Scottish Christianity is under threat from militant atheists, warns Free Church leader

The Scottish Parliament will hear a petition to ban the teaching of creationism.PA

The moderator-designate of the Free Church of Scotland has warned of a "sustained attack" on Christianity by militant atheists under the cover of promoting a 'neutral' secularism.

Two separate initiatives have been launched by Scottish humanists, one to fund the University of Glasgow to set up a study to investigate the "privileged status" of religion in Scotland and the other, by the Scottish Secular Society (SSS), to petition the Scottish Parliament to ban the teaching of creationism in schools in line with Westminster policy.

However, Rev David Robertson accused humanists of launching "an attempt to introduce American style culture/creation wars into a culture where they largely do not exist" and of seeking to erode Christian values of tolerance.

He told Christian Today that "the key danger for the secularists is apparently creationism", "not the 20 per cent who live in poverty, not the many thousands who have faced the ravages of sexual abuse and drug addiction". He added that the SSS "are so terrified that children might be infected by the idea that God the Creator actually had something to do with creation, that they are asking politicians to determine what should be taught in science lessons".

The £40,000 donation from the Humanist Society Scotland will fund a study led by Callum Brown, professor of history at the university, and Jane Mair, a law professor. According to Prof Brown, the research will be based on a search of legal databases to find instances where the privilege of the Church in law has been in contravention of equality legislation. He said: "We will scour the records for examples where church privilege has led to discriminating laws, for example laws that prohibit what you can do on a Sunday."

Robertson said: "The Scottish Secularists and the Humanist Society Scotland are both small groups of atheist militants who are seeking to impose their fundamentalist beliefs on the whole of Scottish society. The sad thing is that they are so wedded to their core faith that they refuse to accept that any questioning of it is anything other than ignorance or evil.

"It is disturbing that hundreds of years of Christian influence and tolerance are being eroded by these secular fundamentalists. The Church needs to wake up and challenge this erosion of our Christian traditions of equality, tolerance and compassion, not for our own sakes but rather for the sake of the many people in Scotland, and beyond, who will suffer when the secular humanists achieve their goal of having the state become God, and society run only according to their beliefs."