State of the Kingdom

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…

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  1. Welcome Felicia, it’s always great to have a different point of view. When I first read about the state connection to the church the fist thing I thought was church with benifits.

    BTW-Although my avatar features The Muppets, I do no condone the Swedish chef. well, maybe just a little. ;)

  2. 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.

    Seven in the morning??

    Damn, my local group really needs to step it up to keep pace with the Swedish contingent.

    Screw it. Maybe I’ll just book a flight to Sweden.

  3. Great to hear that Skepticism is alive and well in Sweden.

    I have been considering starting up a Skeptics in the Pub in Copenhagen, where more skepticism is also sorely needed (actually I have talked a bit with some others about it, but we haven’t gotten around to get it up and running yet).

  4. Welcome to the party, Felicia. And I am so very glad to hear you are having a party of your own in Sweden, too!

    Thank you for another great excuse to visit now.

  5. I’m a bit ambiguous about a Swedish skepchick, so I’ll cope by congratulating you, and then making a joke at your expense:

    *) I initially wrote sexularised, not sure what that says about me…

    According to the international stereotype that says you’re Swedish, due to the “sex” part.
    According to Norwegian stereotype it says you’re Swedish, due to the typo part.

    Checking out next. Yay!

  6. Here, on the other side of the Öresund, our asstastic government has just set down a “Values Commission” apparently to sketch out what danisg values are. Three members out of eleven are theologists. Apparently, they didn’t feel theologists were quite overrepresented enough in the Etisk Råd (Ethics Council) with just three members out of seventeen.
    And our primary non-commercial television channel have just received a mandate that it is to promote “christian culture”.
    Every day, I feel more and more tempted to move East.

  7. Hi Felicia! When you abandoned your *second* skeptic blog I had despaired of finding you in the skeptosphere again so very glad to see you resurfaced here and looking forward to your posts.

  8. Welcome Felicia, and while I was about to channel the Swedish Chef it occurred to me you might have no idea of the source for my lame joke. Bort bort bort.

  9. Thanks for the warm welcome everyone! :D

    @mrmisconception: Church with benefits is perfect!

    @Sam Ogden: I think 0915 in the morning is the record so far. Today we only lasted until 0845.

    @bug_girl: I actually wanted beegirl for my twitter name, but it’s not available. I figured I could be your sidekick in an insect-themed superhero team.

    @James Fox: I would’ve gotten it… And isn’t it bork bork bork? At least that’s the language available for google!

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