As usual, two inconvenient facts are conveniently overlooked from his argument. First, these “core values” are not always to our advantage.
For example, they can still be seen in action as the government tries to stop football fans singing sectarian songs at each other, while happily allowing the education system to discriminate against children, their parents and their teachers on a sectarian basis. Sectarianism is Christianity’s shame, not Scotland’s shame.
Second, what has made modern Scotland is not Christianity, but the Enlightenment and our role in it, through which the discoveries of science, together with the application of reason and rational thought, have steadily overpowered explanations based on primitive myths and superstitions.
In any case, Christianity’s leaders have done more than enough in the past 100 years, if not the past 2,000 years, to convince even the most casual observer that organised religion, as opposed to a more private belief, is part of the problem and not part of the solution.
While anything that will improve the disgraceful level of sectarianism still rife in Scotland is to be welcomed, it is perhaps unfortunate that the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Bill is too narrowly focused (your report, 12 December).
In fact, it is arguable that the entire bill is a knee-jerk response to the notorious 3 March post-game touchline incident between Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon after an Old Firm derby. However, it is deeply worrying that the legislation apparently concerns itself with football to the exclusion of other regular events.
Top among these are the annual sectarian marches on behalf of the loyalist and republican groups that exist mainly, but not exclusively, in the west and central Scotland.
Why has the entrenched sectarianism attached to these events not also been targeted? It is also not totally clear what exactly is or is not acceptable in terms of sectarian singing and chanting.
However, given the SNP’s dominance in the Scottish Parliament the legislation has been passed anyway. Let’s just hope that the police can enforce it effectively and with common sense.