Jewish leaders dropped from faith lobby in UK

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From the London Times:

Jews and Unitarians are to be excluded from the main body set up to lobby the Government on behalf of Britain's religious communities, The Times has learned.

The Chief Rabbi's United Synagogue, the country's leading Orthodox Jewish body, and the Unitarians, spiritual home to Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the world wide web, are to be excluded from membership in a proposal to be debated at a meeting this afternoon.

The Churches Main Committee, which lobbies the Government on legislation in all areas except faith and education, is also to exclude the Christian Scientists and the Seventh Day Adventists in a reform of its structure proposed in a review chaired by Tory MP Peter Bottomley.

Steve Dick, Unitarian chief executive, said: "We are deeply disappointed. It seems to be a very retrograde step. This is surely not the way for religions to address the 21st century. It speaks almost of a desperation, which seems sadly to be reflected in some of the other aspects of what is happening with our Anglican brothers and sisters, where they are tearing themselves apart over sexuality.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, Politics

Posted June 27, 2007 at 6:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Tom Roberts wrote:

I guess that recalling the York Massacre isn’t sufficient reason to recognize that numbers don’t reflect the historical claims of Jewry on the English conscience.

June 27, 11:22 pm | [comment link]
2. Brian from T19 wrote:


I was actually at that tower when I visited York and always wondered what it was.

But I must be reading you wrong-are you actually making the David Duke revisionist/relavitist “there are never as many as ‘they’ claim there are” argument?

June 27, 11:47 pm | [comment link]
3. Tom Roberts wrote:

Sorry Brian, perhaps I needed less sarcasm and more specificity.

If you didn’t kill them off at critical times and make them unwelcome for most of your history, there might be more Jews in the UK to make the numerical pro rations better in making up this committee. There is such a thing as a historical debt, especially when it can repaid as cheaply as giving up one committee seat.

For purposes of my own nation’s historical debts, I would consider formal respect of Native American religious precepts and general needs as being an equally compelling claim. Even if there are only nominal Indian followers of long dead cults.

Edited by elf.

June 28, 12:00 am | [comment link]
4. Brian from T19 wrote:


I was worried for a mi9nute!  I’m with you 100%

June 28, 12:12 am | [comment link]
5. Sarah1 wrote:

At first I was shocked at the headline.  Then, upon further investigation, I discovered that the Islamics and others are excluded also, with the point being that this is to be a lobbying body for Christian denominations.

Were the Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus included I’d be very horrified.  But since they are not, than the exclusion of the Jewish leaders is also understandable.  Furthermore, the fact that the body is to be a Christian body also makes understandable that the Unitarians are excluded, since they proudly proclaim all religions as equal anyway.

June 28, 10:27 am | [comment link]
6. Sarah1 wrote:

Here’s the key quote at the bottom of the story:

“If actual membership was expanded to include everyone, administrative costs would rocket, he said. The aim is to give a kind of associate membership to Unitarians, Jews, Muslims and other non-Trinitarian religious bodies. When a legislative topic comes up that affects one of these groups in particular, they will be brought into consultations. “The purpose is to make it more useful to more people more often,” said Mr Bottomley.”

June 28, 10:28 am | [comment link]
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