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Author: Alistair McBay

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To spank or not to spank – a biblical right?

To spank or not to spank – a biblical right?

Posted: Sat, 21 Oct 2017 by Alistair McBay

With Christian groups leading the opposition to Scotland's new smacking ban, Alistair McBay explores the many instances of Christian schools and campaigners demanding the ability to spank children as a religious or even biblical right.

Tags: Scotland

The Catholic Church in Scotland is still playing the victim card to stifle criticism

The Catholic Church in Scotland is still playing the victim card to stifle criticism

Posted: Thu, 06 Apr 2017 by Alistair McBay

There is some lingering anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland, writes NSS vice president Alistair McBay, but the Church is playing victim while supporting a segregated education system which can only worsen prejudice.

Tags: Catholic Church, Scotland

A faith ethos is no magic solution for improving schools

A faith ethos is no magic solution for improving schools

Posted: Sat, 07 Jan 2017 by Alistair McBay

There are success stories and failures in schools of all types, including faith schools, despite what the churches would have people believe. NSS vice president Alistair McBay debunks the myth that 'faith school' is a byword for success.

Tags: Education, Faith Schools

Sabbatarians have imposed their dogma on islanders for long enough, help them put a stop to it

Sabbatarians have imposed their dogma on islanders for long enough, help them put a stop to it

Posted: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 by Alistair McBay

The National Secular Society is helping campaigners on the Isle of Lewis open a sports centre on a Sunday, currently blocked by a council who won't allow it on the Sabbath. It's hardly the first time Sabbatarians on Lewis have played this game.

Tags: Scotland, FiSH

Religious belief is no barrier to criminality

Religious belief is no barrier to criminality

Posted: Thu, 09 Jun 2016 by Alistair McBay

A spate of media reports have suggested that criminals convicted of sex abuse feigned their religion. NSS Vice-President Alistair McBay argues that the media shouldn't seek to protect religion from criticism by misrepresenting these cases.

Tags: Religion & Belief, Child Abuse

Scotland is a mosaic of religions and beliefs – but the research shows people turning away from politicised faith

Scotland is a mosaic of religions and beliefs – but the research shows people turning away from politicised faith

Posted: Thu, 24 Mar 2016 by Alistair McBay

Scotland is a mosaic of beliefs and non-beliefs where individuals are free to hold a belief, change it or not have one at all. But it's not hard to see why people are rejecting the organised and politicised aspects of religion, writes Alistair McBay.

Tags: Religion & Belief, Scotland, Church of Scotland, Statistics

Scottish evangelists identify Paganism as one of the “biggest threats to Western civilisation”

Scottish evangelists identify Paganism as one of the “biggest threats to Western civilisation”

Posted: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 by Alistair McBay

After the world suffered another grim reminder of the merciless Islamist ideology, the Solas Centre for Public Christianity warned instead that the re-emergence of Paganism in Scotland was one of the biggest threats to civilization, writes Alistair McBay.

Tags: Scotland, Christianity

A very confused and immoderate Moderator

A very confused and immoderate Moderator

Posted: Wed, 20 May 2015 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay examines the confused and immoderate arguments of the new Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.

Tags: Church & State, Scotland, Education

Why did the CPS abandon investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor?

Why did the CPS abandon investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor?

Posted: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 by Alistair McBay

As the full scale of the British Establishment's cover-up of child sex abuse becomes apparent, Alistair McBay argues it is time for the Crown Prosecution Service to make public its reasons for dropping the investigation into Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor 12 years ago.

Tags: Catholic Church, Child Abuse

Is the Christian immune from plane crashes?

Is the Christian immune from plane crashes?

Posted: Tue, 17 Feb 2015 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay reports on Scottish Calvinism's attack on secularism, and offers his reaction to the rhetoric and tactics of the Free Church of Scotland.

Tags: Christianity, Scotland, 'Militant' secularism

Rendering unto Caesar

Rendering unto Caesar

Posted: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 by Alistair McBay

The established Church throws stones from inside its Government-subsidised glass cathedral, argues Alistair McBay.

Tags: Church of England, Disestablishment

Churches, charity and the conferring of privilege

Churches, charity and the conferring of privilege

Posted: Tue, 06 Jan 2015 by Alistair McBay

There are many ways to do good, including campaigning for human rights and equality over discrimination and prejudice, but charitable work is not a bargaining chip for special privileges, argues Alistair McBay.

Tags: Charity, Scotland, Big Society

The Bishops, the Catholic vote and the Referendum

The Bishops, the Catholic vote and the Referendum

Posted: Fri, 10 Oct 2014 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay argues that a growing political alliance between the leadership of the Catholic Church in Scotland and SNP has implications which stretch far beyond the Referendum campaign and threaten to revive religious identity politics.

Tags: Church & State, Catholic Church, Scotland

Religion “mustn't cause violence”

Religion “mustn't cause violence”

Posted: Wed, 10 Sep 2014 by Alistair McBay

Both media commentators and politicians seem keen to claim religion as a cause for good deeds but determined not to acknowledge it as a contributing factor to bad ones, argues Alistair McBay.

Tags: Community Cohesion, Child Abuse, Scotland

Embedded religious privilege triumphs on Scottish education issues

Embedded religious privilege triumphs on Scottish education issues

Posted: Mon, 12 May 2014 by Alistair McBay

National Secular Society's spokesperson for Scotland, Alistair McBay, argues that the Scottish Parliament's has helped entrench religious privilege in the country's education system.

Tags: Church & State, Education, Scotland

The God question: A tale of two adverts

The God question: A tale of two adverts

Posted: Tue, 07 Jan 2014 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay examines the PR campaign behind an educational resource that seeks to bring creationism and intelligent design into the science classrooms of Scotland.

Tags: Education, Scotland, Creationism

The God Question – a Trojan horse for Intelligent Design

The God Question – a Trojan horse for Intelligent Design

Posted: Fri, 29 Nov 2013 by Alistair McBay

Intelligent Design is back in shiny new packaging, labelled as 'evidence based and balanced' and getting into the science classrooms in Scotland, argues Alistair McBay.

Tags: Education, Scotland, Creationism

A search for truth, or a trojan horse for religion in schools?

A search for truth, or a trojan horse for religion in schools?

Posted: Tue, 12 Nov 2013 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay questions the objectivity of a new educational resource that claims to "review, objectively and dispassionately, the case for the existence of God".

Tags: Education, Scotland, Creationism

No new options on religious observance in Scottish schools

No new options on religious observance in Scottish schools

Posted: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay blogs about the widespread failure of schools in Scotland to make the opt-out to Religious Observance known and accessible to parents.

Tags: Religious Observance

Prayer Spaces in Schools

Prayer Spaces in Schools

Posted: Thu, 01 Aug 2013 by Alistair McBay

As church attendance continues to plummet along with the numbers of Britons professing religious belief, the Prayer Spaces in Schools initiative is turning schools into churches — and turning teaching increasingly into preaching, writes Alistair McBay.

Tags: Education, Church of England, Church of Scotland, Evangelism in schools

Secular petitions highlight the sectarian issues in Scottish education

Secular petitions highlight the sectarian issues in Scottish education

Posted: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 by Alistair McBay

With two secular petitions on Religious Observance in play in Scotland, Alistair McBay blogs about the problematic relationship between religion and Scottish schools.

Tags: Scotland, Religious Observance, Education, Collective Worship

The sorry tale of the Catholic Church in Scotland continues to unfold

The sorry tale of the Catholic Church in Scotland continues to unfold

Posted: Tue, 12 Mar 2013 by Alistair McBay

As we await the inevitable media-inspired 'Popefest' from the Vatican, Alistair McBay wonders if the new Bishop of Rome will grasp the full meaning of the words transparency and accountability, and face up to the Herculean task of getting the Church's house in order.

Tags: Catholic Church

Children in Scotland awaiting adoption - who puts their best interests first?

Children in Scotland awaiting adoption - who puts their best interests first?

Posted: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 by Alistair McBay

Who really has the interests of children awaiting adoption at heart? A tale of two adoption agencies by Alistair McBay.

Tags: LGBTQ rights, Catholic Church, Adoption, St Margaret's

Motes and beams in banking ethics

Motes and beams in banking ethics

Posted: Tue, 07 Aug 2012 by Alistair McBay

Alistair McBay argues that the Vatican should put its own financial house in order before lecturing the financial sector on ethical banking.

Tags: Pope, Catholic Church, Finance

Gay marriage promised in Scotland – but Church wrangles concessions in schools

Gay marriage promised in Scotland – but Church wrangles concessions in schools

Posted: Wed, 25 Jul 2012 by Alistair McBay

Aside from recognising the huge significance in this for a long oppressed section of the community, the Scottish Government's announcement that it intends to legislate to allow same sex marriage is also an important point of religious freedom.

Tags: Equality & Human Rights, Marriage Equality, Faith Schools

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