothing more,,I'll just show it,,,,,
For hundreds of years, the Church of Sweden, an Evangelical Lutheran church, represented the religion of state. However, in 2000, the Church and government placed into effect a formal separation of church and state, with a stipulation that the Church of Sweden will continue to receive a certain degree of state support. According to recent estimates, about 84% of the population belong to the Church of Sweden. Roman Catholics constitute about 0.02% of the populace, with about 150,000 members. About 100,000 people are members of Christian Orthodox churches, including Greek, Serbian, Syrian, Romanian, and Macedonian. The number of Muslims is at about 350,000, with about 100,000 active practitioners primarily of the Sunni and Shi'a branches. There are also about 20,000 Jews (Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform), with about half being active. Buddhists and Hindus number around 3,000 to 4,000 each. It is estimated that about 15% to 20% of the adult population are atheists.
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy, in which King Carl XVI Gustaf is head of state, but royal power has long been limited to official and ceremonial functions. The Economist Intelligence Unit, while admitting that "There is no consensus on how to measure democracy" and that "definitions of democracy are contested" lists Sweden in first place in its index of democracy assessing 167 countries. The nation's modern legislative body is the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament), with 349 members, which chooses the Prime Minister. Parliamentary elections are held every four years, on the third Sunday of September.
In its 2007 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked Sweden (along with Belgium and Finland) 5th out of 169 countries.
Main article: Religion in Sweden
Before the eleventh century, Swedes adhered to Norse paganism, worshiping Æsir gods, with its centre at the Temple in Uppsala. With Christianization in the 11th century, the laws of the country were changed, forbidding worship of other deities into the late nineteenth century.
After the Protestant Reformation in the 1530s, the Church and state were separated and the authority of Roman Catholic bishops abolished, allowing Lutheranism to prevail. This process was completed by the Uppsala Synod of 1593. During the era following the Reformation, usually known as the period of Lutheran Orthodoxy, small groups of non-Lutherans, especially Calvinist Dutchmen, the Moravian Church and Walloons or French Huguenots from Belgium, played a significant role in trade and industry, and were quietly tolerated as long as they kept a low religious profile. The Sami originally had their own shamanistic religion, but they were converted to Lutheranism by Swedish missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Not until liberalization in the late 18th century, however, were believers of other faiths, including Judaism and Roman Catholicism, allowed to openly live and work in Sweden, and it remained illegal until 1860 for Lutheran Swedes to convert to another religion. The 19th century saw the arrival of various evangelical free churches, and, towards the end of the century secularism, leading many to distance themselves from Church rituals. Leaving the Church of Sweden became legal with the so-called dissenter law of 1860, but only under the provision of entering another denomination. The right to stand outside any religious denomination was established in the Law on Freedom of Religion in 1951.
Today about 75% of Swedes belong to the Church of Sweden, but the number is decreasing by about 1% every year, and Church of Sweden services are sparsely attended (hovering in the single digit percentages of the population). The reason for the large number of inactive members is partly that until 1996, children became members automatically at birth if at least one of their parents were a member. Since 1996, all children that are baptised become members. Some 275,000 Swedes are today members of various free churches (where congregation attendance is much higher), and, in addition, immigration has meant that there are now some 92,000 Roman Catholics and 100,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians living in Sweden. Due to immigration, Sweden also has a significant Muslim population. Almost 500,000 are Muslims by tradition, but approximately 5% (25,000) of these are practising Islam (in the sense of attending Friday prayer and praying five times a day). (See Islam in Sweden.)
According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 23% of Swedish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 53% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 23% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".
Sweden ranks aside with France and Russia on having a large minority of its citizens who have no religion. Independent of these statistics, it is generally known that Swedish society, collectively, is comparatively secular and non-religious.
Traditional Swedish rural house, painted in the traditional Swedish Falu red.Main article: Culture of Sweden
Sweden has many authors of worldwide recognition including August Strindberg, Astrid Lindgren, and Nobel Prize winners Selma Lagerlöf and Harry Martinson. In total seven Nobel Prizes in Literature has been awarded to Swedes. The nation's most well-known artists are painters such as Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn, and the sculptors Tobias Sergel and Carl Milles.
Swedish twentieth-century culture is noted by pioneering works in the early days of cinema, with Mauritz Stiller and Victor Sjöström. In the 1920s1980s, the filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and actors Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman became internationally noted people within cinema. More recently, the films of Lukas Moodysson and Lasse Hallström have received international recognition.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Sweden was seen as an international leader in what is now referred to as the "sexual revolution", with gender equality having particularly been promoted. At the present time, the number of single people is one of the highest in the world. The early Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967) reflected a liberal view of sexuality, including scenes of love making that caught international attention, and introduced the concept of the "Swedish sin". Sweden has also become, in recent decades, fairly liberal regarding homosexuality, as is reflected in the popular acceptance of films such as Show Me Love, which is about two young lesbians in the small Swedish town of Åmål. In the absence of legislation on same-sex marriages, Sweden offers both registered partnerships and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
Main article: Swedish welfare
Hjalmar Branting, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Sweden.In recent years, economic liberalization has ensured that Sweden is now more similar to other European countries with comparatively high tax rates. However, some still claim that the Scandinavian model is mid-way between socialism and capitalism, i.e. a mixed economy.[attribution needed] The Swedish "welfare state" model of the 20th century is an example (some economists and socialists have said) of effective use of national taxes, although others disagree about its continuing effectiveness. The Swedish welfare system remains extensive, but a recession in the 1990s forced an introduction of a number of reforms, such as education vouchers in 1992 and decentralization of some types of healthcare services to municipal control.
While similar in form to other governments in Western Europe, the Swedish state is among the most active in the scope of government services provided. These include tax-funded childcare, parental leave, a ceiling on health care costs, tax-funded education (all levels up to, and including university), retirement pensions, tax-funded dental care up to 20 years of age and sick leave (partly paid by the employer). Parents are entitled to a total of 480 days partly paid leave between birth and the child's eighth birthday, with 60 days reserved specifically for each parent, in effect providing the father with two so-called "daddy-months". The ceiling on health care costs makes it easier, relative to other nations, for Swedish workers to take time off for medical reasons.
Since the late 1960s, Sweden has had the highest tax quota (as percentage of GDP) in the industrialized world, although today the difference between other high-tax countries such as France, Belgium and Denmark has narrowed. Sweden has a two step progressive tax scale with a municipal income tax of about 30% and an additional high-income state tax of 2025% when a salary exceeds roughly 300,000 SEK per year. The employing company pays an additional 32% of an "employer's fee". In addition, a national VAT of 25% or 18% is added to many things bought by private citizens, with the exception of food (12% VAT), transportation, and books (6% VAT). Certain items are subject to additional taxes, e.g. electricity, petrol/diesel and alcoholic beverages.
Main article: Education in Sweden
As part of its social welfare system, Sweden provides an extensive childcare system that guarantees a place for all young children from 1-5 years old in a public day-care facility (förskola or dagis). Between ages 6-16, children attend compulsory comprehensive school, divided in three stages. After completing the ninth grade, 90% continue with a three-year upper secondary school (gymnasium) leading sometimes to a vocational diploma and always to qualifications for further studies at a university or university college (högskola). Both upper secondary school and university studies are financed by taxes. Some Swedes go straight to work after secondary school. Along with several other European countries, the government also subsidizes tuition of international students pursuing a degree at Swedish institutions, although there has been talk of this being changed. The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks Swedish education as the 22nd best in the world, being neither significantly higher nor lower than the OECD average.
But Sweden had its own racial troubles and its own style of coping. Several years ago, immigrants flooded in from Iran and Eritrea, and 18-year old Sara Wallin started a group called "Five Minutes to Midnight" to combat growing racial tension in her small Swedish town. Wallin began dating a boy from Eritrea, and when they broke up, the boy murdered her. Swedish citizens -- not at all accustomed to violent crimes -- were outraged. But Stig Wallin, Saras father, pleaded for tolerance and calm and took over Saras work with Five Minutes to Midnight. Go Sweden, a website and CD-ROM, was developed to teach racial and ethnic tolerance through role playing and identification with victims of intolerance. The CD was distributed to every high school in Sweden, and the project was a finalist in the 1999 Stockholm Challenge.
International Religious Freedom Report
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. The Church of Sweden, formerly the state church, effectively became separated from the State in 1999; however, it still receives some state support.
There was no change in the status of respect for religious freedom during the period covered by this report, and government policy continued to contribute to the generally free practice of religion.
The generally amicable relationship among religions in society contributed to religious freedom.
The U.S. Government discusses religious freedom issues with the Government in the context of its overall dialog and policy of promoting human rights.
Section I. Religious Demography
The country has a total area of 173,732 square miles and its population is an estimated 8.8 million.
Approximately 84 percent of the population belong to the Church of Sweden. It is possible to leave the state church, and an increasing number of persons do. In 1998 13,233 persons left the state church. In 1999 when the state church and the Government separated, a record 33,299 persons left and an estimated 16,000 persons departed in 2000.
There are about 165,000 Roman Catholics. The Orthodox Church has approximately 100,000 members, and the main national Orthodox churches are Greek, Serbian, Syrian, Romanian, Estonian, and Finnish. There also is a large Finnish-speaking Lutheran denomination. While weekly services in Christian houses of worship generally are poorly attended, a large number of persons observe major festivals of the ecclesiastical year and prefer a religious ceremony to mark the turning points of life. About 78 percent of children are baptized, 50 percent of all those eligible are confirmed, and 90 percent of funeral services are performed under the auspices of the state church. Approximately 62 percent of couples marrying choose a Church of Sweden ceremony.
There is a relatively large number of smaller church bodies.
Several are offshoots of 19th century revival movements in the Church of Sweden. Others, such as the Baptist Union of Sweden and the Methodist Church of Sweden, trace their roots to British and North American revival movements.
There are approximately 17,000 Jews, of whom 8,500 are active members of a congregation. There are Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Jewish synagogues. Large numbers of Jews attend high holiday services but attendance at weekly services is low. The number of Muslims has increased rapidly in recent years to between 250,000 and 300,000 followers. Mosques are being built in many parts of the country. The Shi'a and Sunni branches of Islam are represented among immigrant groups. Around 100,000 of the Muslims in the country are active religiously. Buddhists and Hindus number around 3,000 to 4,000 persons each. Although no reliable statistics are available, it is estimated that 15 to 20 percent of the adult population are atheist.
The major religious communities and the state church are spread across the country. Large numbers of immigrants in recent decades have led to the introduction of nontraditional religions in those communities populated by immigrants.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) and other foreign missionary groups are active in the country.
Section II. Status of Religious Freedom
The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice. The Government at all levels generally protects this right in full and does not tolerate its abuse, either by governmental or private actors. The rights and freedoms enumerated in the Constitution include freedom of worship, protection from compulsion to make known one's religious views, and protection from compulsion to belong to a religious community.
The country has maintained a state (Lutheran) church for several hundred years, supported by a general "church tax," although the Government routinely grants any request by a taxpayer for exemption from the tax. All churches receive state financial support.
In 1995 after decades of discussion, the state church and the Government agreed to a formal separation. This reform came into effect in 2000; however, the Church still is to receive some state support.
Foreign missionary groups do not face special requirements.
The Office of the Ombudsman Against Ethnic Discrimination investigates claims by individuals or groups of discrimination "due to race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, or religion." For many years the Government has supported the activities of groups working to combat anti-Semitism.
The Government promotes interfaith understanding and meets annually with representatives from various religious groups. The Commission for State Grants to Religious Communities (SST) is a government body. It cooperates with the Swedish Free Church Council. SST members are selected by religious bodies, which are entitled to some forms of state financial assistance.
Religious education is part of an overall time schedule for compulsory course work in public schools, but is not limited to instruction in the state religion.
The law permits official institutions, such as government ministries and Parliament, to provide copies of documents that are filed with them to the public, although such documents may be unpublished and protected by copyright law. This is due to a contradiction between the Constitution's freedom of information provisions and the country's international obligations to protect unpublished copyrighted works. This contradiction has affected copyrighted, unpublished documents belonging to the Church of Scientology that have been made available to the public by the Parliament in accordance with domestic legislation. The Government is in the process of drafting new legislation designed to eliminate the contradiction and protect copyrights.
In January 1998, the Government began a national Holocaust education project after a public opinion poll found that a low percentage of school children had basic knowledge about the Holocaust. Approximately 1 million copies of the education project's core textbook (available at no cost to every household with children, including in the most prevalent immigrant languages) are in circulation. The Government initiated an intergovernmental multinational Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research, to combat anti-Semitism, racism, and intolerance by placing international political support behind efforts to teach about the Holocaust. Eight other countries, including the United States, are members of the Task Force. In January 2000, the Government established January 27, the anniversary of Auschwitz's liberation, as a national day of remembrance.
In 1998 the Government published a report by a commission of experts entitled "In Good Faith - Society and New Religious Movements." The report sought to gauge the needs of persons leaving new religious movements for support from the national community. It paid special attention to the needs of children. According to the commission, each year approximately 100 persons seek assistance for various medical, legal, social, economic, or spiritual difficulties arising from their departure from new religious movements. The commission recommended passage of legislation making "improper influence" (such as forcing an individual to renounce his or her faith, or other such "manipulation") a punishable offense. The commission's proposal for legislation required further investigation by the Government. The commission also proposed the establishment of a foundation for the study of questions of belief and to help build bridges between new religious movements and mainstream society.
Restrictions on Religious Freedom
Government policy and practice contributed to the generally unrestricted practice of religion.
There were no reports of religious prisoners or detainees.
Forced Religious Conversion
There were no reports of forced religious conversion, including of minor U.S. citizens who have been abducted or illegally removed from the United States, or of the Government's refusal to allow such citizens to be returned to the United States.
Section III. Societal Attitudes
Citizens are tolerant of diverse religions practiced in the country, including the Mormon faith and Scientology; however, there is limited anti-Semitism, which occasionally manifests itself in the vandalization of synagogues with graffiti and in threatening letters. There were no cases of anti-Semitic vandalism reported in 1999 or 2000. Some immigrant groups have experienced discrimination or violence due to their ethnic background or race. The Government criticizes such practices and prosecutes offenders.
Section IV. U.S. Government Policy
The U.S. Government discusses religious freedom issues with the Government in the context of its overall dialog and policy of promoting human rights. The U.S. Government is a member of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance, and Research. In January 2000, former Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat led the U.S. delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust, and former President Clinton addressed the forum in a videotaped message.
Released on October 26, 2001
Religions: Lutheran 87%, other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist) 13%
Definition: This entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total population.
Source: CIA World Factbook - Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of April 17, 2007
The Helsinki Cathedral with the statue of Emperor Alexander II of Russia.Main articles: Religion in Finland, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, and Finnish Orthodox Church
See also: Roman Catholicism in Finland, Judaism in Finland, Islam in Finland, and Hinduism in Finland
Most Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (82.5 percent). A minority belongs to the Finnish Orthodox Church (1.1 percent) (see Eastern Orthodox Church). Other Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church in Finland are significantly smaller, as are the Muslim, Jewish and other non-Christian communities (totaling 1.2 percent). 15.1 percent of the population is unaffiliated. The main Lutheran and Orthodox churches are the national churches of Finland. Church attendance is much lower than these figures may suggest. Most of the population holds generally secular views. A majority of members of the state Lutheran Church do not participate actively, often attending church only for special occasions like weddings and funerals.
According to a 2005 Eurobarometer Poll, 41 percent of Finnish citizens responded that "they believe there is a god", whereas 41 percent answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 16 percent that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force".
 Family structure
Finnish family life is centered on the nuclear family. Relations with the extended family are often rather distant, and Finnish people do not form politically significant clans, tribes or similar structures. According to UNICEF, Finland ranks fourth in child well-being.
Auditorium in the Helsinki University of Technology's main building, designed by Alvar Aalto.Main article: Education in Finland
See also: List of universities in Finland
The Finnish education system is a comparatively egalitarian Nordic system, with no tuition fees for full-time students. Attendance is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 16, and free meals are served to pupils at primary and secondary levels. The first nine years of education (primary and secondary school) are compulsory, and the pupils go to their local school. Secondary education is not compulsory; it is either a trade school, or preparation for tertiary education. In tertiary education, two, mostly separate and non-interoperating sectors are found: the higher vocational schools and universities.
In the OECD's international assessment of student performance, PISA, Finland has consistently been among the highest scorers worldwide; in 2003, Finnish 15-year-olds came first in reading literacy, science, and mathematics; and second in problem solving, worldwide. The World Economic Forum ranks Finland's tertiary education #1 in the world.
Finland has a developed public health care system. 18.9 percent of health care is funded by households themselves, 76.6 percent is publicly funded, and the rest of the funding comes from elsewhere. There are 307 residents for each doctor.
After having one of the highest death rates from heart disease in the world in the 1970s, improvements in the Finnish diet and exercise have paid off. Finland also boasts the lowest smoking rate of any country in the European Union. Finland is now one of the fittest countries in the world.
The life expectancy is 82 years for women and 75 years for men.
 Government and politics
Eduskuntatalo, the main building of the Parliament of Finland (Eduskunta) in Helsinki.Main article: Politics of Finland
 Political system
Finland has a semi-presidential system with parliamentarism. The president is responsible for foreign policy outside of the European Union in cooperation with the cabinet (the Finnish Council of State) where most executive power lies, headed by the Prime Minister. Responsibility for forming the cabinet is granted to a person nominated by the President and approved of by the Parliament. This person also becomes Prime Minister after formal appointment by the President. Any minister and the cabinet as a whole, however, must have continuing trust of the parliament and may be voted out, resign or be replaced. The Council of State is made up of the Prime Minister and the ministers for the various departments of the central government as well as an ex-officio member, the Chancellor of Justice.
The 200-member unicameral parliament is called the Eduskunta (Finnish) or Riksdag (Swedish). It is the supreme legislative authority in Finland. The parliament may alter the Constitution of Finland, bring about the resignation of the Council of State, and override presidential vetoes. Its acts are not subject to judicial review. Legislation may be initiated by the Council of State, or one of the Eduskunta members, who are elected for a four-year term on the basis of proportional representation through open list multi-member districts.
The state flag of FinlandThe judicial system of Finland is divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with responsibility for litigation between the individuals and the administrative organs of the state and the communities. Finnish law is codified and based on Swedish law and in a wider sense, civil law or Roman law. Its court system consists of local courts, regional appellate courts, and the Supreme Court. The administrative branch of justice consists of administrative courts and the Supreme Administrative Court. In addition to the regular courts, there are a few special courts in certain branches of administration. There is also a High Court of Impeachment for criminal charges (for an offence in office) against the President of the Republic, the justices of the supreme courts, members of the Council of State, the Chancellor of Justice and the Ombudsman of Parliament.
The parliament has, since equal and common suffrage was introduced in 1906, been dominated by secular Conservatives, the Centre Party (former Agrarian Union), and Social Democrats, which have approximately equal support, and represent 6580 percent of voters. After 1944 Communists were a factor to consider for a few decades. The relative strengths of the parties vary only slightly in the elections due to the proportional election from multi-member districts but there are some visible long-term trends.
Like the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, Finland has no constitutional court, and courts may not strike down laws or pronounce on their constitutionality. In principle, the constitutionality of laws in Finland is verified by a simple vote in the parliament. However, the constitutional committee in the parliament reviews legistlation during the lawmaking process, and thus performs a similar role.
According to Transparency International, Finland has had the lowest level of corruption in all the countries studied in its survey for the last several years. Also according to the World Audit study, Finland is the least corrupt and most democratic country in the world as of 2006.
In its 2007 Worldwide Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked Finland (along with Belgium and Sweden) 5th out of 169 countries.
The current President of Finland Tarja Halonen in a state visit to Brazil, October 2003.Main article: President of Finland
The President of Finland is the Head of State of Finland. Under the Constitution of Finland, executive power is vested in the President and the government, with the President possessing extensive powers. The President is elected directly by the people for a term of six years. Since 1991, no President can be elected for more than two consecutive terms. The President must be a native-born Finnish citizen. The office was established by the Constitution Act of 1919.
We have two state religions in Finland:
-The Evangelical Lutheran Church (85 % of Finnish people)
-The Finnish Orthodox Church 1.1 %
We have had a complete freedom of worship since 1923 and we have many religious minorities (e.g. Jehovah 0.3 %, Catholic 0.2 %).
The new Freedom of Religion Act came into effect in August 2003. It replaced the previous Act of 1923. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right. It entails the right to profess and practise a religion, the right to express a conviction and the right to belong or not to belong to a religious community.
The rationale behind the new Act is the notion of positive freedom of religion. Religion is considered not only as the individual's own choice but also as part of community tradition. The function of the State is to ensure freedom of religion and create the preconditions for its implementation.
Under the former Act, the denomination of the child was automatically determined by the denomination of his/her parents/guardians. On this point the new Act remains neutral, only determining who decides on the denomination of the child. Under it, the parents/guardians determine the denomination of the child together, that is, whether or not they wish to keep the child in the Church. There is one exception, however: the decision on the denomination of a child aged 12 to 17 requires unanimity between the child and the guardian. A child aged 15 or older may, with the parents'/guardians' written permission, join or leave a religious community. The religious affiliation of a child who has turned 12 may be changed only with his/her consent
The Freedom of Religion Act does not impinge on school traditions. According to the Parliament of Finland, the singing of traditional hymns at end-of-term celebrations in spring and before Christmas does not constitute the practice of a religion in the meaning of the Act. The meaning of these celebrations is seen to be to pass on and preserve culture; accordingly, all pupils, regardless of their religious affiliation, can participate.
©Roy Harbin/The DANG DinGIE American/2007®
harbin336 is roy harbin is roy l.harbin is,,the dang-dingie american aka,,the evil white man