Imagine the scene. After a visit to a man with cancer, I was walking down Byres road in Glasgow, heading for the subway to travel to speak at Creationfest in George Square. I was feeling a bit discouraged after a tough week. I was especially discouraged by a nasty, vicious and lying letter from the Secular Society published in the Dundee Courier, the continued backlash from Stephen Green’s supporters, the continued consiousness of my own weakness and sin – and of course the horribleness of cancer and death. How do I preach in the open air in George Square? How can I tell of Christ in ten minutes? Should I even be doing it? (the question there is not whether it should be done, but whether I am the person to do it)….
And then...I picked up the Herald newspaper and read this astonishing article from Kevin McKenna. Remember this is a journalist writing in a secular newspaper. You can read it and the comments that follow (the usual vitriol and abuse from the secularists – which kind of prove the point of the article – but they havn’t the nous to see that!). The text of the article is beneath.
The Witchfinder General is Alive and Kicking in 21st Century
During the national debate on our constitutional future two years ago many of us felt Scotland, as a nation, had acquitted itself very well. In the eyes of overseas observers the Scottish independence referendum had set the gold standard for similar campaigns around the globe in the future. During this period I encountered several journalists from foreign publications and each expressed their admiration at how dramatic, yet civilised, the process was turning out to be. These men and women had witnessed almost 90 per cent of the eligible population turning out to vote and marvelled at how many of them had become energised by the process.
For the first time many people, whom politics had left uninterested or with feelings of alienation, felt included. It seemed Scotland’s claim to be an enlightened democracy that valued diversity, equality and fairness was not an over-stated one. Since then Scotland has set more gold standards in implementing equality for our LGBTI community and in welcoming refugees into our midst.
Yet, a feeling persists that many who value progress such as this and have campaigned for it would nonetheless deprive Scotland’s Christian community of similar rights.
I don’t intend to get involved in the non-story of the Unionists’ feverish imaginations regarding the fate of Stephen Daisley last week. Mr Daisley is an editor of STV’s online content and an extremely good essayist, whose output has occasionally caused consternation among the SNP and their devotees. Of these there have been very few recently, leading some to think the SNP forced STV to silence him, despite there being not a scintilla of evidence to justify such a claim.What I found most interesting about this social media spat – and not a little disturbing – was that Mr Daisley’s anti-abortion views were held to be “extremist”. For, in modern Scotland, several reasonable, Christian positions are now deemed to be outrageous and beyond the pale in the new secular, orthodoxy of this country that is supposed to value diversity.This is the language of the witch-finder general and it is beginning to cast its shadow all over the country. Such though, is life in this one Scotland of many cultures where, it seems, some cultures are held to be less than others.