From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Saint Columba and the SNP: Scotland still hoping

Inchcolm Abbey (Photo by Michael Wills)
Inchcolm, an island in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, was named after St. Columba.  Inchcolm, meaning “Columba’s Island,” is derived from the Scottish Gaelic term Innis Choluim.

It was named such in the 12th century because it was allegedly
visited by St. Columba in 567 CE.  Having founded the Iona
Abbey circa 563 CE, Columba (aka Colm Cille) was already
becoming known for his miraculous Christian missionary work with the Picts.  He was also becoming known for his scholarly and literary accomplishments.  He had certainly come a long way from some of his youthful foibles.  It’s no wonder, then, that the Antiphoner of Inchcolm Abbey includes a 13th-century prayer that begins like this:  O Columba spes Scotorum… (“O Columba, hope of the Scots…”)

These days, the “hope of the Scots” is also somewhat resting in the Scottish National Party (SNP).  According to, the SNP recently “won 69 out of 129 seats in Edinburgh’s Holyrood
parliament…  up by more than 12 percentage points.”  With this victory will come the probable push for Scotland to become an independent nation (one that’s no longer part of the United Kingdom).   If that were to occur, Scotland would have a lot more ability to take a stand against certain international policies.

For example, the SNP is morally opposed to nuclear weapons, and would ban their use in Scotland. Despite Scotland’s North Atlantic strategic location, the SNP would also pull out of NATO.  The SNP already claims to have introduced “world beating” climate-change legislation that is designed to “cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.”  Alex Salmond, leader of the SNP, has also stated that the Iraq War was an “illegal, immoral conflict” that an independent Scotland would never have become involved in.

Sounds as if these proposed changes would be as miraculous as those that St. Columba introduced so long ago.  The future hope of Scotland and the world might lie therein.


Copyright June 9, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment