Christianity is being 'airbrushed out' of Scotland, says Free Church

Published 18 June 2014  |  
(PA)
Scots will have their say on 18 September 2014 on whether Scotland should become independent, but the Free Church has warned that the future of Christianity is not certain.

The Scottish Government's interim constitution, which will come into effect should the referendum on independence get the Yes vote in September, has come under fire from the Free Church, which contends that it "airbrush[es]" Christianity out of Scotland.

A spokesperson has blasted the Government for yielding to "secularist demands" and failing to recognise the "contribution Christianity has made to this country".

The draft interim constitution falsely marks Scotland as a "bland Godless state," he argued.

A statement released today says the Free Church is "disappointed" that the proposed constitution offers "no recognition of the public place of Christianity, or even the national Church," and notes that religious freedom for the Church has not been guaranteed.

Indeed, the future of the Kirk has been entirely omitted from the document, though the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is given full support, which guarantees freedom of conscious and religion, and the government has previously confirmed that it will "propose no change to the legal status of any religion or of Scotland's churches".

The Free Church insists, however, that the future position of the Church in an independent Scotland is uncertain. "This interim constitution suggests that the Scottish Government has yielded to secularist demands in trying to airbrush Christianity out of our land," a spokesperson said.

"We urge the Scottish Government to recognise the foundational role the Christian Church has played in formulating the values of wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity."

Despite these concerns, the spokesperson did welcome the opportunity to partner with the Government to draft the full, final Scottish constitution, which will offer the Church the chance to shape Scotland's future.

"Thankfully this is an interim proposal, and the mechanism for producing the real thing, should we need it, is helpful, open and gives an opportunity to address the shortcomings, and amplify the positives," he said.

"Should this document ever be needed, we need Christians to get involved, for the good of Scotland."

He continued: "We are not a bland Godless state as this interim constitution suggests – Christian values have certainly contributed to Scottish identity and character, and we hope they will influence the kind of nation we wish to fashion.

"We would welcome the opportunity to work with the Scottish Government to show them the impact Christian work is having in communities across Scotland."

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