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Kate Forbes: Would a Christian be permitted to lead Scotland? – CT

This article was first published in Christian Today – here 

Kate Forbes: Would a Christian be permitted to lead Scotland?

(Photo: Scottish Parliament)

With a Hindu as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and a Muslim as the mayor of London, it would seem that the UK is at last fulfilling the promise of a multi-cultural society. Yet events in Scotland suggest that there is one group who are in effect banned from meaningful political leadership – Christians who actually believe what Jesus says!

This week there has been a concerted campaign against the candidature for First Minister of the young Scottish Finance Minister, Kate Forbes, within some of the Scottish media online and even in UK-wide press such as The Guardian, whose headline says what they want – “Kate Forbes’ religious beliefs could stall her bid to succeed Sturgeon”.

Here is the problem: Kate Forbes is a young, intelligent, woman who has already shown she is the most competent politician of her generation. The trouble is that for those who now mainly control the civic elites in Scotland she is not the ‘right sort’ of woman. She is a Christian who belongs to the Free Church of Scotland and is unashamed of her faith.

In an interview with the BBC’s Nick Robinson in 2021, she could not have been clearer: “To be straight, I believe in the person of Jesus Christ. I believe that he died for me, he saved me and that my calling is to serve and to love him and to serve and love my neighbours with all my heart and soul and mind and strength. So that, for me, is essential to my being. Politics will pass. I was a person before I was a politician, and that person will continue to believe that I am made in the image of God.”

An Honest Politician

This week she was asked whether she would have voted for same-sex marriage, and she honestly admitted ‘no’. Everyone from The Times to The Guardian thinks that this has blown up her campaign – although I suspect the wish is father to the thought. Same-sex marriage is not up for debate in the Scottish Parliament. There is no chance it will be voted on in the next Scottish Parliament. It is a non-issue compared with the NHS, the economy, poverty etc. The only reason is to damn Kate Forbes for who she is, not what she will do.

Concern for the Poor

Because of her experience with the poor in India, where her parents were working in a Christian charity, that is Forbes’s big concern. But the SNP establishment has been taken over by the progressives who now enjoy the gravy train that comes along with being in almost total control of Scottish government patronage. They were never going to let that be disrupted by such mundane issues as poverty, the economy, the NHS, housing, drugs deaths and education. According to Toni Giugliano, the SNP’s policy chief, the important issues include legislation on gender recognition, assisted suicide, abortion buffer zones and sex workers’ rights. Forget the poor.

Part of Kate’s concern for the poor is her concern for the unborn. This week some of the Scottish media and Twitterati were up in arms because of a speech she gave in 2018 to a charity run by Stagecoach co-founder Brian Souter. What did she say that was dredged up from the past that was so outrageous? “May our politicians recognise that the way we treat the most vulnerable – whether the unborn or the terminally ill – is a measure of true progress.” Imagine that! Being condemned as unfit to lead because of such a statement!

Religious Discrimination

It is interesting that the only candidate who is being subjected to this kind of questioning and the inevitable Twitter mob abuse, is the young Christian woman. Her main rival, Humza Yousaf, is never questioned about whether he accepts the Quran and its views on polygamy, domestic violence or the treatment of unbelievers. Why? Because nothing else matters to the Woke than their doctrines. To question them is blasphemy.

Which is ironic because Humza Yousaf as justice minister introduced Scotland’s notorious Hate Crime laws in 2021, which in effect brought in a new law of blasphemy for anyone who dared to question the ‘protected characteristics’ determined by the Scottish government. The irony is that this draconian law could and should be used to deal with the hate being poured out towards Kate Forbes because of her religion. But of course, that was not what it was designed for.

Burn the Witch!

In terms of the New Religion which has now become State doctrine, Kate Forbes is deemed to be a heretic. A new Test Act has been introduced into British politics. Accept the approved State dogmas – or you are out. Christian politicians have tried to operate a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy – even to the point of lying or denying their beliefs. But it’s getting harder. We are moving into a world where having the wrong opinion, never mind expressing it, can get you fired. I remember one journalist who interviewed me about transgenderism a few years ago. She told me that she agreed with me but that it would be more than her job was worth to do anything other than write a condemnatory piece about me.

As I watch the hate campaign being poured out from the usual quarters (sadly aided and abetted by some professing Christians) I am saddened that what I saw coming four years ago has now arrived.

Revenge and Fear

Nicola Sturgeon lost her job, partly because of the insanity of her transgender policy, so the initiators of that policy are getting their revenge. But it’s not just the pettiness…which includes jibes about Forbes being a woman with a young family (so much for gender equality!) …it’s the fundamentalistic narrowness of it all. If you do not buy into the new religion, or at least publicly bow the knee, you are out. No matter your skills, abilities, policies or any such political nuances. In the new fundamentalist Scotland, ideology is everything.

Kevin McKenna, one of Scotland’s top journalists has recognised this, calling the targeting of Kate Forbes because of her faith ‘Scotland’s shame’.In a paragraph worth quoting in full he argues: “Ms Forbes’ views on the sanctity of all human life from conception until death is a fundamental pillar of both Christian and Muslim belief. As is her belief – based on science – that sex is binary. The treatment that she’s already beginning to receive offers further evidence of the poison now circulating at the top of the SNP. That you’re free to be whoever you want to be, just so long as you’re not a Christian.”


Pray for Kate Forbes. In a normal world she would win this contest – her opponent has already failed in three ministerial portfolios. But this is a twisted world where being a Christian who believes what Jesus says is enough to get you cancelled. Who knows but that the world of the Twitterati and Scottish politics may not represent the wider constituency of the 100,000 SNP members who will vote?

However, we know that whatever happens the Lord is in control, Kate is in good hands. She has already won – because her life is defined by Christ and his ultimate victory, not by political victories. Kate Forbes has borne faithful witness to Christ and shown the people of Scotland a better way than the way of hate she is facing. I am thankful for her… and proud of our sister!

Stephen Daisley’s Excellent Article on Kate Forbes’ Christian Faith



  1. I do not believe in her ideology. However I share her faith and as she is standing for the leadership even her campaign comes at a personal cost and for that she has my love and respect. She loves God and so do I

  2. The Guardian wasn’t “attacking” Kate Forbes. It was raising the perfectly acceptable question of whether someone is suited to be the leader of the SNP if they disagree with policies which the SNP supports.
    Is Kate Forbes deemed by some to be unsuitable to be the next leader of the SNP because she believes in God? No.
    Is Kate Forbes deemed by some to be unsuitable to be the next leader of the SNP because she believes that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, that he became human, was crucified and rose from the dead? No.
    Is Kate Forbes deemed by some to be unsuitable to be the next leader of the SNP because she believes in the power of the Holy Spirit? No.
    Is Kate Forbes deemed by some to be unsuitable to be the next leader of the SNP because she believes that when we die we will be judged and end up either in Heaven or Hell? No.
    Is Kate Forbes deemed to be unsuitable because she goes to church on Sundays (presumably)? No.
    She is deemed to be unsuitable because she has a number of beliefs which are directly contrary to the policy of the SNP. Namely, on abortion, same-sex marriage and gender ideology.
    If she is out-of-step with the views of the majority of members on these issues then they have every right to decide that she is not suitable to be the leader of the party.
    And the sooner that Christians accept that the SNP is not a party that they should be members of, or vote for, the better.

    1. Of course the Guardian was attacking Forbes. It was using Gotcha questions to get answers in order to condemn her. Your answer to your own questions is too certain. Actually for many people the answer would be yes.

      1. All I can say is, I wonder. If God is calling His people to come out of Babylon and for Babylon to come out of His people, which I believe He is, one must wonder at what point the Babylonian system and the Christian must part ways.

        But we watch and pray. What is remarkable is the rejection of Christianity in favour of any other form of religion but in particular Islam in the case of Scotland. How very shortsighted!

    2. I agree with Mike..I don’t understand how a Christian can be an snp member. The snp ideology is completely opposite to the Christian faith.

      1. Most parties ideologies don’t fit into the Christian faith. Babylon never does. But we live in Babylon and must do what we can within…or let it get worse.

    3. So if we follow your argument to its logical conclusion;
      No one has the right to challenge policy with which they fundamentally disagree :
      (We must all just bow the knee, accept and surrender) and,
      Anyone who disagrees with anything that is wrong within an organisation has no right to be part of it, and seek to create change.
      This logic goes deeper than a deep Christian faith and commitment. It is essentially at the heart of (what should be) everyone’s personal integrity

  3. Looking at today’s press a number of MSPs who were supporting her have now withdrawn their support because of her opposition to gay marriage. The one faith that will no longer be permitted in the public square is evangelical Christianity. It may be time to consider a different approach, such as the Scottish Family Party who clearly stand on Christian values. If the Greens can get in with such low support, why not the SFP. They will never rule, but they could be there as a voice for Christian values. I wonder if any of the mainstream political parties will now tolerate a consistent biblical Christian in office. It is not just an SNP problem.

  4. Fair comment Rev Robertson ,
    I agree with all that you have written , and I am sure like you my concern is for Kate Forbes , her sanity and well being. You are well aware that Scotland is a cauldron of dirty politics , much more so than the rest of the UK where the mainstream media generally tickle incompetence .

    In Scotland , whether you support the National Party or not , the media are out to totally destroy its very core , by means which are most foul. I am not a Nationalist and doubt I ever will be. Their aim is to cut off the head , Kate , or whoever it may be , by attacking the person rather than the policy. I would not wish that on any sister of mine !

    Yet , the Lord calls those to stand in the gap and if it be Kate , she will need all the prayers of her brothers and sisters whatever their political persuasion. Scotland is in need of Christian leadership , not just in the house of politics , but in the fields of church , industry , education and law as never before. I commend the very able young mother to this forum .

  5. I think it safe to say that Scottish politicians have been voted into office, not because of their particular faith or religion, but because of their politics and in reality despite their religious views.

    When you describe “the hate she (Kate Forbes) is facing” l don’t see that David. I don’t see “hate”. l do however see a different opinion to the one Kate holds on gay marriage being expressed. I detest how social media undermines valuable discussion it’s important to understand social media is not reality. That’s one of the reasons l restrict my exposure to it, don’t believe what you read on Twitter.

    I understand your stand against gay marriage is because it is what you believe Jesus says David. Your view is not an assessment of the science or an understanding of biology, of what influences our sexuality. Your belief is based on what your interpretation of the bible says. Thankfully laws in this country were changed that outlawed homosexual interaction, that stopped men going to prison, that stopped chemical castration, that helped bring an end to suicides and despair.

    When you talk about “hate” David especially in the context of political views on gay marriage and transgender issues, please spare a thought for all our brothers and sisters living in countries not as progressive as Scotland. Consider the hate, violence, intolerance and death that homosexuals and transgender people face.

    I have observed and experienced at first hand how “people of faith” have judged their fellow man for being gay. Have “forgiven” them, have discriminated against them have alienated them. It’s in human nature to judge others it’s what we do all the time, we like to categorise others and judge them against a set of rules.

    I have a question for you David, when you say “the Lord is in control” do you truly understand what this means to each and every one of us?



    1. Iain – you don’t see ‘a different opinion being expressed’. That would be fine. And that is the kind of Scotland that Kate is standing for. YBut what is happening is that Kate is being told that her opinion is unacceptable, that she should not express it, and that if she does so – even in answer to a question – she will be banned.

      And yes – I do understand what the Lord is in control means. I have no idea how other people chose to understand that.

      1. Personally I’d much rather she tell the *whole* truth on this matter rather than lie about it as other Christian politicians have done in the past. (it’s not just that she thinks gays should be prohibited from marrying, but all kinds of other counter SNP opinions too!)

        Its important people know who they are voting for.

  6. While I agree with Kate Forbes standing up so well for her Faith. However I think it is sad that despite her strong beliefs, for some time now she has chosen to support a Party which is obviously anti Family, anti Christian, and also a very divisive Party, i.e. which aims to split up UK.
    United we stand divided we fall !

  7. As a side point, it’s depressing watching MSPs now distance themselves from her and withdrawing their support. They would all have known her beliefs (or are very negligent if not) but were presumably happy to support her so long as she kept those beliefs quiet or lied about them. That’s a very sad state of affairs.

  8. I wish Kate Forbes all the best but realistically, even if she is elected leader, she will not last. Just think of Tim Farron and the Lib Dems.

  9. A state sanctioned Christian would be allowed to lead Scotland. But that’s not a Christian serious about Jesus. Meanwhile the seld-ID bill awaits its fate. For now equality for only the favoured ones then.

    One thing is clear. If God wants Kate Forbes as First Minister then not the fiercest opposition will prevent that. He may though have other plans for her. There is a huge and bruising spiritual battle for Scotland’s soul. The enemy is rattled and lashing out. Pray God’s protection on Kate and other Christians at Holyrood.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic though if God used someone the deeply anti-Christian establishment hates to actually deliver independence?*

    I’m not saying God wants an independent Scotland. It’s purely an illustration.

  10. Spoiled by excessive language. I see no “hate campaign”. Calling the former FM’s support for the GR bill “insanity” is also ill-judged. Ms Forbes to her credit never stoops to such exaggerated extremes of language. It’s a pity that an apparent supporter has no similar self-restraint.

    1. ‘I see no hate campaign’….I suggest then that you open your eyes….why do you think Jo Cherry has asked the SNP to call off the dogs of war? The hate is palpable. And yes I would call a bill which lets a male rapist identify as a woman and go to a woman prison, insane. Or would you regard it as sane?

      1. A sexual crime has been committed the process of law completed and the risk assessment process in the prison system complete. The individual is now in a male prison.

        This case is being used as a political toy to score points, it’s an easy target for armchair critics.

        According to figures in England and Wales thousands of men are raped every year. Cases of child abuse against boys by men are sadly reported almost daily in the news. Where do the males convicted of these terrible crimes end up; they end up in male prisons. Would you call this sane David?

      2. No I would call putting male homosexual rapists into a boys prison insane! Putting a woman into a mans prison would be insane….noth being able to say ‘the individual’ rapist is a male is insane.

      3. ‘And yes I would call a bill which lets a male rapist identify as a woman and go to a woman prison, insane‘

        That’s not the purpose of the bill though. You focus on an isolated issue that is being resolved. But it’s actually the thought of transgenders being accepted into society that you’re bothered about.

      4. But thats what the bill allows and encourages. Thats its logic. Thats why Nicola could not say Bryson is a man and why Humza could prosecute me under hate crime speech law for saying so!

      5. The person in the case you’re talking about is in a mans prison now. Nicola said they were ‘almost certainly masquerading as trans to switch prison’. So I don’t know why you’re fixating on this case as it seems like Nicola agrees with you. Let be honest when the guy was moved to a men’s prison you were devastated. You wanted the wrong thing to happen so you had a stick to beat the gender reform bill with. Half of the country called that rapist a man, no one is in jail for it.

        You want to make an argument against trans people being accepted into society at any costs. Once the prison argument gets shut down you’ll move on to the next argument that seems least bigoted.

      6. That is even more insane. Now you are saying a man is a a woman only if Nicola says he is?! You seem to have a somewhat perverse view of life – but don’t pass that on to me. Why would anyone be ‘devastated’ because a rapist goes to a male prison? And no I don’t want to not accept trans people….The policy is insane, but you don’t need to lie about me.

      7. David

        My view is that in most cases an individual is the best judge of what gender they are, especially considering hardly anyone has had a full DNA exam.

        However where a criminal may be using that trust to gain advantage there needs to be more scrutiny. We have a mass shooting case here in the US where the murderer is trying to get out of hate crime charges by saying he is LGBT (despite it being news to his family, friends and girlfriend!)

  11. I have great respect for Kate Forbes and her clear expression of her faith, though was saddened to read that she feels she has to apologise to some people who have been hurt by her comments. But what amazes me in all this is that so many Christians are amazed that the world hates and is opposed to faithful believers. We have been living in a false reality for too long where the world has tolerated or ignored us but now the gloves are coming off. Welcome to the real world, brothers and sisters! This is what it is like for countless believers around the world, but often even worse. We better get used to it and stop complaining about it.

    Also, I cannot get my head round how a true believer can be a member of, never mind the leader of, a political party that is committed to abortion, same-sex marriage and numerous other policies that are an abomination before a holy God. Even if she disagrees with them she will have to support them and indeed promote them as party policy and that is totally inconsistent with being a follower of Jesus. The sooner Christians leave the SNP the better.

  12. Your last two paragraphs are heartening. There Kate Forbes and we find peace. I pray the Lord will sustain her. What Scotland needs is true spiritual awakening. Only this will reverse trends. We also cry, ‘Come Lord Jesus’.

  13. The opposition, to KF and others, is no shadow boxing! The truth demands and receives a response. In one sense, the opposition is a compliment.

  14. David, you say, “we live in Babylon and must do what we can within…or let it get worse.” But Scripture says, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;” (Revelation 18:4). Of course, we can’t completely leave Babylon as long as we live in this world, but where we do have choices – and which political party we join is one such choice, or which false church we join – we have no right joining, let alone staying in, when the command of Scripture is clear – “Come out”. And come out, not get out, because is not there anyway, so why would one of his children be there?

  15. “…there is one group who are in effect banned from meaningful political leadership – Christians who actually believe what Jesus says!” Where exactly does Jesus criticize gay marriage?

    1. Jesus described marriage as being between male and female.

      Matthew 19:4-6 And he answered and said to them, “Have you not read that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

      1. The passage you quote is about the permissibility of divorce. It doesn’t explicitly say anything about gay marriage either way. Of course you can *interpret* it the way you do. Some Christians do, others don’t. Why the difference? One reason for secular hostility to Forbes’s positions on issues related to homosexuality is a doubt about whether they they are genuinely religious beliefs. Instead, the suspicion is that she (and others with the same views) are cherry-picking verses and projecting from them simply to rationalize antecedently existing prejudice.

      2. Graeme, It explicitly shows Jesus’s teaching is that marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular hostility to Forbes is nothing to do with a doubt about her genuiness….I bow to your expertise in cherry picking!

    2. In refusing to add to or take away from anything the Old Testament said about it.

      In inspiring Paul to write his letters.

  16. Three more interesting facts

    Forbes was trusted with a senior position in Sturgeons government. That would not have happened if Christians were now unable to become leaders

    Forbes opposes sex before marriage. So why is her opposition to SSM more prominent than something that actually impacts most Scottish people?

    An interesting contradiction- Forbes is running for (secular) leadership of Scotlands government, but opposes women in leadership in churches.

    1. 1) Don’t expect consistency
      2) Because that is what her enemies and the press care about and ask about. She didn’t bring up the subject.
      3) It’s not a contradiction – unless you think that the Church should run like a secular organisation or vice versa.

      1. 1. If theres no consistency then there can be no de facto ban on a Christian becoming FM
        2. That was my point!
        3. Contradiction was me being polite – our ancestors would not have seen any difference between government and church in terms of who was a suitable leader. I do think its hypocrisy for women to seek senior leadership positions if their stated faith position is that women must serve men

      2. Our ancestors did see a big difference between women in church and other leadership. The former was a matter of biblical principle. The latter had nothing to do with the bible. And its a lie to state that the biblical position on male elders in the Church means that it is teaching that women must serve men! We are to serve one another.

      3. I’m not a expert in history, but certainly I know John Knox opposed women in secular leadership because he wrote a book about it, the Christians who opposed giving women the vote did so for the sake reason.

      4. Not quite sure what this has to do with Kate Forbes – or her church? Which gave the vote to women long before the State!

      5. You serve one another? How can you possibly claim this if men are in charge and women are only fit to do menial tasks for the men?!

      6. Please don’t be so dishonest and ignorant. No one is claiming that women are only fit to do menial tasks for the men!

      7. David

        I was responding to your claim that our ancestors didn’t see secular leadership for women as a biblical issue.

        Significant figures in British Christianity have indeed believed that female secular leadership was contrary to scripture.

        Its important in this case because we have a woman seeking to lead Scotland who sees (other) women as incapable of leadership (in the church). I’d argue these views are *more* controversial than opposing SSM

      8. It astonishes me how many times you manage to distort the truth. Is it something that you do deliberately or is it just your strong bias? Kate Forbes does not think that women are ‘incapable’ of leadership in the church. Which significant figures in British Christianity thought that Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria should not have been on the throne?

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