"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Was Laestadius a Racist?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Was Laestadius a Racist?

Laestadius stated unequivocally that his own Lappish race was superior to Swedes and Finns. It is beyond ironic that his modern-day followers act as if their race ("white") is superior to all others. (If a Laestadian encountered the real, historical Jesus on the street, would he cross to the other side?)

I am appalled at the racism that is still prevalent in OALC circles.

Last year at a family event, I got up and left the room when a male relative began comparing the qualities of his African-American and Mexican subcontractors. I didn't want to hear whatever he was going to say, because I knew I would call down the wrath of God upon him and the evening would end in harsh words. I have not yet found a way to lovingly correct bigots.

Have you? Please share your experience.


  1. Some of the worst racism I've ever heard came from the Laestadian community. It is most saddening to see a little girl being _taught_ racism by her devout Laestadian father.

    At the same time, it should be realized that the Saami people were (are to some extent still are) looked down upon by their neighbors. Perhaps we could excuse Laestadius as being the Saami equivalent of the Black Power and Black is Beautiful activists.

    There's been some correlation between Laestadians growing up around people of other races and their not being so racist. Many Laestadians come from largely white communities. This environment leads to a great deal of ignorant racism. This ignorance and general cultural thickness is one thing that drove me away from the Laestadian community.

  2. Many Laestadians are taught to be prejudice to non Laestadians, so it should not surprise anyone that they would be prejudice to people of other races. How many people of color attend the OALC?

    Laestadius lived during a time that racism was more the norm than was not. The Sami people were told by the government to not play their music. Their music was suppose to come from the devil.
    The Samichildren were told to go to the Finns schools and told that their ways were inferior.

    As human beings we have gained knowledge and understanding. It is too bad that the N- words is even
    used. It shows the ignorance.

  3. How many people of color attend the OALC?

    In Finland about 87% is colored. Just try to guess the colour.

  4. Among the Pollari group, there are now quite a few adopted children who are Black, Latino, Native American, and Asian. Also some incidences of intermarriage with other ethnic groups. I think the more people are exposed to people of color and they become part of their family unit, the less likely they are to remain prejudiced. I remember one guy who used to tell a lot of jokes about black people and now he has a couple of black grandchildren, and my guess is he has ceased telling them.

  5. What is the Pollari group?

  6. The Pollari group is the Independent Apostolic Lutheran Church. Started by John Pollari in the 1920's?? However, their are several divisions of that group & I dont know what names those ones go by.

  7. I agree. Racism is common in the Laestadian sects.

  8. Can you cite a source for Laestadius' statement that the Lappish race was superior to the Swedes and Finns?

  9. If I remember correctly, LLL declared Sami superiority in a written critique of the state church, quoted in the preface to "Fragments of Mythology." I'll try to find it and let you know.

  10. Here is some "Fragments of Mythology" to You:

    Only 37% of young Americans can find Iraq on a map—though U.S. troops have been there since 2003.
    6 in 10 young Americans don't speak a foreign language fluently.
    20% of young Americans think Sudan is in Asia. (It's the largest country in Africa.)
    48% of young Americans believe the majority population in India is Muslim. (It's Hindu—by a landslide.)
    Half of young Americans can't find New York on a map.