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Christians quick to play persecution card

Ashers, the Belfast bakery at the centre of the gay cake row.
Ashers, the Belfast bakery at the centre of the gay cake row.

Sir, – Whatever the nuances of the Ashers bakery gay cake dispute in Northern Ireland, the whole sorry affair does make one wonder what today’s fundamentalist Christians would do, and at whom they would instead be targeting their prejudice, it if wasn’t for primarily those two verses in Leviticus on homosexuality .

It is indeed remarkable that just a few words, written and edited by a handful of persons unknown, has formed the basis for such a repugnant and ignorant crusade against millions of innocent people over two millennia and continues to do so, and in all the name of some alleged supernatural phenomenon.

It is ironic that the fundamentalists who demand the right to be exempt from equality legislation so they can practise prejudice against gay people, are the same ones so quick to play the victim card and cry persecution when their beliefs are challenged or disagreed with.

It is sad that the irony is lost on these people.

Alistair McBay.
National Secular Society,
5 Atholl Crescent,


Victims of unjust laws

Sir, – For a 2016 government to pardon gay men convicted of homosexual activity prior to 1980 rings a bit hollow and disingenuous to me.

There is just a suggestion of political motivation, that is to say, an attempt to keep in with the majority of a voting public who have long since been converted to tolerance and understanding anyway.

Also, the granting of a pardon could be construed as an excuse for deeming the original conviction as sound.

The only people who are required to deliver a pardon, or better still, apologise for making a heinous blunder, are long since gone.

These people were the government or lawlords of the mid 20th Century who convicted those men in the first place.

Would it not be more sincere and meaningful of a modern government to quash the convictions with an expression of deep regret at the pain caused to them and their closest by a prejudiced, discriminatory and unjust law?

Ian Nimmo White.
16 Allan Street,


Where will apologies end?

Sir, – I admit to a certain discomfort with the idea that miscreants at a point in time should receive an apology when laws are changed. Should the process extend to cover the many changes in law which have occurred as the concept of crime is altered to meet current attitudes?

In past times, the penalty for murder was death; further back, children were imprisoned for stealing bread. How many apologies may be required ?

AA Bullions.
6 Glencairn Crescent,


Stop blame game, Jenny

Sir, – Your columnist Jenny Hjul really is shameless. She blames “a society that has not provided (young people) with an education, a job or in some cases even a home” on her bete noir, whom she rather rudely refers to as Sturgeon.

Ms Hjul chooses to ignore the disastrous effect on Scotland’s low-and-no-paid of greedy and incompetent London governments, resulting in savage austerity, foodbanks and the “bedroom tax”.

She even has the gall to blame the Scottish Government for the delay in securing a minimum price policy for alcohol, when this has been ruthlessly obstructed by the makers of the Tories’ favourite tipple, Scotch whisky.

No doubt Ms Hjul is a perfect saint, kind to children and animals and so on, but her ceaseless, bitter attacks on the SNP and, in particular, her constant peddling of the blatant nonsense that the Scottish Government is failing to run the country competently because of its “constitutional obsession”, perhaps qualifies her to be oor very ain nasty woman.

David Roche.
6 Conachar Court, Isla Road,


Britain will thrive on its own

Sir, – I hope your correspondent Dr John Cameron does not think his letters will persuade Theresa May to change her mind. What is she wrong about?

Does he want her to ignore the referendum and stay in the EU?

The UK is now well behind Brexit. We have to regain control of sovereignty with control of borders and secure the right to make our own trade deals.

Mrs May does not have full control over our final relationship with the EU and can only try to win the best deal from Europe.

The quote about wanting opt outs before we joined is wrong. We joined the Common Market. The opt outs were required when the EU, that is Germany and France, wanted to run our affairs in some sort of federal Europe.

A low pound is good, it guides buyers to home production.

Any tariffs imposed by the EU can be easily subsidised by money saved by leaving the EU.

Europe will be the side paying net tariffs and that is good for British business, making it more competitive in the home market.

Ron Soutar.
Camperdown Street,


No majority for Remain

Sir, – Once again we are being subjected to a quite blatant manipulation of the voting statistics of the Brexit referendum by, among others, our First Minister and your correspondent, John M. Mackenzie.

The correct number of eligible Scots who voted to Remain was 1,661,191 out of a total on the register of 3,988,492, that is, 41.65% and definitely not the 62% endlessly quoted. In my book that is a minority.

Ian Kennedy.
1 Gray Den,


Let Scots choose UK or Europe

Sir, – I do not envy Nicola Sturgeon, above, in earnestly trying to accommodate the wishes of the majority of the Scottish people. This is an impossible task.

The Scottish people wish to remain in both the United Kingdom and the European Union, when the only way to remain in the EU is to leave the UK.

Should there be another referendum, it should ask: do you wish to remain in the EU or the UK?

This would throw the ball back in their court and give Ms Sturgeon a well-deserved night’s sleep.

Also, I am bemused at all the negative rhetoric constantly aimed at the SNP on this page, when Westminster wars against every public service that keeps us from living like someone in the Third World.

Leslie Milligan.
18b Myrtelhall Gardens,


Angus geese not so timid

Sir, – I find it difficult to believe that tens of thousands of pink-footed geese have fled Montrose Basin because of a few blasts of fireworks.

It is estimated that 100,000 arrive at the basin each year from Iceland and Greenland.

Iceland, at least, is known for its erupting volcanoes and noisy geysers, which, I am sure, the geese have become accustomed to.

Bob Stark.
Mill Street,