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.

This week the Scottish... Read More »

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.

"As one brought up a Catholic, I know only... Read More »

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.

2016 was another interesting... Read More »

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.

The attempt... Read More »

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.

A disturbing new... Read More »

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.

Much is... Read More »

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.

On Sunday 15 November 2015... Read More »

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.

The Reverend David Robertson of the Free Church of Scotland has now taken up the mantle of the church's Moderator.

First of all, it would be churlish... Read More »

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... Read More »

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.

The airline industry has had more than its fair share of tragedy recently, with the loss of many lives... Read More »

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.

The Church of England was in the news again last week as it tried to prove its relevance to 21st century Britain.

After the embarrassing PR fiasco... Read More »

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.

Recently some Christian leaders in Scotland angered... Read More »

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.

"Most people still... Read More »

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.

An article in the Scotsman in May by Joyce McMillan ran with the... Read More »

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 has helped entrench religious privilege in the country's education system.

Tuesday 6 May was a busy day in the Scottish Parliament which saw a triumph... Read More »

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.

Further to my two previous blogs on the God Question which you can read here and here, I have... Read More »

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.

"To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific... Read More »

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".

A new DVD resource was launched this week at the Scottish Storytelling Centre that claims to... Read More »

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

The Scottish Government has responded to the petition lodged recently by the Scottish Secular Society to change the current parental opt-out option on Religious Observance to an opt-in.

The SSS had called for an amendment to the Education (Scotland) Act 1980... Read More »

Tags: Religious Observance

Prayer Spaces in Schools

Prayer Spaces in Schools

Posted: Thu, 01 Aug 2013 by Alistair McBay

A worrying development in Britain's schools in the last two years, and not just in its faith schools, is Prayer Spaces in Schools (PSIS).

PSIS is an organisation that says of itself:

"Prayer Spaces in Schools enable children and young people to explore faith... Read More »

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

The last few weeks have seen the topic of religious observance (RO) in schools hit the headlines in Scotland. Two petitions have been lodged, one at central government and one at local government level.

Secular Scotland, a group of Glasgow secularists, launched... Read More »

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

By Alistair McBay, NSS spokesperson for Scotland

It seems there is no end to the woes of the Catholic Church in Scotland in the wake of Cardinal O'Brien's abrupt departure.

The latest reports in the media examine the Scottish Catholic Church's record on dealing... Read More »

Tags: Catholic Church

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

By Alistair McBay, NSS spokesperson for Scotland

It seems there is no end to the woes of the Catholic Church in Scotland in the wake of Cardinal O'Brien's abrupt departure.

The latest reports in the media examine the Scottish Catholic Church's record on dealing... Read More »

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

Imagine for a moment a secular public service, let's say an adoption charity, refusing to consider applications from prospective adopters who are Catholic purely on the grounds of their religion (equality law notwithstanding) and deliberately restricting the... Read More »

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

Back in 2009, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, held a private seminar entitled "Leadership in the financial sector: a moral and spiritual challenge?" for top City financiers to explore the relevance of Pope Benedict's encyclical... Read More »

Tags: Pope, Catholic Church, Finance

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