Bishop's shameful attack on gay people has no place in modern Scottish life
Anyone concerned for social justice in Scotland should take Bishop Joseph Devine's latest hate speech (your report, 13 March) as a spur to keep fighting for honesty, fairness and truth in the politics of this country.
There is nothing more dangerous than the injection of irrational, self-proclaimed morality into the "national conversation".
The bishop's baseless, hysterical attacks on gay people are evidence of the Catholic Church's failure to deliver moral leadership to its flock. Condemning children who are growing up realising they are gay is not moral leadership, it is child abuse.
Condemning those, like myself, who have been asked by the government to take part in Holocaust Memorial Day events to represent the LGBT community, which suffered mass executions under the Nazi regime, is not moral leadership. It is moral cowardice.
If our government has any ambitions for social justice, now is the time for it to stand up to the Catholic Church and say "No more". I call on Alex Salmond to publicly condemn Bishop Devine, to distance his party and government from Catholic homophobia and make a stand for Scotland as a secular, fair and equal society.
DUNCAN HOTHERSALL, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh
While Calum Irving of Stonewall Scotland is correct to criticise the Bishop of Motherwell's homophobic outburst, he is wrong to claim the bishop's views are "un-Christian". The Bible repeatedly condemns homosexuality, even specifying the death penalty, and for centuries most organised opposition to gays has come from religious sources.
And it continues. Does Mr Irving remember the Vatican's statement that gays are "intrinsically disordered"? Has he never come across Stephen Green's Christian Voice? Or read of the 1977 blasphemy trial against Gay News instigated by Mary Whitehouse? Has he forgotten the late (and very Christian) Baroness Young, who obstructed every attempt to bring equality to the age of consent laws? Or the Christian Brian Souter, who led a campaign against the repeal of Section 28?
Deluded and prejudiced the bishop's views may be, but "un-Christian" they emphatically are not.
(DR) STEPHEN MORETON, Marina Avenue, Warrington, Cheshire
As a member of the Holocaust Memorial Day organising group for the 2003 event held in Edinburgh, I was deeply disappointed by Bishop Devine's comments that:
"The homosexual lobby has been extremely effective in aligning itself with minority groups. It is ever-present at the service each year for the Holocaust memorial, as if to create ... the image of a group of people under persecution."
Who, other than the bishop, thinks the LGBT community is not a minority group, and who, other than the bishop, disputes the fact that thousands of LGBT people were murdered by the Nazis.
KEITH COWAN MBE, Antigua Street, Edinburgh
Contrary to what Bishop Devine suggests, intolerance of homosexuality within the Christian tradition has a relatively short history. It is only briefly referred to in the Bible and it was largely ignored by the Church for the first several centuries of its establishment in Europe. This attitude changed only after wider social attitudes did so – the Church was not a leader but a follower.
Modern Christianity is starting to reject this anomaly and prioritise the values of love, tolerance, and – yes – the truth and goodness to which the bishop refers. There are better ways to serve God than to obsess over what other people do in bed.
JENNIE KERMODE, Melrose Street, Glasgow
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