The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 3, 1968 · Page 95
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 95

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 3, 1968
Page 95
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G12 Palm Beach Post-Times, Sunday, ov. 3, 19G8 Finnish Pastor Is Tax Man, Too LEEK. DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE COMMISSIONER SUB DISTRICT 2 - CROUP 1 22 YRS. OF TRANSPORTATION ft BUSINESS BACKGROUND MAKES SPENCER, HELSINKI (UPI) In most countries he is the pastor, monsignor or preacher but to Finns the man in the somber black suit and white bibbed clerical collar Is one of the nation's tax setters and keep ers of vital statistics. Relations between the Finnish state and the two national churches are somewhat curious. The strong influence of the Lutheran church In Finland was first felt in 1686 when a law was passed requiring everyone to belong. Since then the church and state have had their rips and downs and it was not until passage of the religious freedom law In 1923 that relations were shaped as they are today. At the same time the Eastern Orthodox church was given equal rights with the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a second national church. Every resident in Finland, Including foreigners, must register with the church of his faith. If he has no church he goes on a civil register. About 95 per cent are registered Lutheran, another 1.7 per cent Orthodox and the rest divided between civil lists and other denominations. The influence of the church is strong and is reflected in everyday life.' The most outward and visible sign of this influence Is the church tax. Both the Lutheran and the Orthodox churches are allowed to levy taxes, which vary from Just below 1 per cent to 2 per cent of a person's yearly income. Until 1960 the two churches sent out their own tax bills twice a year. But the Lutherans found that more than 10,000 persons were leaving the church yearly, most be-, cause they could not afford the taxes. In 1959 nearly 24,000 persons left the church. But in 1961, a year after the state took over collection of the church tax every payday, only about 5,000 left. And the figure has remained fairly steady since then. The influence of the church Is seen in other ways, too. If a suspect is taken before the police he not only must-give his name, address and age but tell which church he belongs to. If a citizen wants a birth, marriage or death certificate he must go to the parish ' priest. He keeps the records. In small towns and rural areas one must be on the right side of the church to get a job, hold office or any position of respect and responsibility. The church thrives in the rural areas and small towns and churches are full oh Sunday. But In the larger towns and cities, especially In Helsinki, Sunday crowds are smaller. The church and state also Intertwine In lawmaking. The state must consult the church on any law affecting the church. It has the right to approve or reject, but not alter, any church law. :: lj THE MAII HOST QUALIFIED! PULL LEVER CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS President of Greater West Palm S Beach Chamber of Commerce Board Member of Kiwania Club of : QUALIFICATIONS Resident West Palm Beach 44 Yean Graduate Palm Beach High School VS. Navy Veteran . 22 Years U & Me Transfer, Inc. Owner-President ; Member, Board of Directors, Florida : Trucking Association ' Member, Board of Directors, Local West Palm Beach Board Member of American Red : Cross, Palm Beach County Chapter Past President, Traffic Club of Palm 32-B 1st Vice President West Palm Beach Si: : and Short Haul carriers .manorial : Conference of the American Trucking : Association. FOR PROGRESS Fishing Club Member 1st Methodist Church Treas. P.B. County Heart Assoc. ffi: la KM. MV. IT CAMT. TIUS. . TIT i ooo 1W Brand New! Specially Priced! DEPARTMENT STORES H SPECIAL PURCHASE! $24 compare at 32.50 to $35 Don't dilute your identity with an ordinary coat . . . don't cancel it with a coat that isn't you. 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