Hello, my name is Felicia, and I’m from Sweden! I thought I’d get that out of the way first, since I think it’s my defining trait as the newest Skepchick blogger. Well, that, and being a professional beekeeper. I currently have the luxury of working as an administrator for the Swedish Humanist Youth Organisation, Unga Humanister. When I’m not doing exciting things like sorting papers and learning bookkeeping, I try to promote skepticism as a natural and necessary part of a humanistic worldview.
I have been active as a humanist for a long time, and sort of sidled into the skeptic movement last year as a result of listening to Skeptikerpodden. This led to a series of events (which may or may not have been facilitated by a lot of partying) that eventually culminated in the birth of SkepchickSE: me and five other women are launching a Swedish sister site to Skepchick today! So if you understand Swedish, head on over to the new blog! Those of you who don’t speak Swedish are very welcome to join us anyway, as long as you take automated translations with a pinch of salt.
So what’s up in Sweden anyway? Widely known as one of the most secularised* countries in the world, things are still far from perfect. The state separated from the church over ten years ago but they don’t seem to have completely broken up yet. Seven million Swedes (out of nine in total) are still members of the Church of Sweden and pay a sizeable portion of their income to them without even realising, as it’s collected through the Swedish Tax Agency. Then of course there is the problem of having a paragraph in our constitution that says our monarch has to be of the “true evangelical faith” according to the Augsburg Confession.
On the whole, however, the Swedish population is very non-religious. But this doesn’t mean it’s a rational country. They prefer to say “Well, I don’t believe in God, exactly, but I believe in something…” This “something” often turns out to be astrology, healing, energies, crystals, angels or what have you. So us Swedish skeptics have plenty of work to do! And judging by the way our pub meets tend to result in afterparties that end no earlier than seven in the morning, we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.
I am absolutely thrilled to join the Skepchick team and hope I’ll be able to provide a unique perspective or at least something vaguely interesting! If there is anything in particular you would like to see me write about, please don’t hesitate to speak up.
*) I initially wrote sexularised, not sure what that says about me…