ESS official complaint about religious privilege in the Scottish Parliament–religious group breaches parliamentary rules

ESS has complained to the Scottish Parliamentary authorities about an apparent breach of procedures in the use of the Scottish Parliament building.

ESS understands that on 24 April 2014 parliamentary facilities were used for the launch by the Evangelical Alliance Scotland (EAS) of its manifesto as part of its campaign for involvement in deliberations concerning the constitution for an independent Scotland should there be a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum on 18 September this year.

This appears to be a clear breach of guidance from the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body which is quite explicit in such matters: “Organisations are not permitted to use the Parliament complex for official launches of any kind.”[1]

A Scottish Government minister, Roseanne Cunningham, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs addressed the meeting in apparent breach of these rules!

The EAS manifesto attacked secularism in the following terms;‘there are concerns that current understandings of secularism can lead to an aggressive, imposed form of public life where no room for faith discussion is left at the table”

In fact secularism encourages and protects freedom of association and expression for all in all walks of life but seeks to separate church and state and resists the imposition of religious doctrines and practices in government, education and parliaments.


[1] http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Eventsandexhibitions/Event_Guide_-_Final.pdf (p16)

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