Monday, December 5, 2011

Open letter to SNP List MSP Joan McAlpine; why isn’t 2,000 plus years religious faith good enough for Alex Salmond and the Scottish Government?

Dear Ms. McAlpine

I read some comments made by you on another blog and would like to address some of your points.

“given that the SNP government is consulting on equal marriage, that the FM has said he supports equal marriage and his deputy Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear that the cabinet is also inclined to support it”.

This would tend to strongly suggest the ‘consultation’ is therefore a sham because already both Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon and presumably the rest of the Cabinet have already decided.

What new information would make them change their mind since they don’t seem to regard faith and religious beliefs as valid enough?

I would suggest none.

Do Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon support the “rights” of gay Muslims to marry in Glasgow Central Mosque?

I don’t know.

I hear talk of ‘equal’ marriage, but some politicians are loathed to say they support gay religious marriage and therefore fall back on; this is a matter of conscience.

“Polls show that Scottish people support it because most Scottish people, whatever their background, will have friends and family who are gay”.

The real issue however is whether the Catholic, Protestant and Muslim organisations will allow this to happen within their churches and mosques; they have said they will not.

So, effectively, it is a ‘right’ that cannot be accessed except by people unless they use the minor religious groups such as Quakers etc.

“Scotland has changed and moved forward, just as many other countrys have”.

What do you mean by ‘change’ and well done in sticking the latest SNP tag line in, ‘forward’, this country is still deeply corrupt.

7 Appeal Court judges in the Cadder Case sitting in Edinburgh proved that beyond a shadow of a doubt by ‘siding’ with the Crown Office.

A halfwit could see the merits of the Cadder Case.

In a political correct culture such as ours, if a person speaks out against the ‘doctrine’ they can be branded as bigots or worse, so how is that change?

Would you say that your employee and wife of Muslim MSP Humza Yousaf, Gail Lythgoe was moving ‘forward’ when she smeared and defamed the Labour MP Ian Davidson just recently by saying he had a ‘history of bullying women’?

In writing this article, I am grateful for one thing, she established the principle in the public domain that SNP Members can comment in a private capacity.

It is unsurprising that when someone is faced with being asked such a loaded question on gay marriage, they take the line of least resistance and say yes.

If the question was phrased differently, we could see an entirely different answer.

For example, ‘Do you believe that religious organisations and personnel should be forced against their will to do something contrary to their beliefs?’

And what do we call it when someone is forced to do something against their will?

We call it being victimised.

But what we are really talking about is a minority trying to force their views on religious organisations such as the Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths when they have clearly expressed their opinion.

The word is no.

And no means no!

I know I keep repeating this point, but some people don’t understand the word ‘no’ so it has to be repeatedly drummed into them.

The head of the Catholic Church, the Pope isn’t going to allow this, so in the event this becomes law, it is a pyrrhic victory.

A law that requires consent by a third party because it needs others to make a pro active choice is a nonsense, and isn’t even a human right. You may make it legal on paper but as to being a human right, many will suggest it still isn’t.

But don’t let that stop you and others spinning this by using language that this is a ‘right’ or a ‘victory’ regarding the Catholic, Protestant and Muslim gay community.

They won nothing.

I will support gay civil marriage because that is an equality issue, all citizens are entitled to the same provisions and services provided by the State.

I will not support trying to force religious organisations against their will to have the views of others forced on them.

There is no human right to do that.

Nothing is a human right if it tramples on the human rights of others; unfortunately in the SNP so many people I meet don’t understand such a basic concept.

Recently I had to explain to a party member that the Scottish Government doesn’t have human rights because it is an institution. This was in regard to the UK Supreme Court upholding the human rights of ordinary people to take their cases to the Supreme Court on matters relating to dispute over miscarriages of justice based on their Article Six rights.

Where was Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon’s and the rest of the SNP Cabinet’s outrage on that?

The sound of silence was deafening and embarrassing on the rights of the accused, it is not enough that justice is done; it must be seen to be done.

And if that means we go the extra mile, we do so; our citizens should have total confidence in the justice system and government.

In ‘defending’ the Scottish legal system, the upshot of that was an attempt by the Crown Office and Kenny MacAskill to deny ordinary people access to justice who felt they have a legitimate grievance regarding the trial.

It is not the job of the Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill to ‘side’ with the Crown Office that is how miscarriages of justice occur and are covered up, he should be impartial or what is the point of having such a position.

Didn't anyone learn the lessons of the Shirley McKie case?

Innocent until proven guilty until every avenue of due process is exhausted exists for good reason.

And that is the only way to look at that issue, not whether the Crown Office is being inconvenienced by being forced to follow the law.

I would agree with you that Gordon Wilson and others haven’t put their case properly but it doesn’t change the fact, they are entitled to their strong held religious beliefs.

Because that is a human right!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

Alex and Nicola support the principal of equality in marriage. But we don't live in a dictatorship and what they want isn't always what they will get, majority or no.

Much of the consultation is, in any case, about how people think it should be rolled out, if it is rolled out..

Of course it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to expect the Catholics or the Muslims or the Frees or the Church of Scotland to want to conduct these marriages, although some of the Episcopals have said they will.

I would image that if one is gay and a member of that Church, and one is refused the same rights as the person in the next pew, one might up and leave that church for somewhere that they would be equal.

In my opinion it is high time that we had a deal less of churches poking their noses into people's lives, and into the law of the land.

They seem to spend their entire time worrying about women priests and gay bishops and all that crap while there are people on the streets of their towns starving, living in cardboard boxes and dependent on drugs.

I'd rather have a gay Bishop giving me soup if I were hungry and cold, that I would a straight one who was too busy with matters of Women priests.

Question: What would Jesus have done? Well from all the crap that was forcibly drummed into my head from the day I went to school till the day I left, I'm guessing he wouldn't be that interested in what someone's sexual identity was; he'd care more about what was in their hearts.

I completely support the right of anyone has faith to have that faith and live their lives by the tenets of that faith, but the days when this should in any way shape or form, form the basis for the law of the land are long since gone.

Churches can already refuse to marry people they think are unsuitable. In some cases, those who have been divorced, in some cases when the couple are thought to be inappropriate.

Churches are allowed to break equality laws as far as employment is concerned, employing only male priests; or only believers in their schools or homes or whatever... Other organisations would be in court over refusing the best candidate because he was an atheist or a Muslim or a Mormon, or whatever.

Why would they be forced to marry gay couples?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Joan McAlpine is a xenophobic hypocrite. She is "only"a "list msp". The woman dictates on road safety to others, yet gets banned for speeding. She has missed Parliamentry appointments 6 times. The woman is a bigot in my opinion, hated by many.