“We won”…”A huge win for the Scottish Secular Society in Parliament”….general cries of jubilation and ecstasy were heard ringing throughout the land (well at least on the FB page of the SSS). What was this tremendous victory for the secular cause? What evil forces of darkness had been slain by the rationalist atheists in the SSS? Well if you are sitting comfortably, lets begin our tale.
Once upon a time in a land far far away (from London, Brussells and New York), there lived a people who for years had been in the thralls of the dark forces known as Calvinism and Catholicism. Then came the wondrous light of the Enlightenment and behold the knight, Sir Hume of Edinburgh, slew all before him. The forces of darkness took some time to retreat but verily they were almost dead until by the year of our Selves, 1967, it was proudly proclaimed that ‘God is dead’, never to be heard of again…except in fairy tale stories and mocking BBC comedy shows.
But alas it was was not to be. For the forces of darkness rallied. Although the number of followers continued to decline it was feared that somehow the ‘Faithheads’ as they were lovingly called by the unrighteous, would return and exert an influence upon the poor ignorant people of Scotland. They wielded a secret weapon – so terrifying that it made the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang look positively benign. This weapon had the capacity to destroy Scotland’s children, bring back the Dark Ages and cause the sky to fall. Some feared it had come from the land far to the West, known as the Americas, where a war was already raging against the dragon known as ‘creationism’. No-one quite knew what this dragon was, was it a young earth? or old earth? was it intelligently designed? , but all knew without a shadow of a doubt that the dragon dared to suggest that the creation had a creator. All were aware of the dreadful consequences if this leaked into minds and caused people to question The Truth. There was the danger that it could cause a meltdown and the end of civilisation as we know it. There were rumours that some children might already have come in contact with this plague. In the words of atheist spokesperson, Private Fraser, ‘we are all doomed, I tell ye, doomed,’. But lo and behold the knights of the SSS rode to the rescue. They ventured into battle and boldly sent forth…. a petition.
This petition went to the gathering of wizards known as the Scottish Parliament Education and Culture Committee, (admittedly not the most romantic of titles but not every fairy tale can be that Grimm). The chief wizard of that committee, one known as Maxwell, was verily aware of the dragon and stood forth to join in the slaying. And so the wizards of the committee agreed that the dragon Creationism was already banished from the land and that the people of the land should be reassured. They acted with bravado and astonishing courage and wrote a letter. And so the land of Queen Nicola was saved and there was great rejoicing amongst the people (or at least those who mattered). And they all lived happily ever after in a land flowing with oil, wind farms and whisky!
Meanwhile back in the real world, what really happened?
Let me assume for a moment that you have just landed on these shores from Mars, or the US, and you are wondering what all this is about. The Scottish Secular Society (who used to be known as Secular Scotland until it was pointed out that being a militant secularist group called the SS might not be the best publicity!) are a tiny group of anti-religious secularists based in Glasgow and having a face book page and membership. They make a lot of noise and spend most of their time attacking various religions (especially Christianity), congratulating themselves, and, when they can find the time espousing various secular causes. Most of us assumed that secularism was just about the separation of church and state but not according to this militant version. Apparently secularism is also about supporting euthanasia, abortion, same sex marriage and Scottish independence. They have lots of enemies and fears, not least the fear that people might actually believe there is a Creator. So the SSS presented a petition which tried to get the government to give guidance banning the teaching of creationism in science classes.
The trouble with that petition was that it was addressing a non-existent problem (creationism is not being taught as science in any science class in Scotland) and seeking to make a mountain out of a molehill. So why are they doing it? Because it is part of their campaign to remove religion in general and Christianity in particular from all forms of public life, especially education. Under the trojan horse of seeking to prevent young earth creationism being taught in science classes, they are hoping to get all creationists (i.e.. anyone who actually believes in God) excluded from all areas of education. They want to introduce American style ‘creation wars’ into Scotland. Paul Braterman, one of the sponsors of the petition, put it quite clearly ““the distinction between science and non-science classes will over time prove unsustainable”. This is not a campaign in favour of science…it is a campaign against Christianity.
So given that the petitioners were not able to show one example of creationism being taught in science classes, would our MSP’s give this petition short shrift? In a way they did – given that they ‘discussed’ it for just five minutes. But nonetheless they wrote a letter and enabled the SSS to claim a wonderful victory. There are two things to say about that.
Firstly the SSS and their supporter on the committee, the chairman, Stewart Maxwell, were not exactly honest in their presentation. Mr Maxwell, a sponsor of a motion against creationism, mentioned one paragraph from a letter sent ‘to a member of the public’ from the government. Leaving aside that he forgot to mention that it was actually sent to a member of the petitioning group, SSS, it is interesting that he left out the last paragraph of that short letter. The paragraph he quoted stated that the already existing position was that creationism should not be taught in science classes. The paragraph he left out stated : “as you know the non-statutory curriculum is a long standing feature of Scottish education. The difficulty of putting in place a ban for a specific issue, like Creationism in science, is that there will inevitably be calls for bans on other issues, and the curriculum would risk becoming mired in legal arrangements. It is preferable to leave the curriculum to teachers and enable them to exercise their professional judgement on what is taught, rather than legislate to ban issues like Creationism is specific areas”
This means that nothing has changed. Nothing will change. The government will not interfere in this area and will not be issuing new guidance or legislation. The Tory MSP Mary Scanlan asked if this letter would be available to all local authorities. I hope it will. Because it completely negates the SSS request. Nothing is going to be done. Nada. Zilch. If this is victory then the English cricket team should be celebrating their wonderful victory at the world cup! So why the celebrations at SSS HQ? I suspect it is because they have so much emotionally invested in this that they have to claim victory. On their own FB page this claim will go unchallenged and so the confirmation bias can kick in and the followers can claim that they are doing a wonderful job and changing Scotland! In this sense they are very like some Christian groups who claim that their latest campaign was an astounding success, turning the nation upside down! The reality is that it is just a war of words. The whole petition was a meaningless waste of parliamentary time and the fact that some of our politicians either could not see that, or were just too scared to say anything, is sadly all too indicative of where our political classes are at.
But again it does show that irrational hatred of God leads to irrational actions and emotions. We need to be on our guard that this type of prejudice and irrationality does not lead to more serious consequences. Already the SSS thought police will be thinking of how they can start their witch hunt against anyone who dares to teach children to sing “All things bright and beautiful, the Lord God made them all”! He did. And nothing will stop me from rejoicing in that fact and letting all of Scotland’s children know of their Creator, their Heavenly Father, who loves them more than they can ever imagine. Get your lawsuits and prisons ready!
Since publishing this SSS have responded. Not surprisingly they have ignored all the arguments and do not deal with any of the issues raised. Instead they just resort to abuse. The following is just a sample “
The man needs help. Clinical help.
He needs to be ignored. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing
his views are those of an obscure sect…we are within our rights to notice him and ridicule him but he is of little import.
DAR is actually an atheist in denial. He thinks he hates god too. He’s always been an atheist. I’ve known that for ages.
I tried but couldn’t read it. The bit that I did read sounded nastily hyperbolic and written by an ego maniac. ‘Nuff said on the subject of the madness that is DAR.
It is interesting when you talk to Christians how loathed this arrogant self-publicist is by them. They are the first to assure everyone that he doesn’t represent them or Christianity. I’ll drink to that.
Religion as a dangerous substance is clearly demonstrated by DAR as addict. He pedals the stuff, overdoses on his own stash, misuses and abuses. Lock your doors. “
See also this – http://freechurch.org/news/scotlands-science-minister-no-need-for-ban-on-creationism-in-schools
For further blogs on this story see the following: