Tag Archives: Established Religion

Scottish Parliament should determine whether to maintain Protestant and Presbyterian privileges in Scotland

Prince Edward, Lord High Commissioner, representing the monarch at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, together with the Moderator and procession

Legislation for increased powers for the Scottish Parliament should include provision to enable it to revoke the clause in the Act of Union of 1707 that requires a new monarch immediately at accession to ‘maintain and preserve the True Protestant Religion and the Presbyterian form of church government in Scotland’. Such a step would enable Scots to determine if they wish to eliminate this heritage of religious discrimination and remove the special constitutional standing of the Church of Scotland that now has the adherence of less than one in three of the population of Scotland.

This is proposed in an article in Democratic Audit by Professor Norman Bonney, Honorary President of Edinburgh Secular Society.

Prof. Bonney also proposes that the Church of England bishops in the House of Lords should lose the powers that they have to change laws on UK reserved matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In 2010 their votes were decisive in excusing religious organisations from some provisions of the Equality Act that apply to other bodies. ‘English bishops should vote only on English matters – if that is the wish of the English people’ he said.

The article in Democratic Audit can be accessed at http://www.democraticaudit.com/?p=9328

An independent Scotland: A secular or a religious state?

A recent statement by the Church of Scotland and a number of other religious denominations demanding that religion is specially recognised in an independent Scottish state raises fundamental issues that have not yet been answered by the Scottish Government.

Professor Norman Bonney, ESS Honorary President, explores some of the key issues in a new London School of Economics British Policy and Politics blog post. Visit

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/41409