A tale of two religions

One appears to get a free pass, the other not so much – Now let me be honest and say that I have faith. I consider myself a Christian, maybe not the strongest, maybe not the most faithful, I don’t get to Church every week, or recently very often. My prayer life could be better but I am honest about my faith, and my limitations within it, but I won’t deny it. I am honest about it. One thing that is starting to get really annoying for me in the SNP leadership contest so far is that one faith seems to be an issue while the other faith gets a free pass in virtually every way. Kate Forbes is coming in for some criticism due to her Christian beliefs while Hamza Yousaf’s faith is barely to ever mentioned.

From Richard Murphy to Owen Jones Kate Forbes has become an easy target for the mainstream media and some left commentators. Kate Forbes has said she would never legislate on the basis of her faith and that is not good enough. Hamza Yousaf has said he will not legislate on the basis of his faith, that’s fine then.

There have been calls for Kate Forbes to resign, that she is not fit to be a politician. Does that mean that any politician expressing a faith, any faith, is unfit to be a politician? Is that the road we are going down? Tim Farron was basically hounded out of being the leader of the Liberal Democrats because of his Christian faith, I found it disgusting at the time and still do today, likewise, the hounding and comments regarding Kate Forbes. If only politicians who profess to be Christians actually acted on the basis of their faith when designing policy, the UK, and Scotland, would be in a better place in the main, maybe there would be more compassion to look after people no matter what colour they are, who they love, what they believe.

In my job, I need to separate my faith from my professional life, I do it every day by following the policy of my employer. When asked if I have faith I will say yes but will not elaborate or discuss it with either colleagues or the people I work with. Does my faith influence my work, no it does not because I understand the need to keep it separate, as I am sure most politicians do also. The same could be applied to anyone who doesn’t have faith, that in many ways is also a belief system that can influence them in different ways and if that is the road we are going down then we might as well just do nothing.

It seems to me that in recent times Christians are always having to step back, to apologize for their beliefs while other faiths have to be accepted, understood, and accommodated in every way from the behaviour of the Government of Israel to those in the middle east of different faiths. I am under no illusion that for many religion is the cause of most of the unrest in the world, there is an argument for that. I personally don’t blame the individual faith, it’s the people who take the name of that faith for their own gains, crimes, or wars that are the issue, not the faith in and of itself.

For many, there is no God, and it is a fantasy. For me if you believe there is a God then there is a God, if you believe there is no God then there is no God. I can respect both as neither infringes on my personal belief that there is a God and that for myself I try to follow the teaching of Jesus as best I can and I don’t judge as best I can as I don’t believe I have the right to.

The hounding of Kate Forbes and that somehow being a Christian is less than those of differing beliefs and faiths is wrong, it is an agenda, from the woke left to fear of upsetting other faiths that seem to me get a far easier time is not right. Either faith matters in this contest for all sides or no sides. For myself, I welcome Kate Forbes’s honesty and it is up to the members of the SNP to decide then hopefully the electorate to make the final decision, the SNP called for a general election when Tory members imposed 3 Prime Ministers on us, the same should apply for Holyrood and the SNP, that has nothing to do with faith but democracy, I am sure the leadership hopefuls understand that too.



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25 Responses to A tale of two religions

  1. Andrew N says:

    Well said that man.
    I’ve tried to live my life with one overriding principle.
    I don’t care if you’re white, black, brown, green, orange or multi-coloured. I don’t care if you’re a member of the alphabet soup.
    What I care about insists that you don’t treat decent people like dirt because if you do then it’s only a matter of time before you’ll end up getting treated like dirt yourself.
    Again in a similar vein, If someone (regardless of creed or religion or other persuasion goes out of their way to try and help me or my family, then I go out of my way to try and repay the favour.++
    If someone goes out of their way to harm me or my family then I go out of my way to repay the favour +++

    • Andrew

      I suspect that many feel as you do. I am far from perfect, I do judge politicians and other voters, but on their actions, not as people. I don’t bother anyone, I don’t force my views on them, I am rarely rude in person but can be sometimes in the blog when I write. I do try not to judge and stick to my faith as best as I understand it, but I am also honest about it, the hypocrisy that I face daily in my own actions compared to my faith. What I don’t like is that Kate Forbes, and I am no fan, faces her faith being front and centre while other faiths are given a free pass, that is cowardice on the part of the media. That the Jewish faith, the Muslim faith can be beyond approach is not fair to people like Kate Forbes when they are held to a different standard as the others, that is just not on and why should she apologize when others don’t have to.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. panda paws says:

    I don’t agree with some of Kate’s views but I think this is a smear campaign to aid the Sturrell’s choice of Humza Yousaf. Kate wasn’t an MSP when the same sex marriage bill passed (neither was Ash Regan) but she said she would not repeal it even though she wouldn’t have personally voted for it.

    Meanwhile, Humza Yousaf didn’t vote for it having conveniently (see Craig Murray blog) absented himself. We’ve to have no problem with a Hindu PM or a Muslim FM but apparently not a Wee Free. I’m not a fan of the Wee Frees but neither I’m a fan of a religion whose adherents are currently banning girls from education in Afghanistan and beheading women in Iran.

    I only hope that this attempt to discredit Forbes (she’s been reported by the TRAs to the SNP National Secretary for transphobia) backfires on them big time with her votes going to Ash Regan. Now that would be karma…

    • PP

      I find it awful on so many levels. That she is being held to a different standard than the others is just not acceptable in any way, that this is also based on cowardice because the media won’t challenge people who hold a Jewish or Muslim faith also says a lot. I don’t agree with all of Kate’s views, I don’t even agree with some of the teachings of my own faith but I try not to judge as best I can. I am honest about my own faith, the hypocrisy of my own walk in it, that Kate Forbes is being treated in this way just leaves a bad taste and I think you are spot on. This is about in some ways ensuring that the least dangerous politician to the imagined legacy that Sturgeon and the carrot eaters think she has, while the yoons want to protect their union at all costs so it serves their purpose to elect the next political clone. I don’t care what colour people are, who they love, their faith. I care more about someone being a voting Tory and inflicting that on the rest of us. I wish her well as she doesn’t deserve this at all.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. duncanio says:

    Yes Grumps there is total hypocrisy.

    But there may also be another agenda- consider:

    1. Kate Forbes – the press and media can have a go at KF due to her views on gay marriage, having children out of wedlock and gender reform/self-id.

    2. Humza Yousaf – the press and media can have a go at HZ due to his mishandling of the Transport, Justice and NHS briefs.

    As they are both lukewarm on decisive action on the constitutional question the press/media do not fear them – in fact they can kick them around for the aforementioned reasons.

    Ash Regan is a different kettle of fish. She resigned her ministerial office on principle regarding the GRRB. She worked alongside Robin McAlpine at (the forerunner to) Common Weal so quite left wing. Most of all she has put Independence Now front and centre of her pitch for the leadership. Plus she has reached out to all independence groups and parties outside of the SNP.

    The press/media would fear her and, thus, they are doing their best to talk down her chances.

    I hope that the SNP members wake up and do the right thing.

    • Duncanio

      They will get around to Ash Regan, I don’t doubt that in any way. I just don’t think it is right how they are going after Kate Forbes based on her Christian faith while Yousaf’s faith is not mentioned and that for me is mostly down to cowardice in so many ways. Why is it always the Christians that have to justify themselves, apologize for their beliefs, back track. It is wrong in every way for me, it looks like the carrot eaters want the Sturgeon political drone in place to protect her alleged legacy. We cannot afford another 8 years of abject failure in every way.

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. GM says:

    Agreed. Agreed . Agreed. I do not have faith but I am disgusted at the treatment of Kate Forbes here.

  5. GM says:

    Disgusting treatment of Kate Forbes. Very disappointed in Robin McAlpine’s analysis. It seems that some faiths are fine but the Free Church faith is not for politics. Perhaps the hurdles placed in front of us by societies self appointed moral guardians would be too much for a Free Church member to surmount but not for a Muslim? I am not a believer, I do not have faith but i could not disagree more profoundly with this erratic argument. People of all faiths should be welcome in politics. Including leadership positions. I respect McAlpine but he does not speak for Scots society nor does anyone else.

    • GM

      I rarely talk about faith in the blog as it is a personal thing for me, I also wrestle with my own faith and the hypocrisy of my own walk in it. What I don’t do is judge others on their faith, or their lack of faith. I believe that we should not judge, we all do, but I try not to judge the individual only their actions but I also fall short. The woke I cannot abide, I haven’t read Robin’s article but I will, I admire his writing and agree with much of what he writes but I probably won’t agree if he is having a go at the Free Church if he is not holding all faiths to the same standards.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • panda paws says:

      TBF I’m not sure having read Robin’s piece that’s an accurate representation of his main point. I think rightly he says that what sounded okay in her advisor’s heads wasn’t going to wash when said in public. And that’s been proved true. She should have got better advice at how the answer the question in a way that spun it in her favour. Yousaf for all his many faults is really good at that.

      She could have said “look there is no prospect of a vote on repealing same sex marriage and I certainly wouldn’t introduce this if elected”. And hammered that home not reinforced that she wouldn’t have voted for it at the time when she wasn’t even elected. She did say she wouldn’t repeal it but she has no control over the edit so make sure they can’t edit it against you.

      She’s been badly advised. One can only hope that when Ash’s campaign starts, she’s going to avoid the potholes. I heard she’d engaged a shit hot PR bod in to help her plus she has a diploma in PR and has worked in the field so fingers crossed. Yousaf would be a disaster, indy will be destroyed if he takes over.

      • GM says:

        .Forbes has been public about the way in which she literally listens for guidance from her god. Again, that’s fine, but I don’t know who her god is (everyone has their own interpretation of the god they think they are answering to) and if she wants me to vote for her I want to know who is whispering in her ear (or soul or whatever).

        And this is the problem; in many ways I think Kate Forbes could be really good for the independence movement, but her god seems to be an intolerant figure. If she’s going to keep listening to him (I’m assuming she believes in a patriarchal god given her literalism about the bible as translated) then I’m worried that his intolerance may lead her to make decision in the future which give me problems.’

        How does that read to you Panda Paws. I take it that you agree that Humza Yousafs Kate Forbes God is a more intolerant god than others?

        Or this maybe? –

        ‘I hope the Forbes camp sees sense and withdraws her candidacy while she is still a viable cabinet member (and honestly, if further probing elicits more extreme religious views she may end up not even that). Forbes has a lot to offer Scotland.’

        There is no other way to read this than to take it as saying if you are Free Church then and follow that faith then there is no position for you in politics. No mention in this article is made of other faiths.

      • GM says:

        Perhaps you agree with that article. That Kate Forbes god is an intolerant god and that if Kate Forbes is unable to hide her faith, a faith that she clearly, honestly holds then she should not have a place in politics?

  6. Caesar Luath says:

    It is a sickener to see a candidate effectively cancelled for mainstream religions beliefs, especially by smug professional “progressives” who are happily shooing in misogynist legislation. Hopefully though it will avoid a split vote between biological realists and give Ash Regan a clear pop at the top job.

    • Caesar Luath

      It is disgusting that Kate Forbes is being held to a different standard than the others, or a certain other. It is no doubt for many reasons like legacy, cowardice, the union, but it is not right in any shape or form for myself.

      Thanks for commenting.

  7. Andrew N says:

    As a PS to the above.
    This is my 9th day since I developed Covid . I tested positive again today which is concerning cos I was hoping to take my mum on an outing from her care home early next week.
    I went to order further kits on line to be informed
    Sorry pal f**k off. No more freebies for you. Geez your dosh. You neef to give more momey to Lloyfs or Amazon before you can get testef to see whether or not your going to dtag Covid into the home.
    So i’ve given some more pennies to Steve Jobbies or whatever he”s callef. I’m sure other folk struggling badly as it is will appreciate Humza Useless and fall over themselves to support his bid.

    • Andrew

      Sorry to hear that you have Covid-19. I have had it 3 times and while the 3rd time wasn’t as bad it is not a nice infection at all. I am just getting over the bronchitis that was doing the rounds and that was as bad as Covid. Have you tried your local Community Centre for kits as I know that in Dundee some still have supplies and are happy to give them out to people requiring to test.

      Thanks for commenting.

  8. Andrew N says:

    Sorry sent too early by mistake.
    Excuse typos

  9. Andrew N says:

    Thanks for the advice mate and I will look into it once the red mist has disappeared completely lol.

    For my sins, I now can’t get the Billy Connelly quip out of my head.
    Can’t remember it exactly but was it not along the lines of
    “The fact that you say you have the desire to be a politician, should forever exclude you from being a politician.”

    It should now be amended for Humza
    “After your shambolic performances in all your positions to date, the fact that you say you have the talent to be first minister, should forever exclude you from being first minister”.

    I’m becoming more and more convinced I’m living in a Tom Clancy novel.

  10. Alastair says:

    Personally I am hoping that Ash Regan gets the Leadership she has a plan to get independence using a plebiscite and she says she will work with Alba. To me we need a Unity candidate I think she will Unite the independence movement. Not Humza the Sturgeonite who will do nothing like his former mistress. Kate has already fallen into the Unionists bear trap. Unfortunately she is a open goal for the Union she alienates many due to her religion. The catholic protestant divided will be played on by the Unionist press and we have seen how this plays out in Northern Ireland we do not need this adding to our problems. We have had Sturgeon who alienated women ,we dont want to alienate Catholics or gays or whatever, we need Unity.
    To me Ash Regan is getting no coverage that tells me she is considered dangerous to the Union and as a consequence an ideal person in my view for the First Minister’s role.👍😊

    • Alastair

      I lean more towards Ash Regan also and it seems she is getting some support. Kate Forbes has difficulties but the fear is a stitch-up for Humza Yousaf who is definitely Sturgeon’s choice, and the choice of the media as the safe unionist candidate. I also don’t expect the SNP members to make the right choice, I expect them to continue their slow decline and crap governance but I really do hope I am proved wrong.

      Thanks for commenting.

  11. Robert Innes says:

    Sorry for coming so late to the argument, but I see Kate’s “sin”, not in holding strong religious views, but in not being able to resist the temptation to talk about/promote them. This suggests to me, she might not be able to resist acting on them either, if she became First Minister.

    As a gay man, I don’t think I could vote for the party at any level if she became its leader, especially as she seems to be so wishy-washy on Independence. Why should I take such a risk? My husband, also a long-time Independence supporter, is of the same mind.

    It’s 100% Ash for us.

    • Robert

      I totally get that I really do. She wouldn’t be my choice but not because of her religious views, I don’t agree with them in any way, I am fortunate that my best friend is gay and we are both very honest with each other in politics and she respects my religious beliefs which are I don’t have the right to judge and that I don’t agree with everything in the bible but I do work at my faith. I don’t know enough about her views on indy but I suspect she is a gradualist like too many in the SNP. I appreciate that we do have to start again in so many ways, but I agree Ash Regan has the best ideas I just don’t think the SNP plus other indy parties will win a plebiscite election. The SNP have badly failed in keeping the arguments up to date and with their overall poor governance they have made indy way down the road in its current form. Under Regan I would think we are 5 to 10 years away.

      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and share your opinion.

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