The abusive criticism aimed at politicians like Elaine Smith and Tim Farron might be enough to put Christians off political office for good, warns Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office in today’s Scotsman newspaper.
This follows recent derision of Elaine Smith’s appointment as shadow cabinet secretary for the eradication of poverty and inequality, which some have claimed is untenable because she voted against the redefinition of marriage in 2014.
Mr Horan echoes Pope Francis’ concerns that there is a sustained and ongoing “persecution” of traditional religion.
“For dissenters like Elaine Smith the persecution tends to take the form of bullying and abuse, some of which is obvious and some of which is a little more insidious”, he writes.
He argues that a secular, allegedly progressive religion has taken hold in Scotland attempting to convince people, particularly the young, that it is the only belief system that guarantees freedom; “that its tolerance knows no bounds. The truth is that it guarantees neither”.
He calls on politicians and people of all faiths and none to return to the basics and recognise “the inherent dignity of the human person and the common good”, and to encourage and support those who sacrifice a much easier life to uphold these values and ideals in public office.