Norway going secular!

June 5, 2012 • 12:58 pm

Yay for the Norwegians! According to Canada’s National Post, all legislative hurdles have been cleared to remove Lutheranism as the official state religion. The change takes effect June 15:

“The Evangelical Lutheran religion will no longer be the state’s official religion,” parliament wrote in a statement, pointing out that the church would receive public financing “on par with other religious and belief-based societies.”

The bad news:

It stressed though that “the Norwegian Church will continue to have a special basis in the constitution and the state will be built upon ‘our Christian and humanistic heritage’.”

The good news:

The Norwegian Church, which supported the change, counts nearly four million of Norway’s 4.7 million inhabitants as members. . .

The current requirement for at least half of all government ministers to be members of the Church will also be scrapped, and even the minister of church affairs will no longer need to belong to the church.

But the royal family will still be required to belong to the church. No Jewish King of Norway!

In honor of this positive move toward secularism, I’ll post a photo of one of the most awesome (and fluffy) cat breeds, the Norwegian Forest Cat:

h/t: Stephen

19 thoughts on “Norway going secular!

  1. I like this. Now the Norwegian Forest Cats can openly worship Ceiling Cat, instead of having to pretend to be Lutheran.

    They are stunning cats, but your arm will fall off from all the grooming.

  2. The Evangelical Lutheran religion will no longer be the state’s official religion

    At long last, a vindication of my ancestor Jón Arason, the last Roman Catholic Bishop (!) if Iceland, beheaded by the loathsome Lutherans.

  3. Norwegian forest cat is the prettiest cat breed there is and incidentally the cat breed I grew up with (I’m Norwegian ;)).

    Now to the real issue, this is only a small step in the right direction of course, but it’s a good one and 99% of the population supports it. They didn’t dare to go “all the way” this time around due to pressure from a tiny Christian party in the parliament (they wanted something ALL political parties would agree on). It takes five to eight years to change the constitution here, so we’ll have to wait a few years to hopefully see the next change (a full church-state separation).

  4. I saw one of those cats in the middle of winter climbing a wooden electrical pole. It seemed to move as if it were on level ground even though it was vertical. Oh, and of course more secularism is good news. For me, the bad news is that religious groups still get public funding for their religious activities.

  5. Finally.
    Although Norway has been secular for a long time, this is a wise step to make it official.
    My take is that most Norwegians have as much faith in a xian zombie superman as they have in mountain trolls, gnomes and other folklore. Jesus falls into the bag of “cosy ideas”, but when it comes down to it; Nah, not really something they really believe holds any truth.
    I cancelled my membership more than thirty years ago, and joined a humanist association to channel my “church-tax” to, rather than to the church of state.
    I remember having fun photocopying forms for leaving the church to fellow students in the 80’s. The forms were usually quickly thorn down by blissful xians. (The Xerox machine was busy.)
    I am very happy for Norway. I might move back and enjoy the freedom. Not much of that here in the Alabamian bible-belt 🙂
    Go Norway!

  6. I welcome my norwegian neighbors to the real world! Now the whole peninsula is as much officially secular, I dare say they adopted pretty much what Sweden enjoys already. Yes, no jewish king for Sweden either.

    Albeit they seem to have taken a larger step, I can’t remember any religious requirement for government. Good for them, and not what I expected having been told that religion has had a larger grip than here.

  7. Congratulations to Norway on both their new constitution and their fabulous cat! That is one fine feline.

  8. (Dane cowers as our Scandinavian neighbors overtake us in the secular fast-lane. We will be the first to force our church to marry homosexuals though. Won’t we? That counts for something, doesn’t it?)

    Congrats Norway! Now boldly take the last step and get totally rid of the church/religion soon!

  9. My family’s cat, Tipps, was a gift to us from another family whose cat had these strange, long-and-short-haired kittens. They never saw the father, but after we did some research, we are pretty sure there’s a Norwegian Forest Cat roaming around Maryland.

    Tipps is a wonderful cat, a bundle of personality that put our first two older, lazier cats on notice from day 1. 😀

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