Missionary zeal

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I see David Robertson (Letters, 9 November), not for the first time, is playing with words in order to grossly misrepresent secularists.

Firstly, the Scottish Secular Society has never, and nor would we, demand “that the whole education system be run according to their ideals”.

What the society did do was present a petition to the Scottish Parliament requesting that the current opt-out option for religious education in schools be changed to opt-in, to give parents a more informed choice.

That petition gathered more than 1,500 signatures in its first three weeks, which is far in excess of our 800-strong membership.

Indeed, the membership was well below that number when the petition was presented and those who sign come from all walks of life (including Christians) right across Scotland.

The Scottish Secular Society has constantly made it perfectly clear that it has never been our intention to remove religion from schools, a fact which Mr Robertson, as a regular visitor to the society’s Facebook page, is well aware of.

It is about giving parents a choice, not removing choice.

Neither is the Scottish Secular Society “militant” or “anti-religious”. I would find it surprising to see “constant mockery and abuse of religious people” on the Facebook page considering the society has Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist members, as well as atheist ones.

Again, Mr Robertson is aware of this fact. If he has been personally mocked on the page, it has been in response to his own views.

Indeed, if anyone would seek to control the whole education according to their ideals, it is zealots such as Mr Robertson, who would happily enforce their faith on all children, regardless of the wishes and rights of parents, or indeed the children themselves.

Leslie John Thomson

Scottish Secular Society

Moredunvale Green

Edinburgh

I will leave it to your other capable correspondents to address the straw men and sophistry of David Robertson’s letter, but I’d like to share my chuckle at his concluding line: “fundamentalist atheists who think they have a divine right”.

Two oxymorons in just nine words. Impressive.

Stephen Moreton

Great Sankey

Warrington