‘RELIGIOUS FASCISM’. NEW BOOK ON REPEAL OF SECTION 28 AND RISE OF RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM IN SCOTLAND LAUNCHES THURSDAY 1ST MAY.
‘Religious Fascism’ by Garry Otton, secretary and founder of the Scottish Secular Society,
- Collapsing and splitting of churches fosters Christian extremism
- Debate over religion becoming increasingly polarised
- Marginalisation and misrepresentation of secularism damaging
- Religious extremism on the rise worldwide
Launch of new book on repeal of Section 28 follows a motion put before the National Union of Teachers’ annual conference last week citing research by the British Humanist Association that at least 46 schools – including a number of academies – had introduced Clause 28-style anti-gay measures in their school policies.3 ‘Religious Fascism’ is launched in the wake of new figures showing Church of Scotland membership haemorrhaging with 50,000 having left in 3 years; 320 each week.
Over 10 years in the making, the book examines the repeal of Section 28 in Holyrood and Westminster. It gives an account of religious groups infiltrating schools1 and exposing schoolchildren to extremist preachers.2 It reveals how a new Christian militancy, born out of a response to a new atheism, challenging the defence of religious privilege, is polarising the religious debate.
The author says: “Scots will remember when the gay community went under attack; they will remember the billboards that went up across Scotland vilifying homosexual practices; when intellectuals who leant support were denounced; when newspapers spread warning of ‘cliques’ and rumours of an ‘international conspiracy’; when attempts were made to close LGBT organisations and doors and windows of gay premises were smashed. They will remember seeing diagrams printed in newspapers illustrating a homosexual’s distinguishing features. The Scottish parliament wavered and buckled while a community in crisis was left to defend itself against a rise in verbal abuse, beatings, suicides and murders.
“This wasn’t Germany in 1935: It was Scotland in 2000. It was sparked by MSP Wendy Alexander announcing the repeal of this Tory anti-gay law and Christian fundamentalist Brian Souter pouring £2m into his ‘Keep the Clause’ campaign backed by Cardinal Winning of the Catholic Church and a string of influential social conservatives. Section 28 might have been repealed, but it never went away. Christians and other religious groups today are spreading these murderous campaigns across the world.”
Garry Otton will be launching ‘Religious Fascism’ to over two thousand members and followers of Secular Scotland on Facebook and Twitter on Thursday, 1 May at 12:00 and will be appearing live on popular podcast Trolling With Logic on Saturday 24 May at 21:00 (TwL is a weekly internet TV / podcaster that has hosted shows with Michael Shermer, Lawrence Krauss, Dr Massimo Pigliucci, Dr Victor J Stenger, Greydon Square and Maryam Namazie).