Wednesday, 5 September 2012

THE BATTLE ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE WILL BE OUTSIDE THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

In the last post, a list of the legislation for the next year at Holyrood, Niko made an observation about the problems that were likely ensue apropos the legislation to equalise the right to marriage for same sex couples on the same basis as heterosexual couples.

Although individual MSPs with strong religious loyalty or beliefs will be likely to vote against their parties' policies as a matter of conscience, just for once, the most likely source of dissension will be outside of the parliamentary chamber, in pulpits of various denominations across Scotland.

Ruth Davidson has already said that she supports gay marriage, and this is unlikely to alter as David Cameron has launched a consultation on the issue in England and Wales  and has indicated that it has his personal support. Ruth doesn't make a habit of going against David Cameron's will.

Johann Lamont is proud that it was Labour that introduced civil partnerships, and in a letter to the First Minister asked him to ensure that the parliamentary motion raised by John Mason, which was signed by a number of SNP MSPs did not reflect the views of the SNP as a whole. Yesterday's announced legislation would, I imagine, prove that, and it would be nice to imagine that Johann is happy, although, somehow I doubt it. She has to square the circle cause by a Willie Bain tweet indicating that Labour never backs SNP proposals regardless of what they are! 

Johann should also, of course, remember that religious views and church pressure have in the past precluded members of her own party supporting  Labour legislation.

Willie Rennie has been more enthusiastic than any other leader, even wanting the First Minister to commit to introducing the legislation before the consultation was complete and Patrick Harvie joins with other Scottish party leaders in supporting the proposals. 


From what I read in yesterday's announcement, the proposed law will put no obligation on religious leaders to carry out these marriages in their churches. As at present, with heterosexual marriages, priests will be free to refuse to marry people for whatever reason. 

I think that this is a fair compromise. 

Although people with deeply held religious views may be required in their jobs, to carry out tasks which they find distasteful, I can certainly see that it would be wrong to force an institution such as the Catholic Church, to go against its principles on a daily basis. 

So, registrars, employed by local authorities, must be obliged to carry out their duties, whether it be marrying gay couples, or registering the birth of children who were born out of wedlock, as doctors or nurses must be prepared to give birth control advice regardless of whether it infringes their personal views. If they feel strongly enough, they have the option to resign their positions. This is different from expecting a whole church to  be complicit in something that they preach against.

We are already in a situation where same sex couples can commit to civil partnerships which are marriage in all but name. It's not like the Bill will give gays any more privileges, or responsibilities... just the right to call their marriage a marriage.

Those with deeply held religious beliefs should surely never have stopped campaigning against everything since sex between same sex couples was legalised, for surely it is sex which is against the world of the Lord, not the fact that they live together in a loving relationship.

One of the things I find most strange about views I've read or heard on this proposed legislation, which, after all really won't change anything except the name of the institution into which gay people who "marry" will enter, is the claim that heterosexual marriage will be devalued by homosexuals having the same rights.


I would have thought that if people were looking for examples of the devaluing of the institution of marriage, they need look no further than say prince Charles and Diana Spencer. Charlie got married one afternoon, and that evening was heard by his new wife, on the telephone to his lover, arranging to meet after the honeymoon. Having promised before the head of his mother's church, that very day, to love her to the exclusion of all others, till death they did part.  He went on having a relationship with this woman, destroying his marriage, his wife's health, and nearly, some would say, the monarchy, and once his wife was dead he married her, despite it going against the teachings of the church that he will presumably one day head. That is all pretty devaluing, don't you think?

Or there is Elizabeth Taylor, who managed to promise life long devotion and fidelity on no fewer than 8 occasions. Or what about Jordan who married a cross-dressing cage fighter, quietly in Las Vegas with just a few friends, including the "Hello" team, and then ditched him shortly afterwards when there was no more publicity to be wrung from him and his weird antics? Lesser known, but no less devaluing is this little tale. Till death, or four days later, us part.

I doubt that gay partnership devalues marriage more that these examples.
I have to say to the likes of ex-SNP leader Gordon Wilson, that if the fact that two women can marry taints someone's marriage, then there is something wrong with that marriage in the first place, and as allowing gay sex hasn't discouraged heterosexual sex, I don't think that gay marriage will discourage heterosexual marriage. 

What may discourage marriage is that statistics show that nearly 50% of marriages in the UK end in divorce. Both marriage and divorce are excessively expensive. Money is tight.  It is economically not worth getting married. 

66 comments:

  1. I also think its a bit rich to suggest gays marrying would devalue the institution of marriage, heterosexuals do a fine job by themselves.

    Personally, I don't care about gay marriage in and of itself (I'll never do it.) What I do care about is the way homosexuality is perceived in society. I care because currently, the dull throb of disapproval being fuelled by certain religious organisations and the ignorant ramblings of some is causing young gay people to feel so wretched, so miserable that they take their own life, sometimes without even being able to say why.

    The truth is, we don't know how many young people kill themselves because they can't face a life they feel will be full of hatred, loathing and disapproval.

    I just cannot reconcile any religious ideology that claims a monopoly on love and morality but then actively, not even passively or by omission but actively causes young people to throw themselves off bridges or shoot themselves through the head.

    Can you imagine how bad it would need to be for a person to do that to themselves, now imagine that person is your fourteen year old son or daughter?

    All this chat about gays not being worthy of marriage adds to the back ground level of reproach which exists for homosexuals, a state of being we cannot do anything about, something we are born with as sure as we're born with a preference for the colour blue or an interest in films with Hugh Grant in.

    As far as I'm concerned, this kind of legislation will do more for young folk growing up with the dark cloud of having to get used to not being 'normal' (whatever the fuck that really means) a whole lot easier, it'll be like a vote of confidence from us in them. It'll be us saying; its fine, don't worry about it.

    If that rattles the delicate sensibilities of a backwardly pious few: tough fucking shit.

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  2. No... you're dead right about that, and it wasn't that long anyway (not half as long as the post!!!).

    I'd only take exception to one thing, and that is that surely no one is born with a preference to films with Hugh Grant, are they?

    Apart from that I agree. :)

    Lord knows there is enough to hate about in the world without hating people for loving.

    I can't imagine why anyone would want to get married with the expense it involves and a reasonable chance of having to get divorced within a few years, but that is not the point.

    The point is that's it's about treating people equally when they aren't hurting anyone else, and I can't imagine why anyone could see anything wrong with that!





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  3. tris
    The point i was trying to make(er not very well it seems) is what happens if someone/priesty inside an organization/Church is willing to marry a same sex couple but the Church is not.

    will they make it illegal for any action against a minster who disobeys his/hers church.
    I mean who will have the final say
    the employee(many ministers /priests etc are paid employees)
    or the employer.

    still love will conquer all ........in the end

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  4. Aye...

    Its difficult to explain what it was like growing up with urges I couldn't define and when I did, made me feel so ashamed and full of self-hatred.

    Even now, remembering the process of coming to terms with it is harrowing for me.

    Fortunately now, I can admit to liking Notting Hill and Love Actually with out feeling bad about myself.

    ;-)

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  5. tris..don't forget that Scots/UK Law is subservient to EU /ECHR Law so it's pretty irrelevant if the " proposed law will put no obligation on religious leaders to carry out these marriages in their churches. "
    Remember the SNP being defeated on slopping out, rights of a prisoner to see a lawyer etc ?

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  6. Monty

    'being defeated on slopping out, rights of a prisoner to see a lawyer etc ? '


    what you had to defeated to treat your 'fellow Scots' as human beings thats not very inclusive or patriotic.

    pa this aint a porno blog ya dirty little fecker bet you fancy the pants of Louise Mensch..

    hers is a bit of eye
    candy for ya

    ps dont forget Nadine Dorries is in the Tatler Grr!

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  7. Yeah but...

    In no other European country which already has gay marriage on the books has it ever gone to court.

    The SNP weren't defeated over slopping out, they argued that claims should be time barred (a curious omission in the wording of the Scotland Act left out the one year time barring element for these sorts of claims.) It was labour and the lib dems who failed to do anything about slopping out during their time in power and typically left others clean up the mess. (Claims were being made by prisoners way back in 1999.)

    But I digress.

    Also, when this legislation goes through, it wouldn't be militant gays suing the SNP in court, it would be militant gays suing the church in question.

    Its a bit of a conflation.

    Which throws up an interesting question, as I understand it, currently the ECHR law is already at odds with Scottish/UK law insofar as, currently (as I understand it, I could be completely wrong) our law states that churches can't marry same sex couples, if that's the case, gay folk could take action at the ECHR?

    I might be quite wrong though. I'll have to go and read up on it.

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  8. Och Pa, anyone would shudder at the though of the Mensch female.

    She's such a creepy old bird.

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  9. I should think, Niko, that that is a matter of discipline for the church. Scots law will say that you cannot force churches to marry gays, any more than you can force them to marry anyone else, ugly people, particularly beautiful people, amputees, English teachers, deaf people, film star.... whatever.

    If the Pope says no (which I suspect he will) then that's the law of that church. If a priest breaks the rules of his employer (the pope) and he gets the push (or defrocked as the church would typically call it!!!!!!) that's a matter between employer and employed.

    The same will go for the Episcopal church I imagine. I don't know who is in charge of that in Scotland, but whoever it is, will have to make the decision.

    I expect in the case of the C of S it will be the General Assembly.

    It will always be a case of employer versus employee, I guess.

    Whether, once married by a priest/vicar/minister and registration carried out, I can't see that this could be undone. It being done in accordance with the law, if not be the requirements of the church concerned.

    That leaves the people legally married, but whether they would "feel" married is another thing.

    I wonder, though, if anyone would want an organisation which hated them so much to be involved in their marriage.

    Remember that there are some churches (Quakers, I think) who approve and who will perform marriages legally.

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  10. You got through it Pa, and you've turned out a clever and funny guy... and a good guy too (I know how hard you work to look after your parents and still have time for voluntary work) whose comments always make me think, and often make me laugh.

    That's probably not much compensation for what you have been through, but...

    How wicked the so called "good" can be.

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  11. The fact is, your lordship, that Churches are already above the law in many aspects that the EU and EHCR might be likely to have a say. The RC church refuses to employ women as preachers, but also in its schools there is a demand that teachers follow its faith, even though they have no requirement to teach RE.

    Where there is equality of opportunity for women (and for that matter homosexuals) in employment law, pretty much throughout Europe, the Church is excluded.

    Police/courts cannot force a priest to divulge the confessions of a sinner if the knowledge gained by that priest was obtained within a confessional. This is true even in the most serious crimes.

    You or I would go to prison for withholding information.

    I can't see there being a challenge to gay marriage laws if all of that has been allowed to continue.

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  12. Yes Pa. You're right on both these counts. It wasn't the SNP that was at fault. Labour should have done something about it, but they didn't. They had plenty of time... 10 years was it not?

    It's not unreasonable in a civilised country to end slopping out, particularly if we don't want to create savages from our prisoners.

    It is disgusting to have no access to the privacy of a toilet, both for the person wanting to use it, and for anyone else sharing the cell.

    It should have been dealt with.

    I think you are right too about who would be at fault. We know that law throughout Europe affords the churches immunity from laws that countermand issues of faith. For example, the Church of Scotland could be sued for not employing a woman as a minister, because it believes that women can be ministers. It is therefore discrimination to refuse to employ a woman

    However, the Roman church, which believes that women are not suitable as priests, and traces this to biblical reference (ie Jesus didn't have women disciples) cannot be sued, because their refusal to employ woman as priest is part of their belief.

    It would have to be a militancy/mischievousness(because a normal person wouldn't want a church that hated them, to marry them and spoil their "great" day), who sued the individual Church, and my guess is no matter how far it went, no Church would lose, as long as it could point to a scripture that justified its actions. I'm guessing at Leviticus here.

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  13. PS Niko, what's with you looking at provocative pictures of middle aged female Tory MPs?

    BTW does Theresa May do it for you, or that greening woman... or is it Cheryl Gillan...or Old Maggie?

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  14. tris

    Doesn't make me a bad person

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  15. LOL... if you say so...

    Posh totty!

    What's wrong with Maggie Curren...

    ...OK, don't answer that!

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  16. Niko..I actually agreed with the EU rulings re slopping out etc. Made a change for me ;)

    tris...I did a bit of research re gay marriage in church and the ECHR. Basically it's not a human right but if government legislation is enacted to make it legal then it is discriminatory if a church refuses to carry out gay marriages.
    "This means that if same-sex marriage is legalised in the UK it will be illegal for the Government to prevent such marriages happening in religious premises."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9157029/Gay-marriage-is-not-a-human-right-according-to-European-ruling.html#

    Personally I'm not bothered as I'm a live and let live type person but I think the churches are going to be disappointed

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  17. Fair enough Monty. I bow to your greater research.

    I suppose that people may vexatiously try to get a church to marry them, then take it to court if it refuses.

    I wonder if some woman will then take the RC church to court for refusing to train her as a priest, or maybe take the CofE to court for not letting her be a bishop.

    Oh well, who cares if the churches are disappointed.

    If the government legislation makes it illegal for marriages to be conducted in churches another set of religious organisations will be annoyed.

    Who'd want to be in government?

    To my way of thinking we should break down as many barriers as possible in making people equal in Scotland. For far too long we have been separated in any number of different ways...class, education, sex, sexuality, disability...etc.

    If churches in general spent a little more time doing (as my mum's church does) good works for poor and sick in Scotland and abroad, and had less to say about matters like this, then there wouldn't be so many of them closing down because their membership is in single figures!

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  18. Interesting stuff from Monty re. law. It answers my question.

    Interesting stuff also from Niko- Oh hold on... ;-)

    Maggrit Curran has a face like the end of a crap sausage roll, the phrase 'chewin' a wasp' was coined for her.

    I don't really have a problem with any religious dogma except where it has a negative real world effect, at which point, I think all reasonable people need to say something about it.

    People talk about Islam being a backward looking religion, not sure if the phrase about glass houses and people throwing stones is from religious texts but we have enough western religions that are just as damaging with their dogma.

    I'm with John Lennon on this when he sung:

    "And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun,
    The near and the dear ones, the old and the young"

    Oh hold on, wrong song...

    I meant:

    "Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too."

    Or some other gushy pish.


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  19. As I've said a few times on here (and elsewhere) I am not religious, but I respect people who are.

    But I take the view that religion is a personal thing, a belief which you hold to yourself. You should respect that not everyone thinks the same way as you, and you should not ram your belief down other people's throats. An awful lot of the world's problems would have been avoided if people didn't try to convert people to their ways.

    And so I don't think that one particular religion should be allowed to form the basis of laws for other people regardless of what that religion is.

    The idea that the state has a religion is simply preposterous. Sates cannot believe. Only individuals can. It is a ridiculous burden to put on the Queen and her family, that they MUST believe the teachings of the C of E (and the C of S).

    All established religions are necessarily backward looking at least in part. The Abrahamic faiths, with which we are most familiar, were all established in the Near East, a totally different culture from ours, even now; the Jewish one many thousands of years ago, the Christian one 2000 years ago and the Muslim one, 1500 years ago. It would be hard to imagine that their original teachings would all make sense now, and yet the universal truths remain the same: love, tolerance, charity, goodness.

    I suppose it is hard for a religion to adapt. They seem do so by schisms as "modernisers" push forward and those who want no change stay behind.

    I think it's worth remembering that, churches, chapels, mosques temples and synagogues do good work in the community. Sometimes in an increasingly greedy world, work that wouldn't be done otherwise, and although some of the management level of these organisations may be buried in the past, many of their adherents get on with the real work of religion.

    Aye John Lennon said an awful lot of sensible things, Pa. I wish he'd lived to be an old man.

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  20. I imagine that in the Church of Scotland it will be a matter for the individual presbyteries to decide if they will allow gays to marry in their church. I really don’t think the General Assembly can dictate that.

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  21. They seem, Munguin, to be a more democratic organisation, so I guess you could be right.

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  22. Sorry for going O/T here but thought you'd enjoy, or maybe not, this post I put up on Wings.

    "Sorry I’m O/T here but it appears that IPSA have released the latest sets of expenses claims by our “beloved” at Westminster. Here. courtesy of Guido Fawkes, http://order-order.com/ ,is the list of the top 5 claimants!


    Greg Mulholland, LibDem, £188,783
    Stephen Gilbert, LibDem, £185,811
    Alistair Carmichael*, LibDem, £185,389
    Brian Donohoe, Labour, £182,003
    Willie Bain, Labour, £180,923

    Carmichael has to fly to Orkney and Shetland so has an excuse for high travel expenses.

    If you want to check your own M.P. then you can do so here.
    http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/AnnualisedData.aspx

    Yet another example of why we are better together…….NOT!"

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  23. Tris, you can forget my last post. THIS is the REAL reason as to why we are better together.

    First we had Recession mark I
    Now we have Recession mark II
    Arriving soon Recession mark III

    This quote is taken from the Huffington Post.
    "However the economic outlook for the UK has been slashed more than any other country in the G7 bloc, prompting fears that Britain could enter another recession, reported Sky News."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/06/uk-economic-outlook-slashed-oecd-europe_n_1860406.html?utm_hp_ref=uk

    Unquestionably the reason why we should remain part of the U.K.

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  24. Sorry Tris, I forgot to add this link to my last post.

    http://order-order.com/2012/09/06/labours-absent-earners-expenses-bills/

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  25. Arbroath 1320 according to that paragon of truth the BBC Scotland J Murphy (of no party) was the highest in Scotland at £86 grand yet when one looks he was £159 grand. Pity they cant marry the proper figures to the party troughers unless they are not Labour of course.

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  26. Thanks for those Arbroath.

    I wonder why Mr Hosie in Dundee East needs £15,000 less in expenses than Mr McGovern in Dundee West.

    As for Miliband and daft works Brown. They don't turn up at parliament; they spend their life writing or speaking. Why are they still being paid, and getting expenses?

    Becasue no one has the pwer to do anything about ex-prime ministers/foreign secretaries? (Even if they were crap at their jobs!)

    Are these people made of different material from "ordinary" people.

    I mean if I said to my boss, 'I won't be in next week because I'm going on a speaking tour', I'd just be sacked.

    Is their blood different from mine?

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  27. I think the difference between Mr Hosie's expense claims and that of Mr McGovern is easy to answer. One, I won't say who, is interested in the electorate of his constituency while the other is interested in "lining his pocket".

    With regard to Broon the Loon et all I think the answer is quite straight forward. NO ONE at Westminster is courageous enough to confront Broon. As a result of the FEAR that abounds Westminster concerning the big bruiser Broon then it results in all sorts of other M.P.'s getting away with the same "crime."

    Until Westminster GROWS some backbone then this sort of MASS wastage of taxpayers money will continue, much the same as Westinster's LACK of backbone concerning tackling the banks and excessive bonuses,fraud etc.

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  28. I just object to paying tax so they can live like they mattered more than the rest of us...

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  29. I've just found this over on the Hootsmon, an article written by Jim Sillars.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/jim-sillars-scots-can-call-blair-to-book-1-2508271

    Let's hope someone at Holyrood can take this article and run with it. Amending Scots law to incorporate the necessary changes would turn Scotland, YET AGAIN, into a country that DOES NOT tolerate war criminals.

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  30. The links about the economy fly in the face of what Osbourne was saying in TV tonight, he said he didn't think Scotland would be 'as prosperous' as an independent country.

    Compared to where we are now?

    What an arse. Surely any body listening that would've choked on their Ovaltine.

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  31. Sorry pa, I value my T.V. so didn't watch/listen to Ozzy. If I did I'd be minus one T.V. now! :lol:

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  32. Reading Pa Broon's comments reminded me of going to church as a child with my parents. We had a hell-fire and brimstone preached who would shout out "You are all sinners and will burn in hell for eternity" and I recall thinking that I was only seven and had not even started sinning. I would look around in church and see shoulders shaking. I thought that that was out of terror but found out latter that it was suppressed laughter.

    It may sound funny but must have had an adverse effect on children and impressionable adults and I should imagine that a lot of re-assurance had to be offered to them. How did this affect the rest of their lives?

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  33. I'm inclined to agree that Blair should be in the HAGUE. I always was. I'm not convinced that this is the best way though. Once a government shows that it is prepared to use retrospective legislation on anyone, even a man as wicked as Tony Blair, who lied to the people and to parliament so that he could cosy up to George Bush, no matter that it cost 200,000+ lives, it makes you wonder what they will do in the future.

    I think it would probably be better if his plane was obliged to land in a small town somewhere in the Iraqi interior...where he might not be the most popular man.

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  34. CH...

    The BBC sometimes has difficulty with accuracy. It's something we might look at once it becomes the SBC.

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  35. AH Mr Osborne's predictions have proved, on every single occasion, to be wrong, Pa.

    But he probably has the dirt on Cameron as a fellow member of the "get drunk and wreck the hoose: Danny can buy a new one" Bullingdon Dining Club.

    Cameron swears that the restaurant wrecking happened on nights when he wasn't there. I expect that Gideon knows different, and possibly even has some pictures to prove it. Surely there can be no other reason for keeping this fool in one of the top jobs.

    Thank god for John Swinney.

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  36. Hello John, you old sinner you!

    I've never heard one of these preachers ranting about everyone being a sinner. I'd quite like to though.

    I can't imagine what kind of good it would do, except as you say, give everyone a good laugh maybe trying to imagine the sins of others... or a nice warm glow as they remember their own sins.

    It always seems rather far removed from the preachings of love and charity and goodness that appear in the New Testament that we had to read at school.

    I think preachers like that must have missed the chummy bits of the Bible when they were at Theological College (maybe there were off behind the bike sheds sinning on these days) and concentrated on the Old Testament and its "vengeance is mine, sayeth the lord" texts.

    Seriously, I imagine that being brought up with that kind of preaching would leave a lot of people decided that this religion (supposedly an aid to living your life and a comfort to you in hard times) was not for them... and others so stripped of any self respect and self confidence as to leave them damaged, insecure and uncertain about everything.

    (I often wondered how these ministers knew that everyone was a sinner or a fornicator. Were they peeping toms, or just gossips?)



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  37. Slightly off topic although in line with your comment above. I'm not religious but I do find the different religious ideas interesting.

    On fire and brimstone, I did once go to a Scottish Episcopal service (I think the same idea as Church of England.) What I took from that was, it was all very similar to Catholicism except, we don't have the confessional so if you sin, you're fucked.

    During the service, things like going to the cinema, meeting relatives (although not friends) in a bar or licenced premises along with the usual unspecified carnal activities, wanking etc was all bad and would result in your being fucked, and not in a good way.

    I was there with a group of young people, none of whom were members of the church (I thought it was an ordinary C of S church, I should read signs more carefully) they went up for the body/blood of christ bit, alas while the preist (or what ever they're called) blessed them, there was no ribena or disco's on offer. Not very christian in my view.

    On the other hand, the catholic services I've been to have been rather more friendly and seemingly accepting, they prefer, it seems to hide their prejudices under a bushel.

    C of S services are just boring. Although I did go to a memorial service recently that was really very well done, lots of music and light on the dogmatic chanting. People also clapped which I've never seen in a C of S.

    Still not going on a Sunday though.

    ;-)

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  38. We had a rule in our church that you could not have a shag standing up in case some-one thought you were dancing which was, of course, frowned upon!

    Christ, a plane, a Tornado I think, just flew over my wee hoose, missing it by two and a half inches. Is this the start of an invasion by the NO Campaign with Capt Niko at the helm?

    Just in case, sod working, I think I'll go to the pub. Hope there's no submarines about!

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  39. Hmmmm, yes Pa... they seem to ban all the stuff that is fun...

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  40. DANCING????????

    I should think so too. Why, if tyhat were allowed, who knows what it would lead to.

    No... the Wee Free Buddhists know a thing or two about keeping you unruly islanders under control.

    If Niko and his merry men are on their invading way to your wee hoose, then I suspect you should go to the pub... best not to be in when he arrives. And in any case, that way you will be merry too.

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  41. DON'T PANIC!!!!

    It would appear that our "beloved" Chancellor has hit the PANIC button AGAIN! The dear old chap has announced a new tax relief plan for oil companies working in oil fields that are running low on their oil output.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-19515932

    This "amazing" U turn would not have anything to do with this news would it?

    Surely not! Ozzy wouldn't be THAT cynical, would he?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-19497064

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  42. Just like you, we in America are going through this inane controversy about same sex marriage. And just like you, we have churches that try to incorporate their religious prejudices into state marriage law. But unlike you, we thankfully have a system in which churches are constitutionally forbidden to be a part of the institution of government.

    Now it always falls to us Americans the task of pointing out to other nations when they are wrong. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. So here goes....

    The very concept of a national church is an abominable, centuries old political anachronism of the highest order. It's surely occurred to you that a Church of Scotland is as great an offense to a free people as a Church of England. An even greater offense than the hereditary monarchy, as it involves personal religious faith, and the indoctrination (I'm told) of school children in classroom observances.

    So is there any hope that the SNP will abolish the national church in an independent Scotland? Are they even on record about the issue? If not, shame on the SNP! It's the only sensible thing to do. And while you're at it, DO get rid of the monarchy too.

    And don't worry. What could POSSIBLY go wrong by following American advice? ;-)

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  43. That's good news, I think, Arbroath. Even a Tory can get something right sometimes.

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  44. Actually Danny, I can't remember them saying anything about church at all.

    I think we have to remember that the SNP may well not be the government after independence. So it may not matter what they think. It could be more important what Labour thinks.

    I agree with you, of course, that there should be no state church, and that religion should take no part in education. And for that matter, no royals.

    Surely it is wrong for kids to be taught only one religion and worse still only one sect of one religion. I'd vote for that, but there are some people who wouldn't, I guess.

    Erm... what indeed could go wrong...? :-) Answers on a post card...

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  45. Oops!

    Looks like the Bitter together gang are starting to PANIC!

    There is a saying that when your opponent starts to throw mud, call you names and insult you then you have won the battle. Well it looks like the Bitter camp have just surrendered.

    http://vasi.org.uk/2012/09/06/better-together-official-campaign-goes-a-trollin-with-cybernat-bingo/

    https://www.facebook.com/bettertogetheruk?ref=ts

    Oh by the way ANYONE who comments on the Facebook page and DOESN'T agree with the Bitter camps sentiment do not have their comments up for long, no matter how placid they are!

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  46. LOL @ Tris:

    You really think you could get it all on a post card? ;-)

    Interesting that a Parliamentary Sovereignty system allows that political parties need not actually take positions on some fundamental issues of governance. The idea being that things can always be changed according to the will of the people at some later point in time, when another political party might even be in charge.

    But there are some things too important for that. (Such as the influence of an institutional church with the powers of governance.) Matters much too important for the short term day-to-day political will of the people to decide. So we come to that written constitution, bill of rights thingy. Did I ever mention that?

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  47. Yes. All my comments on their page were taken down, although none was in the least offensive. I employed argument on facts to discredit some of their assertions, but everything I wrote was taken down.

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  48. Several postcards, Danny?

    OK, a large block pad?

    People will of course ask the SNP to pontificate on exactly how an independent Scotland will be in the future, and the answer is....we don't know. It will depend on how we vote, I guess

    It's a new, old country, or an old, new country. A bill of rights (which I seem to remember you mentioning, along with the snows of New England) would be a good idea, but then, we'd need to import all the lawyers from somewhere to interpret it!!!!
    :)

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  49. Yes Tris, figuring out what the written constitution really MEANS is always the tricky part.....LOL.

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  50. Thing is Tris they are open to full and honest debate just so long as you AGREE with THEIR point of view. Should you happen to have a surreal moment and begin to question their views, ethics or whatever, piff puff poof your gone, NEVER to return!

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  51. Oh dear, it looks like some one has carried out some research that the Westminster government were asked to do but REFUSED. I wonder why! It couldn't possibly be because they were terrified of the what the report results might indicate could it?

    http://mentalhealthtoday.co.uk/benefit_assessments_causing_mental_health_problems.aspx
    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/123579

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  52. Well yeah, Danny... I bet that is how all these really rich lawyers in Philadelphia make their money.

    Here we have the ECHR... and no one can distinguish what Human Rights are, or are not...

    Still, if I go for a career change, it would certainly be 'law', given how much litigation there is on these things...and how much money there is to be made from them!!

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  53. Och, Arbroath, I didn't really want to be there. It was just interesting to see how quickly I was dispatched for politely pointing out some inaccuracies in Maggie Curren's nonsense.

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  54. "All the advances that disabled people have made over the period since 1945 are being reversed."

    That's a proud boast for the Tories!


    • 14% of GPs have patients who self-harmed as a result of undergoing, or fear of undergoing, the WCA
    • 6% of GPs have patients who have attempted or committed suicide as a result of undergoing, or fear of undergoing, the WCA
    • 67% of GPs think that assessors should seek information from GPs directly for those patients with mental health problems who are too unwell or vulnerable to arrange this themselves.

    Also a bit of a result. If they all die off, that will bring the bill for social security right down.

    I thought it was interesting that in the reshuffle, Camerpratt put Grayling, who seems to have had responsibility for these tests up till last week, in to a job where he has responsibility for the tribunals that overturn so many of the results...

    Remember that he tried to gag the last English justice secretary when he put up videos on Youtube showing people how to prepare for an appeal!

    I wonder what will happen to the appeals procedure now. Will it become top secret?

    Interesting, no?

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  55. NEVER forget this is a government that cares, REALLY cares, about the people of Britain.

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  56. We're all doomed, I tell ye, all dooomed! and my spelling is rubish as weeel! My good lady is a tad concerned about your last sentence, Tris, she thinks I'm a tad stingy at the best of times as well as spending hours in the pub discussing important subjects like Scotland's chances at tossing the caber in the Commonwealth Games, my dalliance with Ann Widdecombe - which led to my Jilted John nick-name - and Bessie Braddock and my chances of being given a prominent mention in Queenie's Honour List. Someone said "Fat Chance" but I can't see why they should bring her into it. Still when Cutie Cathy is First Minister of an independent Scotland who knows........?

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  57. You'll have noticed I changed my profile pic to show the lovely place I'm lucky enough to live in. Oidche mhath!!

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  58. Arbroath: I just read in the Guardian that one of the ministers that was sacked from the Health Department in England, has now criticised the plans for hospital closures... and interestingly, I see that the ministers who lost their EXTRA wages have amassed between them around £250,000 of our money in "resettlement" payments, although they were sacked because they were not performing, and they still hold jobs at more than £65,000 a year.

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  59. So you're back from the pub?

    Tell her not to worry, John. I'll pop round and protect her from a marauding Niko. She need fear nothing.

    As for you being stingy, my mum mentioned that...but I'm not one to gossip.

    Who are these people you have been dallying with? They sound like contemporaries of Vera Lynn and old enough to be your granny, except Cathie, who's old enough to be your mother!

    I've put you forward for a British Empire Medal for services to dissemination...through your blog.

    The photo's almost as beautiful as your cool lunettes matey. You're a lucky man.

    Oidhche mhath.

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  60. I meant to post this link last night Tris, but as usual I forgot.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/jim-sillars-scots-can-call-blair-to-book-1-2508271

    I thought that it might take a bit of pushing from the electorate to get our M.S.P.'s to run with this, after all there are one or two more important bills to be discussed in the near future. :lol:

    Still what a surprise I have just had over on scottish independence site. There is a link to the Herald today.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/msps-back-war-crime-move-on-blair.1347016258

    It looks like we could be moving closer to the day that we can get Blair standing up in a Scottish court, not just standing in court but standing in the DOCK!

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  61. Actually you did post that last night, Arbroath.

    LOL

    I see it's Mrs Sillars who raised it in parliament!

    Actually, much though I'd like to see $ Blair pay for his undoubted war crimes, and I applaud Archbishop Tutu's refusal to share a platform with him, I dislike retrospective legislation, and in any case I think we have more than enough on our plates right now.

    Blair is supposedly a religious man. I hope that means that he will rot in hell for eternity for the deaths he caused, and is still causing because of his naked ambition to please George Bush, and keep himself at the top table.

    He should know that more deaths occur every day as a direct result of him lacking the backbone and moral courage to stand up to the Neocons of the Bush administration.

    It's ironic that the stupid basta^*+s managed to give Al Qa'ida a whole new country to establish themselves in because they couldn't control the post invasion Iraqi borders effectively.

    Morons... and in his case greedy self serving moron.

    But we have independence to win, and that has to come above everything else.

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  62. NATIONAL MARCH FOR SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE - 22/9/12
    www.independenceforscotland.com

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  63. Yep...as noted by my next post.... :)

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  64. thanks for posting.

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