Harris Golf Club: open on Sunday or else....

Harris Golf Club

Current newspaper reports carry news of the increasing, subtle and not-so-subtle pressures on organisations from secular grant-funding agencies.

Sportscotland which is the national agency for sport in Sotland are threatening to withhold financial assistance to Harris Golf Club unless the course is open on Sundays. This policy contrasts with that of other funding agencies which have attached no such stipulations or conditions regarding financial support.

Of the setting one writer has said: "The course, sloping to the Atlantic is one of the most spectacular on earth  (Ian Wooldridge/Daily Mail), whilst another afficionada spoke of it as: "... the course, clinging to the side of a hill which runs down to the Atlantic Ocean and Scarista Beach, whose sands make Malibu look like a playschool sandpit."

As an irony in the affair, it has been reported that the land on which the course stands was originally donated by local crofters and the church. However a claim has been made that under equality legislation which covers accessibility to all, regardless of religion, belief gender, race, disability or age the funding could be denied.

Western Isles MP, Angus MacNeil is involved in the issue and is assisting the Club, which has 700 life members throughout the world.

Christians Together, 06/02/2009

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Donald Key (Guest) 08/02/2009 20:21
Confused...what is wrong with playing golf on a sunday?

It is amusing that the argument suggests it is wrong to put restrictions on the funding, yet the course is restricted to six days use only, Jesus used to call this hypocrisy. This is public money and therefore should be for a use that benefits the public, secular and religious.
Anyway I have a solution, the church can donate the £75000 if it is the church imposing the sunday restriction.
If we don't want the worlds desires placed on us then maybe we should have nothing to do with the worlds money.
Penny Lee 08/02/2009 20:55
I actually agree with your last sentence and this illustrates the problems encountered with accepting funding from organisations which then hold control over how things are managed.

One thing I would say though is that those who want the golf course to stay closed on Sundays also pay their taxes and so we all contribute to the bodies which grant funding.

Plenty of organisations have a day in the week when they do not open. Seems it only matters when this day is a Sunday. Since when did everything we want to do and visit have to be open every day of the year?
Donald Key (Guest) 08/02/2009 23:14
I just think that if the funder (in this case) requests that you open on a sunday and you do not want to, then do not accept the funding
Jesus paid his taxes but never went to the High Priest for travel expenses for his 3 year tour of Judea.
Colin (Guest) 08/02/2009 23:17
Many small rural golf courses simply have an "honesty box" for payment at the weekends. I can think of several who operate this policy and it seems to work well.

I suspect however that the objection to playing golf is nothing to do with having to employ someone on a sunday and more to do with not wanting people enjoying themselves with "worldly pleasures". Cant have pleasure now can we?

At least not outdoors where you can be seen.....

Anyway, a complete aside, but the world famous Old Course at St Andrews is closed on a Sunday - its in order to give the greens a chance to recover! Maybe there is a moral to that?
Penny Lee 09/02/2009 00:10
'he world famous Old Course at St Andrews is closed on a Sunday - its in order to give the greens a chance to recover! Maybe there is a moral to that?'

I think there is! And the same applies to human beings. I don't do housework on a Sunday any more than is absolutely necessary - not because I think it's wrong but because I want a day off where I can be completely guilt free of any prompting that I could cut the grass or hang out a washing in good weather. No, I've used it to relax, spend time with my husband and children and recharge my batteries. We've taken our children to the beach to play on a Sunday because it was the only day we could find the time due to work commitments.

If only people could realise that Sunday off is not so we can sit bored stiff at home afraid to 'enjoy' ourselves. Quite the reverse and I really look forward to my Sunday where I can chill out and not expect others to work in order for me to do what I want.
Donald Key (Guest) 09/02/2009 08:59
I have met many Lords Day people who do all the stuff they want to do on a Sunday on the Saturday (going to cinema etc), they then do nothing on the Sunday.

But surely the command says 'six days you shall work', yet how many of these people actually work on a Saturday?

I go shopping on a Sunday, go to cinema, watch football etc, but I do not work...simple really
Peter Carr 09/02/2009 09:31
The whole Lord's day thing leaves me somewhat confused! In my bible I read that the Lord took the Pharisees etc to task over their legalistic approach to such matters, an example being in the Gospels where Jesus was going through the fields of corn on the Sabbath with His disciples. My understanding is that the Sabbath back then was a Saturday!

The other thing that I have come to understand over the 11 years that I have been a 'Born Again' believer is that true Christianity is a relationship, not a religion, and that God has given Christians (Born Again of His Spirit) freedom in Christ, as well as a conscience to work out what He by His Spirit is working in to our lives.

My concern about the Lord's Day people is this;
Is God really so 'bound up' as they suggest, or is it simply a matter of human interpretation? If the latter, please allow each individual to work it out as the Lord directs!
John Parker (Guest) 09/02/2009 09:57
Peter makes a valid point - "My understanding is that the Sabbath back then was a Saturday!"

(Unfortunately those who hold to the Saturday are often more legalistic than those who choose to rest on Sunday.)

To insist on slavish observance (by the church on Christians) is legalism (Rom 14:5 Col 2:16) and to enforce it on non-believers is religious facism.

However, in this case, if it is the community wish to have the club closed (perhaps a debatable point) then it is surely wrong for Sportscotland to withhold funding in order for them to impose their own particular dogma.

I am sure (as Andrea earlier pointed out) that there are many publicily-funded facilities that are closed on a Sunday.
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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Archive > Around the Region > Western Isles > Harris Golf Club: open on Sunday or else....