Letters Politics Scotland

Secularists begin Witchhunt Against Christian Politician who has her own views.

The SNP candidate for Central Scotland,Sophia Coyle,  is fast becoming the victim of a secularist witchhunt  – because she is opposed to abortion, SSM, euthanasia (like many in the SNP) she is apparently not fit to be a candidate and should be hounded out – at least according to SS who have begun their witchhunt.  The Herald and others seem happy to buy into this.  We wait to see whether the lunatics have taken over the asylum – or whether common sense will prevail and the SNP will act as a mature liberal political party – and allow a variety of views on ‘moral’ issues.   The correspondence in the Scotsman is below:

SNP candidate Coyle’s worrying agenda

That Sophia Coyle could be the SNP’s top regional list candidate in Central Scotland in next May’s Scottish Parliament election is worrying.

She pits against stem cell research, abortion, same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, religion being given exemption from the equality act, against dying in dignity – and all because of her religious belief.

Putting this before the rights of others is unacceptable for any politician. Ms Coyle has already made her mind up how she intends to represent her constituents: it is through her church.

Spencer Fildes, Board member and former chair of the Scottish Secular Society

Letters: Secular issues

The Scotsman 2 Dec 2015

That Spencer Fides of the Scottish Secular Society should think the selection of Sophia Coyle as SNP regional candidate is “worrying” (Letters, 1 December) is itself deeply disturbing.

Apparently because she does not agree with the Scottish Secular Society’s views on abortion, same-sex marriage and euthanasia she is “unacceptable”. Is this the Brave New World that the militant secularists want us to live in – one where only those who accept certain views are eligible to be politicians?

David A Robertson, Moderator, Free Church of Scotland, St Peters Free Church, Dundee

Isn’t the idea of democracy that a diverse range of views can be presented, with the electorate deciding? A party endeavouring to be broad in its appeal, such as the SNP, is surely right to include diverse views on issues of conscience.

Secularism claims to challenge religious privilege, but usually seems to just demand that religious views be excluded because they don’t like them.

Richard Lucas, Colinton, Edinburgh

This further letter was published in response to one accusing me of being intemperate!

Sir, – Angus Brown (December 14) accuses me of “immoderate” views because I opposed the secularist witchhunt against SNP MSP candidate Sophia Coyle and yet he repeats my position exactly: that each person has a vote based on personal choice of an MSP who best fits their moral standards as well as a political choice.
The SNP, like all mainstream political parties, has not made moral questions such as abortion, same-sex marriage and euthanasia policy issues which all their candidates must uphold.
If the SNP wish to inform those of us who are opposed to abortion, SSM and euthanasia that these are core parts of their policy which none of their candidates are allowed to have opposite views on, then so be it.
They will lose mine and tens of thousands of others votes. But that is for the SNP to decide.
It is not for the secularists to tell parties who they can and cannot select, based on their own absolutist standards.
That is immoderate.

Rev David Robertson, Dundee


  1. So your idea of democracy is for you to be able to publicly voice your opinion of secularist ideals, but that secularists not voice theirs against anything you take as sacred?

    Grow a pair, David.

    1. Thanks Brent – but my position is exactly the opposite of what you say. I think that secularists should be able to voice whatever they want and stand for whatever they want. I don’t think they have the right to prevent other people from doing so…

      1. She is able to voice her opinion. She can step down from her position, and as a private citizen, she can say anything she wants.

        In the meantime, she’s to do her JOB: represent her constituency: ALL OF THEM.

      2. Indeed including those who are anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia. Is she not allowed to have a mind of her own. Must she follow your dictates? Or would you deny her that right? Only politicians who can be elected are those who agree with your viewpoint. This is the new atheist secular version of tolerance!

      3. No, but she should represent her people. Not just her church people.

        How can you not understand this? Would you want a Muslim free to represent his Mosque if elected in your district?

        If she wants to represent her Church, have her run as it’s leader.

        I really don’t understand your desire to thrust religion on people.

        I wouldn’t want Sharia law, or Biblical law.

        The absolute BEST solution is a secular approach.

        Unless, of course, you are a religious extremist….

      4. Brent – you are still struggling to grasp the point. She IS representing her people and her party. That is the point. And yes I would be happy about a Muslim voting according to his conscience on moral issues, wouldn’t you? The irony here is that complain about religion being thrust on people and yet it is you who insists that unless someone supports your social and moral views, they are not fit to be in public office! I don’t know which is more worrying – the fact that you think that like that, or the fact that you can’t see it!

    2. You are so wrong on so many points. We would end up with a one party state with no representatives if we were to take your views. Not every member of parliament toes the party line. We are all free thinkers. You are certainly very dictatorial in you views.
      In this country members of parliament represent their constituents. If the electorate are not happy they will vote the member out. It is called democracy.
      Your hatred of religion and religious people comes out loud and clear.
      This is the Reverend Davidson’s blog and he has shown extreme patience and tolerance to you on his blog.
      I am of a different denomination and do not agree with him on everything. BUT, I do respect him. Try it some time.

      1. 1. Your slippery slope argument is typical of Christians because they are bombarded with fear-mongering. Every time you guys seem to argue a point, you think a small change will result in a complete breakdown of society. Here you think if people stop claiming they will enact Allah’s laws (or Yahweh’s) that we turn into a one party system.
        Are you not aware that there are more views than God vs. No God?
        We could actually have a decent debate if people would stop claiming their position is right because their god just happens to agree with them.
        2. I am fully open to voice my opinion against any candidate, whether it has to do with their religious views, economic, etc.
        It seems you get squeamish because I think people should stop appealing to supernatural entities for their reasoning.
        I really don’t understand this. I don’t care if you have a personal religion. Be a Wiccan for all I care, but when you suggest we should make it a law to practice Magick in hospitals, then I have a problem.
        Worse, if you are a politician running on a platform that wants to energize the Wiccan base to vote you in, so you can enact Wiccan ideals, it’s a huge problem.
        Why isn’t it for you?

        3. Yes, I don’t like religion or religious people. So what? What, do you love everyone and everything they choose to do?

        4. David Robertson is a social agitator for the superstitious. He is also a demonstrable liar, who is willing to lie to make his position seem more true, viable, or convincing.
        That’s not OK with me. He’s trying to get people to support positions that will lead to less freedoms for people, all because of a religion he chose when he was 12.

        If it was a Muslim, you’d find that appalling, yet, because it’s the same religion you chose, you think it’s wonderful.

        Both you, David and the Muslim in this scenario relying on ancient claims of superstitious people to guide you against your own countrymen.

        God, Jesus, Paul, Mark, Luke, Matthew… they are voting citizens. They don’t get a vote – except that you vote for them.

        I don’t think that’s free thinking at all. It’s sheepish. It’s slavery to people who were morally worse than you are.

      2. Brent – thank you again for this statement of the NFA position. You seem to be arguing against yourself because you clearly do not know what we think – so let me enlighten you.

        1) We are aware there are many positions
        2) The candidate concerned did not appeal to any supernatural being as justification for her views. It was because she held views which are opposite to the NFA position that they then claimed she was only doing so because of her belief in God.
        3) No one is suggesting magic in hospitals.
        4) Thanks for confirming you don’t like 90% of people in the world – just because of your religious prejudice!
        5) I don’t lie. If I was a ‘demonstrable liar’ you would surely be able to demonstrate it?
        6) I didn’t choose my religion when I was 12.
        7) Thanks for informing us that God, Jesus, Paul, Mark, Luke and Matthew (why not John? Mary?) were morally worse than me (and presumably you). I don’t agree. Your moral arrogance is almost as bad as your ignorance!

        Finally thanks for showing us how real in depth freethinkers don’t think! Try it some time it may help….

      3. 1. You seem to think there are many positions: Your Christian view, and all others. After all, isn’t that what your religion commands you to think: if you aren’t for God, you are against him?
        2. If a candidate appeals to a religion for their guidance, and that religion is based on the “revelations” or “commands” from a supernatural being (e.g. God), then they are appealing to a supernatural being.
        After all, where else would someone get the idea that homosexuality, for example, is sinful. In fact, how does one even have a concept of sin without a god?
        3. Many people suggest magic in hospitals, schools, churches, homes, etc. They think saying a few spells every Sunday in Church makes God look more favorably on them.
        They think saying a few spells (aka prayers) in school will stop school shootings, etc.
        Christians think a lot of crazy things. They think prayer works (spells), and that saying some words over a schizophrenic can cure them of the “demons”.
        Pretty stupid, no?
        4. 90% of the world aren’t religious. They may claim to be of a religion, but most don’t follow their religion ‘religiously’. And, if you disagree, then you disagree with your own Holy Book. Which way do you want to play that, David?
        5. Yes, you lied about reading Hitlers personal diaries in a debate. There are other examples I can bring up if you’d like.
        For example, “I don’t lie”. That’s a lie, isn’t it?
        6. Then you lied again, since you said during a debate that you did.
        7. The ancient people accepted slavery, Paul was a vicious animal before he had his psychotic break, they were hard;y favorable towards women or gay people – and even Jesus thought they were so stupid that they couldn’t understand his teachings on morality.
        Not to mention, if you really believe the Bible, Jesus is going to come back and kill everyone – and send little Jewish babies to Hell.
        Unless you think all babies go to Heaven… I’d love to see your support of that belief!

        Face it, David, you’re on the losing side of this.

      4. Ok Brent….I normally get so many comments, and seeing how so many internet threads are taking over by trolls and nutters I do try to keep an eye on things here. Your rant however is so amusing that I have let it run…but you are done now. Unless you can actually come up with a lie I told, or apologise…But for your last one let me answer the various points you make.

        1. You told me that I thought there was only one position. Now you tell me that I think there are many positions. Confused?
        2. The candidate did not say that she appealed to God. You just made that up. And where did you get the idea that there is no such thing as sin?!
        3. No-one suggests magic in hospitals or schools – unless they are pagans. Again you are just making things up or trying (and failing miserably) to be witty and insulting.
        4. Now you know that most of the 90% who claim to be religious are faking it. With such omniscience its little wonder that you don’t bother with small things like evidence and reason!
        5. No – I didn’t lie about reading Hitlers personal diaries in a debate. I did read them – as approved by the historian Hugh Trevor Roper and published in the Times. They were then found to be false. I have also read many of his personal writings and the sayings attributed to him by those around him. Once you work out the difference between getting something wrong and lying – and once you show me an actual lie (given that you say there are many more) or apologise you can post here again. Otherwise you are done.
        7. Paul was a vicious animal…and you know this how? I actually do think all babies go to heaven.

        Its strange – since the day of Pentecost people like you have been telling us that we are on the losing side, that the Church is finished etc. and yet we are still here and growing. Losing side? I don’t think so. Perhaps its time to think again? Or even to try thinking for the first time! Tot ziens…

  2. I’m a member of Secular Scotland, and happy to be so. however, denouncing an individual for comments gathered over a period of five years of debate, in which her opinions on matters of as she says “of conscience” we’re openly debated and carried by the vast majority of MSPs.
    Losing the moral high ground on this one SS. Horses for courses.
    “Some people are Christians; get over it.” I have; well just about, but then they tell me I’m going to hell, because they don’t like something about my lifestyle, and I push back.
    Secular goverment is a prerequisite to a free society.
    An equal playing field for everyone?

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