A moral choice

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The Church of Scotland’s report, Our Vision: Imagining Scotland’s Future, is an abrogation of pastoral and prophetic responsibility (your ­report, 27 February).

It assumes theoretical opinion forming without practical ­application is sufficient for the most momentous political ­decision to be taken in Scotland for 300 years.

For decades General Assemblies have noisily advocated unilateral nuclear disarmament. Some Moderators have indulged their office by participating in demonstrations at Faslane.

Yet there is no recognition in the report that the SNP wishes to abolish nuclear weapons in ­Scotland.

Similarly, the SNP indicates commitment to significantly greater social justice, an aspiration much voiced by the Church every year but not recognised in the report.

Why does the Church have an American as convener of the Church and Society Council at this crucial time in Scotland’s history? America’s declared policy is that it does not want Scotland to become an independent nation.

The launch of Imagining Scotland’s Future was accompanied by a photograph of four women. Do men have no part in the ­future? Is this the sisterhood agenda?

Silence equals the status quo. The clear message from the Church of Scotland is to vote No. That is a reasonable ­position in itself. What is not acceptable is to pretend to be metaphysically ­impartial.

(Rev Dr) Robert Anderson

Blackburn & Seafield Church

MacDonald Gardens

Blackburn, West Lothian

I am getting somewhat depressed by the increasingly ­aggressive tone of the independence debate.

And so I find the Church of Scotland report a breath of fresh air and a welcome counter to the worsening sterility of the political debate in which name calling seems to be considered, in ­certain quarters, the way to win the ­argument.

Unfortunately, it may well be so but it is no way to lay the ­foundations for future relations between the Scots and the ­English peoples whatever the outcome (Bill Jamieson: “Velvet divorce is far from the truth”, ­Perspective, same issue).

I hope Our Vision encourages the citizens of Scotland to wrest the debate out of the hands of the partisans, by which I mean those who will vote Yes or No no ­matter what and who are just not listening to the concerns of the rest of us.

John Milne

Ardgowan Drive

Uddingston, Lanarkshire

It is heart-warming that a report emanating from discussions held by the Church of Scotland with some 900 people from both sides of the independence debate ­indicates that personal prosperity ­appears as number 53 in their list of ­priorities.

The main priorities identified by this group for a Scotland of the future focused on “integrity and community and the achievement of greater equality, justice and fairness”.

Now, although the Church has taken a neutral stance on independence, the pointer for the undecided might be to note that in the unremittingly negative campaign mounted by supporters of the Union, these words have completely failed to materialise.

The big issues that have dominated the debate relate to Trident, the pound, membership of the European Union and oil.

As has been stated before, as important as these issues are, they are the kind of obstacles which have been encountered by ­dozens of countries that have ­successfully overcome them on the way to independence.

These four aspects should be set in the context of how they impact on the generation of ­national wealth and how an independent Scotland would spend it to create the more just, fair and equal society referred to above – a society wherein the most vulnerable are valued and supported.

This dichotomy relating to the fear of the loss of personal wealth as opposed to the more equitable sharing of national wealth is apparent in contributions supplied by writers to your letters pages.

I believe the potential effect on personal wealth has been too dominant in the debate and is perhaps one of the most crucial characteristics which divide us.

That perhaps and the perception that we have one side ruled by fear and the other buoyed by hope, but needing to do more to express our awareness of the ­reality that taking charge of our destiny will be challenging.

Douglas Turner

Derby Street

Edinburgh

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