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YOUR VIEWS: Stonings no longer acceptable despite what the Bible says

By Gavin Musgrove

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Thanks to Clive Every-Clayton for his courteous letter last week.

In it he gives a clear statement of the conservative position on the Bible and morality.

But many sincere Christians simply cannot accept much of what he says.

Mr Every-Clayton states that there is no conflict between the ethical teaching of Jesus and the Scriptures – a claim that I have never been able to understand!

It is a matter of fact – not of opinion – that huge differences exist.

The stoning of non-virgin brides and disobedient sons, and the putting to death of those who choose to change their faith are all commanded in the Old Testament.

How can this be consistent with the teaching of Jesus?

I cannot believe that Mr Every-Clayton accepts these Old Testament laws!

So does God change God’s ideas? Certainly not!

I believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and for ever – but we are not. God is consistent, always calling us forward, and leading us into new understanding.

This is clearly shown in the Bible, where ideas about sacrifice, for example, change radically over time. And not only does Jesus himself move our understanding forward by his life and his teaching, but he is reported in John’s gospel as clearly teaching that there are more changes in understanding to come.

Of course this doesn’t mean that anything goes – for Christians all changes must be in keeping with the teaching of Jesus.

Finally, I would note that it’s Biblical to disagree – if anyone doubts that, they need to read the new Testament!

Jim MacEwan

Nethy Bridge.

* * *

Land-based livelihoods are at great risk

A residential building damaged by an enemy aircraft in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
A residential building damaged by an enemy aircraft in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

I understand and have some sympathy with Dick Webster’s view on climate change (Strathy letters, 9 November), and others who are not dependent on their land holding for their living or have little or no association with how our land is managed.

Residents like me need to be reminded that those dependent or associated with production from the rural land that surrounds us are a declining minority of our community.

Others will only feel the impact of climate change as a result of adverse weather events along with changes in our land use, also when goods and services on which we consume and depend become unaffordable or unavailable.

Mr Webster should be aware that for those of us who are investing in the sustainability of our land, environment and economy for the benefit of our successors; climate change, climate change deniers and the lack of appropriate action by our government to address climate change is of growing concern.

Since the formation of the Forestry Commission in 1919 until around 1990, investment in our economy was motivated by making our nation more self-sufficient and secure in the goods and services we consume.

Over the last 30 years the emphasis has been on importing goods and services from elsewhere.

The war in Ukraine has made us aware of our dependency on goods imported from there and its neighbours.

Some residents will be unaware of the extent to which our climate, economy, ownership and investment in our land has changed and continues to change.

Jamie Williamson

Alvie Estate office


* * *

Ride in to the rescue

I hope I can appeal through the Strathy for helpers keen to help us relaunch the Cairngorms Riding for the Disabled Group.

We unfortunately had to close the group during Covid and have struggled to get going again.

RDA is a great way for the less able in our community to have a chance to do something that truly is fulfilling and the horse therapy side of things is good for the heart, not only of the client but of the horse and volunteers too.

We hope to investigate the possibility of sessions with local dementia groups to try and stir memories and this can be done with the RDA ‘Tea with a Pony’ initiative.

The Wranglers volunteers from Caberfeidh in Kingussie were also a regular feature and they won recognition in a national art competition from the RDA.

So if you have an interest in horses and ponies, helping others and eating cake then me way well have the perfect opportunity for you. We also need some new trustees and a new chair and secretary in particular – it is not necessary to have knowledge of horses although it would help.

The AGM will be held next Monday night (November 20) at Highland Horse Fun followed by a social with cakes where ideas on moving forward can be discussed – all welcome.

Ruaridh Ormiston

CRDA chair


* * *

I hope someone gets my message in a bottle!

The overflowing bottle bank at Grantown.
The overflowing bottle bank at Grantown.

Our bottle bank problems haven’t improved since my last ditty.

I went to the faclity at Grantown’s Burnside Avenue recently and thought I’d follow up on my 100 green bottles.

Just came to cast away some glass that was left with me,

I’m in Burnfield Avenue, with no one here but me, oh,

More abandoned bottles than any man could bear,

Rescue me before I fall into despair, oh,

I’ll send an SOS to the world,

I’ll send an SOS to the world,

I hope that someone clears my,

I hope that someone clears my,

I hope that someone clears my,

Pile of messy bottles,

Pile of messy bottles.

Two months have past since I last wrote,

I should have known this right from the start.

Only hope can keep me together,

Highland Council can mend your life

But can also break your heart, oh,

Repeat chorus

Walked out this morning, don’t believe what I saw,

A hundred billion bottles, maybe even more.

Seems I’m not alone in being alone,

Where’s the Highland Council? Get them on the phone, oh,

Repeat chorus

Alick Morrison

Seafield Avenue


* * *

Badenoch and Strathspey has long been inspiration for writers

Books related to or written by authors based in Badenoch and Strathspey.
Books related to or written by authors based in Badenoch and Strathspey.

I am writing to appeal to establish in Kingussie a publicly accessible collection of copies for consultation only – not borrowing – of published works by authors local to Badenoch and Strathspey.

A working title for the project could be Archive of Badenoch and Strathspey Authors ( ABSA )

Come all ye good readers please lend a hand. Can you offer ideas to establish a plan to muster all authors from Badenoch land in a specialised archive that represents all in a room or an office or part of a hall in Kingussie the centre, at least historically, of the region now known as Badenoch and Strathspey?

From centuries past to modern day numerous authors have found their way from inspiration in Badenoch and Strathspey.

Their works abound in wide ranging style with something to please every taste.

Please think for a while how best not to waste the unique circumstance in this Highland place. Kingussie deserves a collected archive of so many authors both past and alive.

The plethora of publications by local authors, excluding books about the area by non residents, includes for example fictional and romantic adventures, poetry and song , Gaelic and English, commentary on mountains and landscape, agriculture, river and mountain, wide ranging sports from golf and shinty to fishing and mountaineering, birdwatching and nature study, folklore and memoirs and historical facts, drama, and journalistic articles in series of merit.

A sample of authors randomly listed embraces Alexander Macpherson FSA Scot, Rev Thomas Sinton, Ossian Macpherson, Richard Perry, Ben Coutts, Affleck Gray, Dr Ian Richarson, Isabel Frances Grant, Neill Watson Kerr, Lord Strathcarron, Jack Richmond, Sir Tommy Macpherson, Uiga Robertson, Meta H.Scarlett, John Allen, Jessie R. Cooper, Marina Dennis, Lady Jean Macpherson, John Robertson, Rev Harry Cumming and Dr Margaret Bennett.

How many more can you add to the list of authors who have been resident in the strath for a minimum of five years, born there, or regularly holidayed there for a period of 15 years or more?

Critera for inclusion in the proposed ABSA have yet to be agreed and determined by such committee or personages as may undertake the establishing of this first ever archive of authors specific to a defined geographic region in Scotland.

Una Cochrane


* * *

On the cusp? Really?

It was interesting to read Mr Fergus Ewing’s proposals as to how it would be possible for the Highlands to benefit from renewable energy developments.

In last week’s Strathy he was quoted as saying “We are on the cusp of a second energy opportunity, this time from renewables”.

Surely this ‘cusp’ was passed quite some time ago. As pro and anti will confirm there are already one or two wind farms in the Highlands as well as a few controversial hydro schemes.

It’s to be wondered if it really will be possible, as Mr Ewing suggested, to secure benefits akin to Norway’s sovereign wealth fund.

After all, he was a Minister in the Scottish Parliament from 2007 until 2021where his responsibilities at times covered business, energy and the rural economy.

During that considerable time in office the Highlands has not benefited hugely from the renewable revolution.

Perhaps Mr Ewing’s efforts will prove successful. Let’s hope so but his backbench position and fragile relationship with the SNP’s leaders don’t give too much cause for optimism.

Dick Webster


* * *

Hottest ever months have been recorded on earth in summer

There has been much confusion spread in Strathy letters about greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), which Charles Wardrop’s letter of November 9 adds to.

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere trap some heat from the sun, so that it is not reflected back out to space.

They keep the world warm, as if we lived in a greenhouse; hence their name.

Without them, average world temperature would be a freezing minus 18 C (World Meteorological Organization ‘Greenhouse gases’).

Most GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2). They also include methane and other gases.

GHGs are emitted into the atmosphere, and captured from it, continuously. Nature does this. Plants, animals, land and oceans naturally emit and capture GHGs. For example, plants capture CO2 by photosynthesis. Cattle and sheep emit methane as they burp and fart.

Until the Industrial Revolution, around 1850, the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere changed little compared to today.

The amount emitted by nature was generally the same as it captured. This kept world temperatures fairly stable for the past 11,000 years: it let mankind develop agriculture, build societies and create civilisation.

But from 1850, and particularly from 1900, GHGs in the atmosphere have increased greatly. The graph at NASA: https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/carbon-dioxide/ shows CO2 in the atmosphere for the past 800,000 years.

Atmospheric CO2 has been measured directly since 1958. We know about CO2 in the atmosphere before then from ice cores.

The rapid increase since 1850 is because mankind has been emitting CO2 from burning coal, oil and gas.

We can use nature to capture GHGs from the atmosphere, for example by planting trees that capture CO2 through photosynthesis. We can also capture GHGs when generating electricity and when making cement, steel and fertilisers, and then store those GHGs underground, for example in oil fields.

But this industrial carbon capture and storage is still small scale. At present GHGs in the atmosphere are increasing as we emit more than we capture. The world is warming. July, August and September this year were the hottest recorded for those months.

Contrary to what Charles Wardrop implies, halting the increase in atmospheric GHGs is key to halting global warming (Oxford University ‘What is net zero’); but no one, that I know of, is thinking of reducing CO2 in the atmosphere to only 160 parts per million from the present 420 ppm.

The increase of atmospheric GHGs is a well established scientific fact (US Environmental Protection Agency ‘Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data’, British Geological Survey ‘The greenhouse effect’, as well as World Metereological Organisation, NASA and Oxford University cited above).

Dermot Williamson


* * *

Contact us with your worrying NHS delays for cardiology checks

Waiting times for cardiology appointments in Scotland are at record levels and have more than doubled since before the Covid pandemic.

Between September 2016 and June 2023, the number of people waiting for an appointment rose from 10, 496 to 22,720.

In the last year alone, the waiting list has grown by 6,000.

The British Heart Foundation is deeply concerned by these figures, not least because deaths from heart and circulatory diseases are also increasing in Scotland.

Last year, 18,073 people (around 50 a day) died from heart and circulatory diseases – this is the highest number of deaths since 2008.

At the BHF we know that delays in the diagnosis and treatment of a heart condition can have devastating consequences.

As also understand the human impact behind these figures – the families dealing with grief and loss, worry and anxiety.

That’s why we are asking members of the public who have been impacted by cardiology waiting times to get in touch with us.

If you are willing to share your experience of waiting for a cardiology appointment in Scotland with the BHF please email scotland@bhf.org.uk or call 0131 555 5891 to speak to our team.

David McColgan

Head of British Heart Foundation Scotland

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