After my appearance at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday (you can read about it HERE) this is what the Daily Mail are reporting today. There should also be something in the Sunday Mail tomorrow:
Scottish Daily Mail13 Feb 2016
CHRISTIANS are now seen as ‘extremists’ who are persecuted for their views by internet hate ‘mobs’, a leading churchman has warned. The Rev David Robertson, moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, said some prospective politicians who interacted with Christians on social media were being hounded by gay rights activists. He called for the Scottish Government to intervene to ‘defend and maintain freedom of speech – in reality as well as words’ to prevent people being harassed and abused for their religious beliefs.
Mr Robertson made the call after addressing MSPs on the Holyrood cross-parliamentary group on religious freedom. The Dundee-based minister argued that the Scottish Government should fund professional research to gather evidence on anti-Christian abuse.
He said he was convinced that religious people’s ability to express themselves publicly was being undermined. The moderator also urged Holyrood political party leaders to go on the record and state that Christians, and those of other faiths, were welcome in their parties.
In 2014, Mr Robertson leapt to the defence of former Scottish Labour MP Jim Murphy, who had been targeted by opponents in the Scottish Secular Society purely because of his Catholic faith. Mr Robertson said: ‘I know of prospective politicians who have been hounded through social media by activists within their parties who wish to exclude everyone who dares to disagree with the liberal elitist zeitgeist on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion.
‘Some time ago, a prospective Tory MP told me to remove a reference on my blog to her and her church from my website from several years ago because gay rights groups were trawling the internet trying to link her with known extremists – like Christians.
‘It is not right that anyone who dares to disagree with the current zeitgeist is discriminated against, abused and effectively removed from the mainstream political process.’
Mr Robertson said: ‘The Scottish Government must defend and maintain freedom of speech. ‘It must also defend and maintain freedom of ideas, because in 21stcentury Scotland there must be the freedom to discuss and hear ideas that one disagrees with in a respectful and courteous way.
‘Freedom of religion involves a whole lot more than an acknowledgement that we have the right to worship and serve God in private. We also have the right to be involved in the public square.’
He said political leaders ‘should discourage the use of social media to intimidate and abuse those who are believers and who might have different value systems’. He added: ‘Social media has become the 21st century equivalent of the 19th century mob.
Freedom of religion means greater freedom for all.
‘The removal of that will mean the state replacing God and greater restrictions for all but the elites who control and run that state.’
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘We are committed to creating a modern Scotland which protects and respects human rights, including upholding freedom of thought, conscience and religion. No one, of any faith, should face persecution or discrimination because of their religious beliefs.’