Stornoway Gazette letters 14/3/13

Callum Taylor took this spring sunshine photo of the River Creed in Lewes Castle Grounds on Saturday, February 23rd.'If you would like to contribute your photos to our Beautiful Islands feature, email: news@stornowaygazette.co.uk. Include your name, where you are from, where the picture was taken and what inspired you to take it, as well as any technical information about the picture.

Callum Taylor took this spring sunshine photo of the River Creed in Lewes Castle Grounds on Saturday, February 23rd.'If you would like to contribute your photos to our Beautiful Islands feature, email: news@stornowaygazette.co.uk. Include your name, where you are from, where the picture was taken and what inspired you to take it, as well as any technical information about the picture.

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Have your say

AIR SERVICE

I am writing to register my disgust at the council’s decision to withdraw the Barra- Benbecula air service.

Their short sightedness will cost the local economy, health travel and jobs on Barra and the southern isles. This council talks about equality? They wouldn’t know how to spell it!

Stephen Wilson, Isle of Barra,

LAND BOUNDARIES

There is an old Highland story that goes along like this. Two Highland gentlemen are in dispute over some land boundary. One of the gentlemen takes himself to Edinburgh to find a lawyer in order to resolve the argument. As the lawyer is an acquaintance of the other gentlemen he suggests another lawyer and writes him a letter of introduction. On the way round to the second lawyer his curiosity gets the better of him and he opens the letter.

Imagine his shock as he reads, it says:

‘Two fat geese in town, you have one and I’ll have the other’. Disgusted he returns home.

Where is this leading you may ask. The Crofters Commission have set up a system to register crofts in Scotland. Instead of doing an A1 job they are taking short cuts that will only lead to disputes and the only winners will be the lawyers in Edinburgh.

The Crofters Commission have chosen to use paper copies of Ordinance Survey (OS) data. As a picture I suppose this may be satisfactory, but for resolving land boundaries it is totally unacceptable.

So far £1.5 million pounds has been put towards the problem, only to achieve nothing. Having spent over 20 years drawing land plans in the Western Isles I understand the errors of OS in defining land boundaries.

Kenneth Morrison, Stornoway,

MISSED POINTS

Hollie Richards’ public letter of sympathy for me (Letter: Same sex marriage 07/03/13) is evidently disingenuous. However she seems to have missed a number of obvious points in some of her assumptions.

For the record, I would be very willing to renew the call of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland to our government to restore the death penalty for first degree murder, if it had the authority to legislate. The devolved parliament has no such power and the UK Parliament is likely to have lost it by yoking itself to the repressive neo-liberalist fascism of the European Union. This most undemocratic of institutions is the prime agent in seeking to abolish that moral law which millions of UK citizens still hold to be necessary.

Hollie Richards is quite right to say that “we cannot ignore the other rules and condemnations dictated by the Bible which are now inconvenient to address in our progressive and modern Western culture.”

It is precisely because we have chosen to ignore them that the Church of Christ ought to speak out more clearly.

She seems however to forget that the freedom under the law in most Western civilisations is firmly rooted in the Judaeo-Christian morality of the Bible.

Without this foundation the progressive society she craves to live in would and will spiral into the anarchism of ungodly humanism where “every man does that which is right in his own eyes.” Laws based on what is convenient are not proof of real liberty.

Trotting out the old insult that Christian believers ought to visit Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Sudan and North Korea is also missing the point. These countries are locked into repressive Islamic and Communist dictatorships.

The severely persecuted Christian minority in these countries deserve our prayerful sympathy and I would personally love to visit them and strengthen their hands if that was possible. However it is not intelligent to equate Biblical ethics with Islamic fundamentalism or Marxism.

The death penalty is a divine mandate to protect human life in a fallen world. Our modern society is one of violence against the unborn and the elderly as well as those with all their faculties and reasoning powers. It needs strict deterrents and punishments.

It is foolish to say that all sin should be criminalised, but some sins are also crimes according to the guidance of Him who will be the final arbiter of all human affairs.

The rulers of the earth would do well to be led by the moral law of God. Our nation has constitutional commitments to be so led.

There are many areas in which discrimination is a positive social and moral good. The UK and Scotland should learn from numerous Westernised democracies to which it formerly exported freedom under the rule of law.

We should positively protect children from promotion of homosexuality in schools, public adverts and in the media and film industries. The UK also ought to use the law to curtail the moral evils of adultery and its disastrous consequences on family life.

I hope that Hollie Richards lives to see a Reformed Scotland return to its rich legacy of integrity and true freedom under the ethical principles of the law of God as properly interpreted and justly applied.

Before that happens, immoral lifestyles and choices will need to be exposed for what they really are instead of hiding behind the bluff of equality.

Rev. David Campbell, North Tolsta

WAKE UP TO THE REAL WORLD

In her letter of 7th March, Hollie Richards makes a number of assumptions over proposed reforms that Rev David Campbell should consider and present to the Scottish Parliament on legislation that is contrary to Biblical teachings.

Sadly, the empty rhetoric and frivolous attitude with which she attempts to present her case shows how completely indifferent and insensitive she is to a society that is falling apart all around her.

Can I respectfully ask Hollie Richards to wake up and enter the real world, not the one in which she imagines herself to live in. It is because society has shamefully violated the moral law of God that Scotland, and the rest of the UK, is in the desperate state that it’s in. Let me provide her with a few sobering facts.

Within 24 hours of Ms Richards letter appearing in the Gazette a young girl was ruthlessly stabbed to death in England. Her death was in addition to the 550 who were also murdered in the UK over a 12 month period, up to the end of 31st March 2012.

The previous year the number was 636. Although not yet released, the police are “alarmed” at the number of murders recorded over the past year.

It is public knowledge that Britain’s violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European Union.

These depressing and disturbing statistics “in a country which prides itself on human rights and social progress” tells us that not one law of the UK government is going to reverse them.

The UN General Assembles can present as many resolutions as it wants against the death penalty but does Hollie Richards honestly think that they can safeguard the “human rights” of the girl stabbed to death and every other person who is murdered on the streets of Britain. The reintroduction of capital punishment is a fitting penalty for every murderer, and this law has the approval of Biblical truth.

As far as female lecturers being allowed to teach men, the answer is unequivocally no. The pulpit is no place for a woman minister, however elegant she may be in public speaking or proficient in her knowledge of Biblical theology.

The Bible unambiguously testifies to this. She may rise up and hold high office in a nation, just like Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher, but not the steps that lead up to any Church pulpit, whether she be trained in the University of the Highlands and Islands, or in any other theological campus.

On adultery Hollie Richards is oblivious to the reality that marriage and family breakdown is one of the most destructive scourges of our time.

Nobody knows that more than the estimated 3.8 million children that are caught up in the family justice system each year. The ease of divorce rules has led to instability of family life, which continues to have damaging consequences for children, parents and society.

As far as homosexuality is concerned, the Bible would have us look, not to Iran or Nigeria, but rather Sodom and Gomorrah. God’s word teaches that these two cities incurred Divine condemnation and judgement because “they committed abomination before Me.”

Our “progressive and modern Western culture” may approve it but absolute truth abhors and rejects it and so does every Bible believer. For some time now the LGBTQ have been very noisily promoting its agenda to redefine marriage, all in the name of tolerance, compassion, civil rights, and human rights.

Instead of working overtime to indoctrinate us into thinking that same-sex marriage is exactly the same as normal and proper marriage, what the UK Government should be doing is honestly reviewing why it is flagrantly misusing and twisting the concepts of equality and human rights.

Donald J Morrison, Inverness

OIL FUND

The publication of the latest Government Expenditure and Revenue statistics yet again show Scotland in a financially better position than the UK to the tune of £824 per person. And yet those against Scottish independence argue that an independent Scotland would not be sustainable due to the volatility of oil prices.

This is rather peculiar in that less than a fifth of Scotland’s income is based on oil revenues whereas in Norway, one of the richest nations in the world, around a third of its income is based on oil revenues. This year that nation is set to record a budget surplus of £30billion, some of which will be locked away in its oil fund, now valued at well over £400 billion. Curiously the UK Government has been rather quiet in its criticism of the Norwegian economy and its “over-reliance” on oil revenues to balance the books.

Rather than frittering away our black gold into the Treasury black hole we should be looking at locking some of the over a trillion pounds in oil revenues still left in the North Sea into such a fund. Independence will not only allow us to do this but also to put in place the necessary economic levers that will allow our economy to grow and flourish, free from the UK straitjacket.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh

HELP FROM FRIENDS

Following their successful entry in the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships in Edinburgh, the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band would like to thank our friends in the community who helped the band with funding and practical arrangements.

Special thanks go to the businesses, organisations and individuals who’s support made it possible for the band to attend the Championships.

Lesley Maclean, Secretary SLPB Committee

EDITORIAL - BUSINESS EXPANSION

Good news comes this week with the announcment by two local companies that they are set to expand, which could mean a number of new jobs.

The first company - Hebridean Sea Salt - is hoping to take on three or four workers over the next few months and anticipates that more jobs will be created by the end of their second year in business.

Meanwhile Carloway Mill is also planning a major expansion following the clinching of a deal with one of the world’s largest textile companies.

Searching out new markets across the country and abroad has been the key to success for both these enterprises and a great blue-print for other Island manufacturers hoping to survive in harsh economic times.