Dave Brackenridge, wearing a black jumper with a microphone in his hand and lectern infront of him, evangelises to an audience live on YouTube.

Humanist Society comments on links between evangelical pastor and charity working in primary schools

November 13, 2023

An article in The National reveals that Dave Brackenridge is the CEO of Rookie Rockstars, a charity operating in several Scottish primary schools. He was recently recorded making comments about the First Minister, Rishi Sunak (whom he mistakenly calls a Sikh), and transgender women.

Our CEO has commented on the news that the CEO of a music-led charity working in primary schools is also a pastor at the evangelical Home Church. During a livestreamed sermon on YouTube, Dave Brackenridge called Humza Yousaf a “godless leader” and described his election as first minister as a “scheme of Satan.” He instructed listeners to “pray” for Yousaf, whom he calls “Hamza Yousaf,” and for Rishi Sunak, whom he calls “Ricki” and identifies as Sikh. He praised Kate Forbes for sticking to her Christian principles, something he said made her “unelectable” as first minister. Commenting on transgender women, he expressed disbelief that “I could say I’m a lassie and stoat into a women’s dressing room.”

During a livestreamed sermon on YouTube, Dave Brackenridge called Humza Yousaf a ‘godless leader’ and described his election as first minister as a ‘scheme of Satan’.

Rookie Rockstars states on its website that it gives primary school children “the best week of school ever.” Children work with musicians to record songs to CD while discussing issues like bullying. The charity also offers counselling services and describes its work as improving children’s “mental health and wellbeing.” Rookie Rockstars has been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. The organisation has confirmed it is investigating the comments. Brackenridge’s church, Home Church, is also a registered charity. It has congregations in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, and the east of Glasgow.

Brackenridge’s sermon is another clear example of concerted attempts to import Christian Nationalism into Scotland inspired by many US based online preachers.

Fraser Sutherland, CEO, Humanist Society Scotland

You can read the full exposé of Brackenridge and Rookie Rockstars, published in The National on 12 November, here. Below is the full statement from our CEO Fraser Sutherland:

Parents in schools where this pastor has been invited will be concerned to hear their children are being counselled by someone who believes ‘satan’ is literally behind democratic appointments in the UK because those leaders are not Christians. It will also be highly concerning for Hindu, Muslim and non-religious parents that an individual who sees their beliefs as a problem to be solved through Christian evangelism is being invited into classrooms across central Scotland. 

Local Authorities have a legal obligation under the Equality Act to ensure people of all faiths and none are equally treated in their service provision. This includes children in schools. Brackenridge says in his sermon that it is the duty of him and his congregation to actively recruit people to Jesus in their workplace. He says he will do this ‘even if it costs me my job.’ This must immediately result in a suspension of his work in schools. Proselytising to school pupils is totally incompatible with Equality Act duties and government guidance for schools on religion and belief.

Brackenridge’s sermon is another clear example of concerted attempts to import Christian Nationalism into Scotland inspired by many US based online preachers. The idea that people of other beliefs or those of no religious belief should be shunned from high office because they are not Christian displays a disturbing attempt to sow division at a time where cross community cohesion is more important than ever.

Title image: Dave Brackenridge during a livestreamed sermon. Image from The National

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