Congressman: Christian Conservatives Are My ‘Heroes’
Even members of Congress need heroes — and those who stand for religious liberty, biological reality, and the right of Christians to have a voice in their own government recently earned the praise of numerous congressmen.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and two other members of the House Freedom Caucus saluted a Finnish Member of Parliament who is on trial for quoting the Bible, an athlete who had to change in front of a member of the opposite sex, a teenager who had body parts removed by the transgender industry as a minor, and a father who protested his daughter’s sexual assault by a skirt-wearing male in a high school restroom.
Roy began by hailing Dr. Päivi Räsänen, a Member of Parliament in Finland currently facing her second trial for hate speech and allegedly committing “crimes against humanity” by posting Bible verses online. In 2019, the MP and grandmother of 10 learned the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland planned to partner with an LGBTQ march. In response, Räsänen — who is a member of the church as well as an MP with the Christian Democrats Party — posted a picture of Romans 1:24-27. She went on trial, but the Helsinki District Court unanimously dismissed the charges last March 30, saying the government violated her right to freedom of expression contained in Section 12 of the Finnish Constitution.
“When you venture into hate crimes, you are now empowering the government to determine what is in your head, and now they’re going to prosecute you for thoughts ... and in this case, in your religious views,” said Roy. “That is something we have to stand athwart.”
But since the Finnish constitution lacks any protection against double jeopardy, just days later then-Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen charged Räsänen with “agitation against a minority” under the nation’s law against “War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.” In addition to the message on X (known as Twitter before its rebranding by Elon Musk), prosecutors cited a 2004 pamphlet she wrote on the Bible’s teachings on sexuality, titled “Male and Female He Created Them,” which is subtitled, “Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity.”
Authorities also prosecuted Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola for publishing her scriptural exegesis. Her second, two-day trial began on August 31. “It was absurd and it was crazy that I had to defend the biblical truths and my interpretation about the Bible,” she told CBN News. “It was like in medieval times.” The MP now awaits her verdict from the Finnish Court of Appeal. If she again prevails, the government can continue appealing.
“Let me just say, as a positive, Päivi is a hero. She’s not backing down; she’s standing up,” said Roy. “She gives you hope. She gives you a belief that we can stand up and stand athwart that kind of tyranny.”
“I’m a pro-American nationalist. I want to make sure our country is strong. But I care about a Christian being persecuted across the ocean,” Roy told the first full panel of the 2023 Pray Vote Stand Summit, “The House Freedom Caucus: Congress and America’s Future,” on Friday. The event included Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and Mary Miller (R-Ill.) and was moderated by former Rep. Jody Hice, who now serves as president of the group that sponsored the event, FRC Action.
Roy went on to say those who stand up against modern zeitgeist at great personal expense deserve praise.
“Riley Gaines in this country gives you hope that you can stand up against tyranny,” said Roy. Riley Gaines addressed the 2023 PVSS later that morning. Despite having to compete against a formerly low-ranked male swimmer William “Lia” Thomas after changing in front of him, Gaines graduated the University of Kentucky as a 12-time NCAA All-American, a five-time SEC champion, and she holds the SEC record for the 200 Butterfly. She recently launched the Riley Gaines Center at the Leadership Institute.
Rep. Roy went on to hail “Chloe Cole, the young woman who has testified in front of our committee, and she’s detransitioning after having the forced transition upon her. She’s a hero.”
Cole testified that she experienced depression as a young teenager before becoming convinced by reading material online that she was a boy wrongly assigned female at birth. Rather than explore her mental health, doctors rushed the minor through multiple stages of transgender procedures culminating in a double mastectomy, which drew almost instant regret. She again identifies as a female and is suing the doctors who herded her into a life-changing surgery.
“Scott Smith in Loudoun County is a hero for standing up against the school board and the tyrants in Virginia,” Roy continued. Smith had been regularly cited by MSNBC and CNN as an example of the potential violence school board members faced at the hands of outraged parents, until The Daily Wire broke his story: A skirt-wearing male sexually assaulted and sodomized his daughter in a Virginia high school bathroom shortly before the Loudoun County schools planned to institute a gender-neutral restroom policy. The then-superintendent denied any sexual assault had taken place in his district.
Roy, a longtime champion of freedom of expression, introduced a bill Tuesday to repeal the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which he brands an “unconstitutional federal takeover of state police powers.” Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) plans to file complementary legislation in the Senate. Although the Clinton-era legislation allegedly applies equally to those protesting against abortion facilities and those who attack pro-life pregnancy centers, federal prosecutors have almost exclusively arrested pro-life advocates. Among them is a 87-year-old Holocaust survivor Eva Edl, who sprang into action against what she calls “the death camps of America.” Roy said the Constitution must be respected, including its separation of powers, and justice must be equally enforced.
Finally, Rep. Roy added one more hero to his list: Christian conservatives making their voices heard in Washington, and before a Higher Authority.
“You have to keep standing on that wall,” he said. “And we’ll stand right there alongside you.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.