There is a great and largely unnoticed injustice in todays Britain. The government is pursuing a policy which discriminates against people because of their nationality and against the poor. If this was being done by the UK government my Twitter feed would be full of outraged Scots decrying the evils of a Tory government – but it’s not. This is the policy of the liberal, … Continue reading Educating Hans but not Hamish or Henrietta
The journalist John Macleod has just begun a major three part series in The Daily Mail on the current state of the Church in Scotland. Given that this is published in Scotland’s best selling Saturday newspaper it is good to see the question being given such prominence. Coming on top of a more local and narrow series in the Dundee Courier focusing on the decline of the Church … Continue reading Losing Our Religion – The Daily Mail on the State of the Church in Scotland
Its a joy and a privilege to be here in Northern Ireland. The more I come here and the more I get to know the people both here and those in St Peters, the more I love both place and people. There are things that are very different, and also much that is similar. I am here for the Cookstown Bible week and it … Continue reading Communicating the Good News in Northern Ireland
This is the third and final part of a series began earlier in the week, explaining why I, as a 2014 Yes voter have taken the painful decision to vote No if there is another IndyRef soon. When Yes means No – A Tale of Three Referendums – Part 1 – The Fantasy When Yes means No – A Tale of Three Referendums – Part … Continue reading When Yes Means No – Part 3 – The Dream
‘It is time that the Scottish Education became fully secular – hence all religious practice should be removed’
This was the motion that Abertay University set for me to debate with my old sparring partner Alistair McBay of the National Secular Society (Sadly Megan Crawford of the Scottish Secular Society was unable to attend). The debate was well attended and went well. You can listen to it by clicking on the Sound Cloud link below – this is a recording from a students phone so is not high quality but you can get the gist and hear the content fine. I would suggest that by far the most interesting bit is the Q and A about half way through….
There was a vote before hand with roughly two thirds being in favour of the motion and one quarter against. After the debate there was another vote and although there was a little movement in my favour (two people changed to me and one went to Alistair), that was not the real point. I found the whole thing fascinating and enlightening. Alistair is a good speaker, but he said nothing that I had not heard before. What was much more interesting was the reaction of the students. The vast majority of the questions were for me.
Here are some of the basic lessons I would take from this:
- Students and academics in general have little or no idea about religion in general and Christianity in particular.
- Ignorance leads to prejudice, mockery and intolerance. Consider this – a majority of students in this debate voted that all religious practice should be removed from education. Even for those who want it. There is no equality, diversity and tolerance here!
- Atheistic Secularists have faith that their secularism is neutral, when clearly it is not. This is the most dangerous kind of prejudice, because if your default emotion is that your view only is the obvious right one, then you are not able to consider other viewpoints.
- The Christian worldview is rational, consistent and wholistic. In the post-modern market place of ideas we have the best product! We also have by far the most radical. We are not the ones defending the status quo to the priveliged! We are challenging it.
- When students are presented with an alternative viewpoint many are open to consider something they had never thought about before. I had several conversations afterwards which showed that. Kudos to Abertay University for allowing this kind of discussion and debate. Many secular institutions are so convinced of their own superiority that they would never think of allowing an alternative point of view.
- Therefore Christians need to be in the public square – not ‘defending’ the faith just in our own churches, but rather ‘attacking’ (questioning, undermining, challenging) the faith/presuppositions/prejudices of those who have been indoctrinated into the secularist worldview. We need to do so in an open, tolerant, loving, gracious, humorous, brave and intelligent manner. I know I fail in this in many ways – but at least I try.
Article in Courier on Dec 30th…followed by my letter in response. The Scottish Government is considering revising its guidance to head teachers, which states that opportunities for religious observance must take place at least six times a year in non-denominational schools. Gordon MacRae, chief executive of the Humanist Society Scotland, which has taken the court action over the issue, said: “This survey confirms … Continue reading Religious Observance in Schools – Letter in Courier – 5th Jan 2017
Monty Python was a hilarious surreal take on many aspects of life. It was so ludicrous that most of us could laugh. But nowadays I find that some aspects of modern life which are apparently taken seriously, are more Pythoesque than Python. Take this headline…. Bible students are warned…you may find the crucifixion too upsetting! This was in The Daily Mail so I guess there are those … Continue reading Snowflake Theologians Given Trigger Warning about the Crucifixion
Why advantage for religions? Sir, – David Robertson (December 12) accuses secular societies of seeking to remove religion from the public square but the group to which I belong, Secular Scotland, has no such aim. If he wishes to preach his religion in a street, we will not oppose any legal right he has to do so, as long as other users are not inconvenienced, … Continue reading The Intolerance of Secular Scotland and Christianity in Schools- Letters in The Courier
This past week I became aware of a couple of major churches and at least one significant evangelical Christian organisation who are burying their heads in the sand on the revolution that is taking place in our society. For them it is too controversial and not nice. Whilst they won’t take an anti-scriptural position, neither will they take a scriptural one. In seeking to be … Continue reading The Re-Imaging of Humanity – Part 4 – The Impact on Society
You may have missed it but yesterday was a significant day in the British Parliament. It almost passed me bye, but in the providence of God I happened to be watching the UK parliament channel (as one does) and saw the seeds of the coming disaster being sown. Bigger than Brexit, more dangerous than Same Sex Marriage, this story has gone largely unheralded and … Continue reading The Tyranny of the Progressives – Another Step Backwards