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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Sol Kitts,

I guess I share your non traditional background. I am neither Catholic nor of direct Irish descent. Although way back, my gypsy heritage had Irish connections in the 1800s. I was raised in a household where religion played little part. Births, marriages and deaths brought religion and the Coop into our lives. Nominally, we were protestant but I never understood what we were protesting about. There were the Catholic churches and the Catholic schools and somehow they were different and to be avoided. They prayed to statues and had larger than normal families…..these characteristics made them different. If our school team was drawn against a Catholic school, you had to fight harder against them and not let them triumph. At school most of us toed the line….it was easier.

In my teens things started to change for me. Firstly, I was shocked that a Rangers player, Dennis Setterington was cautioned by the club for dating a Catholic. What did that have to do with his football ability? Obviously, nothing at all. Then came the day, I grew up. I was 16 and Dad asked me what I was doing that night. “I am out on a date, Dad!” “Nice! Remember to behave. What is her name?” Her name is shrouded in the mists of time but when I gave it, an unpleasant light bulb went on. “That’s a Catholic name, son!” Yes,she was a Catholic and it had never seemed important to me what she was. Her looks were key for me, plus she was a year older. “Stick to your own kind, son!”

Then I realised that my father was not simply my father, he was a member of the human race…..flawed in some ways like the rest of us. I shall never forget that exchange. My world changed then. For the avoidance of doubt, my father was a good man who would do anything for his family. There was not an abusive bone in his body. He was, however, a product of his time as I am of mine.

Shortly thereafter, I went to a Rangers vs Celtic game at Ibrox with my uncle, who used to play for Leicester until TB killed his career. On returning home to my gran’s place, several friends arrived in Orange gear straight from the match. One of them, in bowler hat, asked what was the last march that I had been on. I replied that I had not been on any, nor was I likely to in the future. My uncle was reprimanded for not raising this boy correctly. I was a disgrace. To some members of my family, I am even more of a disgrace for following Celtic!

I have gone on long enough but the above events led me to look for a club that was free from narrow minded sectarianism. Although not perfect, I found it in Celtic. It was/is an important part of my education and my pathway to figuring myself out, especially with respect to morality. How the club is run and by who is secondary to that, in my view. Rather like the distinction between how a religion is organised and its intrinsic moral code.


Prestonpans bhoys

The wee rammy’s outside Mount Carmel, aye a shouting match indeed. Agree St Joseph’s had less rammy’s
May have misled you on the local school I mean the one in Prestonpans, actually left Killie 1980, going to costa Paisley then Govanhill.

PS the weans shouting abuse would be playing football in the big field beside Millhill Terrace, demolished many moons ago


I’ve mentioned before but The Calton in early 50s/60s had a good mix of Catholics and Protestants. My father hated Rangers the institution and I think he would be in the crowd at the top of Well St when the Billy Boys from Bridgeton came calling before WW2.

However he separated the institutionalism from the individuals, encouraged me to make non Catholic mates and proudly boasted that at football I played for The Tims (St Mungos) in the morning and The Proddys (St James Calton in the afternoon) . Friendships are formed that keep the rivalry at banter level. My point is our experience in our life history and memories of it influence our thinking now.

History though did not begin in the 50s.

I’ve recently finished reading To Hell or Barbados The Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland

https://www.amazon.com/Hell-Barbados-Ethnic-Cleansing-Ireland/dp/0863222870 and religion was just an excuse for land grab and a form of slavery.

The problem was that the land grabbers on the sugar plantations, who had been part of Cromwell’s army that subjugated Ireland in the 1650s were granted land in Barbados and they were Protestant . The defeated Irish Catholics were sent to Barbados to work for them on an indentured basis. (Slavery limited by contract)

However in time, with the addition of African slaves with no end of their slavery in sight, the planation owners feared rebellion and of course the Irish were up for that.

It is possible therefore that this fear of Catholicism has its roots in Cromwell’s ruthless treatment of Catholics in two connected ways.

It engenders hate in the victims that creates fear in those ruling over them.

I’m aware that prior to Cromwell there was the Plantation of Ulster but I need to read more on that.

However what is common to both is the purpose was land grab. Religion was only an excuse used to tell those embarking on land grab that they were doing the right thing (we all do that) , the motivation was power and riches, sod all to protect The Protestants of the time from ending up in hell as a result of becoming Catholics.

My impression on reading the book was how evil the thinking was that justified the slaying and enslaving of fellow humans and I have a theory that rather than revisit that past history, the age old ploy of whataboutery comes into play, in this case what about Catholic schools?

If we we were to indulge in what about history, then what about Cromwell would be my answer but having read what I have.

If i were on the victors side and had any sense of morality I would resist going there, nay fear it.

Only truth can lead to reconciliation and when the truth is unpalatable, like Celtic appear to be in a partnership with Rangers, then it is resisted.

Another thought I have sometime expressed is that with no tradition of confession to absolve sin like Catholicism has, the only way to stay pure enough to get through The Pearly Gates, is to deny having sinned at all and the walls of denial for the Protestant tradition are higher than the ones surrounding Derry.

Remember this is just my thinking based on experience and reading then rethinking. Basically I feel sorry for anyone who lives to hate based on an unfounded fear.


Saltires en Sevilla
Sol Kitts

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!
You too? Its a mixture of hope and doubt but the manifestation of that approach lets you know if the balance is right. By its fruits stuff.



My mate when I was a kid in Kilwinning left there in about 1972 because his Dad had just been appointed headmaster at Mount Carmel.


Afternoon all,

As it’s a quiet day and not going to game tonight so I’m on a wee pub crawl.

Horseshoe Bar for pint,pie and peas, now in Pipers ( No draught beer 😩😩) then heading to Blane Valley.

I’ve then decided to get bus to Rutherglen and visit a pub I’ve never been in before. “ The Vogue “.

It’s a hard life 😜😜


Bada Bing

Leggy- some great memorabilia in the Vogue, Bobby Murdoch stuff as well

Jobo Baldie

Flying solo, Leggy?



Yes, call me Napoleon 👍👍👍

Prestonpans bhoys

That’s going to annoy me all day now, for my starter for 10, did the surname start with C


My mate when I was a kid in Kilwinning left there in about 1972 because his Dad had just been appointed headmaster at Mount Carmel.
headmaster’s daughter was in my class and older brother in my sister’s. The brother above was probably the guy you knew. Good head; a bit scary though!


I thought I published something on this topic but it seems to have vanished. It was 6.30 am my time so maybe I posted it on another topic.




Made it to the Vogue 👍👍

Absolutely brilliant photos and cracking wee pub.

Took a good few snaps myself 🇮🇪🇮🇪🇮🇪

HH 🍀🍀


For better or worse, religion is dying out.

As a young lad the chapel across the street was that packed for every mass they had to have seaters,,people who found, poked, and cajoled others to move a bit to create an opening for someone.
2k a week in the collection plate.

Now,,that same chapel might be twenty percent full, as well as the neighbouring one.
Mum tells me she can envision one priest for two parishes, one or two masses in each, instead of four packed houses each.

Unthinkable a couple generations ago, the little one is having nothing to do with it. When she’s old enough she can decide. The red tape to get her baptized was another clear sign.
Totally inflexible plus three nights taking a class to learn how to raise her in ‘the correct way’?
People who have never had kids telling you how to raise yours correctly!
If they are content, happy, and loved, that’s surely the right way.

Here in the States religion is in the spotlight due to the Abortion ban. I reckon most those involved in supporting the ban don’t know scripture, don’t attend church as often as possible, and their primary motivation is fear or control. Control of that States levers of power and budget.

As The Gombven Man once pointed out, most of Ireland has turned their back on the Catholic Church. It’s a progressive, modern European nation now.
For decades they judged us,,then they themselves were judged and found lacking.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go.

Play nice and Up The Hoops!


I’d love to visit The Vogue someday. I’ll stick it on the bucket list.



His name was McHugh,though the spelling may be wrong!



Highly recommended 🍀🍀🍀🇮🇪🇮🇪🇮🇪



No idea why,but your post went into our trash folder. I’ve reinstated it and it is at the top of the page.

I recommend everyone to read it!

Bada Bing

The Vogue is a cracking Celtic pub,on a match day you will meet 2 True Celts,G64, and Voguepunter



That sounds about right…



I’m sure I went to a pub in Rutherglen long, long time ago called The Glen Bar ??

Right Celtic shop but great wee pub.

The Vogue is a cracking pub also and definitely worth a visit on Matchday

Just down the road from EK 👍👍👍

big packy

just arrived in kirkcaldy, you know what must be 50 years since i watched celtic at starks park,,BTW its like a ghost town here, not a hooped shirt in sight,very strange,


Greg Taylor probably out for two months after shoulder surgery.



Hopefully someone will put up a link to the game so that you can watch it!


Heading home after a very enjoyable afternoon.

Missed bus back to EK so I’m in The Victoria, R’Glen.

Thought this was Hun pub but nothing on walls etc.

Very respectable and at £2.55 a pint for Strongbow could miss a few buses 😜😜😜

Hope everyone enjoys the game tonight and COYBIG 🍀🍀🍀

Bada Bing

Leggy- Glen Bar been closed for a few years, Celtic pub,a few dafties in it…

Margaret McGill

If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
He’d be gunned down cold by the CIA


St tams

Some great reading on here today.
Well done everyone.

big packy

BOBBY, heard the louden bar in glesga is showing the game, so might nip in for a swally.😎😎


Sounds great, I will be doing something similar in Glasgow tomorrow until my china’s arrive late afternoon.

PS I have a quick pint in Dublin yesterday on the way home (nothing fancy, just a boozer near the train station)


Sol Kitts

Big Packy @ 359
I’ve left a drink behind the bar for you. Just ask for Billy when you arrive, he’s the guy wearing the orange top. Enjoy your pint of Guinness with a cheeky glass of Chateauneuf du Pape for wee Joan.
Billy seemed like a nice guy, his mates and he all said they were looking forward to seeing you. Enjoy



You have a great day tomorrow and hope the pints aren’t as dear as Dublin 🍺🍺🍺🍺

HH 🍀🍀🍀



Thanks for de-trashing my ramblings!


big packy

SOL, im on my way, looking forward to that drink, but none for wee joan she is driving😎😎



See that mirror in centre of bar ? that was made by my own muckle hauns ,my wife designed it and it was the first
one I made,still well proud that none of the lead has fallen off :O)
HH mate.

Sol Kitts

Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Re non-dom schools. I have met many fine people, who attended these schools, most of whom I haven’t seen for years. I have also met a fair few bigots who attended these schools. I am more inclined, to blame the home environment for said bigotry, rather than the schools themselves. I am arguing from a position of ignorance however, knowing less than nothing about non-dom schools.

On the subject of Catholic schools, I can only speak of my experiences, in the school that I attended. Never once, did I hear one bad word about various branches of the reformed church, from anyone of authority in said school.

Did bigotry exist in the play-ground? In my experience, yes. Anyone speaking in such a manner however, would quickly be pulled up by other pupils, and read the riot act.

I also found that support for Celtic, among the pupils, would encourage debate, between the more politically aware pupils. It was regularly pointed out how wrong bigotry-in whatever form-is plainly and simply wrong.

Having said that, the entity known as Glasgow Rangers, was generally despised. As were Orange Walks….on an anti-bigotry basis.

For me personally, I would take any individual supporting either of the above entities, as I found him or her. Even some right Bluenoses or O/O members, could be surprisingly good company, over a few pints. Once again Sol Kitts…bravo.

Hail Hail.



I am not worthy 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

Absolutely brilliant and a credit to you and your wife.

Loved that pub 🍀🍀🍀🍀. 👍👍👍👍



Cheers mate I’ve goat a big riddy …… much appreciated.:O)



I’ve been meaning to give it a visit too for a while. But if there’s a bliddy mirror in there,I’ll not bother…


Take care Garry and get well soon

Mike in Toronto

I have seen a few posts about DD being unwell, but missed what is up. Regardless, i.If any of you are talking to him (or DD, if you are looking in), hope whatever is up gets better.

Bada Bing

Have the huns got Griffiths banned for Saturday yet?

Prestonpans bhoys

Pre match pints in the Oak bar bought, now can we put on a display tonight please

Mike in Toronto

Margaret McGill

If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today
He’d be gunned down cold by the CIA

Patristics (early church history) is not really my area of expertise, but I did some grad work on it, and since no one else seems to be talking to you :), I’ll give you my two cents answer.

As much as I would like to think you are right, exegetically (from an analysis of the Gospels), it is hard to say definitively that Jesus would have been a marxist. 🙂

On one hand, we have comments like, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven”. (Matt. 19:23), which suggest a world view that would, as you say, attract CIA like attentions if said by a world leader today. Similarly, he said that “those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples”. (Luke 14:33)/

on the other hand, we have the somewhat ambiguous Mark 12:17: “give to Casear what is Caesar’s, give to God what is God’s”

(And, as a side note, there was a story going around for some time that (all Billy Connolly Crucifixion jokes aside) Pontius Pilate was born in Perthsire).

What is less open to debate is that many of Jesus’ early followers were what we would now consider anarcho-syndicalists or even communists.

the Roman empire survived and expanded on the back of two principles: cultus deorum and pax deorum. The Romans conquered so many places that it was not possible to have armies overseeing all of them. so, they developed two rules to maintain order: you can worship your old gods, as long as you also worship roman ones (cultus deorum) and we will let you live in peace as long as you dont cause trouble, and you pay your taxes to Rome (pax deorum). So, instead of having an army in each country, they would have a small number who would ensure that the two rules were followed.

But, remember, when Jesus died, his followers thought he was going to come back… basically the next day. They were all in the room when he came back the next week and showed them the wounds. When he left, they thought the next time he came back , which again, was only going to be days or weeks later, it would herald the end of the world.

So, there were early Christians who we now describe as millenarians…. groups who thought the end of the world was coming soon, and set up their own little communes and flipped the bird at Rome…. why bother paying taxes to Rome, when Jesus will be coming back, and the world ending, soon?

But, as it spread, Rome began to be concerned about its growing power, and began to crack down, So, Christianity became illegal…. which lead to the formation of the modern mass, as we know it.

Christians would have to celebrate mass in secret to avoid being caught by the romans. A common place to the secret ceremonies were in the catacombs and sewers under the city… where poor people (who could not afford the above ground stone tombs) would ‘bury’ their dead. so the sewers often had walkways on either side, on which the coffins of the poor were often placed. Early masses would be held in these sewers. The coffins were often used as the first altars (hence, the practice of having the bones of saints in most altars). The ponchos that the early priests wore (to keep the shit off of them ) became priestly vestments. Since the coffins were against the wall, the ‘priests’ would have their backs to the flock, which became the way mass was said for almost 2000 years, until Vatican 2 changed that and said that priests should face the flock.

And the ‘hokey pokey’ that we do during mass (stand up, sit down, what to say, shaking hands, etc.) was like a secret handshake… the Romans would send spies to try to catch these upstart Christians… and if the guy beside you at the secret mass didn’t know the routine, chances are he was a Roman spy, and you would know to run like hell before he called his buddies!)

Of course, Jesus didn’t return, and the world didnt end, and gradually people sort of got on with every day life, even if this new ‘cult’ of Christianity continued to spread.

And later we have 13:7 of Paul’s letter to the Romans: “Pay everyone what you owe him: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.”. Remember, Paul’s letter to the Romans was written about 57AD.

The three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) were all written from a similar perspective and around the same time (hence the terms synoptic or same view to describe these three gospels). Since they all speak of the destruction of the temple as a future event to happen (and we know it happened in 70AD), these three gospels were likely written before then (around the same time as Pau’ls letter to the Romans), while John’s Gospel (likely written b30- or so years later, with someone from a different – possibly Greek- background.)

So, we have John’s gospels and the epistles to the various christian communities that show how much and how quickly Christianity was spreading. But, as I noted above, as time went on, it became less antagonistic to the Roman world view, and became increasingly the unofficial religion of the empire.. But as it speak

In spite of the persecution, Christianity flourished, and, as most scholars agree, the Roman emperor, constantine,formally converted to Christianity in 312 AD. However, the reasons for his conversion remain a subject of considerable debate: some say he adopted his mother’s beliefs, while others say that it was ‘real politik’: the christains made up such a large percentage of the Roman population, he was trying to consolidate his power by appealling to their religion. Regardless of the reason, Christianity became the largest, most expansive religion from there.

big packy

MIKE, great to see you posting, dont be a stranger, luv to you and seamus,👍





Unlucky there,Jota. Shot from edge of area.


Too much loose passing.