"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: February 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Laestadian Communion

I've had a request for a thread on Holy Communion as practiced in Laestadian churches. Who serves? Who is eligible? What is used for bread and wine? How do the Laestadian churches differ from each other in honoring this sacrament?

Monday, February 09, 2009

"I'm a Finnish guy . . . "

By googling "Laestadian," I discovered a new blog called Trying to Live Free (hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) that was started last December, apparently by a Finnish guy seeking pen pals. His first post:
I´m a Finnish guy. My English skills are limited. My backround is SRK (in America LLC).I want to share experiences with others, who have left the LLC or other Laestadian brances.I haven´t lose my faith, and I often notise myself think like laestadians. I have visited in America 5 times in my life. I know the culture and love America.

I´d like to get American friends more, despite in witch Laestadian branch.
Go visit his blog and say terve! Unfortunately I can't seem to post a link, so you'll have to google it.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Forbidden Fruit

Seems there is a new Swedish-Finnish film called "Forbidden Fruit" that features a Laestadian theme, or perhaps more accurately, an ex-Laestadian theme. I wonder if the film is based on a book, and whether it is woefully exaggerated. Of course what seems plausible in the film may depend on the how much one knows about Laestadianism. As many of you have no doubt experienced, non-Laestadians tend to disbelieve the tenets of the religion, as if those ideas belong to an earlier century and couldn't possibly be embraced by modern, 21st century people. Heh. Little do they know!

I look forward to hearing reviews from our European readers. Meanwhile, here is Variety magazine's write-up.

Two 18-year-olds from apostolic Lutheran families wind up sampling "Forbidden Fruit" in Finnish director Dome Karukoski's ("Home of the Dark Butterflies") melodramatic coming-of-ager. Offering a superficial look at the strict fundamentalist beliefs of his country's 110,000-strong Laestadian community, a sect that takes the Bible literally and prohibits contraceptives, television, alcohol, rhythmic dancing and premarital sex, pic is always watchable but seldom entirely plausible or emotionally satisfying. A domestic theatrical release is slated for mid-February; fests and tube constitute best bets for export.

Sassy brunette Maria (Amanda Pilke) leaves her repressive home in Northern Ostrobothnia to experience the pleasures of the flesh in Helsinki. She figures she can always repent and be welcomed back to the fold ("All your sins forgiven in the name and blood of Christ") per Laestadian liturgy. When community elders dispatch Maria's prissy blonde best friend Raakel (Marjut Maristo) to save her from eternal damnation, they fail to consider Raakel's own vulnerabilities. Thesping throughout tends toward the histrionic. Tuomo Hutri's fine widescreen camerawork does a better job depicting the capital's worldly temptations than Aleksi Bardy's script. Costumes and makeup sometimes feel at odds with the story.

I had to laugh at that last comment. I don't know how 18-year old Laestadian girls dress in Ostrobothnia, but a reviewer would find the attire of most OALC girls QUITE at odds with religious modesty.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Where Do Finns Come From?

My cousin sent me this fascinating tip regarding Finnish origins. Now I'm eager to get my DNA tested, just to find out what it can tell me. Have you done that or pondered it?

Here's an excerpt. Read more by clicking on the title.


Not long ago, cytogenetic experts stirred up a controversy with their "ground-breaking" findings on the origins of the Finnish and Sami peoples. Cytogenetics is by no means a new tool in bioanthropological research, however. As early as the 1960s and '70s, Finnish researchers made the significant discovery that one quarter of the Finns' genetic stock is Siberian, and three quarters is European in origin. The Samis, however, are of different genetic stock: a mixture of distinctly western, but also eastern elements. If we examine the genetic links between the peoples of Europe, the Samis form a separate group unto themselves, and other Uralic peoples, too have a distinctive genetic profile.