Alistair McBay continues his campaign against the Trussell Trust and Christianity in public life. This letter was published in the Scotsman
I applaud the work done by the Trussell Trust and all other charities, along with the donating public, on alleviating hardship or protecting the vulnerable (Letters, 29 July).
It is all the more a shame therefore that both the trust and its most vocal supporter, the Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, have sought to justify the discriminatory stance in its arrangements for dispensing charity to society’s most vulnerable.
It is no surprise that the Reverend David Robertson does this, since he campaigns constantly for the right of Christians to discriminate (while, of course, simultaneously arguing that they should never be discriminated against), but the donating public have rights too, not least of which is the right to expect that charities enjoying tax benefits from the public purse should operate without discriminating.
Alistair McBay, National Secular Society, Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh
My response published 31st July
Once again Alistair McBay of the National Secular Society continues to provide misinformation in his campaign against the Trussell Trust (Letters, 30 July).
The Trussell Trust does not discriminate in “its arrangements for dispensing charity to society’s most vulnerable”.It provides for all in need, whatever their background, race, religion etc. It is true that the trust is a Christian organisation which is widely supported by many churches.
It does not require its workers to be Christians but it does have a general occupational requirement (GOR) that its managers, who are expected to speak in churches, lead prayers, etc should be Christians.
Mr McBay’s objection seems to be to the way that Trussell operates. He does not like their Christian methodology or motivation. That’s fair enough. He does not have to support them.If the NSS cares for the poor and despises the Christian way of helping, then let them put their money where their mouth is and start their own food banks. But for the NSS to attack the great work of the Trussell Trust, just because they don’t like their Christianity, is one of the most blatant examples of discrimination one can get.
It is also intriguing that Mr McBay complains about the “tax benefits from the public purse” that the trust receives.The Trussell Trust workers pay their taxes the same as everybody else. What does he want? That people’s donations to the poor should be taxed as though they were private profit?
How ironic that in the name of anti-discrimination the NSS wants to prevent Christian organisations being run as Christian organisations, and that in the name of helping the poor, they want the poor to be taxed more!
David A Robertson
Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland
St Peters Free Church