A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
09-07-2012, 08:00 AM
A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
I know I'm probably not the first Norwegian to post here, but I haven't found any threads in my quick look around so I figured I'd make my first one.

I've always felt it was ironic with the way the US and Norway presents itself and how reality differs. The US was founded with a clear seperation between state and church while Norway, who has been christian since 1034 after the Battle of Stiklestad has a state religion! Or rather, had I should say. The 14th of May this year the lutheran protestant church was removed as the state church and there has been alot of debate about that, but I'll get to that later.

However, despite over 90% of the population being members of the church a whopping 96% said they didn't believe in a person god in the last survey. A personal god being some unified being with a personality and capable of cognitive thought, to seperate them from a general cosmic force that does something or another by its very nature. I am one of those 90% and one of the 96%. When I was young i was christened, when I got older I had my confirmation. However, exept happening in a church no one there had any religious convicition about doing it. It was tradition and we simply went along with it. My parents are not religious or at least not to my knowledge, they have never expressed an opinion either way. And why would then when it's such a none issue in our society? However, having known them my entire life one ought to have seen something if they believed in some deity.

I got my confirmation because everyone else was doing it and was an old tradition of stepping into manhood. There was a secular option with a humanist organization, but since none of my friends were doing that neither did I.

It gets weirder though. Last I checked we still had a blasphemy paragraf. A law making it illegal to spout blasphemy. However this law isn't enforced in any way. The last man to be accoused by this law was Arnulf Ă˜verland, for writing "Christianity, the 10th plague". He was found not guilty. It did however stop Life of Brian from being shown the first time, leading to protests and finally the film was allowed after gaining a cult status before being shown. It was proposed removed in 1999 but the proposition was denied in 2004.

To top it off i want I'd also like to mention that several priests and a few bishops have demanded to be allowed to wed gay couples! There was also alot of debate about this, and although gays have been allowed to "marry", just not use the word, in secular events this goes to show how our religious communities differ vastly.

I've been told time and time again by american friends that I live in a fairlytale country where the normal rules of the world does not apply, and for a long time I didn't believe them. There are problems in my country and I can read about them every day if I want to. After listening to the thinking atheist however I'm starting to see what they mean. The way family memebers act towards one another, though not unheard of in Norway, is just ridiculus! You'd get shunned by the community if they found out someone they knew acted like this. It's monsterous. Saying people get what they deserve when their child doesn't survive birth is....you get in the headline news for that in Norway and have fun with the entire country knowing you're a heartless cold monster who thinks a mother should ever have to hear that!

When I first stumbled upon the podcast I had no idea things were as bad as they seem. Sure I'd heard about the occasional cult, but those are in a vast vast minority so this really opened my eyes. Stories from normal families in what is, I assume, normal religions behaving like this is something I find deeply disturning.

If you ever visit Norway and take a trip along the west coast give a shout out and I'll show you around my tiny neck of the woods!


Last thing, which is where I'd really like input from people other then Norway. The main reason is I don't want a political debate, and in Norway that's what I'd get with words like nazi and communist being thrown around rather loosly. During a debate one man said we owed it to the "christian cultural inheritance" to preserve the church as state religion. I'd already tried to make my point several times, but this really made me angry and I had to rant.

I can't see what christianity has done that warrants special treatment, at least not in a good way! We had the dark ages! Several hundred years of scientific regression. I could be in a starship right now, acting all "Jean Luc Picard" as i cruise the galaxy! But no, instead I have wonderful histories about what people used to do in those days, which albeit sounds very much like God in the old testament isn't exactly productive for the human race. We've had xenofobia, sterilizing minorities from eastern europe(I kid you not) and the list goes on.

Or maybe I'm wrong, has christianity left anything worthwhile in our culture that can't easily be explained by humanism, the increase of education and the introduction of demcracy?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like sillinde's post
09-07-2012, 08:25 AM
RE: A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
You certainly make Norway sound magical...at least in terms of religion being a non-issue, yet it sounds like there is enough influence to be troublesome.

Welcome to TTA!

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Erxomai's post
09-07-2012, 08:41 AM
RE: A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
As an American who has been to Norway I can understand why people would see Norway that way. I think our culture glamorizes violence where Scandinavian countries do not. Every country has it's problems but at a quick glance from the outside Norway seems pretty sedate and picturesque. We rarely hear about Norway on the news except when something that can be exploited for ratings occurs.

As far as what has Christianity has done to deserve special treatment, that is a hard question. Personally I do not think the positives have off set the negatives. Living in a country where very religious people wear their contempt for others on their sleeve, I just see chruches as a potential tax windfall. I do not see a positive benefit to society, culture or science. It tries to control and retard all three. I do not see preserving any relgion as the role of any government or society. If the want thier buildings and ceremonies preserved they can pay for that on their own. Provided their customes do not cause harm to others either insode or outside their religion.

Welcome aboard hope you post more!

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes KidCharlemagne1962's post
09-07-2012, 09:10 AM
RE: A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
Thanks for the welcome!

And yes, wouldn't it be if only a small minority is religous? There seems to be tons of churches in the US that agree and disagree on just about every sentence in the bible, and of course it becomes an issie then!

We have a bible belt of sorts further south, but the amount of young people who are religious is exceedingly low. Alot of people from arab countries are or turn very religious when they come here, I think it's mostly to try to keep some of their culture when presented with the risk of loosing a major part of their identity. However second generation is largly not religious despite their parents.

KidCharles, where have you been? I hope you avoided Oslo, it's a horrible, ugly city!
And yes, I went to the US this easter and it was an eyeopener. We almost stopped saying we were norwegians because the only person they had heard about was Anders Breivik and often asked when he was being executed. Not that they sounded bloodlusty about it, just that it was the norm. Last persons we executed were traitors after WW2, we have no death penalty for anything else!

How are churches and such funded in the US by the way? I'm taking a stab in the dark and saying donations here? In Norway religious communities file for funds with the government and get a return based on members. They have to have donations as well to keep it all running, but while my money could go to doctors, medicine, college, roads! Things the community has payed for and I have enjoyed and wish to contribute to for the benefit of all. Instead I know a large amount is spent on churches and temples telling lies to gullible people.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like sillinde's post
09-07-2012, 09:24 AM (This post was last modified: 09-07-2012 09:33 AM by Erxomai.)
RE: A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
Everything I know about Norway comes from The Troll Hunter and Rare Exports: Christmas Tale. That's how it really is there, right?
Big Grin

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Erxomai's post
09-07-2012, 09:29 AM
RE: A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
(09-07-2012 09:10 AM)sillinde Wrote:  Thanks for the welcome!

And yes, wouldn't it be if only a small minority is religous? There seems to be tons of churches in the US that agree and disagree on just about every sentence in the bible, and of course it becomes an issie then!

We have a bible belt of sorts further south, but the amount of young people who are religious is exceedingly low. Alot of people from arab countries are or turn very religious when they come here, I think it's mostly to try to keep some of their culture when presented with the risk of loosing a major part of their identity. However second generation is largly not religious despite their parents.

KidCharles, where have you been? I hope you avoided Oslo, it's a horrible, ugly city!
And yes, I went to the US this easter and it was an eyeopener. We almost stopped saying we were norwegians because the only person they had heard about was Anders Breivik and often asked when he was being executed. Not that they sounded bloodlusty about it, just that it was the norm. Last persons we executed were traitors after WW2, we have no death penalty for anything else!

How are churches and such funded in the US by the way? I'm taking a stab in the dark and saying donations here? In Norway religious communities file for funds with the government and get a return based on members. They have to have donations as well to keep it all running, but while my money could go to doctors, medicine, college, roads! Things the community has payed for and I have enjoyed and wish to contribute to for the benefit of all. Instead I know a large amount is spent on churches and temples telling lies to gullible people.



I apologize for my fellow Americans and their rather scant knowledge of you country Smile This 24 hour news cycle. coupled with the average American' aversion to overseas travel does not make for a very informed citizenry. I am against the death penalty but in Brevik' case you have to give people a pass for asking. Depending on what state you live in (or if the crime is federal) Brevik may or may not have faced the death penalty.

I went from Oslo to Bergen. I do not know anyone who lives in Norway otherwise I would have wanted to spend time with them well outside the tourist areas. Oslo was not very exciting but was far from horrible.

Churches here have to get money from the flock but of course it is all tax free. Their income and property are free of taxes. I'm not an attorney, but I do niot think there are any circumstances where a church could legally apply for funds from the governent to run their operation.

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes KidCharlemagne1962's post
09-07-2012, 09:41 AM
RE: A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
Erxomai, I haven't seen Rare Exports, but the troll hunter? Yes, totally like that. The movie is actually filmed very close to where I live. Best part is that the prime minister took time off to do the 5 second scetch at ath end.

KidCharle, I would be astounded if many americans knew much about Norway. You have cities with more people then my country! I visited Las Vegas and San Diego, fantastic places and wonderful people! Did open my eyes a bit and me and my friends would often comment that only the crazy people actually got any air time and the normal, sane people were just left to their lives and thus unkown to us!

Bergen is nice, about 2-3 hours drive away from I live. Which is...here:
http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photo...897855.jpg

I think that's more a Norwegian thing. Americans seemed to reach the same goal as us in alot of ways, you just went about it differently. We usually tax and the government redistributes it while you donate and do charity work to a much larger degree, but then again it's much more viable for you because of the amount of people.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes sillinde's post
09-07-2012, 09:46 AM
RE: A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
My bad. I think Rare Exports is actually a Finnish movie about Santa Claus being an evil monster. http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1401143/

Oh, but there is also Norwegian Ninja which is pretty awesome! Smile

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Erxomai's post
09-07-2012, 09:51 AM
RE: A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
Ahhh, that one! Yeah, finnish I think.

Wait, how do you know about these movies? But if you want more, try Dead Snow (nazi zombies) and maybe Max Manus (world war 2 movie)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like sillinde's post
09-07-2012, 09:54 AM
RE: A short perspective and question, from a Norwegian
I've heard of Dead Snow from this forum, but haven't seen it yet. Sounds good!

Rare Exports was recommended by someone here. The others I just stumbled upon and enjoyed.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: