I AM not a member of the Church of Scotland, but I think Alan Taylor is being far from fair in his accusation that "where there are fences to be found, they sit on them" ("Time the Kirk spoke out on real issues", The Herald, July 4).
On the contrary, I find that my fellow Christians of the Church of Scotland have given exemplary Christian witness in the one issue which dwarfs all others in its moral dimension.
The great Russian physicist and "father" of the Soviet H-Bomb, Andrei Sakharov, wrote: "The struggle against nuclear war must take precedence over every other human activity and interest." He should know, and he was right. Along with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, the Church of Scotland has been unequivocal in its condemnation of the UK's weapon of mass destruction, Trident.
Scottish Clergy Against Nuclear Arms (Scana) does excellent work in promoting the anti-nuclear cause, and this Easter organised a successful ecumenical event at the gates of the Faslane nuclear-weapon base. Participants included the Very Rev Alan McDonald (on behalf of the Moderator), the Rt Rev Joseph Toal (Bishop of Argyll and the Isles), Kathy Galloway (head of Christian Aid Scotland), the Rev Peter Macdonald (leader of the Iona Community) and the Rev David Mumford (of the Scottish Episcopal Church). This was real, practical ecumenism in action, and was an inspiring event. No fence-sitting there.
The real problem is: will the Christian Churches have the courage and integrity to recognise that in the oncoming referendum, there is only one choice which will bring an end to Trident, and that is independence? All the Unionist parties support the present deployment of Trident. Therefore, a vote for Unionism is a vote for Trident.
Brian M Quail,
2 Hyndland Avenue, Glasgow.
I AM sure that the thoughtful ,some would say provocative, views of Alan Taylor will have resonated with many. One may well ask: whither our national church? While the Church of Scotland can be criticised for a lack of forthrightness in relation to decision-making in a number of areas and for finding an appropriate fence to sit upon such as the ongoing saga concerning same-sex marriage, it is clear that for many men and women in Scotland today the Church has become of less interest and, as a result, of less importance to their lives. Sabbath Day observance and church-going have been replaced in many families with activities such as golf, football, shopping, the local hostelry, or even just duvet days. That is their prerogative.
However, some of us can remember times when the Church of Scotland, through its Church and Nation Committee, made thoughtful and meaningful pronouncements on matters of moment for our country such as the dangers of communism, nuclear war, widely-available television and the effects on the morality of the public. Could it indeed be that "those days are past now, and in the past they must remain?"
Ian W Thomson,
38 Kirkintilloch Road,
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