On the eve of the referendum in the United Kingdom on whether they should leave the European Union I wanted to very quickly look at where various Presbyterians stand on the issue.
To my knowledge, the only top governing body or denomination that has taken a stand is the 2016 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland which endorsed remaining in the European Union. In the article the convener of the Church and Society Council, the Rev. Sally Foster Fulton, says that it is a work in progress and remaining is the only way to influence the transformation.
While the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has not taken a stand, they did publish an article to help people understand the referendum and think about it.
If there is another official denominational voice on this please let me know and I would be happy to update.
There are some prominent individual voices that have weighed in so sticking with the Church of Scotland one of those voices is the Hanna Mary Goodlad, the Moderator of the National Youth Assembly, who was highlighted in a separate article articulating reasons to stay. She tied it to her trip to the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial Centre and Cemetery in Bosnia where more than 5,000 people are buried, the scene of the worst European genocide since World War II. The message was Europe is more peaceful and stable if it is united.
There are prominent individual voices on the other side. One of these is the Rev. David Robinson, the immediate past Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, who says that after spending no small amount of time studying the issue:
[Democracy] is for me the key issue. Those who make our laws should be accountable to those for whom they are made. The elected should answer to the electorate. The demos needs a democracy. And the European project is fundamentally at its core anti-democratic.
And for a very different perspective, from Northern Ireland we have the Rev. David McMillan of the Free Presbyterians who favors leaving. The article in the Irish Times talks about his view that the European Union was prophesied by Daniel and that “this union of nations would bring to a close ‘the Times of the Gentiles'(the end of the world)”.
I will leave it at that.
Our prayers are with the UK tomorrow as they make this important decision.