Both ESS Treasurer and Media Officer, Steuart Campbell and Neil Barber, write in the Scotsman


Christian works

Published on 15/05/2013 00:00

I can assure Mary Brown 
(Letters, 14 May) that I am well aware of the meaning of christos, but the pun (in Latin) was on Christianos (Christian) compared with Chrestianos, (do-gooder, or useful one), a term used by Tacitus in his Annals.

Dr Brown apparently believes that Jesus’s message was just the “golden rule”.

She should look at Matt. 4:17, where Jesus began his ministry with the message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near”, a message he inherited from his mentor John the Baptist. This was his message throughout.

That message was for his fellow Jews and not for anyone else. Indeed, Jesus had no intention of creating a new movement, let alone a church.

If he seemed to identify with the lower classes that was only because he expected them to be the rulers in the coming kingdom. It was not philanthropy.

Modern Christians may do good to the whole world but they should not claim to be following Jesus in doing so. He would not understand their universal benevolence.

Steuart Campbell

Dovecot Loan



Gus Logan (Letters, 14 May) seeks to diminish the campaign to separate church and state by suggesting that all secularists have an atheist agenda.

I doubt anyone will be surprised that some secularists are atheists but many are religious. We just don’t want any one religion to have disproportionate advantage in the public sphere.

I might well argue that Mr Logan only wants to maintain unchallenged Christian influence in schools and government because he is a Christian.

There is a bigger question of representation and fairness here which transcends private philosophic beliefs. To which other partisan adult ideologies would he open the classroom door ?

That the Church undoubtedly does as much good work as any large, well-funded organisation, similarly, is not in itself a justification of continued political privilege.

Finally, does Mr Logan in his sneering dismissal of secular campaigners as a “small 
coterie” forget his advantage of 2,000 years of trans-generational indoctrination?

Didn’t Jesus start with 12 
people sitting round a table?

Neil Barber

Edinburgh Secular Society

Saughtonhall Drive


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