Religious pickle

So sectarianism it is, then. Eric Pickles’ new community cohesion and integration strategy mimics the Republican Party in the US with the appropriation of the Christian religion for political purposes.

But, as all the latest research shows, large proportions of the population of this country are not Christian or religious at all and they simply cannot be suddenly forced to live under a semi-theocratic regime run by Christians.

We can all agree that there should be some common values to live by, but there cannot be a religious hierarchy that discounts and dismisses the feelings of those who don’t share in that faith.

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It is a recipe for conflict between communities and we can see all over the world that, when religion is given power, conflict follows.

While we have managed, to some extent, to keep this kind of sectarianism out of our policy-making, Mr Pickles is intent on introducing it.

He is heading for big trouble with this. It makes singing daft songs at football matches look like kids’ play by comparison.

Alistair McBay



Richard Lucas’s claim that school worship is not compulsory (Letters, 20 February) is ambiguous.

Religious observance is not required in Scottish schools; it is merely allowed to continue. Indeed it is required to do so until there is a local decision to discontinue it (that involves a poll of local electors).

Consequently, unless it is discontinued, it is compulsory. No Scottish education authority has held such a poll and so there has been no discontinuance.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan