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On Tuesday 12 October it was time to open the Swedish parliamentary session for the year. It was a particular opening day, since Sweden had had an election and a new party had been elected to the parliament, the Sweden Democrats.

The opening ceremony started in the church with a sermon held by the bishop Eva Brunne, who, at the end of her sermon, made the majority of the SD-members leave the church, something that has never happened before. The bishop seized the opportunity to stage a deliberate provocation. In the form of a sermon she delivered a politically left-wing manifesto barely disguised in religion. She could have chosen to emphasize understanding, collaboration and good will instead of the abysmal hate and distrustfulness that have appeared during the election campaign. But behind a mask of false goodness she chose to incite to further political hate. The controversial part of the sermon was:

Yesterday many thousands of people gathered in Stockholm and in other parts of the country in order to state their opinion. Call out their loathing for that which makes difference between people. The racism that says that you are not worth as much as I am. You shall not have the same rights as I have. You are not worthy of a life in freedom. And this because of just one thing – that we happen to have been born in different parts of our world. This is not worthy a democracy like ours to make difference between people. It is not possible for believing people to make difference between people. It is not worthy people to make difference between people. It is not enough to give some hundred people the mandate to represent us. Here we have a joint mission. And if anyone fall silent or is silenced in the fight for human dignity, we must see to it that even the stones shout. We do it assisted by God.

Why was this an offence? The day before, Monday 11 October, there was a manifestation in Stockholm against the SD in which the bishop participated. It was arranged by several extreme left-wing groups among others the AFA (Antifa), who for years have harassed and even tried to murder SD members. In this demonstration, there were manifestations against the SD that were not on the level, among others according to the Liberal Party MP Johan Persson, who had witnessed the manifestation and said that it was “disgusting” and that there were placards that were absolutely beneath contempt.

The left-wing party leader Lars Ohly was one of the main speakers. He delivered a speech in which he said that “the Sweden Democrats must leave the country”. The shouting

Bishop Brunne

participants conveyed similar messages in choir. Eggs were thrown at policemen. The security police forbade the SD members to go out during the demonstration, since the atmosphere was judged to be too threatening and dangerous. The bishop also participated. She vindicated that she was there for just 20 minutes and that she did not observe anything negative.

To pronounce the first phrase above was thus a mean way of insulting the SD PMs. To say that “stones must shout” is a biblical way of sanctioning violence (stone-throwing) at SD voters. A crosier does not automatically entail any particular understanding of politics, or even of morality out of the ordinary. That is what bishop Eva Brunne now have proved.

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