God and the state

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The Free Church Moderator David Robertson wrote to you last week complaining that people misrepresented his views and now (Letters, 11 July) he misrepresents mine.

The Reverend claims human rights legislation compels the government to segregate their youngest and most vulnerable citizens according to their parents’ religious philosophies (but not political ones). He also claims government is then compelled to use taxpayer funds to pay for their indoctrination in competing sets of values, including those which deny basic rights of others in contravention of its own laws.

Apparently the fact that I disagree with his aim of religiously inspired educational apartheid amounts to me persecuting him.

The Reverend only deploys human rights arguments when they are self-serving. At other times he campaigns vigorously to restrict the human rights of others and turn back the clock to a time when persecution was positively encouraged and legalised because Christians were doing it as mandated by their scripture.

He also seems to wish to turn the education clock back to 1872 but this is nonsensical. At that time, the churches gave up their schools as they were a mess, chronically underfunded and with enforcement of religious orthodoxy placed above pupil attainment.

The Free Church and Church of Scotland denominations were “engaged in guerilla warfare” according to one historical reviewer, for numbers and souls. When I read his recent condemnations of the Kirk, I feel Scotland does not need this infantile sectarian squabbling reintroduced into its school estate in the name of the self-serving demand of parental choice.

Alistair McBay

National Secular Society

Edinburgh

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