Politics Scotland

Politicians Intimidated about their Christian Faith

The Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland has echoed sentiments from a prominent Highland MSP who said that Christian politicians were pressurised into “hiding” their faith.

Dave Thompson, who steps down as Scottish Parliament representative for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch in May, made the comments last week ahead of a debate at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on Sunday (23 August).

He is being backed by Free Church Moderator Rev David Robertson, who said there was “a culture of intimidation and bullying” against those seeking to stand for Biblical values.

Mr Robertson said: “Dave Thompson is absolutely correct. There is a culture of intimidation and bullying which does not reflect well on Scottish society.

“In a society that is supposed to be about ‘equality’ it is incredibly sad that Christians are so discriminated against that they feel pressured into hiding their faith.

“I am personally aware of certain situations where politicians who are Christian have received hate mail, been advised not to mention their Christianity and told that they cannot speak about their Christian values. Dave Thompson’s statement just reflects that.

“It would be good to live in a Scotland where we were free to discuss ideas, have principles and practice our faith, without the intimidation and bullying that seems to be part and parcel of much of Scottish life.

“The trouble is that having dispensed with Christianity we are left in a situation where the State becomes absolutist in everything and those who seek political power do not want any challenge to their absolutist ethos.”

The Free Church Moderator added: “In particular the LGBT lobby are so intolerant that the minute a candidate is selected they demand to know where they stand on LGBT issues- and then threaten them if they don’t conform to their particular views.”

Last week Dave Thompson MSP said that many Christian politicians are “pressured” into either being “very quiet” or “hiding” their faith altogether.

Instead, he called on Christians across society to be more open about their faith.


This report also appeared on Premier and several other media sources.


  1. This is an all too common situation in many walks of life. My own employment back ground is education where there is huge pressure on Bible believing Christians to conform to the prevailing cultural values and shut up about your faith. I refused to buy into that culture and had to accept the minor hassle which came with the territory. In some parts of the country there are secularists and others who demand that we conform to their own exclusive view of the world and can make it difficult for individual Christians who don’t have an effective support network. In my experience, more evangelical Christians would be prepared to be witnesses for Christ at work if they saw their own evangelical ‘leaders’ have the courage to take a stand in the public square on the issues of the day. Sadly in this day and age, there are too few of Scotland’s evangelical Christian leaders prepared to speak up for Biblical values either nationally or locally. This has to change if the church is to become relevant again.

  2. It’s an important point, how to engage in an increasingly secular world.

    I have no experience of what it is like to be a politician but I have found acceptance in the circles I mix. Perhaps I am more fortunate than some. For example my atheist brother has mentioned when challenged that he respected that I gave him room to have his opinion not shut him down. He since has supported my niece in her decision to be baptised.

    I suppose I expect difficulty to come in the world so am prepared for it. So, I agree, having leaders that are courageous to inspire is important. But equally important is that these same leaders lead by example in exhibiting grace.

    What I personally find harder is when in Christian environments there is a lack of grace or willing to endure hardship. But I guess that’s down to me having my guard down with the expectation of folks ” in Christ” to have conduct in keeping with such and not what one might might be prepared for with natural responses akin to the world.

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