I was in two minds on whether to comment on the toxic hysteria from earlier this week around Kate Forbes MSP offering her service to the country as leader of the SNP. 

Originally I wasn’t going to bother. Firstly, because so many Christian commentators and reflectors have already highlighted the important points of the situation. 

Secondly, so much of the political journalism is so farcical that it is hardly worth the time to comment. 

However, I felt I should write something. So here are a few quick reflections.


I am so grateful for the example of Kate Forbes, who must have known the reaction of some to her faith, but still wanted to serve. It is not easy to be a Christian in the public square. Many of us struggle to show our faith or speak of Jesus. She is a powerful example of commitment and cost. 

Secondly, I am not surprised but saddened by the immediate reaction of many who can’t stand any mention or example of faith as being positive. Some of the comments have been ill-informed, inaccurate and ill-advised. It appears that both some politicians and journalists have a common bond of not understanding freedom of religion or belief, a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010

Thirdly, I could barely believe a comment I read that stated that faith should not have any place in political life. The hypocrisy is astounding. Those with a faith in secularism, humanism or other worldviews have brought forward many pieces of legislation not because of common consent but because of their own faith in that worldview – and yet say it is very risky to allow a faith worldview to influence policy. We live in a liberal democracy, and therefore everyone should be tolerant of and defend the right for others to hold completely opposing points of view from themselves. 

Lastly, it should now be impossible for politicians or journalists to deny that to hold evangelical views of any kind make you a pressurised minority, entitled to the same protections as other minority groups. 

So what should we do? 

Pray for Kate Forbes, for Scotland, for those opposed to having Christians in public life. Pray for the other candidates in the leadership contest, Humza Yousaf MSP and Ash Regan MSP.

Be bold, people should be able to see and to hear us. We should be salt and light wherever we are. Love always ultimately wins. 

Tell good news stories and place them in the public square. I wonder what would happen if we all sent the stories of community transformation, addiction recovery, of the commitment, integrity, honesty, love and grace of Christians that takes place all across Scotland every single day to the media. What if the BBC found its inbox full of Christians engaging well with the media? 

We need to have more people standing for places of influence in every sphere of life. Kate Forbes is not unique – many Christians across Scotland share her deep commitment to service all in their communities, her devotion to protecting the most vulnerable in our society, her integrity in how she leads. They can stand for office too. 

We live on the margins in Babylon but we are called to see the nation flourish. Jesus has this. Let’s love and work and see a nation flourish and hope rise.