A Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) has sharply criticised Scotland’s left-separatist devolved government for allowing pubs to open ahead of places of worship as the country emerges from its coronavirus lockdown.
As other countries have done, Scotland distinguished between “essential” and “non-essential” services and has slowly allowed venues to open depending on their perceived benefit to the community. The authorities judged church services to be decidedly “non-essential” — so much so that restaurants and bars are reopening on July 15th, but churches are forbidden to conduct communal services, at least until July 23rd.
“This seems a very strange set of priorities by the Scottish Government and gives the impression they are prioritising pints over prayers,” said Murdo Fraser, of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party, calling the decision “extraordinary.”
Currently, churches in Scotland are allowed to open under certain specific conditions, such as for funerals, with social distancing measures in place.
The Scottish Government — a devolved executive roughly equivalent to a state government in the United States — ought to “explain why people will be able to gather in pubs but not in places of worship,” said Fraser, the former deputy leader of the Scottish Conservatives, echoing complaints lodged in other countries that have downplayed the importance of religion and spirituality during the health crisis.
Secularists and Christians Align in Opposing Scottish ‘Hate Crime’ Bill https://t.co/crbshYJGy6
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 11, 2020
The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has also weighed in on the issue, declaring that the delay in reopening places of worship has been “both disappointing and perplexing”.
“The Scottish Government’s decision not to allow places of worship to open for communal worship until July 23rd at the earliest, while allowing pubs, restaurants and cinemas to reopen on July 15th is both disappointing and perplexing,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said in a July 26th statement.
Others have joined in the growing vocal disagreement with the government’s priorities.
The director of the Christian Institute, Colin Hart, said it is “simply wrong for the Scottish Government to block communal worship until at least July 23rd when pubs, restaurants and cinemas are reopening on July 15th.”
“Do our political leaders think that Christians cannot be trusted to meet together?” he asked.
“To our knowledge, all churches in Scotland have fully complied with all government requests from the very beginning of lockdown,” Mr Hart continued.
“Christians are instructed to submit to rulers and authorities. In the midst of a clear public health crisis, they would want to do nothing to harm their neighbours.”
For its part, England has allowed regular church services to resume as of July 4th, as long as appropriate social distancing measures are respected.
Church of England Sent Millions in Valuables to the Tower of London over Coronavirus Looting Fears https://t.co/1GmIqxVPkD
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 13, 2020