For the Progress Party top candidate for the Storting from Troms, Per-Willy Amundsen, this has become an exercise he masters at his fingertips. It has even become his trademark.
During the four The years Donald Trump sat in the presidency, I noticed a growing tiredness and resignation to what was dripping from his Twitter account and his press conferences. It took more and more to react to what came from that edge, and it gradually became so twisted that it was the most normal and everyday messages from him that attracted attention.
Even spreads and support to spectacularly bizarre conspiracy theories, such as that Obama, Biden and the Clinton family were part of a pedophile, satanic, left-wing radical cannibalism sect finally managed to evoke nothing but mild laughter and shaking of the head. In quite a short time it went from shock and disbelief, to humming and crooked smiles. When the volume is turned on eleven all the time, and every message is shouted out by a vote, the effect of it continuously decreases.
Now is not Per-Willy Amundsen all the way out there in Trump country, even though he was as late as in February 2019 just nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize, but much of his rhetoric is highly comparable. Not least the fact that one has almost stopped reacting to his many, and rather aggressive, status updates on Facebook.
He wants to shut down NRK, close down the Sami Parliament and close down the police directorate. And repeatedly claims that only FrP can take care of Norway and what he calls “our way of life”. Our way of life and our Christian values he believes are under strong pressure, and he claims that our Christian culture is threatened by a Swedish supply chain – on some products – call Christmas a winter party.
Now he’s angry on Pride. ‘I’m not celebrating Pride. It’s not something I would like to do “, he opened a new Facebook status with this week. An orderly position, by all means. I celebrates nor is Pride, and it is hardly the undersigned and / or Amundsen who are important here either.
The reasons for Amundsens non-celebration, however, is of the more peculiar kind. Reason 1 is that the Association for Gender and Sexuality Diversity (FRI) believes there are more than two genders. And: “They have been given access to influence our children with their radical ideology. It must be stopped “(” Put them down! “).
Exactly that discussion should I leave right here. What is more startling is that he does not want to support (or celebrate) Pride, because they are no longer concerned with distancing themselves from Muslim countries that have the death penalty for homosexuality, a reservation that is a bit whimsical at best.
He mentions a lot countries such as Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania and Yemen, and writes that “Pride and FRI only gain credibility the day they try to do something about it”.
I completely agree with Amundsen that these countries’ case law and treatment of queers is medieval, inhuman, discriminatory and horrible, and I am more than happy to write a petition against them. It’s just a very strange conclusion, and moreover a completely unreasonable criticism of Pride.
Several of the countries he also mentions countries Norway has both diplomatic, economic and political relations with, and it would thus be a little unfair to demand a distancing from everything these countries stand for, every time someone thought something about Norwegian foreign policy.
It is rather not so, as Amundsen insinuates, that queers in Norway are not concerned about this. The theme for both last year’s and this year’s Pride is precisely international solidarity. FRI has also demonstrated in front of the Egyptian embassy in Oslo, precisely against the treatment of gays in the country. In the high-profile debate surrounding the boycott of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the persecution of gays in the country has been mentioned often. That living conditions among queers with an immigrant background in Norway are problematic, nor is it a secret.
It is enough even those who want to claim that the Christian cultural heritage Amundsen is so often concerned with turning the surrounding area around, have caused problems for people with a skewed disposition throughout. Religious dogmas against and condemnations of queers have not been particularly absent from either the church or the state.
That is also something arrogant, or ignorant – here I must admit to be uncertain, when Amundsen calls the focus of Pride in Norway “constructed problems here at home”, as if queer in Norway is somehow in goal here on the mountain, that there is no more to fight for, that now they may begin to care for something else, at least if they want some support from him.
Man vet at mental health problems and suicidal thoughts are much higher among queers (including twice as many suicide attempts), that it is still allowed to conduct so-called conversion therapy / homotherapy, that there are several Christian communities who believe homosexuality is something that can be “cured” through prayer, and that standing out as queer is still something many people experience as a real burden, simply because we are far from being in the goal.
“Constructed problem” and “have principles that are about more than attention”, is nevertheless Amundsen’s rather moody and narrow-minded comment. It is a well-known ruling technique to ask people to fight for something that is even more important than the fight they are waging, and especially when you yourself do not notice their problems on the body, whether it is homophobia, racism or whatever it may be.
Therefore can also any complaint about the welfare state is ridiculed by pointing out how innocent children are doing in remote areas where there is war, or referring to the living conditions of poor people around the world who are affected by natural disasters and / or famine. Or ask people with several cars to stop complaining about petrol prices and tolls, while others struggle below the poverty line and can barely afford a bus.
It’s alright that one does not want to celebrate Pride. Asking others not to do it, because you yourself think they should rather fight another battle, is something quite different. It is hardly particularly good choice meat to serve either, in a fatherland where more and more people are modernizing in the view of difference in all the colors of the rainbow.