SCoJeC Rebukes Church of Scotland Over Report

May 3, 2013

The document from the Church and Society Council on "The Inheritance of Abraham" is an outrage to everything that interfaith dialogue stands for. It reads like an Inquisition-era polemic against Jews and Judaism. It is biased, weak on sources, and contradictory. The picture it paints of both Judaism and Israel is barely even a caricature. The arrogance of telling the Jewish people how to interpret Jewish texts and Jewish theology is breathtaking.


Rich Armbach

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 10:39

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Yaawwnnnn the " interfaith relations" blackmail again.
Happy I think you cleared the room.


Thu, 05/09/2013 - 17:24

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the church and society council starts its report by deliberately re-inventing a well-known racist misquotation …

It may well have been a Kirk minister, the Rev Alexander Keith, who coined the phrase "a land without people, for a people without land."

… and using that as the foundation for its attack on the early zionists

convener Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, vice-convener Rev Dr Chris Wigglesworth, and the 28 other council members ken full well that the quotation (mostly used by christian zionists, rather than by jewish ones) is, as the wikipedia article title shows …

the difference … which racists rely on … is that it enables them to claim that zionists falsely proclaimed that the land was empty ("without people"),

instead of that. although it had plenty of people (including, incidentally, a judeo-christian majority in jerusalem), those people were not "a people" (ie a nation)

Foster-Fulton, Wigglesworth, and the 28 others must have been aware of the difference

they must have known that the version they chose attributed a racist lie to the early zionists

they presumably consulted the wikipedia page, which contains many example of use of the quotation, in slightly different forms, but none of them as the council have quoted it!

the two or three members who actually wrote the report have deliberately used a false version which is unknown to scholarship, to support their prejudices

and the remaining twenty-something (who added their signatures to it) have not checked in good faith that this defamation of the early zionists … and, by implication, of the jewish people … was a true quotation

if just one of them had bothered to check in good faith by looking on the internet (or in almost any book), they would immediately have known that it was false

although (as SCoJeC and the BoD have pointed out) there are other more serious matters of complaint against this report,

i have concentrated on this one lie because there does not appear to any even remotely arguable defence to it …

any attempt by any of these thirty people to find a genuine usage by (christian or jewish) zionists could not possibly have resulted in the misquotation these thirty people actually put their names to …

someone has clearly made it up, and the rest have clearly made no good-faith attempt to verify, or even question, this remarkable lie attributed to the early zionists

the church and society council is the principal council of the church of scotland: see here

The council has 30 members. The convener is Rev Sally Foster-Fulton and vice-convener, Rev Dr Chris Wigglesworth.
The Council Secretary is Rev Ewan Aitken.

(the previous two conveners were Rev Ian Galloway and Mrs Morag Mylne, and the previous secretary was Rev Dr David Sinclair)
(for the council's publications, see here)

disciplinary complaints are governed by act iii of 2001 ("act anent discipline of ministers, licentiates, graduate candidates and deacons"), and are brought before the presbytery of which the minister is a member: s.2(2), and the presbytery may initiate proceedings whenever circumstances indicating that a disciplinary offence may have been committed come to their notice: s.3(1), and a disciplinary offence includes "conduct which is declared censurable by the word of god, act of the general assembly or established custom of the church": s.1(1)(a)(i)

i cannot find any standing orders relating specifically to misconduct within a church council: the "introduction to practice and procedure" is "currently under revision and is unavailable at this time"

btw, the queen is not responsible! … "The Queen is not the supreme governor of the Church of Scotland, as she is in the Church of England."


The Church and Society Council is the successor to the former Committees on Church and Nation, Education [and three others].
The Church and Nation Committee was founded in 1919.
In its early days, the Committee promoted an anti-Roman Catholic agenda.
Under the leadership of the Rev John White in 1923, the Committee published a highly-controversial (and since-repudiated) report entitled "The Menace of the Irish Race to our Scottish Nationality."
The report accused Roman Catholics of Irish birth or descent of being part of a conspiracy to subvert Presbyterian values and of being the principal cause of drunkenness, crime and financial imprudence.
In 2002, however, the General Assembly passed a resolution that "regrets any part played in sectarianism by our church in the past and affirm our support for future moves towards a more tolerant society".

wow … they found an irish conspiracy!

who next, i wonder?

this council, with its recently much-widened remit ("to engage on behalf of the Church in the national, political and social issues affecting Scotland and the world today. This includes a huge range of issues including human rights, asylum, ethics, science and technology, concerns about gambling, climate change and education issues."), is not fit for purpose …

its interfaith responsibility appears to have been taken over by a small prejudiced group whom the other members, interested in other parts of the remit, cannot be bothered to question


Tue, 05/14/2013 - 18:12

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the church of scotland has at last had second thoughts about this report!

the report itself has been removed from its website (it was at

(it can still be seen at

it has been replaced by a brief statement (issued yesterday, 9th may), here, starting …

The Church of Scotland and representatives of the Jewish Community in Scotland and the United Kingdom, held useful discussions facilitated by the Council of Christians and Jews this afternoon (Thursday 8 May). We agreed that the drafting of the report published by the Church and Society Council for discussion at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has given cause for concern and misunderstanding of its position and requires a new introduction to set the context for the report and give clarity about some of the language used.

near the end, it states (ungrammatically) what should have been blindingly obvious

Sitting round the table and listening to each other more deeply has created a real opportunity for both communities to better understand each other and that this report now becomes a catalyst for continued and growing conversation.


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