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Commonwealth, Disney, Eurovision, Brigadoon – reflections on the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games

I suspect this one is not going to win me many friends. Whilst there was much that was good about the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games – overall it left me ashamed of Scotland – or at least how we are portrayed – and how we now portray ourselves – as a dumbed down, tartanised, branded, Godless nation. In this piece on ChristianToday we look at some of the things we learnt about modern Scotland – and indeed modern Western society….enjoy and feel free to comment.


  1. This is rich: “It was a great example of liberal imperialism….you had better adopt our values or else!” At least they don’t threaten you with Hell if you don’t agree. I suppose your system of “you had better adopt our values or else!” is somehow better?

  2. Thank you David for a bit of biblical common sense. We laud the positives from the Opening Ceremony but mourn the vacuous nonsense and the failed political liberal imperialism. I too was embarrassed to be Scottish on Wednesday night.

      1. Never! πŸ˜‰ I get it, you don’t like Scotland celebrating diversity, pride, goodness and other things non-Christian. It goes without saying. Everyone knows Christians don’t like things that aren’t approved of by a few Palestinians. You want Scotland to be Palestine North, not it’s own country.

      2. I do accept that pride is not Christian. I have no idea what you as an atheist mean by ‘goodness’ and I have already experienced what you mean by ‘diversity’ -(think like me or else!)….And yes I support the Palestinian people as I do all humans…I try not to make racist comments and would suggest that you refrain from doing so in the future.

      3. You are always good for a laugh! I don’t celebrate ‘their’ pre-Christian heritage? And I don’t hate Scotland. I am one of ‘them’. I am Scottish and unlike you I actually know what my pre-Christian heritage was – so no I won’t be celebrating it! I will however celebrate what the Gospel did for this small dark pagan land – turning it into one of the most influential nations in history.

      4. Mentioning a country is now racist!? That’s rich! Is this Conservative Political Correctness in action? Nice try. We all support good people from other countries, but we don’t all accept their laws. Your goal is to take a Palestinian Jewish religious text and apply it as Law to a sovereign nation that is not Palestinian nor Jewish. Give Scottish people credit – they don’t need to adopt homophobic, gynophobic, racist, rules from ancient Palestinian Jews. Neither do modern Palestinians or Jews. The point is, you are suggesting that “Christian Laws” should trump the secular laws of a nation. I suppose after Islam takes over, they can claim the same provenance based on their heritage?

      5. No – but mentioning a people with contempt when there is no need to do so – is racist. You believe that the people of Scotland do not need the law of God. As a result you will leave them with the laws of the rich and powerful….your choice.

      6. Again, you say it’s not a B&W world, then you offer a B&W dichotomy. 1. There is no “law of God” – there is no God, and if there is, no one knows what it thinks, or can think. 2. Just because we don’t accept Sharia Law doesn’t mean we leave everything up to the rich and powerful. There were some things called the French and American Revolution…
        3. What do you have against the rich and powerful? Many of them are Christian – are you demonizing again?
        4. My choice is to speak out against people who think they can inject ridiculous superstitious rules without having to prove the rational source of such things. Gay Rights is a perfect example. Except for the Koran and earlier Abrahamic works, there is nothing to discourage homosexuality in a legal sense, but you think there is. You would deny some people basic rights because you think God said so. It’s absurd. You don’t know what God thinks. You only know what a few ancient Palestinians thought and you prefer their opinion to reason and love.

      7. Brent-

        1) So you keep saying!
        2) We are neither French or American! The American Revolution was of course based on Christian principles – prefer it to the French one!
        3) I am for the poor and weak. You can speak up for the rich and powerful if you want.
        4) Please lets have some of this rationality in your arguments rather that the ridiculous faith of secular humanists! Why you would deny some people basic rights? What are basic rights? What is love? You keep using words like reason and love but show no evidence that you have any awareness of what they actually mean!

      8. David, so you’re “racist” against early Scots? Why? BTW, when we say a nation was one of the “most influential” it usually means the nation waged war, or had a significant hand in destroying cultures as they flex their imperialist agenda. To the Christian hammer, everything looks like a nail.

      9. Brent – do you know who early Scots were? Which ones are you referring to? Disagreeing with someone or a philosophy does not make you racist. Being anti-Nazi does not make you racist by being anti-German. Sorry that you think ‘influence’ is only in terms of war and an imperialist agenda. I accept that new atheist fundamentalists are largely imperialists seeking to impose their faith on everyone. But Christian influence is different – it is salt and light – rather than hammer and nail. The Scots exported doctors, educators, engineers, politicians, explorers and missionaries all over the world.

      10. 1. I’d refer to the Scots that lived there before “Scotland” existed as a State. Of course, you might not call them real Scots? Perhaps “Scot” means to you “Christians who formed a Christian State” – I don’t know. 2. If being a fundamentalist is bad, then do you also criticize Christians who refer to the fundamental aspects of the Christian Faith? Or, are you trying to use the term as a derogatory remark? 3. As far as imposing beliefs – I believe jumping off buildings is deadly. Should I not try to impose such beliefs on people? Don’t you implore people to be Christians because of your beliefs? You can call Christian belief anything you want. Salt & Light, Sugar and Spice, Puppy dogs tails, etc… it’s blather.
        4. My point is not that good people can’t do good things, it’s that you fixate on your religion and think it’s the only thing that matters. You are the type of fundamentalist you think others are, but not the kind they are. You might be your own worst nightmare! πŸ˜‰

      11. Brent, I guess that means you can’t answer the question – which Scots. As I suspected you have no idea about Scotlands early history. As usual its just rhetoric without evidence. Of course we all have ‘fundamental’ beliefs – I’m glad we have least got you to recognise that….now lets see if you can take the next logical step!

      12. The point was not whether I was a scholar of Scottish history, David, it was that you were making the claim that the only Scottish beliefs you thought were Scottish enough for your palate, and only worth being put into law, were Christian beliefs. There were, and are, non-Christians that make up your nation. They are allowed to live, vote, thrive and exist without having to bend to Christian laws. Don’t you agree?

      13. I notice that once your point is dealt with, you just move off to another one and just make up another claim without evidence. I don’t care whether beliefs are Scottish or not – I care whether they are true. Of course there are non-Christians who live in Scotland – thats one of the beauties of Christianity – we are tolerant. As regards laws they have to be based on something – for centuries ours have been based on Christianity and they have served us well. And yes I do think that non-Christians should abide by laws such as do not murder, do not lie, do not steal etc. Don’t you?

  3. David I agree with of your comments but like some of the opening ceremony some comments I did not agree with.

  4. Couldn’t agree more, David. Embarrassing and toe-curling and a flaunting of an anti-God spirit.

  5. David, I do passionately agree with you with your parting comment about Jesus shining and filling the land with the father’s Glory and Scotland flourishing with the preaching if his word.

    Yet as often is the case Christian brother with reading what you write I find myself on an emotional roller coaster and near draw to despair with turning to faith to guard against depression as an outcome of the contents.

    Yes I find myself in a similar place with what you say about it being NAFF. Yet the irony in using a acronym coined in poliari language among the homosexual community is unmissable ( in the light of what you talk of with “‘gay’ flag flying”.

    That’s one small fax pas and on it’s own is no big deal along with your typo. Yes the opening ceremony was not the best, but really – .”slave trade, opium wars, and industrial exploitation” what part of any of these have to do with an event showcasing the best that Glasgow has to offer. For sure these are facts about the history of Glasgow but there is a time and place and the opening of the games was neither!

    Who are the “we” in “we suffer from depression” David – you, people you know?
    Your article is a depressing read, and although there is truth in it, it takes the exploration determination of the like of Amundsen to find it buried among the rhetoric.

    If it is intended to offend then you probably have done your job, well done. Yet the offense of the gospel that the apostle Paul talked of was to those who through their religious conviction insisted on others being circumcised. The offence that being in Christ there was no need for circumcision. Nothing of Jesus shining is about offending for the sake of offending. It breaks my heart to see people claiming to represent Christ and being unattractive and even repulsive to those outside of the church.

    Go ahead David and accuse me of not knowing Christ or distracting from the centrality of Christ if you wish – I am used to it, but someone has to take a stand on this and say they think you are wrong. This is not an attack on you or an abusing of you it is an expression of a thought as invited by you and an invitation to consider what you have expressed in the interest Christ and making the gospel known encouraged by what you have mentioned in that “of course” if you have done something wrong then you will say so.

  6. i didn’t watch the opening of the Games (I don’t have a TV).

    But I did see the “qay kiss” via Facebook. But if I am to weigh that gesture against the anti-homosexual legislation in 42 out of the 53 Commonwealth countries, some of which results in life imprisonment or death – then I’d rather the set up in the UK than the utter demonisation of homosexuals who risk life and limb!

    Women and children are being being blown to bits in Palestine/ Israel. Iraq – which had been under the Western propped-up dictator Saddam Hussein – has gone to hell in a hand basket!

    Yet most Western Christians would rather wring their hands over a minor Doctor Who character giving a wee peck on some bloke in a stunt – then account for the utter hell in Gaza or Iraq!

    42 out of the 53 Commonwealth countries would punish homosexuals with the most horrendous punishments & even death – is that what British Christians want?

    1. Actually I think you will find that it was not ‘most Western Christians’ who were wringing their hands over this – we are far more concerned about the massacres in Iraq, Nigeria etc. It was the secular media (and secularist societies) who trumpeted the gay kiss as a great advance in human progress! Go figure!

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