KEVIN McKenna asks if those who vote for the Conservative Party are able to do so and remain true to their Christian beliefs where they have them ("Can we reconcile Christian faith with voting Conservative?", The Herald November 23). There is likely to be a reaction of annoyance or disbelief from many of a Tory persuasion that the question is even being posed in the first place.

However, I know of where there would probably have been an answer in the negative. By that I mean from the founder and first parliamentary leader of the Labour Party, who said in 1908: "My work has consisted of trying to stir up divine discontent with wrong." Christianity was an important element in his life. He firmly believed that wealth and property were to be shared, thus alleviating social deprivation, the blight of poverty and inequality. He was upset profoundly by churches, which reflected the differences in class and by those wealthy Christians who displayed hypocrisy by tolerating the situation where many people lived in dire circumstances eventually to die in poverty. Some of what Hardie railed against in the 19th and early 20th centuries remains evident today, albeit on a different scale and sometimes in different forms. It is an indictment, for example, that we have the need for food banks and that child poverty still exists. One can only wonder what Hardie would have made of the Tory Government today under Boris Johnson.

Mr McKenna refers to the "brave attempt" by the Catholic Church in Scotland to play a role in this year's General Election. A letter, approved by bishops, offers some guidance reflecting Roman Catholic beliefs and principles. I view that as a significant and commendable step by the responsible authorities in that church. I look forward to other churches following their lead.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

CATHOLICS in Scotland are being told by religious leaders to elect individuals who reflect their beliefs in the upcoming General Election.

It seems that this is a private initiative which doesn’t involve privileged religious platforms or unelected seats in governmental bodies.

Accordingly, while we may or may not agree with some of the policies that bishops hope to find in a candidate, we absolutely support their right to this campaign.

Neil Barber

Edinburgh Secular Society, Edinburgh EH12.

KEVIN McKenna ends his article with the words “As a Catholic I’m asked to believe that my church retains the full deposit of faith; that though other religions might have part of the truth, we see the whole of the moon, as it were. Herein lies the unacknowledged cause of sectarianism in Scotland. Roman Catholic spiritual imperialism refused to recognise Protestants fully as Christians. Thus social barriers were set up and in spiritual terms still exist today. Perversely, Catholics have succeeded in blaming Scotland and Protestantism solely for discrimination. Yet in the greatest of all apartheids, that which rejects inclusion at Holy Communion, the Roman Catholic Church maintains its superiority and exclusivity over other Christians to this day, as Mr McKenna admits.

Rev Dr Robert Anderson, Dundonald.