Letters: Homophobic stance is out of touch with Scots society

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Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s forlorn claim that ‘intense public interest’ (News, July 16) warrants a referendum on same-sex marriage is highly speculative and not borne out in the circles in which I move.

I can only imagine that the Cardinal’s comments must be yet another embarrassment to progressive Catholics and could also be part of the ever-increasing decline in religion.

Originating in many cases from an absolutist interpretation of religious books where all precepts within must be taken literally, this uncritical acceptance of doctrine shuts down rational debate.

Regardless of how hard the cardinal attempts to justify his irrational fear of same-sex marriage, his homophobic views are out of step in a society that is gently moving towards the unifying power of secularism.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh

Bonus culture is extremely unfair

Again public employees stoop to fill the gaps left by a failed private sector business, as exhausted infantrymen, just home from Afghanistan, are told to cancel their leave, buckle on their body armour and turn to defend the London Olympics... in advance of the redundancy notices that might be handed to them.

The Tories suggest that they be rewarded by an insulting payment of £29 per day; the Labour Party little better – offering a paltry £500 “Olympics” bonus. If it’s a bonus they deserve, how about paying them bonuses as large as those taken home by City financiers and bankers for the continued rape and pillage of our economy?

Sorry, I forgot. The bankers say that if we don’t give them their unearned bonuses they’ll all go and work elsewhere... whereas the soldiers’ sense of honour compels them to stay, and step forward to defend the national interest, no matter how badly we treat them.

If, bizarrely, we paid people for the service they actually provided, public servants would find themselves near the top of the pay lists, and bankers at the bottom.

David Fiddimore, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Show us the facts to back argument

I’m not sure where Cllr Rose (Letters, July 17) read in my letter (July 13) that I mentioned two opposing views of the sun’s influence.

I only mentioned that “the sun is not nearly the biggest factor in global warming. Low amounts of solar activity between 2005 and 2010 had hardly any effect on global warming.”

No other mention was made of the sun or its influence on global climate, though I should point out for clarity that some hold to the theory that the solar minimum (every 11 years) adds to global warming.

Everyone who is concerned about the possible effects of global warming (man-made or otherwise) would be delighted to be proved wrong, but unfortunately the data suggests otherwise.

I am not sure whether Cllr Rose does not believe the data that NASA has published, or that he honestly believes an average rise of 0.12°C per year is a plateau (global mean temperature, not local temperatures). At this rate we will reach or exceed the three degree rise I mentioned in my last letter in 30 to 50 years.

Unfortunately, Cllr Rose has not quoted any actual data or his source to support his argument.

Keith McNeill, Claremont Bank, Edinburgh

Dancers should take a step away

I AM very far from suggesting that “Israeli initiatives” should “suffer the same treatment” as Palestinian cultural events, which are “suppressed by the Israeli forces” in a sometimes very violent manner (News, July 14).

The Don’t Dance with Israeli Apartheid coalition calls for peaceful protest against those fronting for the Brand Israel programme promoted by a regime based on the dispossession of native Palestinians to benefit Jewish colonists.

When Batsheva distance themselves from the Brand Israel programme and return the money they have received from the same Israeli state that is now bulldozing Palestinian homes, burning farms and illegally walling in communities, then our interest in them will cease.

Mick Napier, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Edinburgh