Friday, June 24, 2011

This is your religion.

I don't really have an opinion on the Royal Family. Because I don't know them. And I don't really have an opinion on monarchy either. Because what does it matter if we pay a whole lot of money to a family or to a president and everything surrounding a president.

I don't know the numbers and I don't really care enough to look it up or to engage with them when I see them, but I'm pretty sure the monarchy is a pretty good source of income both in the UK and in Sweden. So many tourists love them. And so many residents do, too. So I don't see the point in disliking the system.

However. I heard a segment on Swedish radio the other day. The title is 'can Sweden really have a queen with Downs syndrome.' But that's not what it was about (imagine...), but it discussed the fact that people are born into a royal family and we don't have a choice - however they have a choice on whether to remain royals or not. But what they also brought up, which I've never really thought about, is that they are not allowed to change their religion. Ignoring family constraints for a minute; they are the only people in Sweden who do not have this freedom. Isn't that awful? To be able to change their religion they'd have to abdicate their royalty (or whatever the terminology might be!)

And it's not about the religions themselves, it's the lack of freedom to choose for yourself, to follow your own heart. I wonder if they'd be allowed to be gay and on the throne?


Joanna said...

Not only do they lack the freedom of religion. They also lack the freedom of speech. What does it say about a country that its representatives are refused these basic human rights? But what would happen if they started speaking their mind?

Julia said...

It's terrifying, really. They're not citizens anymore, are they?