Equality Ethics Justice Politics Scotland Videos

Scottish Hate Crime Bill

There is a profoundly disturbing bill that is coming before the Scottish Parliament.  I did this interview with Colin Wilson explaining why the hate crime legislation is so dangerous.  Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Justice Secretary stated :

“Let me be clear, the Bill will not stop people expressing controversial, challenging, or even offensive views, as long as this is not done in a threatening or abusive way that is intended to stir up hatred or likely to stir up hatred

It’s that last phrase that is so dangerous and stunning – why?  Because it is entirely subjective.   If I state that a man cannot become a woman that could be classed as something that is likely to stir up hatred against transgender people.  If I state that I regard some Islamic doctrines and practices as wrong – does that stir up hatred?  What about some Protestant or Catholic doctrines and practices?  Basically, if you are an ‘in victim group’ then you will be protected and you will be given carte balance to silence any criticism – but it will be open house on any group that the Scottish government do not consider to be worthy of victim status.

I have asked the Scottish Justice minister the following question several times and as yet have had no answer –

“The last person to be prosecuted (178 years ago) under the old blasphemy law was an Edinburgh bookseller Thomas Paterson who advertised amongst other things ‘that the Bible and other obscene works not sold at this shop’. Under the new law would an Edinburgh bookseller be free to advertise ‘the Koran and other obscene works not sold at this shop’? We are not stating that such a statement is correct or wise – but we are asking simply if it would be permitted. If the answer is no then we have in effect gone back to the 19th Century blasphemy law. “

Here is the video….

1. The above video is 40 minutes long. It starts with some background ‘scene-setting’ material (2 mins) followed by the interview with David (30mins).

2. Following the above there is an 8-mintute extract of a very powerful address given by preacher Jonathan Stephen (at the 32 min mark) followed by some links. The Jonathan Stephen trailer can also be accessed at the article ‘The Troublesome Gospel’.

3. The full ‘Peter’s Denial’ sermon by Pastor Paul Rees can be found here.
See also articles: ‘Standing firm in a Godless age’ and ‘Standing together: the imperative and the cost.’ 

4. PRAYER POINT – John Mason and Kate Forbes are both professing Christians and MSPs in the Scottish National Party. Pray for their encouragement, witness and stance within all of this.

The New Scottish Blasphemy Law

(It was good to see that the Free Church made a submission to the Scottish government which is reported in Christian Today here)


  1. i would ordinarily be 100% with you on this David but I have been on the receiving end of a hate crime online with dyslexia. As someone with this disability I could use the law with an aim to stop this disturbing harassment.

    So I have conflicting feelings about this one, what you say is convincing. And if gives power to anyone who feels offended at if feeling offended makes someone right. And in the current cancel culture, could lead to someone being cancelled. Just look at what is happening with JK Rowling currently after she has expressed views about transgenderism which is not in keeping with the prevailing narrative with one commentator claiming “In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people.” https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/books/jk-rowling-twitter-why-harry-potter-author-has-been-accused-transphobia-2877977

    So – isn’t this just the same principle as Orwells 1984 thought crime? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyR51MqOl5I

    1. Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that if you are opposed to hate, or hate speech, you have to be in support of this bill.

      1. I hear you David and of course you are right to be concerned about this bill in the context of cancel culture with it seems more as time goes on to be akin to Marxist Leninism.

    2. Adam Julians if you receive hate crime you are quite right to expect a line to be drawn on what is acceptable and not acceptable. The Scottish Bill is not a threat to Christianity. We have all seen the hate expressed at football matches between Catholic and Protestant. As our Scottish Society becomes more diverse foundations need to be put down to prevent tribalism, growing hate, and internal conflict.
      This will not stifle debate or free speech. If you intend to be hurtful, nasty or extremely offensive You might be disappointed. This is not in the teaching of Jesus anyway.
      A friend fell out with me for expressing this opinion and I immediately guessed he had been on the weeflea site, and there it was, by their fruits you will know them.

      1. Beverley – what a nasty, hurtful and offensive post. You state that as a follower of Jesus I am responsible for tribalism, growing hate and internal conflict. Under the new law you could be prosecuted for your hateful speech. Oh – but you say – that was not what I intended. Under the new law that does not matter. It’s what I perceive. Personally, I think you should be free to criticise and attack me in this way – but you clearly don’t feel that about other people. You want the State to determine what is in people’s hearts and regulate it. It’s a disastrous proposal which will kill debate and free speech.

      2. David, here we go again! You said ‘You [Beverley] state that as a follower of Jesus I am responsible for tribalism, growing hate and internal conflict.’ Where does she state this?

      3. Read her comment – it is the clear implication of her post – otherwise why write it? Or are you suggesting she was just wandering off topic?

  2. Whatever the law says if it is subjective, so that a person can claim something said was a problem to them, we won’t really be able to say anything as it might be treated by another person as hate or whatever. This matters since it affects churches as much on the ‘unchurched’.

    If a person preaches that atheists will go to hell, I could easily claim this was hate against me, an atheist. The law needs some trimming down and made objective not subjective,

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