Wednesday, 13 April 2016

“Gay row minister fined over crash that injured pensioner.”


“Gay row minister fined over crash that injured pensioner.”

Probably a new low here for the Herald:


A retired minister, aged 69, was involved in a serious accident and found guilty of dangerous driving.  As the Herald reports it: “A CHURCH of Scotland minister who opposed a gay man’s appointment as a minister has been fined £500 and had his licence endorsed after he caused a car crash that left a pensioner with serious injuries.”

A number of questions need to be asked here.  Is the event newsworthy? Probably.  Is the headline in any way related to the case?  Absolutely not.  It seems that in 2009 the minister opposed the ordination of the first openly gay minister in a civil partnership and had the temerity to say at the General Assembly that there was ““a danger that we will make a decision about homosexuality in the ministry based on the prevailing culture of our time”.

How in any way does the fact that a retired minister opposed homosexual conduct mark him out as worthy of denigration?  It is only the fact that the Herald is engaged in a pro-homosexual propaganda campaign that causes this particular headline to be written.  Why was the headline not “Bible believing minister who upholds the traditional Christian ethic on sex and marriage fined over crash that injured pensioner”?  Is it now the case that the minority of Church of Scotland ministers who hold to orthodox theology and ethics are to be marked out for such contemptuous treatment?

The logical fallacy of association, or more popularly “guilt by association”, is so basic that any novice journalist should be aware of it.  However, as with all informal logical fallacies, it can be knowingly used to tarnish an opponent’s position. This is exactly what the Herald is trying to do – all ministers who oppose sodomy or homosexual practices in members of the church are disreputable characters, the kind of characters who will drive dangerously.

I should make clear that I am making no comment on the actual issue of the traffic accident, on whether the driver lost concentration or fell asleep at the wheel. What I am commenting on is that ministers who hold to a biblical position can now be pejoratively dismissed in the popular press.

The Herald has not allowed comment on this article.  This may be because of some legal issue of which I am not aware, or it may be because they do not wish to have their shoddy journalistic standards exposed.