Popish nick-nackets or icon of freedom?

Peter Howson's portrait of St John Ogilvie

Kevin McKenna in the Observer dismissed Peter Howson's portrait of St John Ogilvie as another trinket in a gaudy cathedral that was a monument to vanity. In the Scottish Catholic Observer, David Kerr responds with an appreciation of the portrait and uses the opportunity to point to the significance of St John Ogilvie's martyrdom today, listing various ways in which an increasingly intolerant state is squeezing our freedoms. (See: Monument to a martyr reminds us to fight for our religious freedoms)

Kevin McKenna suggests that he might be being churlish and unduly rebarbative. He should read his Walter Scott for a good example of how to do this with style. In a quotation I have used before, here is how Andrew Fairservice speaks of the Kirk in in Rob Roy:
Ah! it's a brave kirk — nane o' yere whig-maleeries and curliewurlies and opensteek hems about it — a' solid, weel-jointed mason-wark, that will stand as lang as the warld, keep hands and gunpowther aff it. It had amaist a douncome lang syne at the Reformation, when they pu'd doun the kirks of St. Andrews and Perth, and thereawa', to cleanse them o' Papery, and idolatry, and image worship, and surplices, and sic like rags o' the muckle hure that sitteth on seven hills, as if ane wasna braid eneugh for her auld hinder end. Sae the commons o' Renfrew, and o' the Barony, and the Gorbals and a' about, they behoved to come into Glasgow no fair morning, to try their hand on purging the High Kirk o' Popish nick-nackets.

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