Faith and hope
Richard Lucas (Letters, 2 October) is concerned that some interpretations of secularism might lead to the views of religious people being ignored, so I shall try to reassure him. Such undemocratic interpretations seem to hold no sway in the British electoral system, which has never awarded leadership of the country to an openly non-religious person, nor at The Scotsman, which prints Lucas’s letters on a regular basis, nor in British law, which permits the public expression of all religious views, provided that individuals are not harassed, libelled or threatened.
How Lucas thinks it is possible for the state to impose a philosophical and moral vision on someone without recourse to kidnap and brainwashing is a mystery, since he cites no examples.
He seems equally concerned by the absence of a mainstream political party that roughly represents his views as a Christian, but the only consolation I can offer is that there is no party that represents my atheist views either, and the only advice I can suggest is that he starts his own party and enlists the help of his god in securing popular support.
Bridge of Earn
Richard Lucas says some correspondents have accused him of calling for certain views about abortion to be excluded from debate, “when I said nothing of the sort”.
He should read his own letters a little more carefully.
What he wrote on 27 September was: “The issue of the moral status of the unborn should be decided independently of its implications for the feminist cause.”
This is certainly a proposal that feminist views should be excluded from the decision-making process, and in so far as the debate is envisaged as one to yield a decision, is as well a proposal to exclude those views from the debate.
His position appears to be that feminists should be free to express their views but that those views should be ruthlessly set aside when decisions are made.
If Mr Lucas’s position were applied to religious views, it would cheer the hearts of many who do not want to be made to live according to religious teaching, for it would amount to this, that the religious should be free to express their views but that those views should be ruthlessly excluded from decision making.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
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