News & Events

Moderator meets First Minister

February 20, 2013

The Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland continued to voice his concern about the redefinition of marriage following a meeting of Scotland’s religious leaders with Alex Salmond in Edinburgh this morning.

Rev Dr Iain D Campbell took the personal opportunity of reaffirming the nature of marriage as between a man and a woman to the First Minister (pictured below), and vigorously opposed any potential redefinition.

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Dr Campbell said: “It was helpful to have this opportunity to meet with the First Minister to talk about different issues facing the nation, and he listened with great interest to what the Churches had to say.

“While welcoming the safeguards of conscience promised to churches and marriage celebrants, I remain deeply concerned at the Scottish Government’s proposals to redefine marriage and the impact this will have on the social fabric of our country.

“I would continue to urge Mr Salmond to drop these plans which the consultation process has shown to be deeply divisive and unpopular.

“Whatever the resultant union when two men or two women live together, it is not a marriage. Society must be based on morality, not simply on equality.”

Discussions also focussed on the role of Scotland’s churches in communities, and the Free Church Moderator was able to share news of various projects across the denomination – including the Road to Recovery programme across the Highlands and Islands and the Seeds for Hope project at Rosskeen.

Dr Campbell added that the Church was not simply in the business of doing good works, but that ultimately it is the transforming message of the Gospel underpinning such projects.

The final item on the agenda was the independence referendum, and the First Minister pledged that Scots would have freedom of religion in an independent nation, adding that more concrete proposals would be forthcoming.

The Free Church Moderator said: “The Free Church awaits with great interest further detail about the place of religion in an independent Scotland.

“The prospect of a wholly secular Scotland, where Christianity is simply tolerated and not foundational to the good of society, would be one of grave concern.”

The Moderator will be writing a reflection on the day’s events which will be included in a report to May’s General Assembly.

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