So is Finland really the “paradise” it seems to be? Best quality of life, best school system, etc. etc. I see it has a national church too, which seems odd given that it also seems pretty liberal.
Well, i would not use the word “paradise” :) .. it always depends to what you are comparing. Okay, we have quite good social security system(Its kinda 2-track system communal and state sponsored KELA), and we have quite good public school system( i return tho the state church below), and public healthcare. But my point is, that they could be much more better; social security system has been made quite hard to use(and if you use it unnecessarily, and you may not know it yourself, social security may charge it back from you). School system is nowadays kinda headache, because there are “better” schools than other schools and parents try to put their kids to them, instead of some other schools(luckily we don’t have this problem with evolution teaching so large scale as in US).
And state church… i could open about this subject so much, but i try explain shortly: it may seem liberal outside, but there are great tendencies inside it; i mean liberals vs. conservatives. And inside it are many powerful conservative revival communities, for example Laestadian-Lutherans( my great-grandparents were hard-line Laestadian-Lutherans) and evangelic groups. And regional differences are also huge in this case.
And religion overall is not retreating in Finland, maybe on contrary; Pentecostal churches receive every year 1000 new members.
And this quality of life; it also varies greatly in different parts of the country; i mean between East-Finland and West-Finland and between South-Finland and North-Finland. And we could spend alcohol less. Really.