Both of them are tied to Iceland's growing pains, the trials and tribulations of a country that has gone from being a little-known poverty stricken outpost of Denmark in the North Atlantic with one of the most ethnically and religiously homogeneous populations in the world to being an independent player in international business and an ever-increasingly multi-cultural and polytheist society.
Issue the first is mainly due to a badly worded letter from the Ministry of Education regarding trips organized by elementary schools and the State Church for students about to be confirmed, which caused debate to re-erupted about the place of Iceland's State Church in the school system.
Some claimed the letter was the first step to driving the Church out of the schools.
But no, such appears not to be the case, as the Minister of Education recently explained, claiming that the wording of the letter had been twisted to serve the purpose of "fundamentalist atheists", a phrase so unbelievably fucking ridiculous that for a second after reading it I thought I had time-warped back to the Excited States of Hysteria.
The minister went on to say that Iceland is a society based on Christian values, and that the vast majority of people would oppose the Church being separated from the schools. This same minister recently decided that Icelandic kids should no longer be forced to learn Danish, as such was a anachronistic hang-over from the days when the Danes were Iceland's ruling power. Yet she defends the teaching of anachronistic mythology derived from a culture of desert dwelling semi-nomadic tribes from the Middle East dating back to the time when the Pharaohs ruled Egypt, David ruled Jerusalem, and Cesar ruled Rome as a necessity?
What the sweet leapfrogging Buddha Mohamed Christ kinda bullshit is she selling?
The powers that be have tried to make religious education more palatable to religious minorities here by including brief (and often very slanted) sections on Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism, Hinduism, and very grudgingly Ásatrú. The only religious belief they refuse to acknowledge is the lack thereof, i.e. Atheism. In fact, many of the questions posed in the classes and books give kids the impression that it is impossible to be a good person without some form of belief in the supernatural. Now they've gone a step further and labeled anyone who doesn't agree with them a "fundamentalist atheist".
Well, guess what, we can call them names too. How about "self-righteous bible thumping hypocritical pompous asses"?
Bad enough that every time I change my address they re-register me as a member of the National Church, giving my hard-earned money to a bunch of collar-wearing wankers who get paid twice what I get (not to mention free housing) for talking about one branch of Middle Eastern Mythology once a week and pushing malleable children's minds down the rabbit whole of cognitive dissonance.
Bad enough that these same wankers automatically register every foreigner who moves here as a member, regardless of their religion or lack thereof. Or the fact that they charge for weddings, funerals, and baptisms, despite the fact that they're already supported by the tax-payers (the same could be said of the RUV the state-run radio and TV network, who despite getting funds from the tax-payers and from "licence fees" for TVs, still sell millions of króna worth of ads...). Bad enough that they continue to drag their feet when it comes to bowing to the will of the VAST majority of the population and allowing same-sex couples to wed.
Now they get to call atheists names and make hints about a conspiring minority set to destroy the "Christian Values" of Iceland?
What fucking Christian values are those? They certainly have nothing to due with the whole camel and needle vs rich man and heaven deal, not to mention the whole "render unto Caesar" thing. The whole bit about not coveting thy neighbor's whatever is totally lost on the average Icelander who doesn't just covet, he goes into debt to something even better. Hell, the only thing keeping the banks over here from putting their logos on the churches is the fact that the churches are REALLY WELL FUNDED unlike the schools, care-homes, and welfare system. Otherwise I'm quite sure the Bishop would be all for something along the lines of "God! Brought to by Glitnir, Iceland's most popular bank!"
Talk about money-lenders in the temple...
And anyone who lives here knows damn well that the whole "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" thing is fucking null and void...
Alas, I have to go take care of the good Christian children of Iceland now...so I'll have to hold off on ranting about the ever-increasing rise of xenopohobia in this rainy island paradise...until next time my sweaty little minions, this is the Sma saying why go to church when you could do some good?