Paranoid Scottish Catholics fear their faith could be criminalised

Paranoid Scottish Catholics fear their faith could be criminalised March 25, 2019

THE Catholic Church in Scotland believes that there is a  ‘very real danger’ that holding Catholic beliefs could become a ‘hate crime’ in Scotland, and that it had been targeted in an anti-bigotry campaign launched last year by the Scottish Government.

According to The Scottish Catholic Observer, this fear was expressed in the Church’s submission to a Scottish Government consultation on hate crime legislation.

Image via YouTube

The consultation follows a report by Lord Bracadale, above, on hate crime which was released last year and suggested changes to legislation.

In its response, the Church stressed that freedom of belief and religion must be upheld.

Suppressing this freedom will create divisions and foster grievances across society. There is a climate of heightened sensitivity in the present culture and there is a very real danger that expressing or even holding individual or collective opinions or beliefs will become a hate crime.

As an example, it said that:

Some people might suggest that expressing the Catholic Church’s position on marriage or human sexuality could be an attempt to stir up hatred. This would obviously be wrong. There must be room for robust debate and exchange of views. Otherwise we become an intolerant, illiberal society.

Last year, the Scottish government launched a controversial “Dear Bigots” campaign that was seen to be targeting people of faith. The One Scotland campaign saw posters addressed to “bigots, disablists, homophobes, racists, and transphobes” placed across the country. A video was also produced.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said at the time that the campaign:

Suggested that religious hate crimes are perpetrated by religious believers, but there is no evidence to suggest this is the case.

The Christian aid agency Barnabas Fund said the campaign risked “stirring up” religious prejudice and that it was “anti-Christian”. It was particularly incensed that posters used in the campaign bore the logo of Police Scotland. It made an official complaint to the police, who were put in the position of having to investigate themselves. But the investigation concluded that the posters were not intended to be prejudicial to any group, adding that no further action would be taken.

The Barnabas Fund said it was:

Disappointed that it took over 56 days for Police Scotland to respond to our complaint and an additional complaint to the Chief Constable was needed before a response was finally given. The response also failed to address the substance of our complaint, including the potential breach of international human rights by state advocacy of hostility against a religious group.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act last week revealed that the Scottish Government had received scores of complaints about the campaign.

In letters to complainers and to MSPs and government ministers who received complaints from constituents, Communities and Local Government Secretary Aileen Campbell said the campaign was “absolutely not intended to target those of faith” and she apologised if it “appeared to some” that it did.

She said  there were no plans to repeat the “Dear Bigots”  campaign in the future.

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  • Funny they complain about that, knowing what was the fate of atheists the day they had much more power than now.

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    so they are effectively admitting that their beliefs and actions qualify as hate crimes, but rather than examine those actions they just don’t want people to point it out, the sense of entitlement just oozes out of them

  • Broga

    ” the Church stressed that freedom of belief and religion must be upheld.”

    Fair play to the RC Church. They have not lost their sense of humour.

  • Tawreos

    Of course they don’t look inward to try to figure out why they think a general campaign against hate feels like it was directed at them.

  • larry parker

    There must be room for robust debate and exchange of views.

    The debate is over, your views are wrong.

  • islandbrewer

    Cor, Celtic leading the Premiership, what do Scottish Catholics have to be paranoid about?

    Rangers fans?

  • Vanity Unfair

    I don’t know whether Police Scotland did investigate themselves as there is no easily found reference on their web site. They should have passed the matter to at least another force. Perhaps they did.

    While seeking inspiration on the Barnabas Fund site I found these two reports next to each other.
    God’s intervention saves 72 captive Nigerian Christians from Boko Haram firing squad
    Over 300 Nigerian Christians slain in merciless killing spree by Fulani militants since February

  • Anne Fenwick

    Yes, well, some of their religious beliefs involve bigoted hatred which causes social and personal harm. It practically warrants an ASBO, never mind a hate crime law. What shall we do for them?

  • CoastalMaineBird

    One Scotland: posters addressed to “bigots, disablists, homophobes, racists, and transphobes”

    Catholics: Stop persecuting us !

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Suggested that religious hate crimes are perpetrated by religious believers, but there is no evidence to suggest this is the case.

    What else do you figure would produce religious hate? Satan ? Space aliens? Bad beans?

  • Norman Parron

    Yes the crap oozing from their ahole may well be hate speech, but so what? Even sounds from certain people may be considered incite to what? The part that counts is what are they actually doing??? Actions are what counts, you can throw hate shit at me all day, MEH!! try to hurt me or mine, I dump the body on the speakers lawn!

  • CoastalMaineBird

    Never heard the term “disablists” before now, but consider this:

    Deuteronomy 23:1
    He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
    A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
    No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, not even in the tenth generation.

    Leviticus 21:16:
    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
    Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
    For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,
    Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,
    Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;
    No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.

    What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him;

    Looks like disablism to me. ‘cuz God don’t love you no more.

  • AlexanderTheGoodEnough

    The one thing that can not be tolerated if society is to remain tolerant is intolerance. Otherwise, intolerance breeds even more intolerance in a downward spiral. It’s called the Paradox of Tolerance, first described by Karl Popper in 1945. It’s a corollary of the Tragedy of the Commons. See:

  • barriejohn

    Have they never heard of “Bloody Mary”?

  • Sau Peih

    What good is religion if you can’t use it to claim victimhood? (And suppress the rights of others of course.)

  • TrickyDicky


    “wounded in the stones” that has got to be painful!

  • Marie-José Renaud

    Bad beans, of course!

  • Garvey’s Ghost

    Money and kids if you’re into that.

  • Vanity Unfair

    “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind…”

    I included those two snippets because I found them on the complainant’s web site, one above the other. They show what I believe is now called cognitive dissonance, the holding of contrary opinions or beliefs in order to prevent a breakdown of a major aspect of a personality foundation. Here, the salvation of one group shows the power of JHWH to protect his chosen people while the death of another group shows the inhumanity of JHWH’s opponents and, therefore the need to defeat them. That the second group could not also be saved does not manifest in the believer any doubt about the power of JHWH, who is, of course, omnipotent. It merely makes the believer more radical in the expression of his belief.
    I can become upset.

    Please give either a reputable source or the list of deaths for your claim that Christians have killed billions of people. Even using the recent redefinition of billion as 10^9 two billion would represent over a quarter of the present world population while the traditional definition (the one I prefer) of 10^12 would account for, probably, all of the human population ever*. Such exaggerations do not enhance your credibility.
    * Nobody knows the number and it depends on your definition of “human”.

  • Fraser

    Truth is, they are bigots.

  • Bob Pattinson

    People are free to believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden for all I care, but they don’t get to dictate how I live my life so I don’t offend their fairy.

  • Aard
  • doninkansas

    and would still be doing if there were able to get by with it. just look at what they have done here in the USA, when they joined forces with the right wing evangelical groups. and under the Trump administration. they using every trick in their book to get laws passed again the LGBT, women, minorities, etc.

  • Gary Whittenberger

    “Hate speech” is too vague. The concept needs a lot of work. Some people think that if others disagree with them the others are engaging in “hate speech.”

  • barriejohn

    Same with “Islamophobia”. I agree that much of the antipathy towards Islam IS based on race (EDL, anyone?), but they’re using this to try to close down all criticism of Islam, and with worrying success.

  • Brian Curtis

    Shouldn’t they worry more about all the criminals taking over their faith?

  • David Cromie

    It is par for the course that the Roman church should equate bigotry against any section of the community with ‘religious freedom’, thus they rush to cry ‘persecution’ when anyone disagrees with their bigotry, or tries to eliminate it.

    “…the campaign: Suggested that religious hate crimes are perpetrated by religious believers, but there is no evidence to suggest this is the case”. Really? Who, then are ‘religious hate crimes’ being perpetrated by?

    Of course, one does not have to be a member of any religion to be bigoted, but religious bigotry has a habit of seeping into wider society to be picked up by insecure, ill-educated people.

  • David Cromie

    What is your point?

  • Corvettekid

    The only bigots are leftists and advocates for sodomy.

  • Robert Conner

    This is the church that’s paid out nearly $4 BILLION to settle law suits for child molestation despite its obstruction of justice, lawyering up criminals, and intimidating witnesses. The “miracle” is that they’re still allowed to run a school, orphanage, adoption agency, hospital, or anything else anywhere in the world. Let’s talk about prosecution for what amounts to human trafficking before we get into how “persecuted” these slime bags are.

  • Freethinker
  • barriejohn

    That’s it exactly. People are actually defending the Sultan of Brunei by saying that it’s his country, his religion, his tradition, etc, and no one else’s business. Would they say that if they were gay and living in Brunei?

  • Freethinker

    Religions provide a platform for social acceptance of collective delusions, stupidity, superstition and ignorance. If had a person today claimed to hear divine voice from a burning bush we would be locking them up in a nut house and giving them medication but mythologists are looking at those same episodes of schizophrenia as gospel worthy of worship.
    The delusion that there is a god and angels, heaven and hell, sin and punishment etc etc is only accepted because enough people hold these irrational beliefs. When you strip down the structure of Christianity for instance you come to an idea that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your ‘soul’ that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. It’s total fucking nonsense destroyed by what we know about the origin on life on earth which is why the fundies push back against the science of evolution so much. Because it destroys the foundation of their myth.
    There in nothing more embarrassing to a thinking rational person than the fact that not only is religious belief deemed to be socially acceptable, we still have laws in place protecting this irrational thinking. Religions poison societies but because, regrettably, most humans are still believers it’s a situation where majority rules. The problem is that it is one of the oldest forms of control of groups which is also convenient for secular governments. By allowing the irrationality of religions and actually promoting them governments can pay lip service to the idiocy of these beliefs while pacifying the masses of fearful hairless apes aware of their inevitable demise. If we only realized how much more advanced we would have been by now as humanity if progress, rational thinking, evidence based rationality would not have beeb stifled over the centuries by religious irrationality and pretense of alleged ‘superior morality”. From trial of Galileo to the push-back against stem cell research this is all religious stupidity in action. This is why these initiatives from the Scottish government are so fantastic and progressive. A voice of enlightenment over the cacophony of superstitions. They actually dare to push back against the stupidity and bigotry that is religions.

  • Freethinker

    Would you settle for hundreds of millions perishing as a result of religions? There are dozens of cultures which have been deliberately decimated by religiously driven imperialistic and forced-conversion initiatives. The loss of human lives to religious stupidity over the last 2000 is likely incalculable. Just the invasion of the Western hemisphere by the cross bearing conquistadors resulted in around 70 million lives lost in a span of one century.

  • Freethinker

    ….and be a complete asshole while claiming moral superiority.

  • Freethinker

    This is fantastic.I’ve been saying it for years without knowing about Popper. It just makes sense.

    This should be required read for all Regressive Liberals who are overtly tolerant.

  • persephone

    They sainted Sir Thomas More, who kept a special torture room for heretics in his home. They even managed to sell him as cool and kind in A Man for All Seasons.