What a remarkably favourable reception secularists and humanists seem to enjoy in your Letters page (though of us who find that our perfectly good letters about other topics find that they rarely get published, no matter their interest or merits).
Rarely a day or two goes past without a letter from Norman Bonney or Alistair McBay or Neil Barber being printed – but rarely declaring that they are all members of a tiny “cell” known as the National Secular Society.
No doubt, the perfectly reasonable letter from Rev Robert Anderson (22 October) about the SNP’s diminishing respect in Scotland for Christianity will attract a rebuttal letter from one or other of the above secularists.
And you know what? Seemingly like clockwork, your newspaper will print the letter from your favourite secular correspondents attacking Mr Anderson’s view.
The Scottish Government uses our taxes to fund gay campaigning groups such as Stonewall (over £1 million in the last decade, and it is just one of three such groups that are state funded). Stonewall now places adverts on buses saying: “Some people are Gay. Get over it,” that also promote their campaign for same sex “marriage”. In other words, the Scottish Government uses our money to try to influence our religious and moral beliefs.
These Stonewall adverts are another example of the campaign to push references to homosexuality into every area of media, politics, education and culture, targeting all ages, with utter confidence, challenging anyone to dare object.
Surely it should be up to parents to decide when and how to introduce their six-year-old to the subject of homosexuality, but Stonewall, the Advertising Standards Agency and Lothian Regional Transport obviously disagree and feel the issue should be shoved in the face of every literate child in the capital.
If I enjoyed such lavish state funding, and could find a bus big enough, I might want to emblazon it with: “Some people don’t regard sexual desires as self-vindicating. Some people think that embarking on a homosexually active lifestyle is not a wise option. Some people believe that men and women are designed to complement each other in totally committed sexual union, and that other expressions of sexuality fall short of God’s ideal. Get over it.”
The article (22 October) on new saints created by the Catholic Church suggests this move is in part to “rebuff encroaching secularism”.
I’m not sure they are going to do the trick with a young woman whose claim to sainthood includes “taking a lifetime vow of chastity and punishing herself by placing hot coals between her toes and sleeping on a bed of thorns”.
These days, the poor deluded woman would be rightly packed off to a psychiatrist, but the elevation of such activities to sainthood points to the church’s continued promotion of women who are a) sexually inactive and b) masochistic.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the religious spectrum, the website of a local evangelical church proclaims its belief that those who don’t share its beliefs are condemned to eternal damnation. With views like this still active amongst self-proclaimed Christians, no wonder many of us who venerate Jesus are doing so outwith the traditional churches.
(Dr) Mary Brown
People who are worried about the growth of secularism need to understand that you don’t need to be religious to be a good person. Likewise, being religious does not necessarily make you a good person.