Why I left Secular Scotland – Again
“I hate organised religion, but boy, I sure do hate you more!” Garry Otton – Founder of the Scottish Secular Society.
I have been involved with Secular Scotland for the past few years but left last year – an experience I wrote about then. If you want the background to SS have a read of this – Why I Left Secular Scotland – The First Time
I came back because they promised that they were not an anti-religious group and that they would not tolerate the level of personal abuse that had been my experience. However if anything it appears that they have become more anti-religious and vitriolic than ever. Note some of the following comments –these are regarded as fine, apparently others have been removed. And they are only the tip of the iceberg.
It is interesting when you talk to Christians how loathed this arrogant self-publicist is by them. They are the first to assure everyone that he doesn’t represent them or Christianity. I’ll drink to that.
Religion as a dangerous substance is clearly demonstrated by DAR as addict. He pedals the stuff, overdoses on his own stash, misuses and abuses. Lock your doors.
Never mind the theory, just LOOK at the fella. Wouldn’t want him anywhere near my kids!
FFS! He’s nuts, I tell you, pure nuts!!
Yesterday I found seven threads attacking me personally or Solas. The level of personal abuse is quite wearing. The attacks not just on me, but anyone associated with me, including my children, my parents, my church and Solas are depressing. Of course I realise that on the internet you are going to get the eccentrics, the angry and the weird, but what is disturbing is that such is the level of hatred that even more sane people seem to go along with it. So I’ve had enough. There comes a time when you shake the dust off your feet. I’m out.
And it’s not just me. One member of their leadership group left because of the constant anti-religious attacks. Another secular leader wrote me and said that SS were an embarrassment to secularists because they had a private agenda that was different from mainstream secularism. And other former members of SS have contacted me saying the same thing. This rings true to me. SS seems to share the obsessions of its founder, sex and religion.
As regards sex, their founder wrote a book entitled Sexual Fascism, which, apart from its turgid prose, is a revealing attempt at justifying all manners of sexual perversion. Mr Otton seems to think that I am personally responsible for numerous suicides because I uphold a biblical view of morality. What he fails to grasp is that it is the rejection of Christian values and the adoption of sexual perversity, which is far more harmful and destructive to human life, children and society as a whole. I deplore homophobia and any kind of bullying. I also deplore any teaching, which leads children and others into the degenerate wastelands of sexual perversity, and the destruction that comes from that. It is precisely because I want to protect children and young people that I will continue to teach them the Father’s loving instructions. The wisdom of God is better than the foolishness of men.
I really don’t want children to turn into the kind of angry, unhappy young men or women that exemplify some on Secular Scotland. When the sacred gift of sex is turned into the recreational indulgence of lust it is then that real harm is done – to everyone. The reintroduction of the slave trade, the prevalence of abortion, STD’s, broken homes, pornography and prostitution. It is not without significance that I have read several defences of both pornography and prostitution on Secular Scotland.
As regards religion, their current leader who is stepping down, is furious with me for saying that they are an anti-religious hate group. In fact he is so upset that in a fit of pique he decided not to use the footage they had of the Scott McKenna debate (does anyone else find it amusing that the Scottish Secular Society are so obsessed with me that they send people to film a theological debate, and then pass it round their members like it was some kind of great revelation?!). But I’m afraid that the facts speak for themselves. On their history page we can read the thoughts of their founder (who at various times states he is not anti-religious). ““Personally, as a secularist, I hate religion and feel I have every right to, despite attempts by the Scottish government to sneak a blasphemy law round the back door by making it an offence this year to hate religion. “ Anyone who reads the threads on SS can soon work out that the main reason for its existence is to allow people to express their hatred of religion. This is an emotional not a rational position.
There is a collective groupthink that is quite frightening. This means that everyone just assumes that ‘secular’ values are obvious and fundamentally right. Pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, pro-euthanasia. Disagreement is not tolerated, nor even considered. With a couple of honourable exceptions SS members do not engage in rational discourse or logical argument. The standard fare is mockery and abuse. So for me its time to go.
It’s also time to go because SS, hampered by the anti-religious abuse and the obsession with sex, are really going nowhere. Most people can see where they are coming from and where they are going to. They make a lot of noise but have very little impact. Their one ‘success’ is their creationism petition to the Scottish parliament, which actually failed, at least by any normal criteria. It was not accepted, nothing changed and nothing happened. But the SSS had invested so much time and effort into it, that they had to claim success and when the Scottish government minister issued advice about something that was already the case, they clutched in desperation at that straw. Largely in the battle to prevent a militant atheistic secularism being imposed upon Scotland, SS have become irrelevant. There are bigger fish to fry. At an intellectual level it has become a bit like taking candy of a baby.
And I’m not really the best person to deal with the emotional ranting that passes for rational argument on SS. Once we have reached the level of we are not a hate group, how dare you say so? Being matched with “I hate organised religion, but boy, I sure do hate you more!” and this being regarded as acceptable comment, then it is time to bow out.
I leave SS members with these thoughts. Why so much hatred? I don’t really think it is because of me. You don’t personally know me and it’s daft to hate someone you don’t know. Could it be that Jesus was right when he prophesied that you would hate his followers because ultimately you hate him? Your whole religion (and it is a religion) is based upon human autonomy and goodness. Both are demonstrably false, and both can only work if you manage to delude yourselves that there is no God. So, like Aldous Huxley, your non-belief in God is in fact just a justification for your own selfishness and sin. In that you and I are the same, with the exception that I acknowledge that I am a sinner. In that regard I apologise for anything I have said that has been sinful and wrong (I’m sure there has been much) but I ask you not to justify your sin by mine, but rather to look at the One who can deal with it. The fact is that one-day you will stand before a Judge who will ask you to give account for every careless word spoken (or written on the internet) and every act done. Right now you will mock and abuse at the very idea of such a day. But I simply ask you to reflect upon this, ‘what if its true?”. Hadn’t you better find out? Maybe if you seek you will find? Maybe you might discover, as many others have, that the problem is not all religion but false religion. Maybe Jesus might actually be the Way, the Truth and the Life. I pray that you would discover that in this life, before you face it in the next. Meanwhile if anyone of you want to have a sensible discussion, you can contact me privately. God have mercy on us all.