Creating hell

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As a former headteacher and with experience of work in Peshawar and Soviet Central Asia, I would commend David Robertson (Friends of The Scotsman, 25 October) on his understanding of basic educational principles, in particular that pupils are taught how to think for themselves rather than being told what to think.

In present day Scottish society, where the bulk of the population is secular, it is understandable that the various secular views are accepted, while the biblical view of the minority is considered of no consequence simply because comparatively few hold to it.

But today the majority wants to almost force its anti-biblical opinions on everyone, going back to the Middle Ages when people were told what to think.

To prepare pupils for this sort of society they need to be exposed to every viewpoint in which debate allows for a literal interpretation of scripture to be recognised.

Schools are, after all, not churches.

Margaret E Salmond

Aberdeen

As a religious believer, albeit one who believes without belonging to a specific church, I support the concept of “religious tolerance” proposed by the writers in your Friends of The Scotsman feature.

However, their description of a sort of “cuddly Christianity” leaves out some of the more distasteful “Christian” beliefs which extreme evangelicals and Catholics both espouse, such as the idea that only those who are “true” believers – ie who believe their version of what Jesus was supposed to have said – will be saved from eternal damnation.

The rest of us have no hope of Heaven.

Only recently I heard of a religious education teacher who was proposing this distasteful rubbish to young students.

Aggressive secularists may be offering a rather brutal version of the meaning of life – basically that there isn’t one – but at least they place us all in the same boat, and in my experience it has been a far more civilised experience to argue with a secularist than a religious extremist.

The former at least usually exhibits both humility and humour, qualities which, in my reading of the Gospels, Jesus would have admired.

(Dr) Mary Brown

Banchory

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