Creating dissent

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According to Hugh Reilly (Perspective, 1 October), “creationists should be banned from school premise”. He expressed his personal hostility towards Christianity in sarcastic and intemperate tone, revealing his ignorance of the issues involved along the way.

Scientists do not know how the first life arose, and many conclude, on purely logical grounds, that unguided natural processes are insufficient to account for the origin of that conglomeration of sophisticated nanotechnology known as the living cell.

That conclusion is not “gibberish”. Instead of rudeness, can Mr Reilly explain how he thinks random interactions of atoms create complex machinery?

The belief that God created the universe at a point in the finite past is widely held and accords well with current scientific knowledge.

Stating this opinion is not “brainwashing impressionable children”, but making them aware of an academically respectable view. Note that these views can be supported entirely without reference to the Bible.

In a bizarre conclusion, Mr Reilly told “Creationist” teachers not to be upset that he was trying to force them out of their jobs, because the Church of Scotland urged the execution of a blasphemer “just ten generations ago”.

The logical connection was not clear, but I guess the intended emotional reaction is “well, since some Christians were bad a long time ago, we should have no sympathy when they are attacked now.”

Secular totalitarianism is advancing into our schools rapidly. Sadly, weak, ignorant and unprincipled head teachers will tend to capitulate to the aggressive and vindictive demands of secular fundamentalists, just to appease and avoid the attention of a compliant media.

Meanwhile, teachers continue to freely express views contrary to Christian faith, and there is no controversy.

Christian parents tend to just discuss the issues with their children, then send them back into the fray to defend their corner in open class discussion.

Let debate flourish in schools. Not exchanging sarcastic insults, but a civil and respectful exploration of diverse views.

Richard Lucas

Broomyknowe

Edinburgh

The 2011 census figures for Scotland reveal such plunging numbers declaring religious beliefs that it is predicted in a few years the total number of people with any religious belief will be a minority.

The most striking figure even now is that “no religion” was 37 per cent, higher than the Church of Scotland at 32 per cent. I respect an adult’s religious choice so these figures neither gladden nor sadden me but for years the Church of Scotland has assumed to speak for us all.

It continues to impose its minority beliefs in our non- denominational schools and together with other religions has unelected representatives on all Scottish education committees.

When will the government and church leaders have the grace to accept that they have no mandate for these privileges?

Neil Barber

Edinburgh Secular Society

Saughtonhall Drive

Edinburgh