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Former MP candidate: gays will ‘go to hell’

Tommy Dahlman, a pastor who was also parliamentary candidate for the centre-right Christian Democrats last year, has publicly said homosexuality is a sin. The party said it didn’t know about his views.

Former MP candidate: gays will 'go to hell'
Pastor and one-time Christian Democratic candidate Tommy Dahlman. Photo: tommydahlman.se

Dahlman, 49, joined 21 other Pentecostal pastors who penned a recent opinion article in the Christian newspaper Dagen, which condemned homosexuality as a sin, “based on what the Bible says.”

Those who are gay but do not choose celibacy will “miss out on heaven,” the article said.

When the GT newspaper asked Dahlman to clarify his views, he said gays “could be lost” after death.

“They won’t go to heaven,” he said. “They’ll go to hell.” 

According to him, the Bible is “not just a novel,” and there are “uncomfortable, difficult sides to Christianity.”

Dahlman is from Trollhättan, a city 75 km north of Gothenburg, was on the Christian Democrats’ list of candidates for Västra Götaland in last fall’s elections. He ended up near the top of the Christian Democrats’ candidate list, but is not currently serving in parliament. 

In a personal blog entry, Dahlman said that he was positively surprised by reaction to the opinion piece and that he had gotten a good deal of support.

However, the views expressed in the article are not shared by the Per Eckerdal, bishop of the Swedish Church in Gothenburg.

“If you look at the whole of the Bible and the bigger context, it is very hard to come to the interpretation that they do,” he told Swedish public radio.

The party platform of the Christian Democrats, the smallest political group in the Swedish parliament, says that no one should be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.

Urban Eklund, a spokesman for the party’s nominating committee that put forward Dahlman as a candidate at the end of 2013, said people who do not agree with the basic values of the Christian Democrats are not supposed to represent the party. 

“There was no one who knew that he had these kinds of views,” Eklund told GT. “To say as a political candidate that homosexuality is a sin should have disqualified him. But what he says as a private person is another thing. I don’t want to sit here and judge other people.”

Dahlman himself, now the newly appointed editor-in-chief of the Christian newspaper Inblick, seems to be enjoying the attention.

“The newspapers and the radio are calling. We have work to do,” he said on social media.  

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2022 SWEDISH ELECTION

Sweden’s right-wing parties agree to bring back Norlén as Speaker 

The four parties backing Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson as prime minister on Sunday announced that they had agreed to keep the current Speaker, Andreas Norlén in place, when the role is put to a vote as parliament opens on Monday.

Sweden's right-wing parties agree to bring back Norlén as Speaker 

The parties won a three-seat majority over the bloc led by the incumbent Social Democrats in Sweden’s general election on September 11th, and are currently in the middle of negotiating how they will form Sweden’s next government. 

Sweden’s parliament meets at 11am for the official installation of the 349 MPs for this mandate period. The votes for the Speaker and three Deputy Speakers are the first item on the agenda, after which the parties each select their parliamentary leaders and then vote on who should chair each of the parliamentary committees. 

READ ALSO: What happens next as parliament reopens? 

In a joint press release announcing the decision, the parties also agreed that the Sweden Democrats would be given eight of the 16 chairmanships the bloc will have of parliamentary committees in the next parliament, and that MPs for all four parties would back Julia Kronlid, the Sweden Democrats’ Second Deputy Leader, as the second deputy Speaker, serving under Norlén. 

In the press release, the parties said that Norlén had over the last four years shown that he has “the necessary personal qualities and qualifications which the role requires”. 

The decision to retain Norlén, who presided over the 134 days of talks and parliamentary votes that led to the January Agreement in 2019, was praised by Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson. 

Norlén, she said in a statement, had “managed his responsibilities well over the past four years and been a good representative of Sweden’s Riksdag.” 

The decision to appoint Kronlid was opposed by both the Left Party and the Green Party, who said that she supported tightening abortion legislation, and did not believe in evolution.

The Green Party’s joint leader Märta Stenevi said that her party “did not have confidence in Julia Kronlid”, pointing to an interview she gave in 2014 when she said she did not believe that humans were descended from apes.

The party has proposed its finance spokesperson Janine Alm Ericson as a rival candidate. 

The Left Party said it was planning to vote for the Centre Party’s candidate for the post second deputy Speaker in the hope of blocking Kronlid as a candidate.

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