Church and state

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I presume Mr Leslie John Thomson (Letters, 13 June) is aware that the Kingdom of Scotland, from its foundation until recent times, has been part of what used to be Christendom and is still a culture founded on the Christian religion and its
sacred texts.

If by “theocracy” he simply means a Christian country, then certainly Scotland was one, and so was every other part of

Relations between the church and the secular power appear to have been generally more harmonious in Scotland than in some other kingdoms (England, for example), but I see no grounds for Mr Thomson’s statement that the bishops were “the real power behind the throne” in pre-Reformation Scotland.

In fact, the part played by the Church in temporal politics was very much to the nation’s benefit: some of our kings were fortunate in having bishops who combined statesmanship and personal integrity at their right hands (Wishart with Robert Bruce, Kennedy with James II, Elphinstone with James IV), and the pre-Reformation Church was unswerving in its upholding of Scottish independence.

Even Cardinal Beaton, whatever he may be charged with, was at the forefront of Scottish resistance to the aggressions of Henry VIII.

Mr Thomson may not be a fundamentalist secularist and atheist, but like many of his persuasion he is altogether too prone to assume that religion is inherently a menace.

A closer look at Scottish history, for a start, might lead him to a more balanced view.

Derrick McClure

Rosehill Terrace