All can forgive

Rev Robert Anderson (Letters, 22 June) writes that the forgiving attitude of the bereaved Charleston church members “offers a universally applicable Christ-like example to the world” and then proceeds to push Christianity as a remedy for various social ills.

If an example of virtue in Christians is universally applicable, that is, to people of all faiths and none, it follows that a person does not have to be Christian to recognise and be influenced by it, and that the Christianity of the exemplars is not the universally recommending factor, which undermines Rev Anderson’s claim that “Christianity is needed more than ever in schools”. If we want our schools to promote universally recognised virtues to all children, it does not make sense to present them as tenets of one religious tradition that not all children follow, or to link them to a belief in God that continues to recede in the populace. The most inclusive approach is to present universal virtues as exactly that: worth practicing whatever supernatural beliefs you might embrace or reject.

Robert Canning


Scottish Secular Society


Bridge of Earn