Recently it was announced that the first mosque is about to be built on the Western Isles – a bastion of conservative evangelical Calvinism, dominated by the Free Church of Scotland (colloquially and somewhat pejoratively known as ‘the Wee Frees’). The press sniffed blood – surely this would outrage the Free Church and create civil war? The old headlines ‘Wee Free Outrage’ were dusted down … Continue reading Islam on Lewis: Why the church should support Muslims’ right to build mosques
This week is ‘Fresher’s’ week in my home city – where Dundee University has just welcomed thousands of new students. In the local press they are welcomed with fine words and fine sounding ideals from the University officials. They have come to learn, develop friendships, broaden their horizons and meet some of the finest experts in their chosen field of study. As a University chaplain … Continue reading University Challenge
I watched with keen interest our First Ministers speech at the SNP conference in Aberdeen last Saturday. I don’t really want to comment on the ins and outs of a potential IndyRef2, or of Brexit and everything else associated with it. There has already been enough said on that and I suspect many are already weary. Rather than offer a political opinion I would like … Continue reading Nicola Sturgeons Speech – A Warning for Scotland
The Manic Street Preachers – If you Tolerate this then your Children will be Next Earlier this month The Scotsman and The Courier both carried articles which boasted about Scotland becoming a more ‘tolerant’ nation. The Scotsman even ran an editorial which was as good an example of hubristic self-congratulation as one could wish for. I wrote the following letter in response. The Courier published it … Continue reading Scotland – the Most Tolerant Nation in the World?
This was published on the Christian Today website – click Here for the original. North Carolina’s “bathroom law” positioned the state at the centre of a debate over equality, privacy and religious freedom. What are the primary virtues of our culture? Diversity, inclusivity, equality and tolerance. That’s what progressive society is all about. But is it? It is a demonstrable fact of modern life that in … Continue reading The Tolerant Church – Christian Today Revelation Series – 5
I was looking forward to the gig; a Solas talk and discussion in a somewhat unusual venue – the cafe in Tesco’s main store, Coatbridge. According to the organisers the Tesco staff had been brilliant – welcoming and very helpful, even opening the cafe especially for the event. ‘Good for them’, I thought, ‘here is a big corporation who are prepared to have community engagement, maybe … Continue reading Tesco Values – Intolerance, Exclusion and Hope
What Price Free Speech?
The superb film Suffragette certainly makes you think. It also made me thankful for our democracy and our freedom of speech. In one hundred years you could argue that we have come a long way – especially in the emancipation of women. However there are disturbing signs that the democracy and free speech we so take for granted are under threat.
Germaine Greer, once the young fiery feminist author of The Female Eunuch, has found herself at the centre of a free speech storm in the University of Cardiff. Greer, now 76, has been faced with demands for her to be banned from speaking at the University because of her ‘problematic and hateful’ views. Rachel Melhuish, the Women’s Office at Cardiff University Students Union has labeled Greer as extremely transphobic. Greer had opined; “I just don’t think surgery turns a man into a woman. A perfectly permissible view. I mean, an un-man is not necessarily a woman. A great many male to female transgender people do not look, sound or behave like a woman”. This does not seem an unreasonable, unsafe or ugly example of hate speech. But according to Ms. Melhuish “while debate in a university should be encouraged, hosting a speaker with such problematic and hateful views towards marginalised and vulnerable groups is dangerous. Allowing Greer a platform endorses her views and by extension, the transmisogyny which she continues to perpetuate.”
Continue reading “What Price Free Speech?”
Tolerance by secularists Continuing the secularists campaign against the Trussell Trust, Alistair McBay wrote the following letter in The Courier on the 27th of July. Davids response on the 29th follows: Sir, – I expected the customary fire and brimstone from the Free Church minister David Robertson over the Dundee foodbank and its discriminatory employment policies. But as usual he is wrong on many points. It would … Continue reading Secularists Continue Campaign Against Christian Foodbanks – Letter in Dundee Courier and response
Letter: It’s all about toleration The Courier 12 Mar 2015 Sir, – Alistair McBay of the National Secular Society (Letters, March 9) resorts to mockery and scaremongering to tell us why Christian values should be removed from education. To link Scripture Union and the bible with homophobic bullying is a cheap and nasty shot, sadly all too typical of the kind of propaganda the atheist … Continue reading Letter in The Courier – Its all about toleration.
The National Secular Society (NSS), that bastion of freethinking, fair-mindedness and tolerance, has taken the Free Church to task for our submission to the Smith Commission. In an article on their website, the NSS communications officer, Ben Jones, manages to convey the impression that we are arguing for a theocratic State where churches receive particular privilege. He implies we should not be arguing from numbers … Continue reading A Response to the National Secular Societies Attack on the Free Church