This short unbiased information on the case from BBC News gives you the background of this interesting case, which sets the freedom of speech and of religion up against the Swedish hate crime legislation. This legislation has been amended to cover also crimes against homosexuals.
Having found the sermon and read all 12 pages of it, I can really see the problems the Supreme Court of Sweden is facing.
On the one hand, it is a severe attack in homosexuality based on Åke Green’s reading of the bible and it falls well within the framework of the Swedish hate crime legislation.
On the other hand, the freedom of speech and of religion could as easily be said to prevent a conviction under the hate crime legislation.
The District Court convicted Green, but the Court of Appeals reversed that decision.
What I noted in the sermon was the tedious, repetitious and complicated (at least to a non-Christian) references to the bible. To Åke Green the bible contains the word of the Lord and cannot be disputed. The sermon does not seem to fit very well with the kind of language one would expect to see in a speech contrary to the hate crime legislation.
Neither does his closing statement in his sermon:” We must never think that some people, because of their sinful lives, would end up outside of grace. Paul says about himself that he was the foremost of all sinners, but he encountered an abundance of grace and mercy….. It is by showing all people grace and mercy that we can win them for Christ. We never win anyone by giving them the cold shoulder.”
Nothing about killing all gays at all; only a disgusting expression of assumed moral superiority over sinners (I am sure that I am among the sinners, even if I am not gay. I may have “entertained evil thoughts” when a nice blonde passed by).
If you read the sermon thoroughly (not recommended unless you want to fall to sleep) you would note that Green makes reference a number of times to his work on a hot-line for people with personal problems (“as a volunteer telephone counsellor”), where people told him about their urges to rape animals (?). Do they not screen people like that – I mean the counsellors. Imaging being in anguish over e g how your parents have reacted when you told that you were gay and get Green on the line telling that “you could be cleansed from these abnormalities”.
I await the decision by the Supreme Court with great interest. The hearing took place on November 9 and the sentence is awaited by the end of November.