It is difficult not to be intrigued by the new-found determination of the Free Church of Scotland - a body popularly held to epitomise religious intolerance and a censorious view of life - to publicly engage more fully with the wider world.
It no longer addresses only the narrow concerns so frequently and enthusiastically lampooned in the media it now informs.
Last week Free Church ministers in the Highlands wrote to Transport Secretary Keith Brown urging him to dual the A9 as a matter of urgency - because they didn't want to conduct any more funerals from accidents on the road.
The week before a Free Church minister in Dundee was billed as the first Scottish church leader to publicly condemn the homophobic Vladimir Putin regime over its treatment of minority groups in Russia.
Rev David Robertson denounced Putin as "a fascist communist whose autocratic reign is the very antithesis of everything Jesus Christ is about".
While still opposed to gay marriage and accepting the "biblical teaching" about homosexuality, he was clear: "It is our responsibility to care for and protect any homosexual who is faced with that kind of bullying. We unequivocally condemn it as of the devil, rather than of Christ."
It is just not the sort of statement that would have been expected from the Free Church a few years back. But some sort of glasnost within has been increasingly obvious.
In April the church displayed genuine ecumenical credentials in appointing a Church of England minister to a congregation in St Andrews.
The month before Free Church ministers on Skye wrote an open letter to their MSPs urging them to reverse the Scottish Government's decision to lease the shooting and fishing rights of the Raasay Crofters' Association to a stalking firm in South Ayrshire.
And a year ago it resisted calls of a boycott of the visit of Richard Dawkins, the world-famous atheist, to the Hebridean Book Festival, on Lewis. Stornoway Free Church minister Reverend Iver Martin welcomed the visit as an opportunity for debate.
So what's happening in the church born in the Disruption of 1843, which now has 12,500 worshipping in 104 congregations across Scotland?
According to a church spokesman, the Free Kirk has always spoken out. "However there have been some significant changes which mean that we are being heard a little more," he said.
"Professor Donald Macleod [former Free Church College Principal] once said that the press would only be interested in our opinion of the nuclear bomb if we announced that it should not be dropped on the Sabbath. The Wee Free stereotype of at best a quaint backward Highland church and a worst a bunch of dour hypocritical joyless mean-spirited Tartan Taliban, is now being challenged and seen for what it is - sheer prejudice."
Certainly the Free Church, and the Free Presbyterians, have long been the subject of the sort of ridicule that would be considered unacceptable if directed at other faiths and denominations.
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