A Scottish National Party Leadership debate was broadcast this evening in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands. It was hosted by The Inverness Courier who requested questions by email from its readers so that “all of the issues which are most important to our readers are put to the candidates”.
A week before the debate, on 10th March 2023, as the leader of the Scottish Christian Party, I emailed email@example.com with the following question, along with my mobile contact number:
My question for The Inverness Courier’s SNP Leadership Debate on 17/3/2023:
As faith has entered this leadership debate, and as the Treaty of Union specifically safeguards Christianity in Scotland, what is the candidate’s opinion and the SNP’s current position on the place and role of Christianity in Scotland?
Dr Donald Boyd, Inverness residentLeader: Scottish Christian Party ‘Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship’
The question was not selected to be put to the candidates, but neither were any other emailed questions.
The debate can be reviewed here with Twitter tag #ICdebate.
It is not possible to determine how questions were selected nor to determine the weighting given to each subject discussed but:
- there were no questions selected from submitted emails, but only from those who attended the debate in person.
- the half-hour Questions and Answers section of the debate had three pre-selected questions from organisations represented in the Highlands and three random questions from members of the audience.
After 17 years of campaigning for the Scottish Christian Party, the substance of my question has not been addressed publicly by the SNP. As Scottish separation from the United Kingdom involves dissolution of the Treaty of Union, the people of Scotland are entitled to know what is the answer to this question.
I still await an answer to it. It has not passed through the screening process of those questions judged important in whatever context it is asked – in this case the readership of The Inverness Courier. Either those submitting questions to political leaders in Scotland, or those conducting polls or hustings, or newspaper columnists and commentators, have judged it sufficiently unimportant that it is not discussed. Yet there is and must be an answer to it – but the people of Scotland are not being told it before they are asked to make a decision on Scottish separation from the United Kingdom.
The debate began with the breaking news about the resignation of SNP media chief Murray Foote’s resignation over the party’s membership, reversing denials about the fall in membership. It was noted that SNP membership has fallen from 100,000 to 70,000 since last autumn when the Gender Recognition Reform Bill was promoted, according to Ash Regan but 2021 according to Nicola Sturgeon. This Bill and its consequences led eventually to the resignation of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Liz Lloyd, Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff and Strategic Adviser over the last eight years, also resigned today.
Which religion will the SNP members support in electing their next leader, who will then be elected by the Scottish Parliament as the First Minister of Scotland? If evangelical Christian Kate Forbes, who began as the front runner, is voted down because of her Christianity, it will be a clear straw in the wind. It is possible, if not probable, that these 30,000 lost members would have voted for Kate Forbes’ leadership. In spite of this, some Polls have shown that Forbes is rising again after her initial drop upon asserting her Christian beliefs. If the SNP membership choose her as their leader, it might encourage Christians in this country and abroad that it is time for Christian politicians to stand for political election. Only politicians can change the laws of this country, and it is time for Christians to stand.
Kate Forbes does not stand for Christian policies across the board, but if she should win the SNP Leadership election it will register on the international scene as well as the national one. The best message will not be that Scottish nationalism is on the rise again, because at present it is falling as well as failing, but the best message will be that Christianity has a relevant, important and significant message and contribution to national affairs.
6 Jun 2018: it is worth reminding my readers that the Scottish Green MSP, Patrick Harvie, wanted to ban people like KateForbes from being an MSP at all, far less bidding for the leadership of the SNP.
20 Mar 2023: Nicola Sturgeon claims not to have known about the decline in membership numbers.
22 Mar 2023: following the SNP fiasco about membership numbers, BBC Newsnight commented tonight that “the likely winner is probably former finance minister Kate Forbes”.
27 Mar 2023: it is not only the Greens who would cancel consistent Christians from being politicians, but William Hague has said the Kate Forbes could not be a leader of the Conservative Party because homosexual partnerships are now part of British culture. This is no surprise; Hague has been a consistent champion of homosexual rights. One can recall several Tory candidates who have been cancelled on-air for similar views to Kate Forbes. It raises the question, what about the Tory grandees who hold the same views? It is time for active Christians to consider supporting the Christian Party.
2 thoughts on “Christianity is judged unimportant in Scotland”
Too true, it all began when Sunday Observance was rendered irrelevant instead of being kept reverent. Before when we came to Inverness in 1986, shops were closed, supermarkets & cafes too. So now, welcome into the secular world, after all it was the least of the Commandments in the package of 10, nothing could possibly be wrong, perhaps even God slept in on Sundays? Staff who were required to work Sundays found that their double time pay, could be gradually reduced to single rate pay. Everyday was to be the same, DIY stores and Gardening centres could now rival Saturday shopping. Expensive golf clubs replace the Church, it is the ‘in’ place to be. Work expanded to fill the void, 5 day working could be stretched to fill the 7, and in our New Consumer society more money is needed to be earned just to keep up with the windfall of possessions on offer. “Work from Home” is now the new shibboleth, a waning one at that. Except this means working past 5pm or 8pm or getting up early morning too and on & on. Time poor Money rich was the norm, but now its Time poor Money poor. Banks work magically to make your money disappear. No time to pray or play. Enter mobile phones to enable the god ‘Work’ to infiltrate your holidays, you are never alone with a phone. Work follows you everywhere! Work is the new god…work through your holidays, then Work past retirement, but to whom and for what end, too tired to resist it now? So is Scotland’s 1st Minister to be ruled by the Mosque, their Fridays are not rest days either, Winter-Fair instead of Christmas what next to replace Easter?
“The way of transgressors is hard” Proverbs 13:15.