A Personal View On Religious Differences


Today sees a guest article from SOLKITTS. Read on,and maybe it should be read by some of the high heid yins elsewhere too.


A lot has been said over the years by a lot of people, trying to rationalise how religion has become part of our national game.  We are all caught up in this if we are Scottish, especially so if we hail from the west of Scotland, and even more so if we have Irish Catholic roots.

I fit 2 of these criteria.  

I am Scottish and from the West of Scotland, I have no Irish or Catholic roots.  I attended the local non-denominational Academy, separated from BMCUWP’s Academy by the length of a playing field

There was less than a mile between these 2 schools, but in the 1970s it may as well have been 1000.  

I have to say that at that time I was not interested in club football.  Sure, I loved the game, but I detested the baggage that went with it.  I have vivid recollections of a classmate leading the class of 15 year olds in a chorus of the Billy Boys, and being shocked when a teacher came into the classroom and joined in.  There were a few of us who wouldn’t join the hatefest, and this led to a festering resentment from those who did.

Now, anyone who knows me will be aware that I don’t follow the crowd just for an easier life.  

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to resist and ends up in the chorus, initially singing the songs just to fit in, then becoming part of the gang and part of the problem.

The Catholic school were largely viewed as the enemy, through fear of the unknown.  RE in our school was delivered by a Metalwork teacher (!) and consisted of an hour a week of being told that Catholics were different from “us”, although no explanation of this difference was ever given.  Despite the close proximity of the other school, we had no contact with them other than the occasional fight in the playing field between the two.

I reckon somewhere over 90% of kids left my school with a WATP mentality.  Kids were taught to follow follow Rangers, anyone who had the temerity to support Celtic were viewed as turncoats, traitors, and treated as such by the mob.

It all changed for me when, in 6th year, a new pupil came to our school, a Catholic lad who for whatever reason was not allowed to attend the local Catholic school.  I don’t remember why, I just remember thinking that he seemed like a decent person, not like the monsters our Billy Boys singing morons and some teachers would have us believe inhabited the other place across the field.

In that final year of school, he was one of my best mates.

I’ve been out of the school environment for 42 years, and it saddens me that a supposedly enlightened country like Scotland still has this hatred running through it.  I have no idea what happens in Catholic schools, whether the hate is reciprocated.  All I can do is make judgement based on personal experience.  

My best mate for the last 40 years is Catholic.  A number of my family are Catholic (and this from a family where my grandfather refused to attend his son’s wedding because he was marrying a Catholic girl).  Maybe my generation of the family rebelled against this attitude and bigotry because we knew it was wrong.  

Sadly, this attitude clearly still holds sway in too many families in Scotland.

I moved my family to Essex when my kids were very young, ostensibly for work reasons, but with the additional benefit that they would not be exposed to the hatred I experienced at school, against people who became friends and relatives, by mindless morons. 

And then Saturday,wow-yet I saw that there are people blaming Catholic schools for the “sectarian” problems in Scotland.  I suggest they need to think back on their own school experience, to the constant bigotry of their classmates, the “join in or suffer the consequences” mantra.  Had they shown the moral fortitude to say ENOUGH ALREADY while at school, they maybe wouldn’t be carrying their bigotry into adult life and then passing it onto their offspring.

So, maybe Catholic schools are the problem, but I very much doubt it.  From my experience, the non-denominational Protestant schools need to take a long hard look at themselves and find a way of breaking the chain of hatred, bigotry and racism.  Frankly, unless something has drastically changed, I don’t believe they’re trying.


Above article from SOLKITTS. Gratefully received,with a number of reasons stated why Scotland as a country has a whole lot of thinking-and growing up-to do.

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September 22, 2021 10:33 pm

Powerful stuff,SOLKITTS. Thank you indeed.

Obviously I know your 6th year pal,and I hope he is thriving. Haven’t seen him for years,sadly.

The Real McCoy
September 22, 2021 10:55 pm

Fascinating insight SolKitts. Sounds familiar.
The real bigots were to be avoided. Got easier as we got older with friends of all religions and none and spread our wings further afield.
Still encounter bigots but outwith their sheltered cocoon they are lost.
JTT , glad you only bet £1e/w. Was just the name Magua that attracted me. Can definitely smell glue aff him 😂
In light of Sols article and especially for Garry 🙏🏻
One Love ❤️ One Heart 💚 ——
Let’s get together and feel alright 🤞


September 22, 2021 11:09 pm

Sol Kitts,

Excellent summation thank you

September 22, 2021 11:19 pm

Thank you Sol Kitts! But we all know this Greatest Little Country, which I genuinely care for despite its obvious faults, has no intention of properly challenging the blatant discriminatory practices, unfortunately not confined only to sectarianism or religious bigotry but also blatant racism and homophobia! The issue is definitely more pertinent in non-Denom schools but it is not unique to them. I’ve had reason over the years to question retired headmasters and a couple of clergymen as to the reasons for the perceived notion that Catholic schools seem to have a better ethos than non-Catholic schools. I’ll be honest and say I’ve not yet received any explanation which adequately explains why any particular school should have a different ethos to another. But there is a distinct difference, witnessed by the number of non-Catholic Asian families who wish for their children to attend Catholic schools. I’d like to think whichever school my kids attended had a high sense of morality and ethics. This highlights a major failing in our social education and explains to a degree why we, Catholics and mostly West of Scotland Irish Catholics, have permitted Society to treat us as Second Class citizens for as long as they have. For the record, Roman Catholicism is no longer taught in schools as it was 40years ago when we had to start our day with prayers and make donations to the ‘Black Babies’, recite The Catechism and sing at least one hymn a day. Our preparation for The Sacraments was a big deal as it was an event for the whole school to enjoy. Now, non- Catholics have no necessity to attend preparations for Sacraments, Catholics do not have to attend Mass on Holidays of Obligation. Things are different but our Catholic schools are highly regarded by all in both the Education Department and the Faith Communities. Walking into the reception of our Catholic Secondary school is an uplifting experience – the walls are adorned with over-sized, generous cheques paid to local, national and international charities. Photos of kids at Community events and in India to help children with disabilities highlight publicly how much good kids can do when there are no distinctions of colour or creed or disability or sexuality. I’m convinced there are many, many non-Denominational schools as good and probably better.
The problem is not the school, the problem is the home. Teach your kid difference and they’ll spot it easily. Teach them there’s no difference and they’ll understand we’re all different but underneath we’re all the same!

September 22, 2021 11:26 pm

Damn thee TRM…I was too busy typing and posting! What about this instead…

September 22, 2021 11:28 pm

McCaff 11.19

Superb follow up post sir!

Saltires en Sevilla
September 22, 2021 11:30 pm

Sol Kitts

That’s a mighty read.

Growing up I never felt a moment of antipathy towards folk who went to ‘different’ schools- yes – I knew they ‘had to’ go to different schools for some reason that was never fully explained.. or more accurately…understood.

My spiritual education started and finished in my home. Anything I was being taught by teachers was being checked, double checked and filtered ( thrice) by my parents and my grandparents and an endless stream of aunts and uncles.

Don’t listen to those bassas!!!

Nearly 14 before I realised Rangers were ‘different’ .. picked that up in the playground.. not in the classroom, or at home.

My mum was educated in a convent- she has maintained a constant mantra … 9 children … it’s a simple line, but it’s still relevant, standing the test of time.. hopefully my kids get it too:

Good Protestant folk made sure our boys and girls never starved when we came to this country …the establishment, including some of their church leaders, tried to deflect them from their instinctive humanity, but humility and a basic sense of common purpose prevailed..

When we have seen generations of professionals: doctors, lawyers, scientists, artists… artisans and grafters …making homes and careers and having untold and previously unimagined success .. large or small. It’s worthwhile remembering that this could only happen if the decent indigenous folks demanded that equity and fairness was applied to all here. That the common law was applied .. even if sometimes it was/is subverted ( we can all recall lived experiences and have stories to relate.. about bias and downright racist behaviour) ….by some…. but let’s keep in mind, it’s only by some! The vast majority of folk are good decent and trustworthy . Of course they are.

There are people on both sides of the ‘divide’ with a ‘purpose’ in mind that would deny this, generally I expect that people mean well .. they don’t really see colour, race, ethnicity .. they see the human being standing directly in front of them.

Goodwill and humanity.

That’s probably too idealistic for some, but it’s my lived experience and what keeps me going … half hopeful ..maybe only half sane!

September 22, 2021 11:34 pm


Saltires en Sevilla
September 22, 2021 11:41 pm


Cheers buddy .. was too busy blurting to read yours…

Likewise my friend … we should have some beers soon!


September 22, 2021 11:46 pm

You guys are just excelling yourselves tonight!

September 23, 2021 12:07 am

From the previous post…Mahe, any man who effortlessly wears a cravat, and has the cojones to pull Blondie in the middle of Byres Road, with Chris Stein looking on helplessly, beats a caffeine-loaded, suit-wearing, dog-cuddling Green Card for style any day of the week! 😉😂😂😂

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 12:19 am



Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 12:24 am


Get Debbie running the show at the Beeb

September 23, 2021 12:32 am

Just started watching SES but if the quality of the sound is as good all the way through this will be good! Jim will love this…Clem Burke is superb!

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 12:36 am

McCaff It’s solid …all the way

A piece of history – well captured

September 23, 2021 12:37 am

What year was it filmed?

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 12:42 am

I think 2007

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 12:44 am

When she was only 62 …

September 23, 2021 12:44 am

On the description I see it’s 2014! I’m surprised at that as I’m sure I saw her, on TV, at Glastonbury around that time and she looked really old and the vocals were shit. She looks good here and the voice is strong. Also it says Rapture recorded in Havana 2019 (unless there’s a wee extra tagged on at the end!

September 23, 2021 12:46 am

She’s 76! That’s mental! That nearly makes me an auld man! FFS!!

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 12:48 am

Fairly sure it’s 2007 but I’d be happier if it was 2014 tbh

Legendary stuff

She’s at Hydro in November .. just sayin’

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 12:48 am

76 aye

my mum is 80 ffs!!

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 12:52 am

Wait until she gets to the Beastie Bhoys 😏

September 23, 2021 12:56 am

I was doing a job for a couple today who were about 76…even with Blondie’s history of tussling wi Puff on Byres Rd she still looks dynamite in comparison!! 😂😂😂

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 1:09 am


2014 … jeezo

September 23, 2021 1:10 am

Nah SES! DH doing the Beastie Boys is too like my granny dressing up as Alvin Stardust back in the 70s!! 😂😂😂

September 23, 2021 1:11 am

That was good though…until the end! 🤣

September 23, 2021 1:12 am

Dunno if this interests you, SES but I’m loving them right now…

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 1:14 am

I’m only half-pished and think it’s fine …

Saw Beastie Boys at QM in ‘85

Debs shades it …


September 23, 2021 1:15 am

Half? Are you sure? 😳

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 1:16 am

Awrite im bloatered – but don’t tell Gary … I mean, Garry

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 1:22 am

Blue Heaven

Aye. Great sound and vocal – video not so sure… 🌞

September 23, 2021 1:22 am

Senga..just had a quick recap there – thanks for the acknowledgement! I hope you’re well…I keep trying to make the time to get back on the Nightshift but been so busy! Here’s a wee tune for you…


September 23, 2021 1:25 am

This one’s for Sol Kitts and Garry…

Saltires en Sevilla
September 23, 2021 1:26 am

Baws baws time …

HH x

September 23, 2021 1:42 am

Night night SES

September 23, 2021 1:44 am

Thanks a million Sol
Great replies also.

I guess schools are constantly evolving and tbh I would like to hear the experience of someone attending that place now just to compare and contrast.

The non denominational schools have become very popular in my old city, which I shall assume is a good thing.

Little ones school doesn’t do homework, which my mum wholeheartedly agreed with stating you’ve to get the dinner ready and do homework leading to rushing both. She questions how much homework actually helps development.

Interesting take from McCaff,,,
“This highlights a major failing in our social education and explains to a degree why we, Catholics and mostly West of Scotland Irish Catholics, have permitted Society to treat us as Second Class citizens for as long as they have.”
Given ‘we’ in that case are mostly products of Catholic education, considered superior and given Sol Kitts experience above sounds like it,
is education actually a large factor in any second class treatment?
I would have thought the barriers of state (masons/OO membership leading to jobs for the boys first, plus plain discrimination/sectarianism/racism)
held folk back more than education,,but Im happy to be corrected.

Hail Hail

September 23, 2021 2:31 am

Hi Mahe, my thoughts would be that we ie West of Scotland Irish Catholics (not solely WoS but the majority reside here) have an inherent cultural subvervience due to centuries of being socially poor (never culturally poor!) and subjugated. This doesn’t mean we are all subservient or happy to be ruled but it is in our psyche and demands willpower and determination from within oneself and as a community to ensure a change of attitude. This process of non-acceptance of being kept down and refusing to be seen as different is pertinent to all subsections of society who have traditionally been regarded as ‘outsiders’ or ‘inferior’ or even ‘not normal’ but our woke society allows individuals and groups a social acceptance previously denied.
I think you have conflated two points, the education in Catholic schools is not superior but the learning environment and the moral ethos is. I would suggest schools probably did, whether deliberately or otherwise, play a major role in the subjugation of Catholics but specifically Irish Catholics. The fear of immigrants taking your jobs and your earning capability still causes problems to this day in many countries, our specific problem in this wee country is exacerbated when the question of religion is thrown in the mix!

September 23, 2021 3:09 am

Cheers for the response.

“the education in Catholic schools is not superior but the learning environment and the moral ethos is.”
You may well be correct however I thought the curriculum would be the most important aspect and it’s different for the different religion schools?
This article doesn’t break it down but lists the better environment alongside high quality education.


Better schools and education, no matter what name above the door, should always help the land not harm it.

Hail Hail

September 23, 2021 3:19 am

“ I think you have conflated two points, the education in Catholic schools is not superior but the learning environment and the moral ethos is. I would suggest schools probably did, whether deliberately or otherwise, play a major role in the subjugation of Catholics but specifically Irish Catholics.”

Agree wholeheartedly with this viewpoint.
I would add the aspiration to achieve was very much to the fore in my school and home environment. Education was coveted and recognised as the way forward, the only way forward and the means by which to rise above subjugation – be it the spiritual (religious) or the corporeal (economic/ status driven).

Those twin drivers of school and home education , and the moral compass they provide, are certainly responsible for my , and many of my peers, ability to rise above the dire circumstances our antecedents experienced.

September 23, 2021 4:44 am

BoJo says the world should grow up.
Oh the irony.

September 23, 2021 7:22 am

“Enough is Enough – Scotland’s Anti-Catholic Marches – Bella Caledonia” https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2021/09/22/enough-is-enough-scotlands-anti-catholic-marches/

big packy
September 23, 2021 8:06 am

SOL great post, the one thing i would add, the disbanding of the orange institution in scotland, would go a long way of helping to stop the anti irish, anti catholic bigotry.

September 23, 2021 9:10 am

Sol Kitts, 👍

Prestonpans bhoys
September 23, 2021 9:15 am

Very rarely touch in this subject, I tick both of the boxes and left WOS in 1992. However this is not a WOS problem, happens in the East just not as obvious or prevalent.

As kids we would play football in the local park any denomination welcome. Then grew up and as teenagers all joined the local scheme team and fought any team that entered Onthank ( a scheme at the top of Kilmarnock).

Looking at the local primary RC school would say the demographic is about 30% Asian anyway.

September 23, 2021 9:21 am

Outstanding and timely leader Sol Kitts – thank you. The following posts also represent a more than fine contribution to this festering issue in Scotland today. “Oh wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us….” a damning statement if ever there was one.

All the best Garry.


St tams
September 23, 2021 9:31 am

Excellent, Sol Kitts.

Bada Bing
September 23, 2021 10:03 am


The Huddle- The Movie, trailer

September 23, 2021 10:29 am

Prestonpans bhoys
Very rarely touch in this subject, I tick both of the boxes and left WOS in 1992. However this is not a WOS problem, happens in the East just not as obvious or prevalent.

As kids we would play football in the local park any denomination welcome. Then grew up and as teenagers all joined the local scheme team and fought any team that entered Onthank ( a scheme at the top of Kilmarnock).

Looking at the local primary RC school would say the demo is about 30% Asian anyway.
I went to that Primary school in the 70s and the local secondary too.
There was a ‘non-dom’ primary across the road and both sides used to line up and shout abuse for a while until the heads started patrolling. All IRA/UDA/religious stuff. driven by older siblings and the news from Ireland on the TV every night. Shameful stuff from both schools.

Secondary school was strangely different. Sometimes there were confrontations with one of the schools from across the park on religious reasons but sometimes the school near us joined with us against other schools on a territory basis as you mentioned.

As folks played football with each other in local teams, i think the primary school sectarianism mellowed and it became more about you gang/pals.

When we all started going out drinking I think we generally became a homogenous group of kids looking for a party or pub to meet girls. Footie and schools rarely came into it. Fighting at Killie taxi rank was famous but usually bam on bam or sometimes village vs village

The friends i have from back then are definitely those I met at school so are all Celtic/Killie supporters and Catholic/ex catholic. That is a shame as we partied with the other lads back then. I had to travel on the bus 12 miles round trip from 5 to 17 and clearly did not integrate until I went to Glasgow for uni. I had schools within 10 mins walk of my house. I am against Catholic schools but do not want them phased out for the wrong reasons or without educating others why they exist.
Non-dom should mean just that , with no trips to the Kirk at Christmas

Thought provoking stuff SolKitts

Margaret McGill
September 23, 2021 11:07 am

Sol Kitts
Very good
IMHO no tax money should be used to encourage any religion