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Faroese Controversy – Yet Again

Once again my country made the international headlines for something negative. The prime minister of Iceland, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, is visiting the Faroe Islands and naturally brought her wife Jónína Leósdóttir along. Our own prime minister, Kaj Leo Johannesen, invited all of the Faroese party leaders to an official banquet to welcome the Icelandic prime minister and her wife to our country.

Jenis av Rana – who has been the subject of my rants before – refused, as the only party leader, as one out of three party leaders, one of which had a prior engagement and one who followed av Rana’s lead like a good doggy, to attend the banquet on the grounds that he is an incurable bigot. If you ask me the reaction should have been ‘good riddance’ (really now, if the hateful, bigoted extremists aren’t shunning you, you’re doing something wrong) but any Icelander who was hurt on behalf of Iceland has my complete understanding and full sympathy.

This might not even have been such a big deal if Mr. av Rana had simply stayed away. However, he just had to comment that he would never dream of attending such a banquet because it’s unnatural and against the holy writ. Really, Jenis? Having meals with people is against your code of conduct? How do you even eat?

In any case I considered writing some profound open letter to Iceland and their beautiful prime minister, expounding upon the past relationship between Iceland and the Faroes, underlining that we are not all theocratic bigots, and detailing Jenis av Rana’s hypocrisy in Jenis not behaving very Jesus-like (he should curse more fig-trees to death, if you ask me!)

However, one of our more agreeable Christian specimens, Arni Zachariassen, has already done a much better job than I ever could. This sort of thing also means a lot more when it is coming from other Christians.  We atheists always speak out against fundamentalist mentality but it seems moderate Christians are happy to let it grow and grow until it reaches critical mass and explodes. Only then will they speak out. The world needs more Arni Zachariassens speaking out against the Jenis av Ranas.

Meanwhile, I was interviewed on behalf of the Faroese Atheist Society (Gudloysi) in the Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið. The interview is in Icelandic so I would be very grateful for a translation (it should be noted that I am not the chairman of Gudloysi, I’m the secretary). The interviewer wanted to know how many people on the Faroes agree with Jenis av Rana’s hateful views. I assured him that Jenis av Rana and his disgusting party are in the minority. I must admit though that I do not know this with absolute certainty as no surveys have ever been done. However, the Centreparty is luckily a very small party. Of course, that does not preclude there being bigots in other parties but it should enable us to make a reasonable estimate.

I just took a look at Vágaportalurin (the news-outlet that ignited this flame) and it would seem Jenis av Rana is receiving fan-mail from Iceland. If you want to take a look there are a few English letters among the messages. It is sad that even such an open-minded country as Iceland must suffer its crazies.

What do you think of all this? Feel free to leave a comment or weigh in on the discussion in the forum.

– Heini Reinert

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9 Responses to “Faroese Controversy – Yet Again”

  1. mcmasterp says:

    I’m glad to see there are people willing to denounce such hateful ideas early on.

  2. Thanks for the comment and your support, mcmasterp. One of the reasons I made this blogpost is because the issue has become international with some human rights group in the USA calling us Faroese the Nordic Taliban. Also Jenis said in the Danish newspaper Politiken that he has the people on his side. I wanted to make it clear that he has no such thing.

  3. well written and it depicts the frustrations of faroese atheists very well.. we are being bullied by loud bigots.

  4. We should not be surprised at any of this. Theists have a long history of hypocrisy and hateful actions. Ignoring the law, good sense and human decency have been their methods for centuries. Why should they stop now?

  5. There will always be bigots so long as they have a “holy”” book with which to justify their bigotry. Sad.

  6. Tiibiypm says:

    harry potter drawing,

  7. David Gold says:

    Greetings, Heini,

    I am the editor of “Equal Human Rights and Civil Rights for All Persons, No Matter Their Gender, No Matter Their Sexual Orientation: A Newsletter” (www.humciv.com), which carries a report on the fight for equal rights for members of the sexual minorities in the Faroe Islands (“Report 34 – The Nordic countries, with emphasis on the Faroe Islands, Finland, and Greenland”).

    You write that the heads of two Faroese parties refused to attend the dinner in honor of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and Jónína Leósdóttir. Can you give me the name of the second head (besides Jenis Kristian av Rana) and the name of his party? Thank you.

    • DisThoughts says:

      Greetings David,
      You actually managed to find my half-dead website, eh? I’m impressed.

      I had actually forgotten the answer to your question. Luckily Arni Zachariassen helped me remember.

      There were three noshows for the dinner in honour of the visit by Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and Jónína Leósdóttir:

      1. Jenis av Rana, leader of the Centre Party (Miðflokkurin),
      2. Kári P. Højgaard, leader of the Self-Government Party (Sjálvstýrisflokkurin), and
      3. Jørgen Niclasen, then-leader of the People’s Party (Fólkaflokkurin)

      Jørgen Niclasen didn’t attend due to a previous engagement with other important people.

      Jenis av Rana refused to attend, said some homophobic things, but then said his real reason for non-attendance was that he never attended any dinners. He does that a lot: he panders to his fundamentalist constituents while pre-emptively muddying the waters to deserved criticism.

      I can’t find any good source for Kári P. Høgaard’s reasons for not attending and there are conflicting reports. Personally, I think I recall him saying something in support of Jenis av Rana’s non-attendance. Unfortunately all news-article links are long dead since, and other people say he was otherwise occupied at the time of the dinner. He’s not as fundamentalist as Jenis av Rana, but he has done and said some unpleasantly Christian-conservative things before, so him not showing in protest isn’t completely uncharacteristic, but I’m unable to confirm it, so take it for what you will.

      Kind regards,
      Heini

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