Tesco is a big red herring (April Synchroblog)

This month’s synchroblog is on the theme of Christianity and Social Justice.

Social justice is undoubtedly a Christian concern – it saturates the Bible, Jesus emphasises it, and the pursuit of it is a necessary constituent part of a faithful life. Over two thousand verses about poverty. And so on and so forth – this is all well and good.

There are various specific ways in which that concern for social justice can be pursued. For me, one aspect came in denouncing Tesco (eg http://elizaphanian.blogspot.com/2008/03/thou-shalt-not-shop-at-tesco-sermon.html). I’m coming to believe that this was – if not quite a mistake, then at least a misapplication of effort. Indeed, perhaps there was even a little spiritual sin involved.

After all Tesco itself is not completely bad – I don’t see much wrong in buying a CD from them for example – my concerns are primarily to do with their food business, in terms of its sustainability, vitality of produce and their treatment of food suppliers. On all these things Tesco seems particularly poor, irresponsible and short-sighted. It seems straightforward to me that shopping at, say, the Co-Op is significantly more supportive of social justice than buying your food at Tesco.

However, the real problem is the underlying system itself, within which it can make sense for a company to be as reckless about social justice as Tesco is. In other words, the problem is about corporate law and the financial markets, who oblige the authorities at Tesco to pursue short term profit margins. (One of the reasons why the co-op, or John Lewis, is much better.)

This system is at the root of much that ails our present world. It is why the peaking of the oil supply will be a catastrophe rather than a bump in the road. It is why global warming will harm more people than it need to. It is why governments are going to war to preserve their way of life. It is why the life in the oceans is denuded, the water available to much of humanity declining, the top soil depleted. There are lots of symptoms telling us that something is wrong, and lots of people objecting to symptoms.

What is the Christian task here – that is, what is the specifically Christian task? Obviously it is a good thing for Christians to be involved in trying to relieve the symptoms, to campaign for social justice, to advocate good environmental stewardship and so on.

Yet I believe the specifically Christian task is a separate one. The ideological system within which the likes of Tesco takes on its role has a specific spiritual root; it is a knotting together of idolatries – of Mammon in particular, but also an excessively high regard for both law and science. All of which are good things, but they have become distorted, elevated above themselves, and consequently they have become life-denying and destructive. As a society and culture we are worshipping false Gods. What we need to do is to proclaim the true God, the one who gives life in response to worship.

In this context, to spend time denouncing Tesco is to waste time that might be better spent digging out the spiritual roots, and teaching people what right worship actually consists in. It is a temptation – to succumb to a desire for control, to engage in a worldly struggle, possibly even a matter of pride – for if you fight an organisation as large and important in British life as Tesco, then some of the importance reflects back on you – and then the real you gets lost, and you become ‘the vicar who is fighting Tesco’, and the gospel is eclipsed.

Hence my present line of thought: Tesco is a big red herring. If Christians are serious about social justice, and right environmental stewardship, then our paramount task is simply this: we must preach the gospel. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.


Other people blogging on this theme today:

  • Cobus van Wyngaard at My Contemplations
  • Phil Wyman at Square No More
  • Mike Bursell at Mike’s Musings
  • Bryan Riley at at Charis Shalom
  • Steve Hayes at Khanya: Christianity and social justice
  • Reba Baskett at In Reba’s World
  • Prof Carlos Z. with Ramblings from a Sociologist
  • Cindy Harvey at Tracking the Edge
  • Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church
  • Matthew Stone at Matt Stone Journeys in Between
  • John Smulo at JohnSmulo.com
  • Sonja Andrews at Calacirian
  • Lainie Petersen at Headspace
  • Adam Gonnerman at Igneous Quill
  • KW Leslie: Shine: not let it shine
  • Stephanie Moulton at Faith and the Environment Collide
  • The Minster Model (March Synchroblog)

    Before there were parishes in England, there were Minsters. ‘Minster’ is simply another word for monastery, or monastic community. However, these Minsters were not enclosed orders, they were instead the central social and economic hub for a network of communities. The Minster church was a place for pursuing worship, prayer, study and formation in discipleship. There was room for specialisation in ministries given the concentration of resources, and these served as a resource for the surrounding communities known as parochiae – what became the parishes. The Minster model was fundamentally missional in orientation and concerned with evangelising and nurturing those local communities.

    The parish model succeeded the Minsters principally because the Minsters were successful in that evangelisation. The local communities, converted to the gospel, raised sufficient resource to employ their own local minister – often with the support of a wealthy local landlord who saw the establishment of a church on his land as a feather in his cap – and so, over time, was born the classic pattern of the English parson – the George Herbert model. In this context the work of the church was primarily one of pastoral care and maintenance, with the local minister being a more or less capable jack of all trades, providing for the sacramental and pastoral needs of the local community.

    There are several pressures acting upon the church today which, to my mind, make the restoration of the Minster model the way forward for the church.

    Amongst those pressures are:
    – the contraction of clergy numbers over time. The broader pattern is familiar, but I was surprised to discover recently that the local pattern is more alarming than I had realised – the Colchester area (ie North Essex) is facing a decline in stipendiary clergy of two posts per year for the foreseeable future;
    – the need for, and embrace of, the ministry of all the baptised, in this diocese called ‘Ministry as Partnership’, which has allowed a great many gifts to be explored and expressed in the life of the church;
    – an acknowledgement of the collapse in Christian belief amongst the wider population, and therefore the necessity to shift to a more missional model of church.
    We are now in a situation where the evangelistic success of the Minsters of England, a thousand years ago, has been destroyed. The population of England has just enough exposure and inherited acceptance of Christianity to inoculate it from genuine commitment and discipleship. In this context the inherited pattern of Christian life – local parishes and the George Herbert model of ministry – are incapable of being obedient to our Lord’s command to ‘go out and make disciples of all nations’.


    Other people writing on related themes this month:

    Phil Wyman at Phil Wyman’s Square No More

    Beth at Until Translucent

    Adam Gonnerman at Igneous Quill

    Steve Hayes at Notes from the Underground

    Jonathan Brink at JonathanBrink.com

    Sally Coleman at Eternal Echoes

    Brian Riley at at Charis Shalom

    Cobus van Wyngaard at My Contemplations

    Mike Bursell at Mike’s Musings

    David Fisher at Cosmic Collisions

    Alan Knox at The Assembling of the Church

    Erin Word at Decompressing Faith

    Sonja Andrews at Calacirian

    Images of love (February Synchroblog)

    Share the love:
    Phil Wyman at Phil Wyman’s Square No More
    Jenelle D’Alessandro at Hello Said Jenelle
    Billy Calderwood at Billy Calderwood
    Sally Coleman at Eternal Echoes
    Mike Bursell at Mike’s Musings
    Julie Clawson at One Hand Clapping
    Steve Hayes at Notes from the Underground
    Sonja Andrews at Calacirian
    David Fisher at Be the Revolution
    Erin Word at Decompressing Faith
    KW Leslie at The Evening of Kent
    Paul Walker at Out of the Cocoon
    Reba Baskett at In Reba’s World

    Eager longing (December Synchroblog)

    We have three small children – the eldest just five and a half – and you can imagine the sense of anticipation that is building as Christmas hoves into view. Now, given my views on commercial culture (see my LUBH talks) you might think that the way in which the children are so focused on ‘presents’ is something to be repudiated or frustrated. And yet, there is something here that is worth redeeming. And that is hope.

    For what the kids are doing is looking forward to something. They don’t know quite what it is – they’ve had all sorts of hints – but they are excited by it all, and it all seems a little bit magical. And then there is the day itself, with lots of celebrations and opening of presents and lots and lots of fun.

    Now it may well be that the attention given to presents – most especially the attention given to the receiving of presents, rather than the giving – is something that needs to be grown out of. But what is now clear to me is that this time is all about the hope and longing for something to come into a life – and that it is very important and healthy to nurture that hope.

    Imagine that such things were squashed and made pious; that such longings were replaced by more acceptable and formulaic religiosity. Something utterly essential would be lost. For that eager longing is something needed in our world. Some sense of possibility – that things will soon change – that we can achieve or obtain what we most desire – that seems to me to be healthy, and the adult expression of it – what we need when we consider the state of our world, what we need in order to deal with the state of our world – that is built on the foundations of small boys filled with eager longing for a castle, or a digger, or an Action Man.

    We need to nurture our eager longings. That way we might one day be revealed as children ourselves.


    A synchroblog is when a number of different bloggers agree to write on the same topic at the same time (I missed that last element this month).
    Redeeming the Season is the Topic for this month’s SynchroBlog. Now there are a variety of seasons being celebrated at the end of each year from Christmas to Hannukah to Eid al-Adha and Muharram, from the Winter Solstice to Kwanzaa and Yule. Some people celebrate none of these seasonal holydays, and do so for good reason. Below is a variety of responses to the subject of redeeming the season. From the discipline of simplicity, to uninhibited celebration, to refraining from celebrating, to celebrating another’s holyday for the purpose of cultural identification the subject is explored. Follow the links below to “Redeeming the Season.” For more holidays to consider see here

    Recapturing the Spirit of Christmas at Adam Gonnerman’s Igneous Quill
    Swords into Plowshares at Sonja Andrew’s Calacirian
    Fanning the Flickering Flame of Advent at Paul Walker’s Out of the Cocoon
    Lainie Petersen at Headspace
    The Battle Rages at Bryan Riley’s Charis Shalom
    Secularizing Christmas at JohnSmulo.com
    There’s Something About Mary at Hello Said Jenelle
    Geocentric Versus Anthropocentric Holydays at Phil Wyman’s Square No More
    Celebrating Christmas in a Pluralistic Society at Matt Stone’s Journeys in Between
    The Ghost of Christmas Past at Erin Word’s Decompressing Faith
    Redeeming the season — season of redemption by Steve Hayes
    Remembering the Incarnation at Alan Knox’ The Assembling of the Church
    A Biblical Response to a Secular Christmas by Glenn Ansley’s Bad Theology
    Happy Life Day at The Agent B Files
    What’s So Bad About Christmas? at Julie Clawson’s One Hand Clapping

    November Synchroblog on church and money

    Couldn’t participate in this one this month – but very interesting topic.

    November SynchroBlog
    What happens when you put two taboo subjects together and discuss their relationship with each other? Find out by following the links to this month’s SynchroBlog. Money and Church is the topic. Do you think they belong together? or is it a problem when they meet? Follow the links, and watch the fur fly!

    Do not be afraid (October Synchroblog)

    Better late than never – click full post for text.

    A late synchroblog this month – and I’m deliberately writing it before reading any of the others just to ensure that I have a little something to say!

    Our eldest has been invited to a Halloween party at his school, and my wife wondered what I made of it, ie should we let him go? I have little patience with the idea that allowing a child to attend a contemporary Halloween party is bad for their soul, but that could do with a little bit of unpacking just to make sure I’m not misunderstood. I believe that it is perfectly possible for children to enter into grave spiritual harm from exposure to the wider culture. Most of the products and mindsets advertised in between the cartoons, for example, damage the souls of children, which is why most of the TV which may children watch – and it’s highly restricted in the first place – is advertising free. I would even be open to the idea that there are elements of Halloween consumer rituals that can be specifically damaging, primarily through frightening an unwary child. Yet it seems to me that if the child of a Christian is damaged in that way then something has already gone wrong with their upbringing (or, more likely, something goes wrong with the response to the scare). What is going on at Halloween is spiritual warfare, ie the ghosties and ghoulies are released for a time (and half a time….) This is something that needs to be taught to children, ie how they are to cope with spiritual attack. (Sidetrack: one of the best things about Harry Potter is the invention of the Dementors – I’m sure that has been very helpful to parents of children who succumb to fears and depressions, and there is of course something very profound about the Expecto Patronum which dispels the fear….) To my mind there are really two key teachings that must be shared with children from the earliest age: that no demon can withstand the power of Christ, and that we carry the light of Christ within us. If a child is taught such things in a serious and considered way then I see no issue in their attending a Halloween party.

    This teaching of spiritual warfare needn’t be excessively detailed – that can wait for greater age – but to teach a child that the spiritual realm is real, that imagination is important in life, and that they have the capacity to move within it for good or ill – this seems pretty sane and sensible to me. Of course, the rationalist in me says ‘why don’t you just teach them that it’s all nonsense?’ – and I wouldn’t do that because it isn’t all nonsense. The imaginative realm, the spiritual side of our life – this underlies everything else, and is more REAL than anything else. So using Halloween to talk about the spiritual life, and what steps need to be taken to preserve oneself in that realm – this seems perfectly proper.

    Yet what is assumed here is that the parents are themselves able to engage in spiritual warfare – that they are themselves not emasculated by the presence of the darker side of life. I would argue that the incapacity to engage in spiritual struggle is a fairly clear indication of spiritual poverty, and that there seems to be a correlation between those who veer away from Halloween (or Harry Potter) and a shallow theological perspective. In other words, I think we as Christians are called to a much deeper and darker intimacy with the Lord than is sustainable in much contemporary Christian discussion. What I mean by this is that it’s not possible to develop any spiritual strength without literally and metaphorically getting our hands dirty, without going outside the places of safety. So often the reaction against Halloween or Harry Potter or anything else seems a replay of the Pharisaical purity laws, and a retreat into a Christian ghetto, that place of pure leaven uncontaminated by any bread, that gnostic, witless and disembodied corner of fearfulness. We are called to go outwards into the world, bearing the light, so that those who are in the darkness can be drawn to the light and thereby redeemed. If we can’t do that in the context of a Halloween party, how on earth will we be able to do that in the face of the ecological holocaust now coming down upon us?

    September Synchroblog: On astrology and faith

    This month’s synchroblog, on Christianity and neo-paganism – defined very generously! Click full post for text.

    In the days of my dissolute youth, ie when I was an aggressively atheist teenager, I spent a lot of time exploring the occult in general, and astrology in particular. I still have my set of tarot cards and a crystal ball (the latter of which can be useful for meditation!). I often muse upon Kahlil Gibran’s words from the Prophet, which I think describe that time in my life quite well:

    “Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts, it drinks even of dead waters.”

    Although I started down the journey of Christian faith when I was twenty, it took me a long time to perceive that there was anything spiritually harmful about astrology, so this is a brief post about what I have come to understand about it (and why, although I cannot ‘unknow’ what I know, I no longer cast horoscopes and so on).

    Let me begin by quickly touching on two areas of concern: Scriptural and scientific. Scripture seems to me to be ambiguous about astrology. On the one hand there are clear prohibitions against divination in both Old and New Testaments; on the other hand the great story which we celebrate at Christmas unambiguously has wise men being led to Christ by their astrological learning. Beyond that, passages like Ezekiel 1 are clearly informed by the Babylonian culture from which present day astrology derives, and the four beasts correspond to the four fixed signs of the zodiac – as do the four signs traditionally given to the four evangelists. As I say, an ambiguous picture.

    With regard to science I am well aware of all the arguments adduced on both sides of the debate – the Dawkinsesque dismissals and the statistical work of Michel Gauquelin, and my feeling is that this is a no-man’s land, blasted to smithereens, where no intelligent discernment is possible. My suspicion is that horoscopes may function as a type of Rorschach test and simply dig out material from our own unconscious, ie there is nothing external to the personality involved.

    However, I don’t really want to get involved in those two debates. What I want to say, albeit briefly, is why I think exploring astrological lore is at best unhelpful to our spiritual journey, and at worse actively malefic and harmful. My concerns centre on two things: motive and trust.

    For me, the thirst driving the exploration of astrology was a thirst for knowledge. I wanted to know what the ‘fates’ had in store for me. More subtly, and more defensibly, I used astrology as a means to greater self-knowledge. Whatever the objective truth of the situation – and whether it was simply coincidence or not – discovering the meaning of the various elements in my own chart was very helpful in allowing me to come to terms with the different bits of my personality. For example, the fact that I have Neptune (planet of spirituality) in my tenth house (career) would indicate a vocation towards something like priesthood (or psychotherapeutic practice or counselling). Pure coincidence! As it happens my own chart is full of contradictions and oppositions, and the language of astrology gave me a language to describe and then digest those contradictions (the process is by no means complete!). Also, most especially through the writings of Liz Greene (but see this), studying astrology gave me a reasonable knowledge of therapy, especially Jungian analysis, and that has been helpful as well.

    However, my thirst for knowledge wasn’t satisfied by self-knowledge, I wanted to know about other people, and I wanted to know about the world – about what was going to happen to it, what was going to happen to the people I loved (this is what is called horary astrology). This is where the dangerous side of astrology started to become clear to me. To begin with my experience was that nothing could be predicted, and I understood this to be simply a reflection of my own lack of expertise. So I studied and delved all the more deeply.

    God’s grace being what it is, however, I came to a realisation soon after turning thirty that the problem did not lie in my lack of expertise so much as in my motivation. That is, what was driving me was rooted in spiritual ill-health, principally fear and greed. I was afraid of bad things happening to me; I wanted to be in control of my life; I wanted to get a comparative advantage over those without this occult knowledge. I came to realise that all these motivations are antithetical to Christian faith; that in truth Christian faith is precisely the dissolving of such motivations.

    That discovery is what removed my motivation to explore astrology any more. What is at issue is whether we trust God or not; in particular, whether we trust God to lead us in our daily lives. If, for example, we pray, and we seek the light of Christ, and we trust that we will be shown what to do – then what need is there for this further knowledge that astrology claims to provide? More profoundly, astrological knowledge is something that is obtained by deceptive means, it doesn’t involve any personal engagement with a situation. It is always one step removed from reality (in that sense – and not in that sense alone – it bears a remarkably strong resemblance to scientific practice).

    My belief is that Christian understanding is always predicated on love – that a situation, and most especially a person, can only be known when they are loved; that love is the highest form of knowledge; that love is precisely a participation in the mind of God. This will, from a human point of view, always involve risk, putting something at stake. It cannot be fostered from a position of safety, for that is isolation from the other – love is precisely an engagement with the other. We are called, as Christians, to walk with faith – to trust that the Lord will enlighten our path, that we will be led forward in the way, even if only one step at a time – and, most profoundly of all, the path of faith is precisely the path of trusting in what may come, trusting that God is in charge and that in the end all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. The conclusion I reached was that astrology violates that approach and attitude – it is a snare of anti-faith, it is an inhibition of love – and that this is why divination is prohibited in such strong terms in Scripture. It’s not a question of knowledge, it’s not a question of whether astrology is ‘true’ or not – that’s beside the point from this perspective – it’s a question of whether we trust in God or not, whether we wish to develop our capacity for love. The thirst that drove me into the occult has found a living stream from which to drink, and now I simply want to learn how to love.

    Other people writing this month:

  • Matthew Stone at Matt Stone Journeys in Between
  • John Smulo at JohnSmulo.com
  • Steve Hayes at Notes from underground on Christianity, paganism and literature
  • Heathens and Pagans and Witches … oh my! at Calacirian
  • Erin Word at Decompressing Faith
  • Chasing the Wild Goose at Eternal Echoes
  • Visigoths Ahoy! at Mike’s Musings
  • Phil Wyman at Phil Wyman’s Square No More
  • Steve Hollinghurst at On Earth as in Heaven
  • Undefined Desire at Igneous Quill
  • A Walk on the Wild Side at Out of the Cocoon
  • Observations on Magic in Western Religion at My Contemplations
  • Tim Abbott at Tim Abbott
  • Spirituality and the Zodiac: Stories in the Cosmos at Be the Revolution
  • Rejection, Redemption, and Roots at One Hand Clapping
  • Inclusively fanatical (August Synchroblog)

    This is a bit late. Click ‘full post’ for text.

    Tim asked the very cogent question: what’s the difference between fanaticism and radical unconditional commitment? I think this gives a good way in to a brief discussion of inclusivity and exclusivity with respect to Christian faith.

    My answer to Tim is: it is all about where your attention rests. In other words, radical unconditional commitment is all about – in the healthy sense – loving God with all of your self: heart, strength, mind and soul. I think the difference with fanaticism is that fanaticism has stopped paying attention to God and has become embedded in the rivalrous process of competition with another human being, or group of human beings. Instead of the wondrous awareness of the presence of God – with consequent humble attention and awe, drawing us onward into the deeper enjoyment of the Truth (who is Personal not Propositional) there is the agon, the painful contest for supremacy. Instead of the emptying out and taking on the form of a servant, there is the dominance of the will and the urge to mastery. Which is of course rooted in fear and spiritual imbalance.

    So what does it mean to claim the truth for a particular position? Which is a different way of saying – who is included, and who is excluded? One of the things I’ve pondered recently was the story of the American priest who claimed to also be a Muslim. Clearly the particular truth of that situation can’t be gleaned from a long distance away (and I note with interest that her Bishop has intervened) but it raises issues of principle. Is it possible to be a Christian and a Muslim at the same time?

    It might help if I outline my own answer to the ‘problem of other faiths’. I’ll do this through some summary statements (which I’m not going to argue for here – pressure of time and all that):
    – I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through him;
    – I don’t believe that this is a matter of the words that we say; it is a matter of the shape of life that we act out (Mt 7.21) (and this doesn’t undermine the priority of grace, but that’s a whole other argument);
    – that shape of life is incarnate in Christ; that is, he shows us what it means to be human and what we are called to be like (he embodies the standard of judgement);
    – I believe it is possible for people using different language to live out that life. In other words, given that all things are created through Christ, I believe that Christ is present throughout the world, and that people of other faiths can exhibit the Christ-life;
    – what I mean by the Christ-life is pretty much what St Paul describes: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.”

    I agree with Rowan Williams (not a surprise): “While we cannot accept Islam as the final revelation, it is nonetheless possible that God has given great gifts to individual Muslims and that through their devotion, we may yet learn something of what obedience to God looks like.” I think it is perfectly possible for a Muslim or a Buddhist – or an atheist! – to display the fruits of the Spirit and to ‘do the will of the Father’. The difference, I would argue, is that we acknowledge Christ; in other words, what is implicit elsewhere is explicit in Christianity.

    Is this exclusive? Classically, the discussion about other faiths leads to three possible positions: exclusive (my truth is the only truth); inclusive (my truth includes other truths); or pluralist (the different truths are equivalent). What I’m arguing for falls pretty clearly into the middle option. I don’t have much time for pluralism (or syncretism) simply because I think there are real and concrete differences between the faiths on some things. But I want to round off these remarks by saying something more about the exclusive position – for it is the exclusive position which is fanatical, in the bad sense with which this discussion began.

    To my mind there is all the difference in the world between:
    – claiming the truth, pursuing the truth, and admitting ‘I could be wrong but this is where I’m walking’
    – this is the truth and if you don’t agree then you’re wicked, evil and have smelly breath as well.

    The difference is that the former recognises the inescapable logic of radical commitment to something (which is what pluralism avoids, or cannot see), yet remains open to insights from outside its own sphere of expertise; the latter is closed and has lost sight of what is most important – in believing that it has captured “the Truth” for its own exclusive possession it has in that very act lost touch with it.

    This is the trap into which I fell when discussing the atonement last week. I don’t recant from what I said, but the tone was all wrong – I had been dislodged from my spiritual centre and was starting to mud-wrestle. In particular, I was tempted to remove post #3 – but I’m now minded to leave it up as an honest record of my state of mind at the time. One conclusion I’ve reached is that, principally because of my spending quite a lot of time researching evangelicalism (with the desire to build common ground and unity) I’m quite a long way out of my comfort zone spiritually. Going to the monastery yesterday was a real infusion of light and peace and oxygen. I need to remember that when I become aware of the warning signs.

    Anyhow, there will be more on that in due course, no doubt.

    In the meantime, I’m going to finally pick up on Sally’s tag about three apologies. There are three things for which I’d want to apologise as a [Western] Christian:

    – embracing imperial culture under Constantine;
    – embracing a scientific attitude in the Middle Ages, thereby distorting communion and the faith and initiating every mistake that then followed; and
    – all the ways in which Christianity fed the Holocaust, which I see as the fruition of the foregoing, but the evil is so large it deserves a specific repentance.

    How can Christianity claim it has sole access to the truth when it has a record like that?

    Other synchroblogs this month:

    David Fisher asks Why are we exclusive?
    Steve Hayes is blogging his thoughts “Christianity inclusive or exclusive?
    It’s a family affair comes Jenelle D’Alessandro
    John Smulo will be adding his thoughts
    Cobus van Wyngaard is contemplating Inclusivity within claims of heresy

    Erin Word shares some thoughts on The Politics of love
    As does Julie Clawson
    Mike Bursell asks the question Inclusive or exclusive: you mean there’s a choice?”
    And Sally shares her thoughts here

    And while we’re on the subject, have a read of this.