Andrew Goddard-Deciding whether to approve of certain ways of life cannot B from "inclusion" appeals

The letter writers are, however, unlikely to accept this conclusion. Their call for full inclusion asked for much more. They want the bishops to “enable those parishes that wish to do so to celebrate the love that we have found in our wives and husbands”. But this is to address a separate question from that of inclusion. It is a question not of including people but of deciding which of the many patterns of life found among LGBTI people the church can faithfully celebrate. Even their own proposal would not be fully inclusive of all LGBTI people once inclusion is to be understood beyond “full participation in ministry”. It would still exclude from the church’s liturgical celebrations those who, for whatever reason, do not choose to marry their same-sex partner but to structure their relationships in other ways.

Despite this, the appeal to inclusion continues in order to persuade people to go further and commend same-sex unions. But this is a quite distinct matter involving inclusion and approval of certain ways of life as morally acceptable rather than inclusion of people. The reason for this continued appeal to inclusion was caught by Justin Welby speaking at Greenbelt where he said:

We cannot pretend that ”“ so I’m putting one case then I’m going to put the other ”“ we cannot pretend or I can’t pretend myself that inclusion from the point of view of someone in a same sex relationship just to take a simple”¦that inclusion of someone in a same sex relationship that falls short of the blessing of the Church is going to feel like inclusion ”“ it’s not going to be perceived as inclusion. I think we’re conning ourselves if we say that there is some clever solution out there that means you can do less than that and it will feel like inclusion.

Here ”“ voicing the views of many ”“ he has developed the language of inclusion in two important but flawed respects. It refers to a subjective experience ”“ something must “feel like inclusion””“ and then to inclusion in a specific form as being necessary if it is “to be perceived as inclusion” and meet that subjective test: the “blessing of the Church” on “a same sex relationship”. These two moves are what then lead to a number of problems.

Read it all from Fulcrum.


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