Dundee Education Newspaper Letters

An Unacceptable Level of Debate – Letter to the Courier

Published inThe Courier & Advertiser 23 Jun 2015

Sir, – I was more than a little surprised to read (June 18) that SNP councillor Gregor Murray claims that his abusive tweets were just his way of standing up to my “bullying”.

Apparently Mr Murray thinks that critiquing the media charade around Caitlyn Jenner and Vanity Fair is bullying, whereas calling the whole Free Church of Scotland, “Wee Frees – an embarrassment to Scotland”, is reasonable and mature debate.
Mr Murray has form in this regard having previously tweeted attacks mocking Catholic Church doctrine.

As a Free Church minister I wish to speak in defence of the Catholic schools in Dundee. 
It is concerning that the deputy head of education on Dundee City Council feels free to mock the doctrine of the Catholic schools he is supposed to be running.
It is also worrying that he has time to engage in this type of personal online abuse when he should be dealing with the Menzieshill school situation and the other crises facing our city education system.

As an SNP supporter I wrote to the party making a formal complaint and they have assured me that they will look into the matter. That assurance is somewhat undermined by SNP administration head, Ken Guild, stating that because Mr Murray is speaking in a personal capacity then no action will be taken.
I wonder if Mr Murray was making racist comments in a personal capacity whether the SNP would be so sanguine?

It seems as though Christians are being told that if any of us dare to speak out for what we believe, then it is open season on us.
Am I wrong to expect a little more maturity and fairness from our elected representatives? 
Or is the phenomenon of the abusive cybernat now to be an accepted part of Scottish political life, even at senior level?

Rev David A. Robertson. St Peter’s Free Church, 4 St Peter Street, Dundee.

This is a follow up to the story below:




  1. It would be easy to dismiss this as differences of opinions between yourself David and Gregor Murray.

    However, going by experiences here with comments such as “Christians are nuts… The criticism is not for the silent believer” and “My objection is that people [“Christian bigots”] use their religion to proclaim their values… This includes… Jesus,” there does seem to be a trend among some to regard those that identify with Jesus are either crazy or bigoted.

    I’ve just finished reading the book “Hitlers’ Cross by Erwin W. Lutzer. In it he attempts to learn the lessons of Germany in the third reich and how the church engaged with that for today. He suggests that under Hitler’s influence Christianity was replaced with “”positive Christianity” which could comfortably coexist with Nazism”, with Hitler not tolerating Christ being worshiped exclusively, wanting to be regarded as Germany’s “saviour”.

    This being the kind of control that the framers of the American constitution tried to avoid with the first amendment being “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercising thereof”. He suggests that this was done in the interest of the state not interfering with religious practices and also a national church not be establish to which everyone would be obliged to belong. So, “freedom of faith and freedom from faith”.

    However we see those who would in the interest of being equal to all, prevent any religious expression publicly, except when it is that of their religion which is of no religion (to use the legal definition of religion). So I think under “speaking in a personal capacity” there are those whose actions would reflect this. Rather than separating the church form state interference, freedom has become for some about wanting to banish God from the public sector.

    When God is eliminated there is freedom to act as one sees fit, there is no absolute morality. this ay feel like a release from oppression, however freedom to do anything is no freedom at all. In fact it is a form of human bondage.

    For anyone who is considered crazy or bigoted by identity with Christ there is the reassurance. “Blessed are you when people insult you… because of me… because great is your reward in heaven.” Matt 5:11.

    It would seem that the onus is on Christians to live that out secure in God’s love, as much as it is for mps and government officials to act according to “freedom of faith and freedom from faith”.

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