Losing faith

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A REPRESENTATIVE of an Israeli organisation has been quoted as saying that – even after revision – the Church of Scotland statement on Palestine and Israel “is ‘patronising’ in its attitude to legitimate Jewish concerns”.

Much the same attitude is evident in the Church’s statements on the legal privilege that it enjoys, along with the Catholic Church in Scotland, in nominating voting members of the local authority education committees where it claims that these legally-required Christian representatives can “transcend party divisions” and wisely exercise the balance of power in 19 of Scotland’s 32 education committees.

These arguments sound similar to those currently used by mullahs in Iran to justify their manipulations of the electoral system. What can do more to undermine faith in democracy than these failing and divided churches with declining membership, now representing between them at most only one in three of the population, exercising such power over the councillors who were elected in May last year? Is it not time for our elected representatives to seek to liberate our local authorities from theocratic control?

Norman Bonney

Palmerston Place

Edinburgh