Scotland still has on its books a law from 1690 that protects Christianity with penalties for blasphemy.
But it hasn’t been used in nearly two centuries, so lawmakers are ridding themselves of the ancient limits.
Just in time to impose a new, de facto blasphemy law that attacks Christianity.
The Barnabas Fund, an international ministry working on behalf of persecuted Christians, said the majority Scottish Nationalist Party has decided to get rid of the old law, a part of the Confession of Faith Ratification Act from 1690.
“It protects only the beliefs of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and hasn’t been used since 1843,” the report said.
The SNP said in a statement: “Council believes that such a move will strengthen Scotland’s capacity to speak out against human rights abuses under the guise of blasphemy and heresy elsewhere in the world, as well as removing once and for all the possibility that the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal service could prosecute on such grounds here.”
Barnabas said that abolishing blasphemy laws “is widely regarded as marking an improvement in human rights, specifically in relation to freedom of religion or belief, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and academic freedom.”
“However, at the same time the Scottish government has been keen to abolish its Christian blasphemy law, it has allowed, what is in effect, a new blasphemy law to develop, which has led to multiple arrests of those criticizing politically correct beliefs in twenty-first-century Scotland,” Barnabas Fund explained.
The new standard has been imposed more by practice than the letter of the law, making Christian street preachers vulnerable.
With “hate crime laws by activists seeking to silence them by deliberately asking questions about Christian teaching on Islam or sexual ethics. When the preachers explain what the Bible says, no matter how respectfully, the activists make a police complaint, leading to the preachers being arrested,” the report said.
One was Josh Williamson of the Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth.
Another was Gordon Lamour. It took Kilmarnock Sheriff Court just minutes to decide to dismiss all counts against Lamour.
“Not only are police Scotland now treating respectful expression of disagreement with LGBT beliefs as a ‘hate crime,’ they are also arresting entirely peaceful street preachers simply because a complaint is made – without even checking to see if there is any evidence to support that complaint.
“This is a serious matter, and if the Scottish government are genuinely concerned to set an example to the world by ensuring there is no possibility of anyone ever being arrested for blasphemy they should take urgent action to stop it,” Barnabas warned.
The government studied the issue, and it’s conclusions are alarming.
First, the report focused on justifications for hate crimes, ignoring the damage that has incurred. Also, it ignored freedom of religion and speech. And in a review of other nations, it failed to address the impact on human rights.
Barnabas said: “What we are seeing here is the replacement of one blasphemy law in Scotland with another. The Scottish government is keen to get rid of a law which theoretically protected a specific form of Christian belief from criticism although, in reality, its disuse for nearly two centuries means it may no longer be legally valid anyway. However, at the same time, what is, in effect, a new blasphemy law in all but name is being created by the backdoor using hate crime laws.”
Most of the blasphemy laws in the world protect Islam.
The Organization of International Cooperation, a coalition of Muslim nations, even has tried multiple times at the United Nations to impose a worldwide Islam-protecting blasphemy law, forbidding any criticism of the religion.