A secular faith

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I WOULD like to offer my appreciation of Hugh Reilly’s article: “Schools’ Faith Policy away with the Fairies” (Perspective, 23 July) as a welcome reflection on my own long-term thoughts on the unwarranted intrusion and influence of state-recognised/state- supported bodies in Scotland.

Mr Reilly’s views on both Catholic (transubstantiation) and Jewish (resurrection) rituals and accompanying beliefs may offend some but, given the indisputable secular majority background against which he sets them, they surely deserve to be taken seriously.

It beggars belief that such ­credos, and the individuals who hold them, still have legal representational rights, implying an entitlement to influence, on major educational bodies (i.e. local authority educational committees).

It has long been a personal credo of my own that, were state funding and formal recognition for religiously affiliated schools to be abolished, societal discrimination and hatred on the basis of religion, at least, would be eradicated within one generation … and the future of younger generations in the west of Scotland (not to mention their young neighbours in Northern Ireland) would look significantly brighter.

(Dr) Kirsty Anderson



AS ONE who was born into a Christian-orientated community and a believer until I reached the age of five when I was able to start thinking for myself, I for one, probably one among many, thought Hugh Reilly’s comparison of Christianity with the tooth fairy and the Tufty Club was not only very funny but also very brave considering the entrenched forces marshalled on the other side of the great divide.

KJ Wilson

Middle Norton


HUGH Reilly is missing the irony of his own comments (“Schools faith policy away with fairies”, 23 July) as he attacks religious representation on local authority education committees. 

On the contrary, why should the unelected handful of members of the Edinburgh Secular Society dictate to the rest of the population what kind of education system we should have? 

It may be that some parents do not want their children to have an education based upon Christian principles but they should be the ones that decide, not the unelected advocates of secularism.

In the interests of fairness, given that it is likely that the Christian state education system is being dismantled from outwith and within, it would be sensible to undertake a root-and-branch reform of the whole system.

Let the secularists have their schools, teaching their values. And let the churches return to a system where we run state-funded Christian schools.

This would give parents a real choice, and offer real diversity and equality in Scotland.  

I suspect though, that uniformity and the imposition of secular humanism is what the Edinburgh Secular Society is after, rather than real freedom of opportunity.

Gordon Bell

Communications Officer

Free Church of Scotland

The Mound