Secular standards

Ironically, Garry Otton of Secular Scotland (Letters, 26 June) confirms Gus Logan’s comments on the tiny numbers 
involved in the secular societies which are currently demanding that all of public life be lived 
according to their philosophy.

Having 600 Facebook “members” and 300 Twitter followers for the whole of Scotland is tiny – especially when you consider that some of those “followers” 
are Christians like me who are open-minded enough to want to listen to other points of view; and that many individual 
congregations and church leaders have more “followers” on 
Facebook and Twitter than the whole of Secular Scotland.

Mr Otton thinks the government should listen to Secular Scotland because it managed to get 1,516 people to sign a petition on religion in schools.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Given that the government ignored the 50,000-plus people who signed a petition against same-sex marriage, this seems somewhat fanciful thinking.

As is Neil Barber’s view that the churches only have so many members because of “compulsory belief enforced by the threat of death, torture or imprisonment” – something which he believes is “still the case in many parts of the world”.

Perhaps Mr Barber of the 
Edinburgh Secular Society could let us know some of the 
countries in the world where church membership is enforced by death, torture and imprisonment.

If this is the standard of argument and evidence that secularists provide then it should give the rest of us pause before we rush headlong into the Brave New World of secular Scotland.

David Robertson

Solas CPC

Peters Free Church

St Peter Street


Neil Barber offers a blinkered defence of the paucity of numbers in secular societies. I agree with him that ideas outlive the individuals who conceived them. The best example is Jesus of Nazareth.

Out of such an unpromising life conclusion came the largest living faith expression in human history.

Christianity has been a liberating movement for its near 2,000 years and it continues to be so in China and other places today. How did all this happen?

(Rev Dr) Robert 

Blackburn & Seafield Church

MacDonald Gardens


My questions as to why 
the National Secular Society so often seems to question religious belief itself is answered by two of its members who are also members of the other tiny secular societies in Scotland 
(Letters, 26 June).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Numbers are important, as in democratic elections, because they show how much support a body has nationally.

Mr Neil Barber, who is uncharacteristically reticent about revealing the numbers in his 
Edinburgh Secular Society, should understand this – but then perhaps he does and perhaps therein lies his reticence.

Garry Otton does not deal with my central thesis that secular activism too often spills over into what appears to many to be an active dislike of religious belief.

Readers might like to peruse Mr Otton’s online pieces such as “Is religion fascism?” to get a taste of his own views.


York Road

North Berwick

Related topics: