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'Being gay is a sin': Swedish Salvation Army

'Being gay is a sin': Swedish Salvation Army

Published: 09 May 2011 06:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 May 2011 06:58 GMT+02:00

An undercover journalist from Swedish TV4’s Kalla Fakta (‘Cold Facts’) investigative news programme used a hidden camera to record his conversation with a leader from one of the country’s Salvation Army (Frälsningsarmén) chapters.

“The Salvation Army’s basic position is that homosexual sex is a sin. A man shouldn’t sleep with a man in the way he sleeps with a woman,” the chapter leader told the TV4 reporter in a programme broadcast on Sunday evening.

Another chapter leader asked God to help free the reporter from his homosexuality.

In an email to TV4, Salvation Army representatives said the exchange was likely due to “a few personal views from a few chapter leaders”.

In subsequent email messages, Kalla Fakta pressed the Salvation Army to explain why the Junior Soldier’s Promise lesson book includes passages saying that children and young people should learn that homosexuality is wrong.

The Salvation Army responded that the material is “outdated in its entirety and is in the process of being reviewed and updated”.

According to Kalla Fakta, the Salvation Army developed an ethics document in 1996 which established that people who live as homosexuals can’t be soldiers in the Salvation Army.

The document was changed this year and no longer includes the text about homosexuality.

Christian Democrat Stefan Attefall, the government minister responsible for deciding which faith communities in Sweden receive grants from the state, doesn’t see the incident as cause to re-examine the government’s support of the Salvation Army.

“All religious communities undoubtedly have opinions and live style requirements that you and I perhaps don’t agree with. But to review communities’ theological views, yeah, well, then we can’t have any support at all,” said Attefall.

In a statement on its website, the Salvation Army accused TV4 of "doing investigative journalism a serious disservice", arguing that the report didn't reveal anything that wasn't already known.

Had reporters asked directly whether or not people who "live a homosexual lifestyle" are allowed to be in the Salvation Army, they would have been told no because we interpret the Bible, which defines sex as something that should happen in a marriage and is something between a man and a woman".

The Salvation Army added, however, that the organisation welcomes everyone to receive help or be a member, regardless of their lifestyle.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:04 May 9, 2011 by truthworthy
Why is this news? of course homosexuality is unnatural in the minds of people who have common sense and sin in the minds of people of religion.

It is not a disease or a born with phenomena. It is just a filth choice made by some humans. This is my opinion and you got to respect it, eller hur?
08:07 May 9, 2011 by Rick Methven
@truthworthy "This is my opinion and you got to respect it, eller hur? "

Why should I respect the opinion of a bigoted idiot eller hur?
08:42 May 9, 2011 by Grippen
Rick - you feel so pathetic without any arguments to support your position, that you have to start calling people names, eller hur?
08:50 May 9, 2011 by byke
Some people are just hell bent on sh*t stiring (thers is a joke within that joke)

Either way .(again) .... If a religion is founded on such, i cant see how society can try and alienate such groups for their beliefes as the believers have very little chance by those in ulimate authority to change it.
08:52 May 9, 2011 by RobinHood
Most members of the Salvation Army are elderly, conservative and (unlike Trustworthy I suspect) quite kind and nice.

Elderly conservatives (especialy devout ones) tend to find homosexuality a bit of a challenge to their traditional values, and I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with undercover journalists from Kalla Fakta doing a cloak and dagger job on nice old ladies and gentlemen to reveal that ......... elderly conservatives have a problem with homosexuality.

Over the past 30 years, one by one the world's institutions have accepted homosexuality. It is not at all surpising at all that the Salvation Army should be one of the last to do so. Though it does sound like they are getting there now, perhaps that's the story Kalla Fakta missed.
09:11 May 9, 2011 by Pont-y-garreg
Doesn't the journalist know the difference between "being gay" and "homosexual sex"?

To use a headline with a quote implies that these were the words actually used.

As it stands the headline is a gross misrepresentation of what, according to the article, the SA actually said and should therefore be changed.

Again, another non-news story with flabby journalism.
09:35 May 9, 2011 by eppie
@grippen

Rick Methven is right though.

Nowadays, when every moron can type his stupid comments on some blog we are supposed to 'respect' everybody'.

First question; why? What did truthworthy do to be respected?

Judging by his comment nothing.

I mean who does he think he is? A football player? They are also always asking for respect.

3rd question; you are not somebody with a degree in any of the sciences right? If you were you would not write down this nonsense. What is not natural about homosexuality? It occurs in all species.

Second question: since when are we asking for respect? Respect is something you get or don't get.....if you have to ask for it, you sure will not get it.
10:07 May 9, 2011 by krow
@eppie. What are you talking about? Respect the views of the salvation army period.
11:32 May 9, 2011 by jamesblish
Comes as no surprise, the Salvation Army is a religious organization and gay hatred is right there in the actual religion so why should they really denounce that? I prefer my christians hating gays and doing whatever it says in ye olde book of fairy tales because then at least they're being true christians and not these modern-day ones that try and cherry pick all the things that are still good and lose the embarrassing sh*t. Don't get me wrong, I'm as progressive and liberal as they come but if you're going to be a true christian, go all in.
11:49 May 9, 2011 by kaotik
Wow! What a bunch of hypocrites! Gay, straight, bi, who cares. Narrow minded religious types that would rather inflict harm on people who stray outside of the norm than focus on bigger issues. It's a shame that people can be so narrow minded.
11:53 May 9, 2011 by Swedesmith
@ Robinhood: I agree completely.
11:57 May 9, 2011 by Norrlands Turk
Two things:

One, when you make such a statement on behalf of an institution (especially one like the Salvation Army) you're looking for a problem and you will probably lose more than you gain.

Two, personally you may think that homosexuality is unnatural, and its just not right, but you have the respect homosexuals, regardless how gay they are.
12:07 May 9, 2011 by technoviking
@ grippen

Actually the burden of proof is on you to prove that your magic book gives you the authority to persecute gays, not the other way around.

Fortunately, you can't.

Truthworthy's magic book tells him it's okay to beat his wife. Is that valid, too?

Or is your magic book more powerful than his magic book?
12:29 May 9, 2011 by dstergiou
@technoviking

Although i am as anti-religion as it goes, i fail to see the "persecution" here. What i read is that the Salvation Army thinks that being gay is a sin. I didn't read anything about "putting gays in jail", "pass a law to make it illegal", or anything else that can be categorised under persecution

Obvious fact 1: Religious groups tend to be conservative

Obvious fact 2: It doesn't matter what religious groups say

It is anybody's right to be gay, and my right to not approve of "gayness". As long as i don't take any offensive actions to show my disapproval, everything is peachy!
12:38 May 9, 2011 by jamesblish
Look, there's something we need to remember here. Regardless of whether the Salvation Army does good work or not, if they have "a right" to think being gay is wrong etc. it is a fact that they receive public money for their operation and unless they want to lose that money, they'd better act up and stop saying things like these. Of course, they could always decline the public funding and go on doing whatever they want. The choice is theirs.
13:47 May 9, 2011 by Roy E
The Salvation Army does a tremendous amount good work and helps a lot of people in need.

It's fascinating to observe the gay's myopic self-obsessed refusal to see beyond their single minded pursuit of their self-indulgences and proclivities and how they prioritize this above all else. It's a pretty messed up lens through which to view the world.
13:55 May 9, 2011 by technoviking
@ dstergiou

Openly calling people derogatory names and teaching children they are morally bad people as though they are some sort of depraved criminals because they have a different sexual orientation is certainly persecution. A minor form, obviously, but persecution just the same.

If you don't like gays, feel free to avoid them.

But the magic book doesn't give you the right to define them as inferior or create policies to exclude them. Where they put their junk is their business not yours.
14:00 May 9, 2011 by McChatter
This backpeddling by the Sally Ammy. Could it possibly have anything to do with the one million kronor per year they get from the State?
14:05 May 9, 2011 by truthworthy
No one is talking about prosecuting or oppressing gays. I just presented my opinion towards this thing. Arguing that other species have gays doesn't make homosexuality natural. animals are animals. Humans are different, they have logic and reasoning - which does not permit us to accept this as natural except few of us who embrace their desires more than morality.

That said, I have nothing against gays as people who deserve to live among us. but I reject to recognize homosexuality as natural or comparable to lawful and natural way of human relationship between Man and Women.
14:16 May 9, 2011 by Syftfel
Of all the societal problems in Sweden today, this has to be the least important! The Salvation Army is entitled to its opinion, but clearly there must be more pressing issues at hand. Ignore this story. Ignore it also when muslims start howling about being gay is a sin.
14:35 May 9, 2011 by byke
"Homosexual men are more likely to have had cancer than heterosexual men, a US study has suggested."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13295300
14:37 May 9, 2011 by Roy E
@Syftfel

From the many articles and photos they post, its quite reasonable to conclude that The Local has has a gay activist staff.

They will find it very difficult to do what you ask because, as I have mentioned earlier, this is the lens through which they view the world - and it's a telephoto lens at that in both its magnification and its greatly reduced field of view.
14:52 May 9, 2011 by johnny1939
I am indeed surprised by the attitude of the Salvation Army. I really respect their work w/ the poor and downtrodden. I personally like all good people and I do not give a hoot what they do sexually and I would have hoped that the salvation Army would feel the same but the good they do still remains and nobody is perfect. This is of course no good for the kettles but at least they are honest.
14:59 May 9, 2011 by GLO
The whole question is the act is a sin. The Bible is clear... Now, if you believe in God this is settled fact, or you dont believe. That is called free will, every person must decide! You cant change the word of God, you can choose to live your life in Faith or not.
15:42 May 9, 2011 by dstergiou
@technoviking

I disagree. Stating your opinion, in a civilised manned is not persecution. You are speaking of a "magic book" (i am guessing the bible) which means that you are expressing your anti-religion opinion (and i am with you on this one)

The fact that you don't like religion does not mean that you will go out of your house tomorrow and start killing christians. In the same fashion, the fact that i say "i don't like gays" does not mean that i will go out tomorrow to hunt anyone down

There is no issue of inferiority here. In the same way that i don't like gays, you might not like fat people. That's all.
16:33 May 9, 2011 by Grippen
@ technoviking

I only wrote that calling people derogatory names once one runs out of arguments is pathetic.

Have no idea what magic book you are talking about: myself I am not christian, I don't even believe in Harry Potter.

If you see imaginary magic books, no one else can see - go visit your psychiatrist.
16:58 May 9, 2011 by jamesblish
@Roy E

"The Salvation Army does a tremendous amount good work and helps a lot of people in need."

- Sure they do, but it doesn't make them immune to criticism. If they were blatant nazis, would that be okay too? The bottom line is, if you receive public funding to have to adhere to the standards of the state that feeds you. If you don't want to do that, you're very welcome to decline the funding.

No one is denying your right to think that gays are wrong, evil or just plain stupid. But you cannot express that publically and expect everyone to be quiet about it. And you certainly can't include it in your official documents and guidelines.

@truthworthy

"Arguing that other species have gays doesn't make homosexuality natural. Animals are animals. Humans are different, they have logic and reasoning - which does not permit us to accept this as natural except few of us who embrace their desires more than morality."

- Humans aren't really that different, we're just more intelligent. There's plenty of fairly intelligent others animals as well. Whether being gay is natural or not is a meaningless discussion. The fact that it exists makes it natural. How can 15 or so percent of the population be born with something without that something being "natural" Furthermore, you're expressing your own morality and it's not the only one.

"That said, I have nothing against gays as people who deserve to live among us. but I reject to recognize homosexuality as natural or comparable to lawful and natural way of human relationship between Man and Women."

- In other words, you don't want them killed but they're not supposed to have any of the basic rights you do? Because that would…. well… what would happen if they did?
17:00 May 9, 2011 by 3rdjerseyman
What we are seeing is the progression from tolerance, to acceptance to mandatory approval.

What reasonable case is there for any anti-homosexual public policy?

We have a consensus that there is none, and that consensus is almost universal amongst western nations.

But, Homosexual activists demand more than that. They demand total and explicit erasure of any opinion that regards homosexual behavior as abberant, sinful or "disgusting".

It seems thay are not conversant with the writings of George Orwell, because what the demand is a totalitarian level of thought control.

Children, of course, in their own predictibly perverse way, have responded to the indoctrination by labeling anything they dislike- even the most minor faus pas of style in dress or musical taste- as being "Gay". As in, those are really "Gay" shoes, etc..

How shall we punish these miscreants?
17:29 May 9, 2011 by Grippen
@ jamesblish

Are you really trying to tell that 15% of population is homosexual? If yes, can you refer to any _scientific_ research?

As far as I know, even in Sweden, given the outrageous level of homopropaganda, only ~1.5% of men ever had sexual realations with other men. There was an article here on TheLocal about that.
17:37 May 9, 2011 by prince T
if this discussion is about racism, we would have told the reporter to get a life. If it was against islam we will claim people are entitled to thier own view. Now that it is gay we are in trouble. Why all this discriminations.

It is wrong of Christians to judge or condemn homosexuals

It is wrong to call them derogatory names

it is wrong not to allow homosexuals in the church

NOTHING IS WRONG with INTERPRETING WHAT BIBLE SAYS THAT HOMOSEXUALISM IS A SIN

Because I think smoking is wrong does not mean i hate people who smoke.

Why must Salvation Army be tagged bigots because their bible does not agree with homosexual idealogy
17:50 May 9, 2011 by cowboykodp
@Prince T

Because this is year 2011. Not 1311.

Time to ditch all religions and everyone will get along just fine.
18:55 May 9, 2011 by cookiemaster
wigger is a sinn:p haaaahhhaaaaaahahahaha
19:44 May 9, 2011 by Enjoyourlife
Homosexuality is wrong.
20:40 May 9, 2011 by calebian22
No where in this article, did it sound like the Salvation Army members were hateful towards the "gay" journalist. They stated their beliefs and their desire to help him from a Biblical perspective. How is this bigoted? They sounded like they were calm, accepting and loving of a sinner. Just like they are called to do by Jesus.
20:46 May 9, 2011 by Swedesmith
Once, while I was in San Francisco, I started choking and a gay guy wanted to perfom the Heinie-lick Maneuver on me. Yikes!
21:45 May 9, 2011 by jamesblish
"if this discussion is about racism, we would have told the reporter to get a life. If it was against islam we will claim people are entitled to their own view. Now that it is gay we are in trouble. Why all this discriminations."

- If representatives for an organization like this had been racist, it would probably have an even bigger deal.

"It is wrong of Christians to judge or condemn homosexuals"

- Condemning other people who've done neither you nor anyone else any har is always wrong.

"It is wrong to call them derogatory names"

- Yes again.

"it is wrong not to allow homosexuals in the church"

- I would agree with that. However, I don't see how they can control that, unless they know a lot about each and every person that comes in.

"NOTHING IS WRONG with INTERPRETING WHAT BIBLE SAYS THAT HOMOSEXUALISM IS A SIN"

- No, not necessarily. However, if you receive 7-figure funding from the state, you can't be a bigoted organization or the money will go.

"Why must Salvation Army be tagged bigots because their bible does not agree with homosexual idealogy"

- Again, the problem arises when you take millions from the tax payers. Stop the funding and you can do whatever you want, within reason.
21:56 May 9, 2011 by adigunbabatunde@yahoo.com
"NOTHING IS WRONG with INTERPRETING WHAT BIBLE SAYS THAT HOMOSEXUALISM IS A SIN"

If the SA feels sorry about her beliefs then the could as well forget about the bible, God and start social work.

The state is also not being fair, and I dont know why the "gay" people are finding it difficult to accept their freedom without intruding to others.

The truth is if you are a christian you wouldn't have to get stuck between.
22:16 May 9, 2011 by GLO
Right on....
22:24 May 9, 2011 by HYBRED
@Swedesmith

What was it that you were choking on that the gay guy wanted to help you with?
22:28 May 9, 2011 by zircon
Wonderful when your children are born. The wealthy dreams you get are immeasurable and you pamper your son or daughter without restraint. And then when at the age of thirteen you learn to see that all this time you have harboured a criminal or homosexual. Then what do you do? Strip them naked unto the streets? (Paradoxically they arrive one good day at the Salvation Army for food or shelter, compassion and mercy...) This was once upon a time your semen, when of course looking back in (anger or despair). Humanity is not a joke and certainly not for the mindless. It's called, e.g. in Sweden, country of all social engineering, social responsibility. While other races, especially blacks (that includes me) were merely mortals?
23:05 May 9, 2011 by jamesblish
@Grippen

"Are you really trying to tell that 15% of population is homosexual? If yes, can you refer to any _scientific_ research?"

- Well, it depends on whether you count only homosexuals, or all so called HBTQ (homo, bi, trans, queer) people. According to the RFSL, between 5 and 10 percent of all people are gay (homo). They also state that (my translation) "A common problem when trying to estimate the percentage of homosexuals is that not all homosexuals have actual sexual experience. This is especially true for gay women. There are also people who engage in sex with same-sex partners without considering themselves homosexual". So you can be gay without having had sex with another man or woman.

"As far as I know, even in Sweden, given the outrageous level of homopropaganda, only ~1.5% of men ever had sexual realations with other men."

- People don't choose their sexual orientation based on "propaganda", they don't choose it at all. Living in a country that condemns homosexuality doesn't make you non-gay, but it might scare you enough as to not be open about it if that's what you mean. A good country is one where you can be open about your orientation regardless of what it might be.

Btw, what's with the hangup on a**es, everyone? Not all gay couples have anal intercourse.
23:10 May 9, 2011 by diegoveggie
being a sinner is gay, rather
23:56 May 9, 2011 by engagebrain
The bible is also pretty tough on those who eat shell fish.

Why had has the Salvation Army gone soft on this particular sin ?
02:54 May 10, 2011 by Da Goat
My reading of this article revealed 100% Salvation army bashing it was blatant discriminatory entrapment by kalla facta I am not surprised by the response they got and would be upset if that was different so NO news there !

the back-pedalling by salvation army makes me sad though nobody should be bullied into backing down there beliefs despite what bigoted misatheists say.

I am really aggrieved by gay Nazis if they want to be homo-sexual do so quietly and without fuss. (start rant)

The salvation army does a wonderful job at caring for everybody regardless of anything, this extremely cheap and nasty stunt makes me angry!

If I was the army's spokes person I would not have backed down I would have simply said "Eff off morons", But they are nice people so would not!

if you are a Gay or a Gay sympathiser go and bother the Muslims for Allah's sake and leave the nice kind respectful Christians alone, just because they will not report you for being discriminatory imbeciles does not mean it is fair to target them with stupid pranks like this one!

Remember you are sharing their country with them, if you don't like their values go to Asia.

shame on you idiotic journalists get a life!

(end rant)

ps if you can't get a life go and look for" the way, the life, and the truth"
05:45 May 10, 2011 by Rebel
Do any Muslim organizations get funds from the Swedish regime? If so, has anyone asks these people how they feel about homosexuality?
06:31 May 10, 2011 by volvoman9
To those of you who claim to know that this is just willful lust and therefore a sin I would ask one simple question. Who would chose the difficult path? Why would one choose to be the target of such hatred and bigotry?

You are most certainly born this way. It can't be a choice. However, be honest,it's really just the butt sex and "BJ's" . Most men and lots of women have no problem with Lesbian sex.

It has been my experience that those who cry the loudest in protest are generally the least secure about their own sexuality. As for religion... well let's look at their track record here shall we?
07:47 May 10, 2011 by Essingen
Very sensible comments from Robinhood.
12:54 May 10, 2011 by Jes
Oh dear ! Sometimes , this place looks like a congregation of intellectual dwarfs .

Luckily , one in a while one gets to read a few sensible comments from the likes of @distergiou.

Of course , every religion uses the term "SIN " to refer to that which violates theological or moral Law. In a religious context therefore , it means that it is possible to abhor sin without hating the " sinner " .

As somebody remarks , there is nothing to indicate that the Salvation Army is out to persecute gay people ; it is just telling the reporter what anybody above 10 already knows .

I wonder if the financial help would be withdrawn if Salvation Army said that it is adultary is a "SIN"

It is so clear that the problem is not the Salvation Army , but those who have develloped the tendency to ambush , intimidate , threaten and black-mail anybody that questions things they don.not understand or agree with.
14:51 May 10, 2011 by cogito
Rebel #45:

Yes to your first question.

No to your second.
16:16 May 10, 2011 by prince T
We usually like to pick on xtians. We all know dat Mohamedians want death 4 gays. They get funding all d time. All M East förening forbid it & dey get funding anyway. Dey dont hide dat fact. Bible hate sins but Loves sinners. I am disappointed dat SA is backin down 4 d gay maffia.
17:56 May 10, 2011 by jamesblish
I guess that's a fair point, about sins and sinners. However, we still have to have a clear set of rules for this. Should we publically fund ANY religious organizations? If so, which ones and what can we demand from them, to what extent can they "hide behind their faith!? I appreciate a serious intellectual conversation and I'm man enough to admit it's a tricky issue. But we still need a set of rules for future reference. What do you think? If we publically fund things like the Salvation Army, surely there must be a point at which we say stop. They can't go ahead and say just anything about anyone. So the question is when do we draw the line? Any ideas?
20:10 May 10, 2011 by dstergiou
@jamesblish

I believe that the state (or any state) should fund religious organisations to the extend that they fund other (non-religious) organisations

For example, if the state is to support a gallery (painting exhibition) with x SEK, then it should fund religious organisations with x SEK as well. The argument: Both are non-essential "functions" targeted at enriching one's mental state

Obviously there are a lot of arguments to be made if religion actually provides this, but who am i to judge? I wouldn't set foot at the opera, but i am quite certain that other people enjoy it

Bottom line, i am atheist and i don't "like" religion. On the other hand, i don't have an issue with anyone being religious (provided that this does not make my life worst - in any way). Let them be, let them state their opinions and let them receive the same amount of money that other non-essential "services / functions" receive
20:30 May 10, 2011 by Jes
@jamesblish ,

a question for you : would you recommend that no religionor organisation should recieve ANY public money funding if it says that having sex with someone who is not wife or husband is a SIN ?
21:49 May 10, 2011 by jamesblish
Well, to be fair, that's not all that the Salvation Army did in this case. If you actually watch the documentary (have you?), they go further than that, talking about how gay people are not even allowed to work within the organization etc. So it's NOT a question of just having a private, religious opinion.

To answer your question though - I don't know. I think the choice is to either cut all funding to religious organizations such as this, or to create a set of guidelines on how to act and when. Problem is, where do you draw the line between what they can and can't say and can and can't do?
23:35 May 10, 2011 by Da Goat
Good question you ask there jamesblish. what about if someone has drawn their line is it ethical to bully them to change their line?

the SA have a clear cut line that they are happy with.

I don't think this issue is worthy of being a guideline for funding in this case, imagine the number of people who would starve or freeze or be beaten If the salvation army had to close or downsize their humanitarian work due to funding cuts.

I don't think ones sexual orientation is fit guidelines for any decision and if someone decides they don't want certain things then respect that, we should not be bullying or threatening them or persecuting or publicly humiliating them!

everyone is free to live as they wish even God respects this freedom of choice!

Another thing the bible does not say homosexuality is a sin anywhere it just says God does not like it personally! (abomination) He finds it disgusting.

I find anyone putting rats in their mouth an abomination but that may upset people in Africa and Asia who love to eat them, will they be offended by this, will they bully me to eat them?
23:59 May 10, 2011 by jamesblish
I don't think criticizing someone for doign what they did (again, I hope you're actually watched the docu, this is not only a question of considering homosexuality a sin, they went further than that) would count as bullying. The state or anyone else who gives money to an organization is like an advertiser on tv. If they don't like what they see for some reason, they'll take it up with the network and it's up to them to listen or not. If they don't, the advertiser has every right to cease funding them.
06:21 May 11, 2011 by JoeSwede
Please respect free people choosing to worship God.
14:20 May 11, 2011 by philster61
"Please respect free people choosing to worship God."

If people wish worship an invisible untestable unprovable deity, why should they be entitled to get respect? This is where society completely has it wrong. Religion gets a free ride and privileges it does not deserve in any way shape or form whatsoever.........Religion has to be the most hypocritical system ever to infest humanity. What it says and what it does are two completely different things.....

The bible is not at all proof of any deity or God. And has been the source of misery during its entire existence.....One only has to look towards the extremist countries like Saudi Arabia to see the damage a religious book does to a society.

We live in a world where thanks to science, we have the standard of living we can enjoy and make the most of the only life we know we have .

There is no God.

Religion poisons everything
17:25 May 11, 2011 by Jes
Jamesblish , at least you are honest when you admit that you don`t know the answer to my question .

You asked me if I had seen the documentary . My response is that I don`t have to . 2 reasons why :

1) I can read the article and what the Local reports . I see nothing to indicate the persecution you are talking about .

2) I have always known that all religions talk about SIN and SINNERS . Salvation Army is not the only religion or organisation that "regulates" sex ual activities . You go to prison for exchiang money for sex with a consenting adult . In other words , buying sex is a "Social SIN " in some countries , and the World has not come to end because of that type of "instutionized persecution"

If anybody must be called a bully , it is the media and you people who seem to have problems with contextualization .

Personally , I have a lot of contempt for Jahovas . So , why should I weep if they told me that I cannot work in their Church ? Is the World still so small for some people ?
17:37 May 11, 2011 by Rick Methven
@jes "My response is that I don`t have to . 2 reasons why :

1) I can read the article and what the Local reports . I see nothing to indicate the persecution you are talking about"

What you really mean is:

1. that it would be no use watching the program because you do not understand Swedish

2. And anyway you are a homophobe and will never look at anything that might change your mind.
22:27 May 11, 2011 by samwise
why don't they lower the tax rates for people who don't endorse gay sex.

they don't consider your values when they take money from you, but they do when they use your tax dollars. smart, eh?

I say 1) lower taxes, 2) strip off government subsidies to all charities, 3) give tax credit for charitable donations. in other words, stop socializing charity. It contaminates people's hearts.
00:49 May 12, 2011 by jamesblish
@Jes

So you never for a second thought that The Local might have left out a piece of information or two in their short article based on a documentary that was about AN HOUR long? Well, I can tell you that the SA did indeed discriminate in much more tangible ways than just mentioning the word sin. So no, it's not just a matter of having a faith-based opinion. Boom, you lose. Sorry. Sleep tight in the cave tonight.
12:22 May 12, 2011 by Jes
Rick Methven .

you are making a lot os assumptions . A typical symptom of ignorence .

How can you tell that I don´t understand Swedish ? How chldish will argument become I I also resorted to accusing homosexuals of this and that "phobia " ?

For Gods sake , if you can`t take a reasonable intellectual debate , why don´t you take up fishing for another hoby ?

Helo jamesblish , I said that I don´t have to a documentary to have an opinion of this particular subject . I may even have watched it ; but that is not the point , because I happen to know how TV journalism works .

In this case , "Kalla Fakta " went out to look for something controversial for their TV show . The Local picked up the story and come out with a "shocking headline " for the likes of you . It would either be illogical or professionally sloppy for them to " have left out a piece of information " that would have exposed the sting target , i.e. Salvation Army , as a law breaker . ( It is against the law to persecute or discrinate anyone on grounds of race , sexual orientation etc is it not ? )

Because I don`t know for what reason the Local might have elected to "leave out" those hard pieces of evidence , I prefer confining my comments to what they have presented . To me , calling someone a SINNER is not discriminatory let alone bigotry .

But for your sake , I hope I am wrong .
13:30 May 12, 2011 by jamesblish
No they didn't go out looking for asomething controversial, they did a story on something they considered newsworthy, like they do EVERY WEEK and have done for 10+ years.

I know the reason The Local didn't write a word-by-word copy of the documentary, they're a frickin newspaper and it wasn't their story to begin with. You seriously expect a random piece in the paper to tell the whole story? Or maybe you prefer arguing on someone's behalf before you actually know what they did?

You can't backpedal at this point, claiming not to know. The issue here is that a christian organization is actively discriminating people, and in a much more tangible way than just "considering their sexual orientation a sin". That's a fact so that's what the argument is about, whether you want it or not. So defending their behavior in this case, writing it off as some sort of religious right, not only makes you lose the argument, it makes you look downright stupid.
14:05 May 12, 2011 by Rick Methven
@jes "calling someone a SINNER is not discriminatory let alone bigotry"

Again choosing what you write to justify your own bigoted viewpoint.

You conveniently (for you) left out WHY the SA called homosexuals a SINNER, just like you read only what you wanted to read about the whole story so that you can select exactly what you want to to justify your own pre-conceived ideas.

As for intellectual debate, my neighbours dog has more intellect that you display
14:48 May 12, 2011 by Jes
Let`s see who is downright stupid : What is "Kalla Fakta " ?

It is a TV show . The distiction lies in how it conducts its operations

. For 10+ years , Kalla Fakta has done its investigative / watchdog journailism on TV . Kalla Fakta especializes in waylaying its subjects after learning that the "target" of their "investigation will be caught on a hidden camera of miscophone saying or doing something controversial .

For a TV programme like Kalla Fakta , newsworthness is determinted in terms of controversy . Simple : there is no show if there is nothing unusaul to report . It takes a complete fool not to notice that the above article is all about the cnotrovercial things that Kalla Fakta managed to catch the Salvation Army saying or doing .

I mean , is it news that a conservative Church like the Salvation Army holds the positions it holds on some aspects of modern life ? Come oooooooooon !!!!!!!

Like wise , it takes a fool to think that the Salvation Army was caught saying something that any enlighted person did not know before that programme .

It also takes a fool to not realize that the Local like anyother news publication of its carribre intentionary designs its editorial ( read headlines ) as a bait to attract its readership ? Hang me if you want , but I will still repeat that every religion retains the theological right to prescribe what is SINFUL or not . It remains up the national laws to regulate if/ wether some of these "prescriptions" violet indivudual freedoms / rights or not .

If indeed the Salvation Army is suspected of discrimination , let the autholities take it to court . It seems to me that you have anough evidence to charge the hell out of them .

PS : Besides recognasing their unforms and buying their second items , I don`t know the real origins of the Salvation Army as a religion or what it stands for . And because I don`t , I can`t allow myself to be shocked or get excited if they don`t approve of the life that I live . That is why I do not understand why a homosexual person shoud care too much if he is called a Sinner by a small group of old people in ancient uniforms . Someone is stupid allright and it is not me !

Rick Methven , your uncouth language is noted ; But , may I ask why you spend so much time talking to someone who has less intellect than a dog ?
20:29 May 12, 2011 by jamesblish
"For 10+ years , Kalla Fakta has done its investigative / watchdog journailism on TV . Kalla Fakta especializes in waylaying its subjects after learning that the "target" of their "investigation will be caught on a hidden camera of miscophone saying or doing something controversial "

- No it doesn't, it's a pretty good investigative tv show that over the years have contributed a lot to the public debate. It's pretty common to "wallraff" with a hidden mic when you want to show the truth without exposing yourself. You really think they'd confess to that knowing they're on camera? Btw, it's not something they do all the time.

"For a TV programme like Kalla Fakta , newsworthness is determinted in terms of controversy"

- Maybe to a certain degree but that's definitely not the whole story. But controversy has to come from something. Finding out someone is actively discriminating someone else is not searching for controversy for controversy's sake, it's doing quality investigative journalism. Would you feel the same if they'd exposed a major corporation discriminates against black people for example?

"Simple : there is no show if there is nothing unusaul to report ."

- You should take that up with The Local but it has nothing to do with the debate in question. Which, and I repeat, is about tangible discrimination and you still have not provided any excuse for this. You keep dodging the question. The reality is you didn't bother to read any further and based your entire argument on the right of someone to consider someone else a sinner. Which was not nearly the whole story. Now, confronted with your own bad research and failure to argue, you try and steer the debate in another direction.

"I mean , is it news that a conservative Church like the Salvation Army holds the positions it holds on some aspects of modern life ?"

- Again, that's not the issue. And whether it's news or not has nothin to do with it.

"It also takes a fool to not realize that the Local like anyother news publication of its carribre intentionary designs its editoria as bait to attract its readership?"

- Yes, a bait to catch fish such as yourself.

"Hang me if you want , but I will still repeat that every religion retains the theological right to prescribe what is SINFUL or not ."

- Yeeeeeeees, there might be some truth to that, but I repeat for the hundreth time, that's not all they did and you know this now, so how do you feel about the further discrimination they are involved in? Answer this: Do you, as a christian, have a right to discriminate another human being in any way you see fit, and claim that it's your right as a christian to do so? Answer that question please.

"If indeed the Salvation Army is suspected of discrimination , let the autholities take it to court . "

- They're probably on the case as we speak.
03:39 May 13, 2011 by chancet
@ Jamesblish, etc., You all set up sad straw men in assuming condemning homosexual activity is wrong. Keep plowing the fields! Cut funding to Salvation Army? Quite the opposite. I propose to cut off funding to any secular institution that promotes gay lifestyles. Why should we overhaul our various systems, and have much dubious experimentation for this? My brother has been locked up at various times because of his schizophrenic tendencies that have made others uncomfortable because of things he's said that have been perceived as odd, despite his good nature and the fact that he'd never hurt a fly, much like many other schizophrenics that are grossly misunderstood. To me, homosexuality fits in a category of mental illness too, which makes the vast majority uncomfortable. It has been greatly let off the hook compared to other malformities. Treatable? Yes. Curable? Most studies thus far have pointed to no. I know no perfect parallel exists in which to frame homosexuality, but I prefer a mental illness allusion over a more lackluster, played-out one referring to gender, race, culture, etc. Continuing that thread, perhaps gays that make the greater population uneasy should be locked up too? Hyperbole, sure, in regards to most gays. Now consider this; I have gay and schizophrenic friends, and when they're not victim to their symptoms, we get along fine. But the ones I've met that have fallen to symptoms (closet 64-year old homosexual that befriended me for many years with hidden intent for most than friendship [I was 24 at the time], date-rape drugged my brother's drink to do "favours" for him, and of the hundreds of times I've hitchhiked, the only handful of bad encounters being with aggressive gay men, and schizophrenics, that likewise in a willing manner, do not take their medication and go cuckoo-crazy), I cannot sympathize with. I protest that I am not blinded by these personal experiences and am not prone to exhibit hatred because of them, but on the contrary, they've shed more light on the predicament. I find myself more and more supporting the idea of the traditional family as defined in the Bible. We don't give these Christians the credit they deserve, really (and I haven't even gotten into the quality charity work that they do!). Forgive immodesty in patting myself on the back.
11:05 May 13, 2011 by Jes
Jamesblish , I have already asnwered your question -several times !

I repeat : discriminating some one on grounds of race , gender , sexual orientation and even religion is illegal in Sweden . This law is for every one , churches includes . I support it .

However , I am of the view that it does not become "discrimintaion" because some one yells that it is .

I have said it again and again that it not discriminatory for a CHURCH , to cetegorize some sexual practices as "SINFUL" .

I can bet that not even the most ambitious prosecutor can hoppe to win such a case . I am sure that was a case like that and the Minister walked free .

You asked if I would feel the same if a corporation was caught discriminating balc people .

My response is that I don`t re-act to yells . Therefore , I would have to study and examine the circumstancies before I begin to form an opinion on wether someone had been discriminated against or not .

I am one of those people who don`t think that it is discriminatory of Sweden to say that one cannot be a member of the Royal Family , be a head of a political Party , or be elected as State Minister if one was Catholic , Salvation Army , Pentecostal , or muslim .

I would be saying is is silly if a black Catholic citizen of Sweden called this a "RACIST " law .

And yes , Kalla Fakta used a hidden camera and talked to a politician from an election hut ( stuga) - the man said a lot of racist things about immigrants . He resigned but was never prosecuted .
11:53 May 13, 2011 by jamesblish
@chancet

- There are no organizations that "promote" a gay lifestyle, there are a couple that fight for gay people's rights however. They're not striving to make people gay, just like MLK wasn't trying to dye white people black.

- This "vast majority" of people who get unconfortable around gays I really haven't noticed. Some of this country's most popular and loved actors and comedians are gays, and open about it.

- None of what you say has anything to do with the issue here. People are actively discriminating (i.e. excluding them from job positions etc.) against gays and that is unacceptable according to every rule and regulation we have in this country. As a result, you can't expect to keep receiving funding if you don't follow the rules that the funder has set up, in this case the state.

@Jes

repeat : discriminating some one on grounds of race , gender , sexual orientation and even religion is illegal in Sweden . This law is for every one , churches includes . I support it .

-Good, then we agree.

"However , I am of the view that it does not become "discrimintaion" because some one yells that it is ."

- Sure, that's true. But in this case it wasn't a case of yelling, it was much more than that so there's really nothing to argue here. They effed up and they effed up big and now they have to pay a price for that, one way or another. Got nothing to do with gays really, would've been the same no matter what group they'd discriminated.

"I am one of those people who don`t think that it is discriminatory of Sweden to say that one cannot be a member of the Royal Family , be a head of a political Party , or be elected as State Minister if one was Catholic , Salvation Army , Pentecostal , or muslim ."

- It is discrimination to say someone can't be a political leader if you do it for discriminatory reasons. If representatives for a party say that "no black people will ever lead this party" that is blatant discrimination at work and I think they'd have serious trouble getting re-elected.d Other than that, your analogy doesn't work, it's all about WHY a person is excluded, not that he/she IS.
12:29 May 13, 2011 by Jes
" no black person will ever lead this party " is the same as " no catholic person will ever lead this party or be a member of the Royal family of Sweden " ?

I now wait to see you condemining Sweden for having such a law .

Remember , there is NOTHING in this Law that says that being a Catholic degrades a persons capacity to lead .

Question : you now think that SA has to pay a price one way or another ?

Is that a threat like the ones we are used to hearing from extreme muslims ?
13:53 May 13, 2011 by tadchem
Even Jesus Himself faced temptation. Temptation tries to seduce the soul away from the Immortal and the Divine and towards the Mortal and the Mundane.

Jesus resisted it. There is no sin in being tempted. The sin is in the act of yielding to the temptation.

Christians are taught to emulate the Lord and resist temptation. God's Forgiveness is given in exchange for the sinner's repentance. Repentance is an oath that avows regret for having sinned, and promises to God to strive to resist all future temptation with all one's strength.
15:16 May 13, 2011 by louisrose
God has not changed, the Bible has not changed. Of course homosexuality is still a sin, like theft, and murder, and adultery, and lying, all things that that man continues to do.

We have harsh punishment for murder, but not for adultery or homosexuality, because it is the law of man we follow, not the law of God. This is alright because we are men and not God.

But to call good:evil and evil:good is foolish. Why appear foolish before those in the world who are wise? Even a wise person who practices homosexuality, knows better.
17:23 May 13, 2011 by zoroastrina
"Why should I respect the opinion of a bigoted idiot eller hur?"

I went to theSunday evening service of the Salvation Army to help my dear friend Wilhelm Schenker, born in 1931, mentally retarded and a Jewish peresecutee of the Nazi regime. I had to help the crippled Wilhelm get back to his bloody [c]atholic Todesanstalt, i.e. death asylum (my designation for the German rest "homes") where he was subjected to severe harassment by a sadistic and untrained orderly (Herr S., whose initial I interpreted as 'sadist' . These rotten asylums are all "total institutions" in the words of Erving Goffman. The Salvation Army majors, a man and his wife, were totally dedicated to helping social outcasts. The two new officers are reportedly very 'militaristic' (very strict) in their comportment, and they neglected Wilhelm. We once took our Finnish gay friend who is from Helsinki to the supper at the SA, and he was immediately spotted because he 'looks' gay. (I am, like my best and greatest friend, an atheist.) Wilhelm Schenker was a lifelong utter social outcast and when he died on 9 July 2009 the local 'Ordnungsamt' put his body, severely bloodstained due to enormous decubitus ulcers, into a cheap pine coffin without having the corpse washed and without a burial shroud (which even Osama Bin Laden got after his execution). I could not prevent this desecration of Wilhelm's corpse by dehumanized or all-too-human functionaries. Wilhel was given a pauper's burial in an unmarked grave in an untended part of the cemetery. "[g]od is dead; [g]od is a joke, a projection of human fear. [g]od and Satan---what's the difference between them? There is none.
17:51 May 13, 2011 by harthacanute
At least the Salvation Army here in Europe has a heart and were amongst the first to offer non-prejudicial support to the early (mostly homosexual) victims of the AIDS pandemic - a support which continues 30 years later.

Whilst the position of the SA on Homosexuality is unfortunate, it stands noticeably apart from the opinions being expressed by some here in that it isn't rooted in hate and doesn't advocate hatred of homosexuals. It really is a shame the same can't be said for some of the bigots commenting here.
19:04 May 13, 2011 by jamesblish
"Question : you now think that SA has to pay a price one way or another ?

Is that a threat like the ones we are used to hearing from extreme muslims ?"

- Uh... no? The price in this case is most likely a serious complaint from the state and/or having their fundings cut. If you act in such a way that your funders take offense, that's to be expected. Anyone who takes public money has got 2 basic choices: either you follow the laws and rules of the land and stop discriminating people, or you don't take the money. Pretty simple.
12:29 May 14, 2011 by Jes
And what LAW did Salvation Army break this time ?

Will the same "funders" take offence and cut funds if another Church says that it is a SIN for a maried man or woman to have sex outside the marriage ?

Here is a simpler suggestion : ban religion ; you will not only save money but also create a society that is free of "discrimination"
22:35 May 14, 2011 by mombassa
Right on Salvation Army!

Sodomites are disgusting and a danger to public health.

Read these homosexual health statistics with sources and if anyone has evidence to the contrary POST THEM!

Everyone Should Know These Statistics on Homosexuals

http://www.traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/a02rStatistcs.html
23:40 May 14, 2011 by jamesblish
"And what LAW did Salvation Army break this time ?"

- The law that says you can't discriminate people like they did.

"Will the same "funders" take offence and cut funds if another Church says that it is a SIN for a maried man or woman to have sex outside the marriage ?"

- Despite being told about ten times, you still refuse to accept that this is about actual discrimination, not "considering something a sin". It's getting a bit old at this point. Considering this or that a sin means nothing and is not illegal in any way and you know this by now. You also know that wasn't the issue. Are you going to continue down this path or do you have anything new to bring to the table?

"Here is a simpler suggestion : ban religion ; you will not only save money but also create a society that is free of "discrimination"

- Why? People have a right to believe whatever they want. They even have a right to considers others sinners. They don't, however, have a right to discriminate them, especially it they want public money.
15:49 May 15, 2011 by Jes
Jamesblish , read your words again ; you will see why I have to repeat things for you .

" People have to RIGHT to BELIEVE whatever they want --------------They even have the RIGHT to CONSIDER others SINNERS ----"

Read the HEADLINE : " being gay is a SIN " Swedish Salvation Army .---"

You may not realize it , but you have finally aquitted the SA , as you should . The Minister arrived there a week before you .

On the question of "discrimination " . any intelligent legal analysist can see that SA cannot be convicted on that charge . There is enough in the article to indicate that , as a Church , their doors are wide open to all sorts , of "sinners" including homosexuals . (At least , it is on the record that this is what they told "kalla fakta " )

It is illogical to welcome some one you discriminate .
22:48 May 15, 2011 by jamesblish
"Read the HEADLINE : " being gay is a SIN " Swedish Salvation Army .---""

- Yeah, that's what a headline to an article says, so what? It's not all they said. Again, watch it. Do not argue unless you know what happened. You are embarrassing yourself by basing your entire argument on a brief article in one newspaper.

"On the question of "discrimination " . any intelligent legal analysist can see that SA cannot be convicted on that charge . There is enough in the article to indicate that , as a Church , their doors are wide open to all sorts , of "sinners" including homosexuals"

- Again, this is a brief article about a 1 hour or so documentary. There is plenty in there to put the Salvation Army in deep, deep sh*t. I repeat for the ninetieth time: one of the things they said was that they ACTIVELY WORK TO NOT HIRE homosexuals. They are excluded, actively discriminated, NOT just considered sinners. Do you understand me? Do you finally understand me? How is it possibel to be as thick headed as you are or are you just trolling? Watch the documentary, hear them say the things they said. Don't go arguing for page after page without knowing what it is you're talking about.
14:56 May 16, 2011 by Jes
Jamesblish with pleasure , I am going to annoy you with yet more proof that you lost the argument the first minute you substituted intellect with crude emotions

The Swedish government minister responsible for deciding which faith communities in Sweden receive grants from the state whatched and studied the programme . He doesn't see the incident as cause to re-examine the government's support of the Salvation Army.

I QUOTE HIM : "All religious communities undoubtedly have opinions and live style requirements that you and I perhaps don't agree with. But to review communities' theological views, yeah, well, then we can't have any support at all," said Attefall.

Is that too hard for you to grasp ?

And HERE IS MORE from the Local Reporter who obviously saw the programme :

" In a statement on its website, the Salvation Army accused TV4 of "doing investigative journalism a serious disservice", arguing that the report didn't reveal anything that wasn't already known.

"Had reporters asked directly whether or not people who "live a homosexual lifestyle" are allowed to be in the Salvation Army, they would have been told NO because WE INTERPRET the BIBLE , which defines sex as something that should happen in a marriage and is something between a man and a woman". The Salvation Army added,

"... however, that the organisation welcomes everyone to receive help or be a member, regardless of their lif"

Feel free to translate the above in a language you understand better . You will be able to see that SA is not hiding . Clearly , they hold a position on the act of homosexuality . They also clearly state that their organisation WELCOMES E V E R Y O N E to recieve help or BE A MEMBER .

Personally , I not about to seek their help or become a member . I happen to have many options available to me . But I would be a damn fool if I claimed that they have lockem me out .

So , whats your problem ? Is your world so small ?
20:29 May 18, 2011 by jamesblish
@Jes

"The Swedish government minister responsible for deciding which faith communities in Sweden receive grants from the state whatched and studied the programme . He doesn't see the incident as cause to re-examine the government's support of the Salvation Army."

- I'm not surprised. The minister you're referring to is Stefan Attefall. He's a christian democrat (kd). KD is pro anything that has to do with Jesus. I'm not surprised he feels that way and the only reason KD have people in the government is because M don't have enough seat to form their own majority. They see KD as a liability, make no mistake about it. But they've no choice but to accept a few of their loonies as ministers, as payment for their electoral support. Btw, Attefall received a ton of criticism for that statement and will most likely be stripped of his responsibility over those types of issues.

Lemme ask you this: if I had an organization that did basically the same type of work that the SA does, but refused to accept any black or jewish people the way the SA refuses to accept homosexuals (not as members, you know what I mean), would that be okay? Would it be okay to do unto blacks and jews what the SA does to gays? Very simply question, yes or no.

""In a statement on its website, the Salvation Army accused TV4 of "doing investigative journalism a serious disservice", arguing that the report didn't reveal anything that wasn't already known."

- Yeah, I'm quite sure they did and so does everyone else who gets their reputation smashed. So? There's a lot of things that are already known. Doesn't mean they're irrelevant.

"Had reporters asked directly whether or not people who "live a homosexual lifestyle" are allowed to be in the Salvation Army, they would have been told NO because WE INTERPRET the BIBLE"

- Yeah, that's the way they do business, nothing new here. And that's why they keep running into problems when they take money from someone to whom that sort of discrimination is unacceptable. Again, stop taking money and you're home free. The fact that you do "good work" doesn't give you the right to discriminate people.

"Clearly , they hold a position on the act of homosexuality . They also clearly state that their organisation WELCOMES E V E R Y O N E to recieve help or BE A MEMBER ."

- Yeah, nothing new about that. The issue is not whether it's new information, the issue is whether it's acceptable or not.

"So , whats your problem ?"

- My problem is that my tax money goes towards an organization that discriminates people on grounds of sexual orientation. Regardless of why they do it, it is totally unacceptable.
06:07 May 29, 2011 by stanJames
We have the same type of bigots here in America. i revert to my youth when I see the salvation army pot looking for contributions.

a finger down the throat on a full stomach gives them what they deserve. Not once cent of taxpayer money for these jesus freaks.

who do not know, how , in english at least , the difference between the words LOVE and HATE
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