Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Established Religion in Denmark

From the Freedom House survey Freedom in the World, a discussion of religious freedom in Denmark:
Freedom of worship is guaranteed to all. However, the Evangelical Lutheran Church is subsidized by the government as the official state religion. The faith is taught in public schools, although students may withdraw from religious classes with parental consent. While 95 percent of the population belongs to the Church, membership and church attendance are on the decline, and Danes are widely disgruntled with the Church’s basic teachings. In June, Pastor Thorkild Grosboell of Taarbeck was suspended for publicly stating that he does not believe in God, but the suspension was lifted in July.
In Denmark, Lutheran ministers are hired and fired by the government. Happily, in the U.S. we don’t have established religion, so individual denominations get to decide for themselves whether they mind clergy that don’t believe in God.

A fair number seem not to.

But when the Boy Scouts can be persecuted for wanting only Scoutmasters who abide by Christian teaching about sexuality, we aren’t that far from this sort of European decadence.

Consider Denmark just another “blue state.”


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