Alex Salmond has revealed that he prefers “people of faith to people of no faith or people who have lost their faith”.
The former First Minister, who is now the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman at Westminster, hailed his early victory over Donald Dewar in providing a weekly platform for religious and humanist speakers at Holyrood.
In a video for the Church of Scotland, Mr Salmond recalled how the late Labour first minister opposed the proposal as he “was sceptical of religion and he wanted to avoid having the same parody of prayers that they have in the House of Commons”.
Mr Salmond created the video with Rev Stuart MacQuarrie, Church of Scotland chaplain to the University of Glasgow, who delivered the opening Time For Reflection of the new session of parliament this week.
Mr Salmond said: “I am biased, of course, because I am a Church of Scotland adherent and I prefer people of faith to people of no faith or people who have lost their faith.
“All denominations have a key role to play in society and we are very fortunate in Scotland because we have a tremendous ability, among religions and denominations, to come together and support good causes.”
He added: “A long time ago I had a hand in establishing Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament, back in 1999.
“Indeed, it was the only vote I won against the late Donald Dewar because he was somewhat sceptical of religion – a great man incidentally – but sceptical of religion and he wanted to avoid having the same parody of prayers that they have in the House of Commons.
“So, we came up with Time for Reflection where all religions and the humanists get a shot.
“It provides a good way to start the parliamentary week or, in this case, the parliamentary session.”