Reverend Ian Galloway, convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society Committee, said today: “I made some comments today in a debate at the Scottish Parliament about assisted suicide with regard to the awarding of medals to soldiers in response to the issue being introduced by Margo MacDonald MSP.
In attempting to question the church's position on the sanctity of life, in her promotion of legislation to legalise assisted suicide, Margo Macdonald said: “the state gives soldiers medals for killing people.” I believe that this was an inappropriate metaphor but my reply to her question did not reflect this.
“What I would want to say is that we rightly recognise valour in combat rather than the act of killing and it is that valour that we award medals for.
“The giving of medals to soldiers for bravery in the field of battle is of the utmost importance and many courageous soldiers throughout history have rightly received recognition for their heroic acts.
“I stand by the view that war is tragic and deaths through war are tragic – both of combatants and untold civilians of any nationality.
“I have the utmost respect for the commitment and sacrifice that our service-men and women make on our behalf. Only this week I was in discussion with service chaplains about how we can better support them in pastoral care on behalf of those who serve in the front line and the veterans who often require our support after their time in the Armed Forces.”