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Labour Leadership Hopeful Jim Murphy Target of Sectarian Abuse, Claims Church Chief – article in the Daily Record

The Daily Record carries the following as a headline story – what is astonishing is the claim that the Secular Society make “”The Scottish Secular Society have no problem with Mr Murphy’s beliefs, but a very great problem with the way in which we fear they will influence his political decisions.”. In other words – you can believe what you want, as long as what you believe never has any impact on your actions – in this one sentence the illogicality and militancy of this anti-Christian secularism is demonstrated. Stunning! I post the words below – you can get the original with pictures here – (incidentally when was the last time the Record carried a positive story about the Free Church?!) –

Scottish Labour leadership hopeful Jim Murphy target of sectarian abuse, claims church chief
Dec 09, 2014 13:39 By Dave Bohill
FREE Church of Scotland chief Rev David Robertson Moderator says attacks on Murphy by the founder of a secular society amount to sectarian abuse.

SCOTTISH Labour leadership hopeful Jim Murphy is the victim of “sectarian” abuse, according to one of Scotland’s leading religious figures.

The next Free Church of Scotland Moderator said the East Renfrewshire MP has been targeted by opponents because of his catholic faith.

Rev David Robertson slammed repeated remarks by Scottish Secular Society Founder Gary Otton accusing Murphy of being “a catholic fanatic”, “a Pope Benedict fan” and “a religious fanatic”.

Otton posted four different Facebook threads about Murphy in the space of two days, all making reference to his religion and support for denominational schools.

Robertson described some of the comments as “disturbing”.

He said: “The Scottish Secular Society have posted several stories about ‘Catholic fanatic/extremist/Pope Benedict fan’ Jim Murphy over the past few days.

“I find it particularly disturbing this constant referral to Jim Murphy as Roman Catholic – what does that have to do with anything?

“It comes worryingly close to the kind of anti-Catholic sectarianism that plagued the West of Scotland – perhaps it still does.

“It is of no relevance or interest to me that a particular political candidate is Roman Catholic or not. Mr Murphy should be judged on his political views and abilities, not what church he belongs to.

“It is ironic that of all groups the Scottish Secular Society continues to highlight religious affiliation as though this were somehow a disqualifying factor.”

But Otton defended his remarks.

Gary Otton said: “The Scottish Secular Society have no problem with Mr Murphy’s beliefs, but a very great problem with the way in which we fear they will influence his political decisions.

“In particular, we don’t approve of support for the idea that bishops can be put in charge of sex education in Catholic schools.

“We are also concerned that he will defend privileges for organised religion, segregating children on the basis of their parents’ religion in denominational schools with separate staff rooms and entrances. We are utterly opposed to sectarianism in any shape or form.

“There is also general agreement amongst secularists that unelected religious representatives, both Catholic and Church of Scotland, voting on how Councils should deploy their limited education budgets is absurd.

“Murphy has been reported in the press praising the US because religion has a bigger role in politics. That is not a scenario the Scottish Secular Society would welcome in Scotland.

“Opinions on Facebook’s Secular Scotland are personal and social media is the appropriate place to express them. The Scottish Secular Society is the appropriate organisation to challenge the religious privileges.”

Murphy is favourite to be announced the next Scottish Labour leader on Saturday.

The winning candidate will replace Johann Lamont, who dramatically resigned in October.

There is a newer edition of this on The Record website – here….I’m sure it will be in the printed edition tomorrow and suspect that others will now pick this up. Meanwhile SSS keep digging themselves deeper into a hole – the sectarian comments on their FB page are horrendous!

Robertson will take over as Free Church of Scotland Moderator in May.


  1. “We fear” says Otton.

    Otton is probably reading this blot. Would he care to explain here what he means by that and what difference his approach to Murphy’s Catholic faith is to those who have fear and are homophobic towards the LGBTI community, to take the opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding that anyone may have formed about the Scottish Secular Society with being active in the interest of “freedom of faith and freedom from faith”?

  2. I will be the first to admit that politically I am not a Murphy fan at all – but that is not the issue here. I would like to know what sort of world Otton thinks he is living in. Challenging the privilege of religion? Really? Christianity, regardless of whether you are Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, etc. has been completely and utterly sidelined by secularism whereby is has not replaced state religion, secularism has all but become the state religion! As a catholic who attended Catholic schools both at the primary and secondary level, I can assure you his claims about children being segregated and separate entrances for non-catholic staff and parents is complete nonsense. The man lives in a fantasy world and he must withdraw his ill-informed and harmful remarks.

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