“I Hate Organised Religion, But Boy, I sure do Hate you More”! – Farewell to the Scottish Secular Society

Why I left Secular Scotland – Again

“I hate organised religion, but boy, I sure do hate you more!” Garry Otton – Founder of the Scottish Secular Society.

I have been involved with Secular Scotland for the past few years but left last year – an experience I wrote about then. If you want the background to SS have a read of this – Why I Left Secular Scotland – The First Time

I came back because they promised that they were not an anti-religious group and that they would not tolerate the level of personal abuse that had been my experience. However if anything it appears that they have become more anti-religious and vitriolic than ever. Note some of the following comments –these are regarded as fine, apparently others have been removed. And they are only the tip of the iceberg.

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.

Never mind the theory, just LOOK at the fella. Wouldn’t want him anywhere near my kids!

FFS! He’s nuts, I tell you, pure nuts!!

Yesterday I found seven threads attacking me personally or Solas. The level of personal abuse is quite wearing. The attacks not just on me, but anyone associated with me, including my children, my parents, my church and Solas are depressing. Of course I realise that on the internet you are going to get the eccentrics, the angry and the weird, but what is disturbing is that such is the level of hatred that even more sane people seem to go along with it. So I’ve had enough. There comes a time when you shake the dust off your feet. I’m out.

And it’s not just me. One member of their leadership group left because of the constant anti-religious attacks. Another secular leader wrote me and said that SS were an embarrassment to secularists because they had a private agenda that was different from mainstream secularism. And other former members of SS have contacted me saying the same thing. This rings true to me. SS seems to share the obsessions of its founder, sex and religion.

As regards sex, their founder wrote a book entitled Sexual Fascism, which, apart from its turgid prose, is a revealing attempt at justifying all manners of sexual perversion. Mr Otton seems to think that I am personally responsible for numerous suicides because I uphold a biblical view of morality. What he fails to grasp is that it is the rejection of Christian values and the adoption of sexual perversity, which is far more harmful and destructive to human life, children and society as a whole. I deplore homophobia and any kind of bullying. I also deplore any teaching, which leads children and others into the degenerate wastelands of sexual perversity, and the destruction that comes from that. It is precisely because I want to protect children and young people that I will continue to teach them the Father’s loving instructions. The wisdom of God is better than the foolishness of men.

I really don’t want children to turn into the kind of angry, unhappy young men or women that exemplify some on Secular Scotland. When the sacred gift of sex is turned into the recreational indulgence of lust it is then that real harm is done – to everyone. The reintroduction of the slave trade, the prevalence of abortion, STD’s, broken homes, pornography and prostitution. It is not without significance that I have read several defences of both pornography and prostitution on Secular Scotland.

As regards religion, their current leader who is stepping down, is furious with me for saying that they are an anti-religious hate group. In fact he is so upset that in a fit of pique he decided not to use the footage they had of the Scott McKenna debate (does anyone else find it amusing that the Scottish Secular Society are so obsessed with me that they send people to film a theological debate, and then pass it round their members like it was some kind of great revelation?!). But I’m afraid that the facts speak for themselves. On their history page we can read the thoughts of their founder (who at various times states he is not anti-religious). ““Personally, as a secularist, I hate religion and feel I have every right to, despite attempts by the Scottish government to sneak a blasphemy law round the back door by making it an offence this year to hate religion. “ Anyone who reads the threads on SS can soon work out that the main reason for its existence is to allow people to express their hatred of religion. This is an emotional not a rational position.

There is a collective groupthink that is quite frightening. This means that everyone just assumes that ‘secular’ values are obvious and fundamentally right. Pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, pro-euthanasia. Disagreement is not tolerated, nor even considered. With a couple of honourable exceptions SS members do not engage in rational discourse or logical argument. The standard fare is mockery and abuse. So for me its time to go.

It’s also time to go because SS, hampered by the anti-religious abuse and the obsession with sex, are really going nowhere. Most people can see where they are coming from and where they are going to. They make a lot of noise but have very little impact. Their one ‘success’ is their creationism petition to the Scottish parliament, which actually failed, at least by any normal criteria. It was not accepted, nothing changed and nothing happened. But the SSS had invested so much time and effort into it, that they had to claim success and when the Scottish government minister issued advice about something that was already the case, they clutched in desperation at that straw. Largely in the battle to prevent a militant atheistic secularism being imposed upon Scotland, SS have become irrelevant. There are bigger fish to fry. At an intellectual level it has become a bit like taking candy of a baby.

And I’m not really the best person to deal with the emotional ranting that passes for rational argument on SS. Once we have reached the level of we are not a hate group, how dare you say so? Being matched with “I hate organised religion, but boy, I sure do hate you more!” and this being regarded as acceptable comment, then it is time to bow out.

I leave SS members with these thoughts. Why so much hatred? I don’t really think it is because of me. You don’t personally know me and it’s daft to hate someone you don’t know. Could it be that Jesus was right when he prophesied that you would hate his followers because ultimately you hate him? Your whole religion (and it is a religion) is based upon human autonomy and goodness. Both are demonstrably false, and both can only work if you manage to delude yourselves that there is no God. So, like Aldous Huxley, your non-belief in God is in fact just a justification for your own selfishness and sin. In that you and I are the same, with the exception that I acknowledge that I am a sinner. In that regard I apologise for anything I have said that has been sinful and wrong (I’m sure there has been much) but I ask you not to justify your sin by mine, but rather to look at the One who can deal with it. The fact is that one-day you will stand before a Judge who will ask you to give account for every careless word spoken (or written on the internet) and every act done. Right now you will mock and abuse at the very idea of such a day. But I simply ask you to reflect upon this, ‘what if its true?”. Hadn’t you better find out? Maybe if you seek you will find? Maybe you might discover, as many others have, that the problem is not all religion but false religion. Maybe Jesus might actually be the Way, the Truth and the Life. I pray that you would discover that in this life, before you face it in the next. Meanwhile if anyone of you want to have a sensible discussion, you can contact me privately. God have mercy on us all.

Sadly SS reaction to this has been all too typical…here are a few samples:

“should the BBC allow Abu Hamza or Anjem Choudray etc etc a daily platform to spout their religious bile and bigotry ? .. i view DAR as exactly the same as those more notable attention seeking psychotics .. David Andrew Robertson may not advocate killing but his message is the same .. fundamentalist rantings born out of deep indoctrination that has tipped over the edge .. fighting to keep the likes of DAR out of our society by taking his platforms/podiums away with the added possibility of DE-PROGRAMMING to keep us ALL safe . ;)”

Got to love the hypocrisy! It’s not okay to have a pop at religion but it’s perfectly fine for religions to demand their adherents kill people that do not follow it.  (I must admit this one bemused me…does he really think that we advocate killing people?!)…

The man’s a raving loon.

Bloviating liar has a meltdown in public.

did say David Andrew Robertson is “away with the fairies” a long time ago .. should’ve pushed instead of allowing the nutter to walk

there are a million different instances of the sheer barbaric stupidity of religion every single day around the world and David Andrew Robertson FUNDAMENTALLY SUPPORTS them !? .. BYE BYE David Andrew Robertson .. i look forward to Scotland’s version of Ambush on Waco where you and your “followers” have built your “retreat” in Templeton Woods and your cry’s of The End is Nigh (as Scotland’s version of S.W.A.T finally “ambush” you) can be heard in Carstairs Hospital

And as last echoes of the panpipes are heard in the Nethergate, the wicker man is extinguished and the Fairisle jumpers are laid to rest can I just say “Ding Dong the witch is dead, the wicked witch is dead”.

I won’t miss this level of irrationality and hatred…its quite disturbing though that they want to ban Christians like me from being involved in any kind of public discourse or media.  Chilling and depressing mob rule and not a dissenting voice amongst them.


  1. Hello David,follow your blog avidly and agree – mostly – with what you say and certainly all that you stand for. i.e The Gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Are you always right? Usually. Are you always ‘wise’ in your choice of words and rhetoric? No and simply acknowledging that truth after the event eventually suggests that you may be a slow learner in that quarter! BUT getting out from under these ************ people in the SS is a wise decision and I applaud you for it. I believe you are called to put your not inconsiderable gifts and talents to greater use and purpose. Go forth and so do!

  2. Good decision Sir. Quite fascinating that the SSS are driven by a rejection of God and a strong emphasis(worship?) on sex and sexuality.
    Ironically,their script is eerily biblical!
    Nothing new under the sun.

  3. what trash, millions of us are Good Without God. You Gog-botherers are responsible for the deaths of millions through religious conflict, dashing children’s heads against stones, starving women and children, and then there’s Holocausts all for the greater glory of your petty godling.

    1. I leave this post on here so that people can see not only the level of hatred that we have to deal with, but the ignorance and irrationality that is out there – and regularly fed by SS. Very very sad….

      1. .

        And I ,
        ..leave this post so that people can see not only the level of hatred that we have to deal with, but the ignorance and irrationality that is in the Bible(s) and regularly fed to us by Theists of all varieties. Very very sad that this false image of god has been defended for so long.

        God cannot be found in any book, written by anyone at any time imo !

        The Bible Synopsis

        Love and Light

        “Maturity is when you’re able to say, ‘It’s not just them. It’s me.”
        ― Criss Jami


      2. Well…at least I can assume you watched the Brian Mclaren video I sent you. That’s good to know! In it he uses an improvised version of …

        1) First they ignore you,
        2) Then they laugh at you,
        3) Then they fight you,
        and then…..
        4) They ignore you some more….

        5) and then you win.

        I guess David you are moving through step 4 ever so slowly. That’s fine my Wee flea friend. ; )

        Love and Light

      3. Tara, may I ask, can you give an example of a “false image of God” and in it’s place what you would exchange with truth as you perceive it to be?

    2. Yes, it is sad I agree David, when associated with terrorism and the like and being lied about for nothing other than an association with Christ and acting accordingly. Even Richard Dawkins has stated that the two world wars had noting to do with religion, so blaming the holocaust on son called “God botherers” is, well, just silly.

      Thankfully when hated unjustly there are the words of Jesus for comfort and the knowledge that unearned suffering ids redemptive.

      “Blessed are you when people hate you,when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. ‘Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.”

  4. I’ve also had my own religious views denigrated and ridiculed on the SS FB page, but then again, they’ve also be rubbished by you too David. To be honest, you do claim a view of Christianity which you try and validate by claiming scriptural authority, but why should your claims of validity be any more meaningful than those of other Christian clergy who disagree with your rather narrow and out of context interpretations of an already over translated and interpreted set if texts. I’m pretty sure our bishops here in Cape Town would offer a very different view to yours on biblical authority and interpretation. I know for sure that ++ Tutu certainly does .
    Perhaps if you’d demonstrated some of the qualities Jesus demonstrated, particularly listening, and not passing judgement (which you do…..rather a lot, and our reading in church at mass this morning from Romans reminds me of this) you might have got a more reasonable discourse on the SS site.
    I completely disagree with your interpretation of scripture, but I acknowledge that you also have deeply and sincerely held views. Its a shame that increasingly, there is no safe space in which these issues and beliefs can be debated with reason and respect…..on all sides


      1. Its not a question of bishops or bible David….its about interpretations which after all, is all yours are. I’d choose both archbishops here (Thabo and Tutu) as a better authority on scripture than you. Although their views are also as subjective as your own, if much less narrow and much more contextual. And after all, wouldn’t your congregation regard you as a spiritual leader or authority? That’s no different me and ++ Tutu…..
        The issue is that you assume that your interpretation of scriptural meaning is the definitive one – but I’m afraid its just one of many. Unfortunately I think you take the words rather too literally and out of context. Surely all writing (and the bible is no different here, being written by a large number of men) is open to interpretation. Its how we’ve ended up with a rich body of literature around holy scripture, as well as the Talmud and Hadith from other faiths…..


      2. JAye – its not about interpretations..would that it were! Its about WHAT we are interpreting. Is it the Word of God? Is it all the Word of God? IS the Bible really just ‘no different’ from other writings? Thats not interpretation – thats a statement of faith.

      3. Yes, I know who I believe, Bible over bishops any day……..Tutu is not a Christian, sorry, have heard him speak and he is not a born again child of God Most High. Plus I am not sure which bible he reads, it is not the one I read!

    1. I do agree with you David that statement of faith is about what the “Word of God” is, meaning the bible. I don’t think we would find disagreement among people of faith about the bible being anything other than:

      “All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage].”

      I agree with you Jaye that it’s not about bishops or the bible and wouls share my online experience with David has also at times been “interesting”. However brother sharpens brother.

      I think the basic tenets of faith are indisputable but it is right to raise the issue that differences arise due to different interpretations. Baptism for example is paedobapstism an authentic baptism or is it only once one has to cognitive ability to make a choice about it in later years that it becomes valid? People have fallen out over it and history teaches that tragically blood has been split with differences of views being used as an excuse.

      Is it any wonder that difficulties and disagreements occur in other areas of Christian practice and in the manner in which such practice is carried out? I then becomes an issue of both how the “Word of God” is lived out as “living stones” with Christ as the “cornerstone” but also how differences are either embraced (just as gentile and Jew became one in Christ) or manged where there is disagreement.

      I doubt if any of us will have that all sorted out this side of eternity!

  5. The sex point about SS is quite interesting, in that yes, SS are clearly a bunch of loonies and are a bit obsessed & judgmental about it, but are we honestly going to say the church isn’t too?! If want ammunition against religious believers/commentators in that respect, you aren’t going to be short.

    This is something Christians could DEFINITELY reflect on if they want to move on from being asked the sex question, by SS loonies or just the more general public. Why do they keep getting questioned on this issue than say something more constructive like welfare or charity?

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