Kate Forbes: ‘Fear mustn’t push people of faith out of politics’

Christian MSP Kate Forbes has warned against a culture of fear pushing those with religious beliefs out of politics.

In an interview with the BBC, Forbes said that although she was always open about her biblical stance on sexual ethics, she was surprised when “those who knew my position, immediately distanced themselves from me” during the SNP leadership contest.

But the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said that instead of attempting to make her views “more palatable or politically correct”, following Jesus’ teachings “means that I don’t feel I’m in a position to just pick and choose what I believe is truth or not”.


Forbes, a member of the Free Church of Scotland, said that in her opinion “people of faith are a minority” in politics, and “certainly my experience is that they are, by and large, fearful.

“So they either feel like they have to hide their faith or they have to adapt their faith. And that, I think, is a cause for concern.”

The MSP reported that some said her experience made them “feel braver when expressing their faith in work or with friends”, but did acknowledge that seeing a public figure being “absolutely traduced” can “make you fear that you too will be treated in the same way”.


Last month, Forbes highlighted an increasing public backlash against attempts to shut down free speech in Scotland.

Speaking at think-tank Reform Scotland’s online event ‘No-platforming versus Freedom of Speech’, Forbes told fellow panellists including Joanna Cherry KC MP that she was “quite amazed and heartened” by the support she received after being attacked for upholding biblical sexual ethics.

Forbes said that, even though there is a “culture of fear that is suppressing the opportunity to have a fair free debate”, the majority in Scotland are becoming increasingly “fed up of being scared and intimidated by seeing what public figures are subject to”.

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