The SNP Councillor and the Free Church Bully

Following on from this earlier story there has been some more fall out –

https://theweeflea.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/the-most-hateful-man-ive-ever-come-across/

I wrote the following letter to the SNP

The Scottish National Party

To whom it may concern:

I am writing to make a formal complaint against your councillor, Gregor Fisher Murray, of Dundee. I do so with a great deal of reluctance but I find his immature and hectoring behaviour inappropriate for an elected official. I am a supporter of the SNP and usually vote SNP. I live and work in the city of Dundee as the minster of St Peters Free Church (in the West End) although I live in the East. My congregation of some 250 people from all walks of live, come from all over the city.

I write regular comments on many things on my blog and we also run something called Solas Centre for Public Christianity. As such we produce a podcast called Quantum of Solas…in a recent edition I mentioned the fuss around Caitlyn Jenner and pointed out my opinion and view. I then started receiving a number of what I can only describe as hate messages. Some of these came from Gregor Fisher Murray which I ignored because I thought he was just a typical 16 year old atheist internet troll, of the type that I seem to regularly attract. However after being contacted by The Courier I discovered that he is in fact a local SNP councillor. Amongst other gems he wrote this: “You’re acting like children. The Wee Frees and their ilk are an embarrassment to Scotland.” Going back through his tweets I noted ones attacking the Catholic church, the Dundee Courier (an ‘embarrassment’ to journalism) etc. I have no objection whatsoever to Mr Murray, disagreeing with my comments, but the name calling, derogatory labelling of a whole group of people, and the immaturity of his posts make me concerned that the SNP is willing to have as one of its representatives, someone who would behave in such a manner.

I am simply requesting that you exercise the same level of discipline on local councillors that you are doing over the new Westminster MPs. Public office is something to be taken seriously and it is not worthy for those who indulge in such juvenile and intolerant behaviour. Perhaps you could have a word with Mr Murray and help him to clean up his act and start becoming the useful public servant he could be,

Yours etc

David A. Robertson
Minister of St Peters Free Church
4 St Peter St
Dundee
DD1 4JJ

16th June 2015

The Courier also ran the following story:

A formal complaint has been made to the SNP after a Dundee councillor was accused of mocking Christianity in an online spat.
Senior SNP member Gregor Murray has been accused by the Rev David Robertson of using “hate speech” and “derogatory” language in a “deeply offensive” attack on the Free Church of Scotland.
But the deputy education chief has defended his comments, saying he will “always stand up to bullies like (Mr Robertson)”.
The Free Church of Scotland moderator said he was “stunned” by the behaviour of the “immature and embarrassing” councillor – who has previously faced calls to resign after using expletives on social media.
The North East councillor said on Twitter that all Mr Robertson can do is “hate, hate, hate” after the Free Church moderator discussed the gender transition of Olympic gold medal winner Caitlyn Jenner in a podcast.
The deputy education convener also used the term ‘Wee Frees’ – which Mr Robertson said members of the Free Church deem offensive – and referred to the religious group as “an embarrassment to Scotland”.
Mr Robertson said: “I am an SNP supporter, but he used derogatory terms that were quite inappropriate.
“He did not even engage with what was said. For an elected member it is immature and embarrassing.”
The pair became embroiled in an unseemly online spat after Mr Murray responded to comments made by the Dundee-based minister in his Quantum of Solas recording.
Mr Murray has defended his comments, suggesting he will always stand up for LGBT rights.
He said: “I was writing in a personal capacity and as a member of the LGBT community.
“In his podcast, David Robertson uses words like ‘gut wrenching’ when talking about Caitlyn Jenner.
“If the worst thing I get into trouble for is standing up to bullies like him then I’m happy.”
SNP administration head Ken Guild said that Mr Murray was writing in a personal capacity and that he would not be taking disciplinary action against him.

It is interesting that the SNP have contacted me and said they will be looking into it, whilst their local leader has at the same time said there is nothing to look into because he was writing in a ‘personal’ capacity.  I am actually an SNP supporter but I am disappointed at the response from the SNP. Of course Mr Murray was writing in a ‘personal’ capacity, but he is also an SNP councillor who choose to condemn a whole group of people on the basis of his own prejudice. If Mr Murray had written racist remarks in a ‘personal’ capacity I doubt that the SNP would have been so sanguine. Calling the Free Church of Scotland an ‘embarrassment’ to Scotland, using the derogatory term ‘Wee Frees’ and then having the chutzpah to claim that he was standing up to bullies, is not appropriate behaviour. What is also disturbing is that Mr Murray is the deputy education director.  No doubt his hectoring and bullying tone will continue against the Catholic schools and he will ensure that Stonewall indoctrination is suitably instilled in Dundees schools…woe betide anyone who dares to question the New Morality – doubtless the deputy education convenor will accuse them of bullying as well.  One cannot help but think that a deputy education convenor should actually be getting on with dealing with Dundee’s education problems (including the closure of Menzieshill High and the transference of the teenage mothers unit) rather than spending his time (and our money) pushing for yet more of his pet issues and tweeting against the Catholic and the Free Churches.

The fact that his bosses will almost certainly do nothing – despite his previous record of abusive tweets, just demonstrates the power that the gay lobby has over the political establishment. Anyone dares to disagree with their agenda and instead of providing any reasoned case, they just start shouting ‘hate speech’, ‘bully’ etc.    I was not ‘bullying’ Mr Murray or any LGBT person. I was critiquing the trivialisation of the complex transgender issue because of the media circus and commercialism surrounding the Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner Vanity Fair cover. The irony is that it was Mr Murray who started sending abusive tweets and who is seeking to intimidate anyone who dares to question his extremist beliefs. (and he continues to send them).  The fact that he justifies his intimidation by claiming he was standing up to bullying only shows the cognitive dissonance at work. As an SNP supporter I hope that the SNP will not turn into the kind of organisation which mocks and abuses any who dare to disagree with the party line.  It is not just on this issue but shamefully there have been those who have dared to disagree with the SNP and found themselves the victim of the Cybernats. As an SNP supporter I think we honestly need to face up to that.  The mob mentality exemplified in Gregor Murray’s abusive posts, and the self justification he offers of himself as some kind of LGBT hero standing up to the Free Church ‘bullies’, as well as the refusal of the SNP to deal with this kind of intimidation, is concerning.  I would like the freedom to be able to disagree and speak up for Christian values, without being abused on social media by elected representatives, or accused of bullying just for speaking!   Is that too much to ask?

PS. Just to add to the love being proclaimed by Councillor Murray here comes a gem from his fellow gay activist and secularist, Garry “You are probably one of the most hated men in Scotland, DAR”…to which the only response is “if they have hated me, they will hate you also”.

8 thoughts on “The SNP Councillor and the Free Church Bully

  1. What I see is a difference in perceptions with you being described a bully and you being offended by the term “Wee Free”. I think it important to determine what are perceptions and what are in effect infringements to the Equality Act 2010. Of course there is no right to not be offended or to restrict legitimate freedom of speech but there is a right not to be discriminated against on grounds of religion, sexual orientation and other protected characteristic according to the act.

    I think more importantly are the issues about transgender that recent events with the Vanity Fair has brought to public debate. The fact that some folks have had panic attacks, experienced struggles and even suicide I think should be concerns that outweigh complaints by big boys that are capable of looking after themselves. If not then that seems to me to spell trouble for society.

    So therefore it seems to me to be incumbent on secular groups to honour the principle of freedom of faith and freedom from faith with equal advocacy for all. It also seems to me that there is a reputability on faith (predominantly Christian in this country) groups to practice what is preached with love ad peace. In the case of Christianity to be not just hearers of the word but doers of it as well.

    There has been some good debate about the transforming of the mind vs transitioning gender. It would be a shame if this is lost. For anyone struggling with gender identity, surely whatever side of the argument one is on and however passionately held beliefs are, any decent person would not deny someone the freedom to choose what leads to the fullest of life or shame them for doing so?

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  2. Dear David. You are doing a great job of ‘speaking the truth in love’. Please don’t be discouraged at the vitriol that comes your way from the secular fundamentalists. It is entirely to be expected (John 15:18-25) and there are lots of us out there who are very grateful that you have the public voice that you do. Keep going! Simon

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  3. David, praying that you will experience hope and encouragement daily in this thankless task the other churches have mostly shirked.
    May God defend the right, and establish his kingdom in Dundee, and to the ends of the earth.

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