No vote goes against Christian principles, says minister

Thu 11 Sep 2014
By Marcus Jones

A Church of Scotland clergyman has said Christians who vote no in the Scottish independence referendum are not 'living by [Christian] principles'.

Revd Tommy Bryson told Premier Christians are asked to look after the poor and he said the only way to do that was by voting yes.

Millions of Scots will go to the polls on September 18 to vote yes or no to the question 'should Scotland be an independent country?'

Revd Bryson said: "As a Christian I can see the moral dilemma that we have.

"We're being asked to look after the poor and if we vote no, we're not living by our principles, we're not practicing what we preach."

He said he'd spoken to fellow Christians about the referendum and that he thought some of them had put economics before their moral responsibilities.

"Everybody was talking about the purse strings or what was in your pocket and Christianity is not about that.

"It's not about prosperity, Christianity is about helping the poor, and according to St James the only true religion that is acceptable to God is widows and orphans, looking after the poor.

"Here we have a lot of Christians who are probably saying no but they're looking after themselves.

"There should be no consideration for themselves here.

"Here's an opportunity for us to feed the widow and the orphan, the poor.

"It's not happening, there are Christians who are running scared because they haven't really grasped the message of the Gospel."

The Better Together campaign, which wants a no vote, says government can fight poverty better as part of the UK.

In a document on poverty it said: "If Scotland is indeed more willing to deal with poverty than a Conservative England, does it need independence to do so?

"Not necessarily. Many of the tools for dealing with the long-term roots of poverty are already in the hands of the Scottish Parliament.

"For adults, work is the best route out of poverty: training people to give them the skills they need is devolved.

"Education and social care are the services best placed to help children."

Click here to read a vicar who's voting no discuss the issue of poverty.

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