TO the Edinburgh Festival Fringe once more which seems to have become a mere sideshow to a travelling circus of performing, professional politicians.

Almost every high-profile Scottish politician has taken to the stage this year to provide us with a daily feast of newsworthy tales. 

Among them was Kate Forbes, whom some consider to be the leader in waiting for the SNP once the curtain comes down on the clown show they’ve been performing since the sudden and unexplained resignation of Nicola Sturgeon. 

Ms Forbes, like all the rest of this year’s cast, duly treated us to some juicy snippets. Among them was her quip that the Second Coming of Jesus might happen sooner than a second referendum on independence. 

The saviour of the world could return at any time, said the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, but the second coming of the fabled independence referendum could “take a bit of work”. 

It was a decent enough line and much wittier than the joke that was voted best in class at this year’s comedy festival

Predictably, though, it was mocked by some sections of Scottish society for whom the idea of a Christian expressing Christian beliefs causes them to reach for the Diocalm. It was this sort of nonsense, they implied, that showed why it was good that she narrowly lost the SNP’s leadership election. 

Saviour’s day
AS we’re sure you are all aware, the parousia is central to all Christian eschatology. It simply states that the saviour will return to Earth at some point following his ascension into heaven around 2,000 years ago. 

Matthew’s Gospel gives us a somewhat vivid and dramatic account of what will happen when Jesus returns. Basically, we’d all better be in good ethical fettle if we want to join him in Paradise. 

Writes Matthew: “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

“Two women shall be grinding at the mill – the one shall be taken, and the other left.

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

“But know this – that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
So it’s official then: the Second Coming could happen at any time. It’s just that when Christians dare to state what they consider to be the truth according to their faith, it’s simply not acceptable in some dark corners of civic Scotland.

The Herald:

Herd on the Vine
A DAY or so later, the English newspaper columnist Sarah Vine was similarly derided for expressing a belief in The Almighty.

Reacting to the Lucy Letby case, she said: “In the same way that seeing that beautiful rainbow over Windsor the day the Queen died confirms one’s belief in God … the Lucy Letby case makes me wonder whether the Devil really does walk among us.”

Yet, this too, like Ms Forbes’s observation at the Fringe, was a simple expression of personal faith. 

May I direct them to the King James Version of 1 Peter 5: 8? “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

The Diary is a relaxed chiel who wants everyone to be comfortable in their own skin and – to paraphrase the great JK Rowling – live their best lives. 

We understand that many don’t share our belief that Jesus is the Son of God and that He might reappear any time soon. But we’ll still keep batting for you. 

All we ask is the freedom to express some aspects of our faith from time to time without being made to feel like social outcasts. 

Water to whine 
OF course, we’re saying all this, but sometimes Christians can also get into the cancel culture when you seek to introduce some droll repartee into the proceedings. 

This occurred over an article we had written for the old Catholic Observer some time ago.

In this, we had suggested that sitting at the top of our favourite all-time miracles was the one where Jesus turns the water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. 

It resulted in calls by some ultramontane types for us to be sacked for not taking the word of God seriously enough. 

How reassuring and life-affirming, we wrote, that on his miracle-performing debut the Son of God chose to make gallons of wine at his pal’s wedding so that the event could proceed with a shimmy. 

Nor did Jesus even have to worry about being vigilant for that unknown hour when The Lord might come unannounced. Because at that point He wasn’t yet done with his first coming.