Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament rejects incest petition

January 26, 2016

The retreat from Christian morality means that petitions, like today’s one attempting to legalise incest, being discussed by the Scottish Parliament are inevitable, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland has said. 

Rev David Robertson made the remarks before Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee rejected a proposal on adult consensual incest for over-21s.

He argued that secularist humanist thinking; that adults should be free to do whatever they like with their own bodies so long as third parties are not harmed, would simply not stand up to the problem. 

Speaking ahead of this morning's session, Rev David Robertson said: “Unless MSPs are prepared to adopt Christian morality, they are effectively defenceless in arguing against incest. 

“Secularist humanist thinking reduces sexual relations to a matter of consent – I am frequently told that so long as two people are happy to be involved, there is not a problem. 

“But it’s when we consider the Bible that we clearly see that the legalisation of incest would be an unmitigated disaster.

“Incest may be the last great taboo and people will understandably react with revulsion and disgust, but given the criteria of human autonomy that many seem to be adopting, there is no logical reason for incest not to become acceptable.”  

The Free Church Moderator continued: “Given that the changes in legislation tend to be preceded by media propaganda normalising what was once considered unthinkable, I find it somewhat disturbing that the current BBC series of War and Peace portrays an explicit incestuous relationship, something which is not in the book, as though it were normal.

“Whilst it is currently 'unthinkable' and I am sure that MSPs will throw this petition out, this is just the first drop in what will be a drip, drip campaign by those who do not regard incest as unthinkable.

“Who is to say that within a few years the pressure will not grow and in the name of 'equality', incest between adults will be permitted?

“Those who argue that consenting adults have the right to do whatever they want, have no real argument, other than instinctive revulsion, against incest.  

“Having rejected the basic Christian view of morality what is to stop our society moving even further away from its foundations? 

“On the criteria put forward by the new moral guardians of our society, there is no logical reason why incest and polygamy should not be permitted.  

“Perhaps we in the Church have to wake-up and properly explain to our society that we have a God of order and beauty who has set up clear parameters for the gift of sex within marriage.

“The Maker of the family really does know what is best for the family.”

No appeared in person to present the petition – which was only lodged last week – at today's meeting of the Public Petitions Committee in Edinburgh. 

There was very little discussion from MSPs and the committee agreed to close the petition, meaning it has been rejected.