This morning on Monday, June 2, I woke up at “6-something” on my free morning (many pastors’ day off is on Mondays, and so is mine)… I came downstairs to say “hello” and “goodbye” to my wife who usually leaves our home at 6.30 am for work. Went down to get the paper and wondered what was up… With large white letters in a big black box across the whole paper (SvD) I read “This newspaper is not approved by the State”… I wondered what that meant. As I turned the pages more and more small ads addressed the same issue… This morning too many things demanded my attention (first gym at 7.00 am and then the renovation of our living room… – finally after having lived here for 13-14 years!).
Anyway it was not until this evening that I finally was able to draw some conclusions as I read my “Bloglines”…
The idea of SvD and a number of other newspapers is to emphasize the importance of freedom of speech and press. They wanted to let us know that if it was not for this freedom we would not be able to receive the information found in these, other papers (and other media). Censorship or outright threats on ones life could be the likely consequences if this above mentioned freedom was not part of our core values in a nation.
After having thought about that for some time I realized how great this sounds to us here in Sweden. In the article (which I recommend you to read because it was really good) some scaring examples were given of people who had become victims of political and other systems which exercised censorship and in many cases persecuted people who tried to address injustices, problems and other issues which might have spoken against those in power.
At the same time I am aware of the almost unnoticeable (at times) and yet very present demands to conformity which rule and reign in our so-called “free” country Sweden. The rights of freedom of speech and press are practiced as long as we conform to that which is the norm, as long as we are politically correct, our voices will be heard through the spoken and written word. If we don’t conform we are silenced, ignored or attacked.
In our nation we can persecute people through silence… we kill through attitudes, we quench lives through unspoken opinions and celebrate our so called victories when we have been able to remove yet another individual or group to the fringes of society!
Tough words? Maybe so! You might not agree, not at all, or just partly, but do you understand what I mean…? I am looking forward to your response (write in Swedish that’s totally ok!)
This is the Way I see it (until now)