Who says Politics and Religion don’t mix?

There is an old saying which says the politics and religion don’t mix.
I would from experience and my knowledge, dispute such a statement absolutely. Not only do politics and religion mix, they have never stopped mixing!
It would I feel be much more appropriate to say that politics and religion should never mix. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you might try to stop them, politicians and religious leaders simply can’t resist trampling over each others ground. Such is the way its aye bin, and such is the way it aye will be!

This past year has seen a fair bit of such poaching and straying onto each others turf going on.
We have had some Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Free Church, and Muslims kicking up a stink over the prospect of gay marriage being made legal in Scotland, and one former SNP leader reprimanding the current SNP administration and threatening that if they vote such a thing through, then they would see this mob of Religious people voting against an Independent Scotland! In effect this is nothing more than attempted blackmail, and shame on them for it!

Next up we had the furore over the Sectarian football Bill, with both Rangers and Celtic supporters kicking up a stink because they were being denied their right to shout and spit religious sectarian bile at each other!
In this Instance protestant Rangers supporters attacked the SNP and vowed to fight these Catholic sympathisers and stand up for Union Jack and Queen as they fought for their right to pour dodgy historical bigoted crap at their Celtic Catholic enemies.
Meanwhile I saw Instances of Scots born Irish Republican Catholic Celtic supporters, withdrawing their support from the protestant loving SNP and vowing to vote against Scottish Independence because they had their right to sing their songs against the other mob.
At this point I was wondering If everyone was living in some sort of warped parallel universe?
Irish Republicans voting for the British State, and being staunch supporters of a Labour party which stands fully for its continuation, while at the same time wishing rid of the British establishment in Northern Ireland to create a United Ireland. What are these people on???
The Orange Presbyterian’s are much easier to understand, they have always been the pawn of the British Royalty and Empire, and used as a willingly decisive force to maintain British Rule. But given that this mob while making up a sizeable minority in the club, are still a minority none the less, what are Scottish secular Rangers supporters doing, buying into this rubbish? Honestly, I wonder if there is some common viral disease which effects both sides, with religion a political pawn in the middle.

During the recent council elections, we heard reports from people who were in attendance at an Irish protestant church in Glasgow, that the Labour Leader promised easing of restrictions on Orange Order walks in return for the Orange Order supporting Labour in Glasgow. And verily thus it did come to pass.
At the time of the Jubilee Celebrations, with nearly 10,000 street parties in England and Wales, there were only 60 in Scotland, and twenty of these were subsidised by Glasgow Labour council and run by the Orange Order. Yet Janus faced mob that Labour are, were telling Catholics in Coatbridge that an intended SNP councillor had tweeted something about the case of the Catholic Midwives who were fighting the health board about having to be on duty when abortions were scheduled in their ward. Thereby according to Labour who were actively canvassing Orange Order support in Glasgow, were using the religious card to denounce SNP for alleged anti Catholicism in Lanarkshire!! A clear case of politics using and abusing religion.

Which brings us up to this past week, where we have seen more religious/political interplay.
First up the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland coming out with statements to the following;
“The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland has claimed independence would weaken the position of the Christian church “at the heart of the nation”.
It said the Treaty of Union secured the Protestant religion and Presbyterian church and any change “would be a provocation of God”.

Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland spokesman, the Rev Allan MacColl, told BBC Alba that religion and morality were in a “terrible” state across Britain.

He said: “But present constitutional arrangements guarantee Christian religion in its position at the heart of the nation, and defends the position of the church and the Bible clearly teaches that.”It is the duty of all nations to recognise the position of Christ church and any move away from that would not only be dangerous for the church, it is dangerous for the people.”

The Rev MacColl added: “We are very uneasy about any move to secularize, or even change the existing arrangements.”

He said the church could not tell people how to vote in a referendum on independence, but could warn them”

Ok, its time for me to put some cards on the table here.
My great great grand uncle the Reverend Donald Macfarlane was the founder of the Free Presbyterian Church. My Great great Grandfather got thrown out of Islay for making illegal whisky, I had a Great Aunt who was a nun in Rome, and I myself am an ordained minister of religion, with degrees in psychology and sociology, theology, and a masters degree in the same subject. I am no longer an active church minister having given up on organised religion 5 years ago.
So I feel I am better placed than most to answer this representative of the church my forebear founded.

With Scotland now being for some time mostly secular, the statement “The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland has claimed independence would weaken the position of the Christian church “at the heart of the nation”. Is frankly nonsense, it has been a long time since any Christian Church could make such a statement, and that is as part of the Union, so Independence will not alter these circumstances one jot.

“It said the Treaty of Union secured the Protestant religion and Presbyterian church and any change “would be a provocation of God”

Actually the treaty of Union created State sponsored Sectarianism,with a Catholic never to be permitted to take the Crown again, nor for a Monarch to marry one.. If that is not an affront and provocation to God and the basic tenets of Christianity I don’t know what is?

“”But present constitutional arrangements guarantee Christian religion in its position at the heart of the nation, and defends the position of the church and the Bible clearly teaches that.”It is the duty of all nations to recognise the position of Christ church and any move away from that would not only be dangerous for the church, it is dangerous for the people.”

Actually the present constitutional arrangements guarantee no such thing, nor could it in the modern world. Its all very well for him to reference the bible, but any reference without specific notation of scriptural authority, s but an empty unsupported claim.
The only established Church in Britain is the Church of England, and that is certainly anything but Presbyterian, thus he talks nonsense.
The relationship between Church and State is enshrined in Scots Law, and Independence will not make any change to that position.
In effect in Scots Law, the Church is entirely separate of State and is disestablished not established, and it is that disestablishment which protects it from State interference!
Thus for the Free Presbyterian Church to attempt to Influence its adherents to vote against Scottish Independence on such false authority is disingenuous in the least, and lacks any credibility which they might hope to have by putting State and British Nationalism before any adherence to God. Now they should know more than most what the Bible says its not a terribly great idea to take the Lords name in vain!!
I am not sure what my forebear would make of their sloppiness, but his great great grand nephew doesn’t think much of it at all.

Now lastly, we come to the fabricated stooshie and faux outrage for the Unionist parties, and in particular the Lib Dems who have been shouting more than most about pandaring to the Chinese over the Dalai Lamas visit. They have been outraged that Alex Salmond who is in California at present hasn’t been here to welcome him, and that no Scottish Government official is meeting him, and that seemingly the SNP leader of Dundee Council is not making a speech now, because he is at a family funeral..How dare he be at a funeral! It doesn’t matter that he will be coming from the funeral to meet the Dalai Lama.
Nor do they take account that no leader of any party will be in their political capacity when the the presiding officer welcomes him to Holyrood.Nor do they take into account that no British Government or Scottish Office minister will be meeting him on this visit.
Nor do they take into account that the Dalai Lama gave up his political role over a year ago, and that role now belongs to the president of the Tibetan Government in Exile, and that the Dalai lama is simply here in a pastoral capacity.
There is no word of course about the SNP led Highland Council welcoming the Dalai Lama at an Official Reception in the Town House in Inverness on Saturday.
No, of course little facts like that simply don’t sit right with their outrage!

In short, politics will always try to make capital of religion and religious differences, and Religion will always try to get their views stamped on politics and government….A plague upon both their houses…. I have neither time nor patience for the manipulative pettiness of either camp.

About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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7 Responses to Who says Politics and Religion don’t mix?

  1. Great article Rod,many thanks!

  2. Tommy Cochrane says:

    That was excellent, nice one. – I have neither time nor patience for the manipulative pettiness of either camp, either..

  3. Tony Kenny says:

    The reason you don’t understand Scots with Irish Republican sympathies is that you don’t even attempt to understand the viewpoint, nor the reasons why the new law is so objectionable. In simple terms there has always been laws able to deal with anti-Catholic/Irish songs and calls for violence, the new law criminalised folk and rebel songs that rely on upsetting bigots as a basis for arresting people who would otherwise never see the wrong end of the criminal justice system. However it is easier to pass off the ‘wan side is as bad as the other myth/lie. This is probably why we done so well in 2011, and so badly – in west central Scotland anyway – in May. You had something of interest to say afterwards but the misrepresentation kinda clouds my judgement, I am from that background, a Scottish nationalist, and law abiding, me and mine should not face the gaol at the whim of bigots or politicians who make laws on false premises.

    Further innacuracies were regarding the “Irish Protestant church” Eh? It was a hustings held by the OO with unionist parties invited only. and the alleged 20 jubilee parties held by the OO in Glasgow. There were closer to 6 or 7 of these objectionable affairs.

    • Ok Tony, you have raised some points and I will do my best to respond to you in a bit more detail.
      I understand as a Celtic supporter why you take exception to the new anti sectarian law, which was hurriedly put together because the previous powers were proving to be inadequate, and many of those involved with sectarian attacks were getting off through loopholes. It was also in response to avenues such as the internet where many were getting away with inciting and hateful behaviour. . Indeed a quite ridiculous attack by a Hearts fan was made against Neil Lennon, and he managed to worm out of it under the previous laws. Something had to be done, and done fast, as the whole situation was at one point threatening to completely boil over with confrontations between McCoist and Lennon being a spark point, and also the attempted nail bombs being sent by post.
      The new legislation has in no way been anywhere near perfect or indeed satisfactory, but It is a step in the right direction to make the worst offenders think twice!
      It is not specifically just for the Old firm, but for everyone! There have been dubious outpourings of sectarianism by sections of fans in Edinburgh, and other clubs are not entirely free from examination either.
      Yes I understand Celtic fans objection to being singled out, or feeling they have been, as they consider the songs they sing to be historical and and cultural rather than sectarian, and indeed they would mostly be right I think. Though chants of Up the RA would be crossing the boundary into an area where supporting a terrorist orginisation like the Provos would be inflammatory in the least, and Glasgow Celtic IRA comes into
      that area..
      As a Jags fan my club has been under the microscope for the Hello Hello Song, which is completely anti sectarian, and a plague upon both houses, yet it can be viewed as being offensive in certain quarters. So you have my sympathy over what is deemed offensive and sectarian and what is not.
      It is entirely unclear exactly what the criteria is, and as such the Law is poorly drafted.

      However, the point I was endeavouring to make in the article in relation to Celtic Irish Republican supporters attitudes, or at least a section of them, taken purely from correspondence at the time of the introduction of this Law, was the over the top attitude taken by some of them in response to Scottish Independence.. A number were quite bitter to the point of being vitriolic over this legislation, and were actively stirring up opposition to Scottish Independence as their response, which as I said in the article was quite plainly a ludicrous position for a Scottish supporter of Irish Republicanism to be taking. Sure they could be unhappy with the legislation that the SNP government were bringing in, and they had every right to protest against against it, if they felt they had a justified case, but they were actually throwing the baby out with the bathwater and the
      dummy out of the pram! They seemed more intent in carrying on with their tribal warfare against the Blue side, than actually reasoning it through.
      Given that Rangers were far more guilty or close to the bone with more of their songs, Celtic had little to fear in comparison, they only had to clarify the status of anything they were unsure of.
      Also this nonsense of being against Scottish Independence but at the same time supporting Irish Republicanism just didn’t add up! Scottish Independence is not only the domain of the SNP, there are many Scots of different parties and of none who support it, so why do the British Raj’s job for them, and support such a position?

      You are entirely wrong concerning the Orange Order Hustings, It was most certainly held in an Evangelical Protestant Church,
      It has been widely reported that the OO ran 20 of these street parties, with funding by Labour controlled GCC., if you have different sources which can prove otherwise, then that is fine by me..

      I hope this clarifies my position for you, feel free to come back with anything you might still dispute, I am always open to discussion.


  4. Ian Sanderson says:

    Nice one ma man…! Couldn’t agree more …..!

  5. Tris says:

    Good post.

    I’m fed up with the lies, and indeed am trying to debunk some of them over at my blog.

    As for the churches, with respect, I think that most of what they say, whichever ones, has very very little to do with Christianity at least as I understand it (based on love and tolerance of others and their views), and a lot more to do with empire building, and in some cases money.

    I lost any interest in them as a child when it seemed to me that people I knew would come home from church and discuss the gossip that they had heard (particularly intriguing when it involved sex, and even better when it was dodgy sexual activity) after the service, or the hat that Mrs McGushing was wearing… but never the philosophy behind the sermon…

    That said I know that there are some people who actually do love… and benefit from the church.

    I agree with you that the only establish church in the British state is the almost papish CofE… indistinguishable in some of its churches, from Rome, so, not very protestant at all.

    Methinks the man was using his church to further his own political inclination, aware that few of his parishioners question his logic.

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