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Why Should America Fight for Wokeness In Europe?

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The Senate is gearing up for a vote on whether or not the United States will accept Finland and Sweden’s bid to enter the NATO military alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Set aside the fact that Russia seems not to have any territorial ambitions in Scandinavia, much less the capability to take it if it did. The onus is on every Republican in the House and Senate to explain to the American people why more woke European countries deserve the American security guarantees that NATO’s Article 5 provision grants, including our nuclear arsenal.

Last Monday, the House voted on a resolution in support of Finland and Sweden’s bid to join NATO. One hundred and seventy-six Republicans joined 218 Democrats to approve the resolution by a vote of 394 to 18.

The 18 no votes all came from Republican representatives: Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), Ben Cline (Va.), Michael Cloud (Texas), Warren Davidson (Ohio), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Bob Good (Va.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Mary Miller (Ill.), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Chip Roy (Texas), and Jefferson Van Drew (N.J.).

Seventeen other Republicans and two Democrats did not vote on the resolution.

The morning after the July 18 vote to approve the resolution, Rep. Bishop took to Twitter to express his disappointment in the House for not considering the matter more seriously. “Expanding NATO to the border of Russia is a serious matter, and the House has not given it careful and deliberate consideration,” Bishop tweeted. “Article 5 of the NATO charter commits America’s sons and daughters to all-out war, in perpetuity, to defend Finland and Sweden.… The House debated the resolution supporting membership for less than 1 hour, without any committee hearings or markup. Is that the kind of deliberation this issue warrants?”

Bishop’s July 19 thread continued:

Finland shares a 1,000-mile border with Russia.  Why is NATO membership for Finland and Sweden necessary now, but not at any point in the Cold War?  What do we get for the mutual war guarantee?  Do we need or expect Finland and Sweden to defend us?

“Finland and Sweden are putting their interests first in trying to join NATO, and I don’t blame them for that. But I’m here to represent Americans, not Europeans, and I voted NO on this America Last resolution,” Bishop concluded. 

The Senate seems just as eager as the House to expand NATO. Before NATO went forward with inviting Finland and Sweden to join the alliance on June 29, a little more than a month after the two Scandinavian nations applied for NATO membership, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution by voice vote that called on NATO to quickly accept the pair’s applications on June 9.

The day after the House vote, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the accession of the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden. Only one senator on the 22-member committee, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, did not vote yes. Paul asked to be marked present. The committee is now in the process of drafting a report that pairs with the resolution of ratification and protocols and will be sent to the Senate floor for a vote later this week. 

Betting money says there will be more than the two-thirds required to give the United States’ approval to NATO expansion into Finland and Sweden. 

But Bishop is right. American politicians may have forgotten, but they ultimately have to answer to their voters. Each of the 176 Republicans in the House, and who knows how many more in the Senate, must be forced to answer this question: Why should America’s blood and treasure be used to defend European wokeness?

In April 2021, three separate charges of incitement against a minority group were brought against Finnish M.P. Päivi Räsänen by Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen. The charges stemmed from tweets Räsänen posted back in June 2019 against the state’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland decision to cosponsor the Helsinki LGBT Pride parade. 

Räsänen’s tweets triggered a two-year investigation. Police questioned Räsänen for nearly four hours, and quizzed her on Paul’s epistle to the Romans, which she cited (Romans 1:24-27) in an Instagram post to justify her stance that homosexuality is against Biblical teaching. Investigators determined that Räsänen had not committed a crime, so Toiviainen decided to reopen the investigation, resulting in the criminal charges that were considered by the Helsinki District Court.

On the first day of Räsänen’s trial, Jan. 24, 2022, the court reviewed various passages from the Bible and assumed an authority over the Bible’s teachings on sexuality that would make the pope blush. Gay marriage had only been legalized in Finland in 2017, but already the state was determining whether or not LGBT rights necessitated the suppression of traditional Christian values, or at least their replacement with more liberal alternatives. 

The court found Räsänen not guilty on March 30, but prosecutors are in the process of appealing the decision.

Sweden has gone woke, too. Wokeism started gaining momentum in Sweden during the 2015 Syrian refugee crisis. The Scandinavian nation of about ten and a half million was among Europe’s highest refugee and migrant recipients in per capita terms.

Malcom Kyeyune, a columnist for Compact magazine based in Sweden, wrote about Sweden’s woke revolution in UnHerd. “The death of the Syrian boy Alan Kurdi, and the spread of an image of his body washed ashore on a Turkish beach,” Kyeyune wrote, “helped light a humanitarian fire in Swedish society. This in turn caused increasing polarisation and anger directed at the selfish or ‘backsliding’ Swedes who took a different position on refugees. They were too racist, too set in their ways, or too self-interested to heed the humanitarian clarion call.”

He continued: 

The tumultuousness of Sweden during these revolutionary years comes down to the refugee issue. The now familiar elements of a social panic that became a part of everyday life during those years, such as the public shunning of people over political disagreements, the doublespeak engaged in in order to avoid ending up as targets of social abuse, and the suppression of recent history in favour of constructing a sort of political ‘Year Zero’ were all explained away as stemming from an overabundance of humanitarian enthusiasm.

While Kyeyune argues that the woke revolution slowed as the problems with high-level migration became more apparent to the average Swede, it seems more likely the woke revolutionaries changed their focus to issues more in vogue: LGBT rights.

As the frenzy over Syrian refugees settled down in 2017, the Church of Sweden, Europe’s largest Lutheran denomination and former state church, boasted about changes implemented by its board to remove gendered references to the Father, substituting “God” for “Lord” and “He.”

Two years later, the Church of Sweden created a “survival guide for Christian queer kids.” The brochure is littered with heresies. Jesus Christ is described as “queer” because he “questioned the norms of the time” and felt love for “both men and women.” Mary is described as a girl who “dare[d] to break traditional gender norms in a patriarchal society.” It also suggests that Joseph may have been a transvestite.

Then the Church of Sweden published a letter, titled “Personal Letter to You Who are Trans,” on the Västerås diocese’s official website, signed by numerous church officials:

We write to you from a church that is also trans. A church is made up of people. People are different. We have confirmees, employees, churchwardens, elected representatives, non-profits, and other parishioners who define themselves as trans people. The church also consists of trans people. Therefore, the church could be described as trans.

Furthermore, in December of 2018, one of the Church of Sweden’s parishes tweeted that climate-change activist Greta Thunberg was a successor of Jesus Christ. “Announcement! Jesus of Nazareth has now appointed one of his successors, Greta Thunberg”, the Church of Limhamn tweeted on December 1, 2018.

It seems the “conservative” Republican strategy is to put the West under our nuclear umbrella while wokeness destroys ita civilization from within. Adding Finland and Sweden to NATO ensures their ability to decide one day that their churches are gay, if not “trans.” It approves of prosecutors who go on criminal witch hunts for the few who still believe in traditional morality defined by marriage and the family, and courts to assume religious interpretive authority. It green-lights the Green New Deal or whatever newfangled solution European Greens have for the sun. (If the Russians don’t kill us, then it certainly will!)

The old, tired line is that Republicans are just like Democrats, only 10 years behind. But now, whether it’s contraception, gay marriage, or foreign alliances, Republicans are trying to lead from the front.

The American Conservative

The American Conservative is a bimonthly print and daily digital magazine of measured, principled conservatism. We believe in ideas over ideology and principles over party.

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