Education Equality Ethics Sex and sexuality

The Incest Petition – Another Brick Removed from the Wall

For the past few years we have been warning that if the society rejects the bible’s teaching about sex, sexuality and humanity, then SSM would not be the only brick to be taken out of the wall.  I believe that in order the next to fall will be the taboos and laws against polygamy, incest and pedophilia.  And so bit by bit it is happening.  In these past few days I have read about the British welfare state subsidising polygamy, a conference in Cambridge declaring that pedophilia is ‘natural’ and of course the incest petition going before the Scottish parliament.
I released the statement below through the Free Church and it was picked up by a couple of newspaper and STV.    I knew that it would be met with a storm of abuse and disgust – and it was.  There were some comments that are too vile to be published (and yet the National felt free to leave them on their comments page) – suggesting amongst other things that I was both a product of and an exponent of incest.
But leave aside all the comments about insanity and the outrage from secularists there was something else very revealing that happened (and that proved my point).  Logically what I am saying is correct – most people don’t want to go the logical route and so just resort to abuse.  But others are prepared to do that – and rather than give up their original arguments, when they see the consequences, they are prepared to accept the consequences.   For example a Mr Ron Murphy from Langley High School states:
 “He’s nearly right. There are good evolutionary reasons why incest is generally harmful for offspring, and that might have resulted in a general distaste for the practice. However, the only reasons to now reject incestual sex among consenting adults is a cultural history of morality – which itself may have become dominant because of the biological causes. 
Similarly, homosexuality is not reproductively beneficial to a species, but in small numbers is harmless. We have come to accept the biological variation of homosexuality, but not yet incest. In both cases the error is in making a moral proscription out of old biological influences without good reason. Some biologically driven behaviours, like rage and killing, are worth resisting. Making a moral proscription against killing but not against homosexuality or incest are consistent with secular humanism.He’s wrong in that it’s not a necessary consequence of secularism, but of science and philosophy challenging historical moral proscriptions.”
And then one of the leading Secular Scotland figures stated honestly (ironically after lots of his fellow supporters had just posted about what an insane ‘mental midget’ I was for suggesting that the secularist logic would lead to incest) ” I’m still trying to work out what is wrong with incest between consenting adults”  and another added “Apart from making the majority of people cringe at the thought of sexual intercourse with a family member, I don’t believe it to be immoral between consenting adults.”  It is the logic of their position.  A few more years of media programming and the yeuch factor will have been removed and we will have the secularists campaigning on the basis of ‘equality’ and ‘equal marriage’ in favour of consenting adult incest.  Speaking of the media, it was helpfully pointed out that there are other examples of the media being used to ‘normalise’ incest, with one of the most prominent being Game of Thrones.   These are sad and desperate days- we have sown the wind and we are reaping the whirlwind.
Statement on the Free Church website

The retreat from Christian morality means that petitions, like today’s one attempting to legalise incest, being discussed by the Scottish Parliament are inevitable, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland has said.

Rev David Robertson made the remarks before Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee rejected a proposal on adult consensual incest for over-21s.

He argued that secularist humanist thinking; that adults should be free to do whatever they like with their own bodies so long as third parties are not harmed, would simply not stand up to the problem. Speaking ahead of this morning’s session, Rev David Robertson said: “Unless MSPs are prepared to adopt Christian morality, they are effectively defenceless in arguing against incest.

“Secularist humanist thinking reduces sexual relations to a matter of consent – I am frequently told that so long as two people are happy to be involved, there is not a problem. “But it’s when we consider the Bible that we clearly see that the legalisation of incest would be an unmitigated disaster.

“Incest may be the last great taboo and people will understandably react with revulsion and disgust, but given the criteria of human autonomy that many seem to be adopting, there is no logical reason for incest not to become acceptable.”

The Free Church Moderator continued: “Given that the changes in legislation tend to be preceded by media propaganda normalising what was once considered unthinkable, I find it somewhat disturbing that the current BBC series of War and Peace portrays an explicit incestuous relationship, something which is not in the book, as though it were normal.

“Whilst it is currently ‘unthinkable’ and I am sure that MSPs will throw this petition out, this is just the first drop in what will be a drip, drip campaign by those who do not regard incest as unthinkable.“Who is to say that within a few years the pressure will not grow and in the name of ‘equality’, incest between adults will be permitted?

“Those who argue that consenting adults have the right to do whatever they want, have no real argument, other than instinctive revulsion, against incest. “Having rejected the basic Christian view of morality what is to stop our society moving even further away from its foundations?

“On the criteria put forward by the new moral guardians of our society, there is no logical reason why incest and polygamy should not be permitted. “Perhaps we in the Church have to wake-up and properly explain to our society that we have a God of order and beauty who has set up clear parameters for the gift of sex within marriage.

“The Maker of the family really does know what is best for the family.”

No appeared in person to present the petition – which was only lodged last week – at today’s meeting of the Public Petitions Committee in Edinburgh.

There was very little discussion from MSPs and the committee agreed to close the petition, meaning it has been rejected.

MSPs to debate bid to legalise incest between consenting adults
STV News 26 Jan 2016
A bid to change incest laws so they no longer apply to consenting adults over the age of 21 is to be considered by MSPs. In a petition to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee, Richard Morris argued that the current law needs reform. The campaigner also wants people who have been convicted under those circumstances to have their sentences reconsidered and potentially quashed. He claims the legislation at the moment “does unnecessarily and unfairly punish consensual adult incest, breaching the rights to sexual autonomy for all consenting adults that is accepted in other more developed countries”.
In a submission to MSPs he stressed that adult consensual incest does not involve anyone under the age of 21, and added: “Therefore it involves only adults and excludes anyone under the legal age of consent, and even those a bit older who still may be psychologically immature, and vulnerable to abuse, but legally adults in every respect. “Children are protected from sexual and other abuse by other laws, and there is no need for the double criminalisation of the offence.”
Free Kirk Moderator, the Reverend David Robertson, said: “Whilst it is currently ‘unthinkable’ and I am sure that MSPs will throw this petition out, this is just the first drop in what will be a drip, drip campaign by those who do not regard incest as unthinkable.”
Committee convener Michael McMahon said: “I recognise the petition addresses a subject matter that many people find abhorrent. Speaking personally, I take a similar view.
“However, all petitions that fall within the committee’s rules must be given our open and transparent consideration. It will be for the committee to decide if there can be any public interest in continuing this petition when we meet on Tuesday, January 26.”
Legal incest is ‘a logical result of secularism’, says Free Church of Scotland
The National 26 Jan 2016
SCOTTISH secularism means that legalising incest is only “logical”, according to the Free Church of Scotland. Speaking ahead of a discussion on incest laws by the Scottish Parliament’s petition committee, the Church’s moderator said the lack of “Christian morality” among lawmakers was to blame for Scotland being in a place where incest was no longer “unthinkable”.
The Rev David Robertson said: “Unless MSPs are prepared to adopt Christian morality, they are effectively defenceless in arguing against incest.” He continued: “Secularist humanist thinking reduces sexual relations to a matter of consent – I am frequently told that so long as two people are happy to be involved, there is not a problem.
“But it’s when we consider the Bible that we clearly see that the legalisation of incest would be an unmitigated disaster.”Robertson blamed the BBC’s dramatisation of War and Peace, which features an incestuous relationship, as “media propaganda.” He said: “Whilst it is currently ‘unthinkable’ and I am sure that MSPs will throw this petition out, this is just the first drop in what will be a drip, drip campaign by those who do not regard incest as unthinkable.
  “Who is to say that within a few years the pressure will not grow and in the name of ‘equality’, incest between adults will be permitted?”
  MSPs on Holyrood’s petitions committee have already indicated their opposition to the proposal, with committee convener Michael McMahon calling the subject matter “abhorrent”.MSPs will decidetodaywhether there is any further action to take.
Richard Morris, who lodged the petition, reportedly lives in Australia and will not be appearing in front of the committee.  In his petition, Morris says the law, “perpetuates superstitious, bigoted, outmoded beliefs.”


  1. I had to think a little on reading this post David due to what you said about “the wall” having associations for me wit Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”.

    That is for example in the song “Mother”:

    Mama’s gonna make all of your nightmares come true
    Mama’s gonna put all of her fears into you…
    Of course Mama’s gonna help build the wall

    So in that sense in the film the character played by Bob Geldof has unresolved issues with fear that he masks with drugs and the wall is the separation sexually and relationally with his wife ending up with her having an affair.

    So, I understand in a positive sen you mean “the wall” being caring for the vulnerable and avoiding being polluted by evil.

    Yes I see where you are going with this and I share your concern. If society balked at incest and bigamy before and now is saying that is OK as long as adults are consenting then logic says that anything goes. I’m sure a child is consenting with an adult when there is peadophilia. Why, because the child is afraid, wants the approval of the adult and doesn’t want to get into trouble from what the adult can do to them if they tell.

    It takes me back to a time where with a Pakistani colleague informed me that there are places in North Pakistan where a status symbol is a Kalashnikov rifle and a boy for sex. It wasn’t so long ago that in Glasgow, it was considered a status symbol to have an African as a slave.

    So yes we are not governed by a “cultural history of morality”.

    Thank goodness for that.

  2. This is not new. It’s old hat, but smacks of opportunism in today’s swirling social mores,

    I recall a lecture in the late 1960’s by criminal law professor Glanville Williams arguing that private licence behind closed doors between consenting adults should not be a crime, but solely private morality.

    It’s worth remembering that a crime is an act against the state, against society, an act that is harmful to society, not merely against private rights, against or between individuals.


    1. I feel the same! In the 80s, when I was an post-modernist atheist, I used to feel glad that my mother, with her “old-fashioned” values, was on her way out. Now, by God’s grace a Christian, I’m glad that I am!

  3. Probably the last thing to be left standing between us and total license will be the instinctive revulsion that still hedges paedophilia.
    There has to be SOMETHING still classed as abomination, to satisfy the pharisee in human nature, and I would bet on paedophilia’s keeping its yeuck factor longer than either incest or polygamy.

    But there should be a database kept of every public statement riffing on “Of course SSM isn’t a slippery slope to paedophilia” – against the time when it proves that the slippery slope HAS led to acceptance of paedophilia.


  4. Why, oh why do Christians (loose definition) think that God has directed them to change the world?
    Where in the Bible does God ask ‘Christians’ to change the world?
    Society is religiously godless – always has been – and, until Christ’s return, always will be.
    Not even Jesus came to change the world – He came to save His sheep out of the world – and He has no affinity with the world:–
    “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.” – John 17/9.
    And contrary to the erroneous and unenlightened interpretation of John 3/16. – Christ did not die to offer salvation to the whole world of mankind – rather He gave His life to provide redemption for the elect, not just among the Jewish nation, but throughout the whole world.
    Indeed Jesus will not only reject those of the world, but He will reject those who, although having a very credible ‘Christian’ façade, are not known by Him:-
    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7/21-23
    And, I don’t believe that it is God’s will that any true believer attempts to change the world.
    It is God’s will that believers, as opportunity arises, share the gospel – in the knowledge that our Sovereign God will providentially give His lost – ears to hear and eyes to see.
    In the meantime, let every the true believer die to the world and leave it to its degenerating decaying and death oriented destiny.
    Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John2 15/17
    And trying to discipline, correct or change the world is an act of love…………… is it not?

    1. Jack – we seek to change/save the world because that is what our Father does and our saviour does. And we are his disciples. I think you are getting confused about the meaning of the word ‘world’. I am happy to be a biblical Christian and not retreat into the kind of hyper Calvinistic pietism which you seem to espouse!

  5. I totally agree (well, almost) with what David Robertson said in his press release. I have read many of the comments on the National website. Most of them display the usual puerile level of behaviour beloved by a certain group of people. However, one of their points is one which I have myself wondered about. The Bible tells us that God created Adam and Eve. They then had children who in turn had children. This must have involved sex between Adam and Eve’s own children. I have often wondered what the Christian response to this is.

    1. Indeed it did – and at that moment in human history you can see why it was the case – but by the time we get to the Levitical laws it is forbidden – again for obvious reasons…

      1. I’m not being obtuse here but thinking of how to reply to our atheists friends. They could say that God permitted something to happen at one time and then condemned it at another time and that that’s not very consistent. (If he change his mind then, what’s to stop him changing his mind again.) Well, we know that God can do that. After all, Moses, presumably with God’s permission, allowed divorce whereas Jesus totally condemned it. But neither do we believe in a capricious God. So you can say that something was done for obvious reasons but I’m not sure that that would make sense to our atheist friends – and I’m not talking about the ones who make puerile comments, because nothing much is going to convince them, no matter how reasonable it is. A closed mind is a closed mind.

    2. Adam was created perfect. It’s not that sibling marriage was just a practical faut-de-mieux; the point is that with perfect, defect-free genes, there was no genetic problem with inbreeding. With every succeeding generation after the Fall, however, the human race became (literally) more degenerate, so that later it became necessary to prohibit incest.
      But your question is hard to answer without accepting that the world was made exactly as Genesis describes.

    3. My Christian response is this: If you take Adam & Eve literally then you have to concede incest must’ve happened way back in the very beginning at least. By the way the children were Cain & Abel therefore it wouldn’t have been Adam and Eve’s children, it would’ve been Eve and her children.

      That’s if you take it literally.

      On the other hand, is Adam and Eve an allegorical characterisation of the beginning of mankind?

      I think Adam is Hebrew for “man” and Eve is Hebrew for “Life”.

      There are many concepts for Adam and Eve but as a Christian I don’t feel I have to worry too much about it. Christ is all that matters to me and the rest will be revealed one day.

  6. It appears that you need to be on Facebook to make comments on the National website. As I don’t use Facebook, I’ll make them here.

    Firstly, about the argument that the Bible approves of incest because of the story about Lot and his daughters. Well, the Bible records the adultery of King David and does anyone think that that means God approves of adultery? I think not. And the Bible records King Herod slaughtering lots of little children. Does anyone think that that means God approves of infanticide? I think not. Most sensible people can see that while the Bible records events which took place that does not mean that those actions are approved by God. Golden calf? So, does anyone think that Lot’s behaviour regarding his daughter means that God approved his behaviour? Surely not. Surely no sensible person would draw that conclusion. But, actually, there are people who have made comments on the National website who do seriously believe that because Lot’s behaviour is recorded in the Bible God must have approved it. Sad.

    Secondly, let’s consider the numerous adjectives which are applied to David by many people commenting on the National website. As David has not mentioned them I won’t either. But I’ll make this point. Christians are required to behave towards other people as they would like other people to behave towards them. I would ask any atheist whether they believe in the same morality. I would ask that because if they do, what do they make of atheists who use the kind of language used on the National website. And what about the actual atheists who have used the language? What do they believe? Do they agree with what Jesus said or is that only for Christians? An atheist who commented on the National website made a great song and dance about how atheists don’t need the Bible to tell them how to behave. Fair enough. People, for example, who have never seen a Bible can’t rely on the Bible. But do the atheists who make up their own rules for life include what’s often called the golden rule? If they do, then would they mind actually putting it into practice and start referring to people respectfully.

  7. Noticed a comment on Facebook re the “punishment” of Lot’s wife. I know Jesus said let the dead bury the dead, but this chap seemed to be trying to effect a rescue, or at least a defence. Anyway, we know she went back when she shouldn’t have. I can’t get my head round the outrage that she was “punished”. If I knowingly touch a hot iron that someone has warned me off, and burn my hand, is the someone punishing me, or did they just credit me with having some sense?

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