Once again the secularist sects in Scotland unite to attack me and claim that their position is the ‘neutral’ one. And once again I get the opportunity to expose their real agenda. This is an important debate and its good that we can have it in public and that the continual attacks of the militant secularists provide the opportunity to explain the Christian position in the media. This is an ongoing debate – the earlier correspondence which you can read here
Letter: Restrictions by Christians
The Courier & Advertiser 15 Jan 2016
Sir, David Robertson (January 12) claims that the British values of freedom, equality and diversity “stem from our Christian heritage”.This is utterly false. These values stem from our Enlightenment heritage, whereby the worst excesses of so-called Christian values were either reined in or dispensed with.
The Enlightenment promoted freedom of expression and free thought while Christianity sought to suppress these through blasphemy laws. Thanks to the Enlightenment we no longer imprison or murder witches, nor do we imprison gay people or otherwise impair their rights, and we have dispensed with capital punishment in the name of the Christian state.
Women too have benefited enormously from suffrage and equality, while Christianity has mounted objection to every social reform that has improved the rights of large and diverse groups in society. It is amusing to see the Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland champion freedom, equality and diversity since he campaigns to restrict the human rights and freedoms of others and sees these values solely through the prism of his fundamentalist religious belief.
Alistair McBay. National Secular Society, 5 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh.
Letter: We do not back atheist schools
The Courier & Advertiser 15 Jan 2016
Sir, – David Robertson (January 12) contends that I don’t want Christianity presented as fact in state schools, I want it “taught as myth, by secularist atheists”. I wrote that it should be studied “as an important cultural influence”, which does not require its supernatural beliefs to be presented as either fact or myth.
Not saying a story is true is not the same as saying it is untrue and a neutral position can be maintained in the class by all teachers, regardless of their own beliefs. Mr Robertson argues that schools which don’t promote belief in God are atheist schools. No. They are secular schools. An atheist school would promote disbelief and that would be as inappropriate and non-educational as promoting belief.
Mr Robertson refers to schools where Christian pupils have had their faith mocked. If the schools were complicit in the mockery, complaints should be made. The Scottish Secular Society would not defend such behaviour or regard it as neutral on religion.
Robert Canning, The Scottish Secular Society, 58a Broughton Street, Edinburgh
Letter: Indoctrination of children
The Courier & Advertiser 19 Jan 2016
I note that Alistair McBay of the National Secular Society, and Robert Canning of the Scottish Secular Society, are continuing their campaign against Christianity (letters 15th January).
Mr McBay thinks that we were all in Christian darkness until the self-styled Enlightenment set us free. This fanciful re-written view of history is not shared by all his fellow atheists. For example the atheist Professor John Gray in his book Black Mass cites with agreement Lewis Namier, who noted as regards one of the fruits of the Enlightenment ““Hitler and the Third Reich were the gruesome and incongrous consummation of an age which, as none other, believed in progress and felt assured it was being achieved”. This is why we care so much about this debate. Remove Christianity from society and that is route we are going.
Meanwhile Mr Canning does not appear to understand what Christianity is. Our faith is not something that we hold in private or practice as though we were some kind of knitting club or Trekkie society. Our faith is what our morals, understanding, values and lifes are based on. When Mr Canning says he wants Christianity excluded from education, he is simply saying that he wants all that excluded. In other words he wants his atheism to be the default position and ethos of every school in Scotland, in the hope that children can be indoctrinated out of their natural theism. As for the SSS not defending the mockery of religion – all one has to do is go to their Facebook page and you will see how that works out in practice. Why is it that the SSS are so determined to prevent Christian parents from excercising our basic human right to have our children education according to our faith, not theirs?
St Peters Free Church
4 St Peter St