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Source: (consider it) Thread: Felbrigg Hall lanyards
Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Putting a rainbow lanyard round my neck does not cure me of homophobia, any more than sporting a pink ribbon means I have really grasped the issues surrounding breast cancer (especially if I'm a man).

Bad example, men are affected by breast cancer when their wives, mothers and daughters are affected and also, men get breast cancer too - 350 a year in the UK and 2600 in the USA. The prognosis is OK if diagnosed early enough, but there is the rub, because men don't believe they can get breast cancer. You've just demonstrated that attitude.
Bad answer. I know men are affected by breast cancer, and had that in mind when I posted. I can't begin to imagine that the psychological consequences are anywhere near the same as for a young childless woman undergoing a double mastectomy.

In much the same way that I can come home from my BLM demo and take off my t-shirt, while my friend and sister cannot go home and take off her skin.

[ 11. August 2017, 06:37: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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Sorry, just to clarify, I meant "sister" in the non-familial sense. I don't have a black sister.

(Although Mrs Eutychus, who is whiter than white, has black friends who forget she is white to the extent of addressing epithets to her which would probably get me banned if I were to post them.)

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Baptist Trainfan
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Just a thought. Would people expect volunteers at John Lennon's to be compelled to wear a "I l♥ve the Beatles" badge - or volunteers at Keir Hardie's house (which I very much doubt is in the NT collection!) to wear a Labour Party badge? I ask simply because the Beatles and the Labour movement are obviously germane to both places - neither of which would be visited for any architectural or aesthetic reason.
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Eutychus
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I think you might expect enthusiastic wearers of both in both places because the places are important particularly, perhaps uniquely, because of the attendant history and so are unlikely to attract Stones fans or Tories to work there.

CK has argued why that's not the case at Felbrigg better than anyone, I think.

[ 11. August 2017, 06:48: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Baptist Trainfan
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I did wonder that ...!
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Curiosity killed ...

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You do have an easy time at work, don't you?

I have had to wear green for Macmillan when we've been (compulsorily) fundraising for Macmillan, spots and yellow for different years when ditto for Children in Need. It has been suggested that we wear jumpers for another fundraising event, that fortunately I have avoided. I've had to wear Jeans for Genes*, Christmas jumpers for another event, I'm sure there's more. And if I don't have the right stuff in my wardrobe I have to go and buy it.

* I'm allergic to nickel so that one is a total pain, literally.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
You do have an easy time at work, don't you?

Why do you think I'm self-employed? [Biased]

(actually I need seriously to get on with some gainful self-employment here [Help] )

[ 11. August 2017, 06:59: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Doc Tor
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I feel like I'm falling between two stools here.

I totally accept (because people suck) that the reason why a minority of the volunteers objected to wearing rainbow lanyards is because they were homophobic - anything from vague discomfort to full-on Daily Mail outrage.

The question is then, "what do we do about it?". From a management position, that 10% of your workforce is homophobic enough to want to signal that in public really only becomes a problem when you're trying to put on an exhibition about the last gay owner of the property. Notwithstanding that there may have been some problems beforehand, because not everyone who visits a NT is straight (or white or middle-class), but those issues could be safely dealt with out of the glaring spotlight of publicity and/or painted as a one-off.

Again, struggling with analogies, but a school in a very white-bread area which has no BME pupils can be an excellent school with no problems with racism, until a black family move in opposite the school gates. The headteacher suddenly discovers that 10% of her staff don't like being in a school with black kids, and are everything from casually racist to members of the Klan.

What are management supposed to do? I'm much more with Louise here, while still wanting to seek some form of transitional arrangement. The lay of the land has changed irrevocably, but if we don't set out some sort of Elephants' Graveyard, where outdated ideas go to die, won't we end up having unnecessary, pointless battles with people who are essentially our grandmothers?

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Forward the New Republic

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Curiosity killed ...

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I would hope that the National Trust will be working with those who have objected to the new information about Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer and Felbrigg Hall being a part of the Prejudice and Pride exhibition. If they were employed, not volunteers, this would be an automatic part of managing their roles. Volunteers at the National Trust do have managers who help volunteers plan their involvement and training to meet the needs of the roles. (source).

I agree that those volunteers need to accept that if they are going to continue working in a public facing role they will need to move with changes in society that mean their role now involves welcoming everyone and meeting their needs.

However, I suspect that what we are seeing in the Press is to a degree manufactured outrage. The story started with the Daily Telegraph reporting the "outing of Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer" and then moved on from there. I can't find it, but my daughter said her local paper had letters from indignant volunteers at one of the NT properties in her area, annoyed that the Daily Mail had been asking them if they were upset about the rainbow lanyards - because they weren't - it was apparently a well-known story and no surprise that that property was a part of this campaign.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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asher
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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:
quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
why should I be gentle with someone's unjustifiable prejudice against other human beings?

Firstly, because people react much better to carrots than they do sticks. Like it or not, in the only culture they grew up in that was most likely the only paradigm they encountered. It takes time to change people's minds.

Secondly, because we should hope that future generations will treat us with the same patience and dignity. Do you believe that we have reached the pinnacle of human morality? Or is it possible that we, too, have huge blind spots that will have to be pointed out to us by subsequent generations.

Society vilified LGBT+ people for generations because society's moral consensus said that there was something wrong with them. Now society has mostly changed its moral consensus. Is the real solution then really more vilification? Or could it instead be to combat the 'othering' mindset that brings about the vilification in the first place?

Thanks for this. I am confident that any grandchildren I have will regard some of the views that i hold today as abhorrent. Like yourself, I hope they will be kind to me.

I meant to write earlier that I went to Norwich pride as part of Christians at pride. I saw the NT display about felbigg and spoke to the NT volunteers ( they were mainly young).


Cheers

Asher

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If you pick it, it won't get better

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
I would hope that the National Trust will be working with those who have objected to the new information about Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer

Yes, indeed.

Of course, the irony of the situation is that the controversy was allegedly started by relatives of Ketton-Cremer (and not, as far as I can see, the volunteers themselves) because he was 'intensely private' and would not have wanted to be 'outed'. Well, far more people know about him now than would have been the case otherwise!

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Curiosity killed ...

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The Daily Telegraph article headlined National Trust 'outs' Norfolk squire as gay 48 years after his death when the film was released doesn't mention relatives. This was publised on the 21 July. The letter from the godson in the same paper, was published on the 26 July (that one is behind a pay wall), and the article about the indignant godchildren was published on 29 July. I am not convinced this story came from relatives.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Eutychus
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I swear this is my lunch break.

quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Again, struggling with analogies, but a school in a very white-bread area which has no BME pupils can be an excellent school with no problems with racism, until a black family move in opposite the school gates. The headteacher suddenly discovers that 10% of her staff don't like being in a school with black kids, and are everything from casually racist to members of the Klan.

What are management supposed to do? I'm much more with Louise here, while still wanting to seek some form of transitional arrangement. The lay of the land has changed irrevocably, but if we don't set out some sort of Elephants' Graveyard, where outdated ideas go to die, won't we end up having unnecessary, pointless battles with people who are essentially our grandmothers?

I'm reminded of an incident near here when the ownership of a church building changed hands. The longstanding resident congregation was charismatic; the pastor representing the new owners was a dispensationalist. On the first Sunday he announced the sudden and radical change in the church's doctrine and told anyone who didn't like it to leave. He was within his rights, but the change could have been handled far more sensitively.

I've said before on this thread that I'd put odds on our church being the first in the region to bless a SSM. If and when that happens, my challenge as a leader would be to affirm a genuine welcome to the couple whilst also having a duty of care with regard to the emotional, financial, and other investment - and consciences - of some in the congregation who may be "uncomfortable" (sic) for a whole range of reasons.

I think a part of that is the kind of "truce" you mentioned and I think Paul's teaching on how we treat our brothers and sisters on matters of conscience is absolutely relevant here.

(Another aspect is that I absolutely dread such a prospect emerging, not out of the normal course of church life but out of some activist group seeking to prove a point or establish a test case (to return to your analogy above, did the black family move in with an agenda backed by an advocacy group?). You can probably guess how I would respond if I discerned that to be the case).

What I am never going to do is stand up in church one day and say "this church is now pro-SSM. Turn up cheering at the ceremony or GTFO".

As in the Invictus office scene linked to above, some people in our congregation might start packing their boxes as soon as any such announcement was made. I think far more would want a discussion. And I think the "silent majority" would, like de Klerk's former staff, stick around and see how things turned out. Again as in the film, there might be a few surprises on either side but I'd like to think that within a few years we'd have brought a sizeable chunk of people along with us.

TL;DR: some contexts are inevitably battlegrounds; others are supposed to be safe, learning environments.

I hope this makes some kind of sense.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The lay of the land has changed irrevocably, but if we don't set out some sort of Elephants' Graveyard, where outdated ideas go to die, won't we end up having unnecessary, pointless battles with people who are essentially our grandmothers?

How long do we maintain the graveyard? Though full decriminalisation is only 4 years old and the struggle for full equality isn't over, the active battle has been going since the 1970's.
And looking at the Black Civil Rights struggle, being patient has lead to the stalling of progress and some regression.
And it isn't just gran. If you break down the approval ratings by age and strength of approval, it is mum as well. It is only when we get to the level of twin and older sister are the numbers more solid.
I don't wish to beat up old people or marginalise them. But I don't want them doing that to me either.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
to return to your analogy above, did the black family move in with an agenda backed by an advocacy group?). You can probably guess how I would respond if I discerned that to be the case).

You'd burn a cross in their garden, but only out of principled rejection of agenda, not hate?
Seriously, why the Hell would their motive matter? You accept people or you do not. This obsession on motive and agenda paints a different picture than your stated position on equality.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Doc Tor
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I don't want them doing to you either, or anyone else I care about. Or other people I don't know but abstractly care about.

They have to accept that social mores have changed. We have to accept that they don't think they've changed for the better. I don't think that there should be discrimination in the public sphere - the rules we agree on as a society are the rules by which we should all abide, whatever our actual opinions.

Now, what do we do about campaigning against those rules? How do we (a loose, fractious band of social progressives) want to be treated, and how do we treat others?

That is where both them and us have to agree on something.

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Forward the New Republic

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goperryrevs
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
As I've mentioned more than once on the Ship, I've a tendency to post in way that could be considered terse. I need to work on this.

lB, I'll say this as gently as possible: beginning a sentence with "You'd burn a cross in their garden" ain't gonna aid discussion.

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"Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole." - David Lynch

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
to return to your analogy above, did the black family move in with an agenda backed by an advocacy group?). You can probably guess how I would respond if I discerned that to be the case).

You'd burn a cross in their garden, but only out of principled rejection of agenda, not hate?
Seriously, why the Hell would their motive matter? You accept people or you do not. This obsession on motive and agenda paints a different picture than your stated position on equality.

I'm with her. If you have de facto segregation due to house prices/restricted covenants/refusal of services, then it needs to be challenged, whatever. My scenario simply posited a place where no black people lived previously due to entirely benign circumstances.

(edited to add, no, of course I don't think Eutychus is going to burn a cross. But I'd like to understand what he meant in the context of activists confronting power.)

[ 11. August 2017, 16:13: Message edited by: Doc Tor ]

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Forward the New Republic

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lilBuddha
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The first sentence was hyperbole, of course. Angry hyperbole I will admit.
But if can not understand why his statement generated anger, I don't think there is much of a conversation to be had.

[ 11. August 2017, 16:20: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
(edited to add, no, of course I don't think Eutychus is going to burn a cross. But I'd like to understand what he meant in the context of activists confronting power.)

What I meant, to stick with Doc Tor's illustration and not my local church one, was, the dynamics are very different if it turns out that the black family* didn't move into the white neighbourhood spontaneously but with an advocacy group behind them before the fact expressly encouraging them to provoke maximum outrage at the school.

*Insert any minority here.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

(edited to add, no, of course I don't think Eutychus is going to burn a cross. But I'd like to understand what he meant in the context of activists confronting power.)

I think his meaning is obvious. Did your hypothetical black family move in across from the school because they found a house available to rent that was convenient for their places of work, or are they part of some black rights group that identifies areas with no black people, and sends its members to live in those areas in order to expose and confront the racist attitudes that they expect exist there?

Under the assumption that a minority of the people living in the area are racists, perhaps the first family are more likely to agree to a truce with the racist next door than the provocateurs?

Essentially, I think "you either accept people or not" isn't the binary statement you make it out to be. There's quite a spectrum between a warm welcome and a burning cross, and Doc Tor's peace treaty lives somewhere in the middle.

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Curiosity killed ...

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
@lilBuddha - How do you know that the National Trust are not using this debacle as an opportunity to teach?

The NT had a national platform to talk about why these sort of campaigns are important. They didn't grasp it.
If, as I suspect, this story is manufactured outrage by certain newspapers, I am not sure that the National Trust could have used this as a national platform to talk about why these sorts of campaigns are important. Part of what the National Trust seem to be dealing with is a media driven campaign attacking the Prejudice and Pride events. Anything that forced the issue would have added fuel to that media storm rather than giving an opportunity to educate.

In fact The Guardian coverage describes a "concerted pressure in the rightwing press in support of those who refused to wear the badges".

I missed this earlier, but in the 29 July story in the Daily Telegraph, National Trust criticised for "outing" country squire, the goddaughter, Mrs Spencer, 78, is quoted as saying:
quote:
I personally didn’t think there was any suggestion he was gay. The first I heard was when I was shown the article in the Telegraph about the Trust’s film.
And in answer to a query about sublimation of sexuality, in the Daily Telegraph article of 21 July,
quote:
Mr Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, ... <snip> ... spent many years restoring Felbrigg before bequeathing it to the nation.


[ 11. August 2017, 17:17: Message edited by: Curiosity killed ... ]

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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lilBuddha
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Response to Eutychus and LC
Bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit.
You are still putting conditions on acceptance of a group.
How is this not fucked up and prejudiced?

[ 11. August 2017, 17:16: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Eutychus
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[big x-post]

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
to return to your analogy above, did the black family move in with an agenda backed by an advocacy group?). You can probably guess how I would respond if I discerned that to be the case).

You'd burn a cross in their garden, but only out of principled rejection of agenda, not hate?
Seriously, why the Hell would their motive matter? You accept people or you do not. This obsession on motive and agenda paints a different picture than your stated position on equality.

Sorry, let me have another go at this. Running with Doc Tor's analogy was probably not a good idea but let me try and stay sort of with it and draw it a little closer to what was in my mind, i.e. blessing SSM in a church.

Did anyone see Loving? It tells the (true) story of how a US ban on interracial marriage got overturned through a test case.

In it you see not only the bigotry of the people opposed to interracial mariage, but also the hell the Lovings go through by allowing their marriage to become a test case - and their hesitation in doing so.

In that case their marriage was entirely innocent, in the sense that they didn't enter into it because they were trying to prove a point; they were simply in love. It was quite a while before they agreed to become a test case.

When it comes to a (hypothetical) local first in a church blessing a SSM, I can imagine gay rights activists being on the lookout for a good forum in which to establish a precedent and doing so, not primarily in the interests of the couple, still less that of the church involved, but solely in the interest of a good and media-optimised test case. I would see that as a complete abuse of what a church community is all about.

If were to get the impression that a same-sex couple arrived in our church with that primary aim in mind, I would find it very difficult to call the shots appropriately.

Not least because as a pastor I would be considering the impact not just on the couple but also on the gathered community, as part of my duty of care. There may be a cause and it may be just, but there are other important factors that should not be ignored.

[ETA just skimmed CK's thoughtful post. If there's going to be outrage, I'd like to be sure everyone has had a full and unpressured opportunity to think things through for themselves (cf the Lovings) before entering the fray. Like the NT volunteers.]

[ 11. August 2017, 17:27: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
You are still putting conditions on acceptance of a group.
How is this not fucked up and prejudiced?

Because it depends what you mean by acceptance.

By acceptance do you mean "invoke and apply your legal rights", or do you mean "actually being recognised as a friend and neighbour like everyone else"?

You can force people to accept the exercise of your legal rights, but you can't force them to come to terms with it.

--------------------
Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Response to Eutychus and LC
Bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit.
You are still putting conditions on acceptance of a group.
How is this not fucked up and prejudiced?

Of course it's fucking prejudiced. People are prejudiced.

From Doc Tor's earlier post,
quote:
We cannot compel people not to be dicks. We can compel them not to do people harm.
If the racist neigbour grumbles in his soup about living next to n-words, but otherwise ignores them, is he actually doing any harm?

And if the grumpy old racist muttering to himself isn't really doing anyone any harm, isn't repeatedly poking him being a bit of a dick?

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lilBuddha
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Response to Eutychus
Does SOF have a garden? Because we could have a prize winner with all the fertilizer be dumped here.
Straight, white people simply get to be. Everyone else must dance to their tune.
That is what your words say.

[ 11. August 2017, 17:45: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Eutychus
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I'm sorry you feel that way and sad about the deep sense of rejection that your post communicates.

I'm not going to apologise for being a straight white male because as I said earlier, I find solace in Paul's words that "By the grace of God I am who I am". I think that can apply to everyone no matter what their sex, race, age, and everything else. As someone with a pastoral calling my heart is to see that diversity embodied in a community of believers.

If you're ever this way I invite you to come and take a look. I promise we'll do our best to minimise your discomfort.

As I've said, I've come to terms with the need for activism and I respect your right to be an activist. I'm sad, however, that you can't seem to find it in you to come to terms with the need for some peacemakers.

[ 11. August 2017, 17:53: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
I'm not assuming that, I'm just wondering whether it was happening. There's a fairly universal tendency to for each generation to see the past in terms of its own time: that's very hard to avoid and I accept that it's part of what historiography (is that the right word?) is about. But I think that important nuances may be lost. This seems to me to be particularly a danger where you are dealing with a subject like this (or other aspects of 'inclusivity') where there is a risk of falling into thinking that we are terribly enlightened and understand it properly and that previous generations were groping in the dark.
It may well be that the NT historians are sophisticated enough to handle this. But in an awful lot of public history nowadays there is a tendency to miss the point that even within living memory people may have thought about and found ways of living things, including their own sexuality, which were subtly different from how people today would think and live.

Proper and nuanced contextualisation is the job of historians and curators - speaking as someone who worked for over a decade as a curator and who has a background in academic history. If you 'wonder' if someone is not doing this, you are impugning their core job skills. The research for that film was done by Professor Richard Sandell of the University of Leicester and his team. He's professor of Museum Studies with a long record as a curator. If you're going to impugn his work and imply he's been deeply unprofessional in this case, then please provide some evidence.
I'm not implying anything. I'm asking a question. That is a distinction which ought not to be difficult to understand, particularly for 'someone who worked for over a decade as a curator and who has a background in academic history'. And now you have, helpfully, gone some way to answering that question.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Hiro's Leap

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In the incredibly unlikely event this happened near me, my reaction would depend on whether or not the black family knew what was happening.

If they knew, I'd be wary of them because they sound like extremist ideologues; if they didn't know, I'd feel concerned for them for being manipulated by extremist ideologues. Either way it'd change my attitude towards them, but I don't think it'd reveal anything interesting about race.

The whole scenario sounds bizarre. I suspect the disagreement here might just be because the analogy has become too stretched.

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Doc Tor
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Yes, it has. I was trying to highlight the management problem of how to deal with employees/volunteers over a hidden bigotry suddenly brought to light.

And not impugning the motives of the hypothetical black family, which I take in very poor heart.

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Forward the New Republic

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Yes, it has. I was trying to highlight the management problem of how to deal with employees/volunteers over a hidden bigotry suddenly brought to light.

Sorry. It was my fault for carrying on down that road and taking the analogy in a different direction.

That said, in positions in which one has a responsibility for others, in my experience attempting at least to discern (and hopefully not to impugn) the motives of people bringing a project to the table, especially a controversial one, is important.

That applies all ways round, incidentally. If the oppponents at Feltrigg Hall were the pawns of an orchestrated anti Prejudice and Pride campaign, it changes the game too.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

That said, in positions in which one has a responsibility for others, in my experience attempting at least to discern (and hopefully not to impugn) the motives of people bringing a project to the table, especially a controversial one, is important.

Trying to deduce people's motives is difficult, though. I'm curious what you lose by taking people at face value, and responding to their actions?
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Eutychus
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With a bit of experience, and generalising wildly here, the actions usually reveal something about the motives before too long.

If I see two middle-aged guys come to our church together, leave together, don't stick around afterwards, don't seek to greet anyone and never come back, the chances in my view are that they are from domestic intelligence (I am not kidding).

[ 11. August 2017, 19:08: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:


If I see two middle-aged guys come to our church together, leave together, don't stick around afterwards, don't seek to greet anyone and never come back, the chances in my view are that they are from domestic intelligence (I am not kidding).

But they could also be from the local Mormons. They do that.

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arse

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Doc Tor
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They could be gay dudes, checking out the hot pastor... [Razz]

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Forward the New Republic

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Eutychus
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I think the Mormons, even sans badges, would be easier to spot.

(I was in a meeting a few years ago at the Préfecture about chaplaincy services at which two guys from Intelligence were actually introduced. They sat away from the table, said nothing, and took notes. It felt like being in the Eastern bloc.)

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
They could be gay dudes, checking out the hot pastor... [Razz]

No, they hit on me directly.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Hiro's Leap

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I was in a meeting a few years ago at the Préfecture about chaplaincy services at which two guys from Intelligence were actually introduced.

This is a probably a dumb question, but what did they want?
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Eutychus
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Intelligence. They go round seeing what the local churches get up to.

A pastor friend from the UK applied for French nationality in the 1990s. You get an interview with the intelligence services for this too (although a lot of people don't realise that's who the interview is with, they think it's the police). They pulled out a tract his church had given out over ten years previously. The adult niece of another black friend was asked in the same type of interview whether she had ever been in a demonstration. She replied (truthfully as she recalled) "no". Whereupon they pulled out a photo of her at a demo when she was, if memory serves, about 15 and in junior high school.

In the chaplaincy meeting I think they were mostly interested in the inner politics of one of the faith groups represented.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

If I see two middle-aged guys come to our church together, leave together, don't stick around afterwards, don't seek to greet anyone and never come back, the chances in my view are that they are from domestic intelligence (I am not kidding).

Might be true. Does your suspicion alter the way you treat them?
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Eutychus
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Good call. No. We're like the National Trust: for ever, for everyone [Two face] (seriously, we really do try hard to be this. My favourite event of late was one where unbeknown to each other, we had an ex-convict, a policeman from the crime squad, and a guy I'm pretty sure was in trouble with the law).

Your question also reminded me of a phonecall I had a few months ago which keeps us off DH topics but is relevant in response. It went something like this (excuse the length):

Caller: Hello, I worship with X church down the road, I'd like to come and worship with you on Sunday, is that OK?

Me: Fine! Of course you're welcome.

Caller: There's just one thing. I fall over.

Me: Oh?

Caller: Yes, the Spirit comes on me, I can't help it, I'd much rather it didn't happen, but it's so powerful, I thought I'd better let you know... would that bother your folk?

Me: Well, it's not something we're used to, but we're a pretty relaxed bunch. As long as it isn't really disrupting the meeting you'll be ok. If we find it's bothering people we'll just let you enjoy the presence of God in an adjacent room until it wears off, OK?

Caller: Good. Oh, I get signs, too.

Me: Oh?

Caller: Yes, signs of the cross appear on me.

Me: Really! How interesting etc.

Caller: Nobody else can see them. But it really bothers me. I wish God would deliver me from them but there it is, he wants me to have these prophetic signs. But I never tell anyone about them.

Me: Oh.

(we continue in similar vein for an age)

Caller: There was this lady who saw the sign of the cross on my forehead.

Me: Really? I thought you said nobody but you could see it?

Caller: Indeed. But when I pointed it out to her, she could definitely see it.

Me, as politely as I know how: You've spent the last quarter of an hour telling me about how you don't want to draw attention to yourself and don't tell anybody about these miraculous signs, but you've just admitted you actually do tell people about them...

<Caller hangs up and is never seen in church>

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Good call. No. We're like the National Trust: for ever, for everyone [Two face] (seriously, we really do try hard to be this.

SO although you have suspicions about your two guys, what you actually do is take them at face value, and treat them as you would any pair of visitors that come to your church.

Which is rather why I'm asking.

To go back to your earlier example, you said that you hadn't blessed a same-sex marriage, but you didn't see any real reason why you wouldn't, and then you started talking about activists and test cases.

So hypothetically, imagine a gay couple shows up at your place wanting their marriage blessed. Do you really do anything different based on whether you suspect them to be a normal couple, or whether you suspect them to be seeking some kind of propaganda?

If they are aiming for some kind of propaganda stunt, what do you lose by sitting them down, explaining your church's requirements for marriage blessings (membership? marriage prep classes?) and discussing the things that you will and won't let them do in the ceremony, just as you would with a "genuine" couple?

I understand that you might have suspicions about their motives, but I'm not sure what you think you gain by treating them differently.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I understand that you might have suspicions about their motives, but I'm not sure what you think you gain by treating them differently.

A brief scrolling back suggests I never actually said I would treat them differently, at least at the outset.

With my pastor hat on, I would take basically the same approach with anyone, and much as in my example above, hope that the kind of discussion we had allowed the real motivations to emerge (my surprise at the disclosure I got from the caller whose story I told was surpassed only by his subsequent abrupt hanging up, by the way). We'd have to see how that discussion developed.

For any marriage blessing (or other BMD event), especially in the (rare) case of complete strangers, part of that conversation for me is about the ceremony being meaningful for everyone there, which will raise a number of questions about what kind of a profile the couple (or faimily, or whoever) want to have for the event and why they want it with us.

In the hope of not adding fuel to another fire, I see a parallel with people who barge in virtually demanding you remarry them (I have already told of the pastor I know who divorced his wife to marry his mistress and proclaimed their child the "lock" on their union invoking David and Bathsheba) compared to those who creep in weighed down with guilt and angst wondering if the could possibly still have admission to the Kingdom of God after a stupid screwup, possibly at the hands of some church or other, in early adulthood, and needing affirmation and reassurance more than anything else.

[ 11. August 2017, 20:39: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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I must be getting old, I'm into my anecdotage.

Back in my not-so-pro-gay days I did a funeral of a gay guy whose mother was in our church. His partner doorstepped me about 10 minutes before the funeral and asked to read something out. I was ... you guessed it, uncomfortable, but he assured me it was "nothing polemic" so I gave him the go-ahead.

That funeral was a big step towards me accepting civil partnerships by the way, because I realised that in its absence the deceased's legal next of kin could, if they had so wished, have frozen the surviving partner out of the ceremony and of the estate, great or merely sentimental in value (to say nothing of the lack of reversion rights, but I only found out about that later).

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
I'm sorry you feel that way and sad about the deep sense of rejection that your post communicates.

It is annoyance, not rejection.
quote:

I'm not going to apologise for being a straight white male

Nor should you. If apologies you owe, it is for your words.

For straight, white males power is normative. Because of this, it is more difficult to understand the dynamics of that power.


quote:

As I've said, I've come to terms with the need for activism and I respect your right to be an activist.

I'm not seeing it in your words. Honestly, with no hint of animosity in this statement, I do not think your words represent what you think they do.
Part of the problem, I think, is that you sympathise, but do not yet empathise.
Not your fault, completely. You would have little reference to do so.

quote:

I'm sad, however, that you can't seem to find it in you to come to terms with the need for some peacemakers.

Peacemaking, true peacemaking, is about doing what is best for both parties as much as possible. It isn't just concession.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Curiosity killed ...

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Going back to double check that the new film about Felbrigg Hall wasn't reported earlier than in the Daily Telegraph, I found this opinion piece in the Guardian, entitled The National Trust has become an easy target for conservative hysteria and the suggestion that what the National Trust is facing an attitude of:
quote:
modern life is rubbish, comes the message from its critics; stop messing with this progressive nonsense; the National Trust’s job isn’t just about the physical preservation of old country houses and lovely English coastlines, it’s about the preservation of good old-fashioned tradition. This year alone, departing from tradition has prompted conservative hysteria on everything from Easter-egg hunts and cafe snacks to promoting sexual equality.
The article uses Felbrigg Hall as an illustration. Of the 350 volunteers at the Hall, 30 objected to wearing the lanyards (the early stories in the Torygraph and Mail identified 10 refuseniks - which begs a question as to who drummed up the additional 20 reactionaries). The trumpeted 240 members who have left have been replaced by 7000 new members in the same seven day period (which has not been reported by the right wing press).

The comment piece covers many of the issues discussed on this thread including that the National Trust is making "baby steps" to change and could do much more but "the conservative commentariat is determined the National Trust" is to be challenged for changing anything. Shades of the same right wing press on Brexit.

It suggests that the problem becomes: if the British public is willing to change (witness the 7000 people who joined the National Trust in the middle of this furore), how can we make the right wing press reflect this?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
If apologies you owe, it is for your words.

Which words, exactly? How do you expect me to know which words you take exception to if you just start being, um, "terse" (which to be honest is putting it mildly if you review some of the things you've said to me) in return every time? We were talking about degrees of acceptance. If that's what makes you see red, why?

quote:
For straight, white males power is normative.
Perhaps it is, but if you're interested in having a discussion here, including with straight white males, this is not a joker that you can play every time you get annoyed.

It does not absolve you from addressing the argument.

quote:
Part of the problem, I think, is that you sympathise, but do not yet empathise.

I recently gave a presentation at an international academic research symposium on the topic of empathy, and I think you have that exactly wrong.

As I understand it, I cannot express sympathy for experiencing minority oppression as it relates to this discussion because I am not actually in that position. I am however doing my best to practice empathy, i.e. understand what you are feeling from within your frame of reference.

And if I might say so, what's coming across here to me from your posts is a lack of empathy, the capacity to place oneself in another's position, and that's what's making this discussion difficult.

(Example: characterising my expression of how I feel about my position as "Hehp, help! I'm being gaypressed!").

quote:
Peacemaking, true peacemaking, is about doing what is best for both parties as much as possible. It isn't just concession.

Precisely. In addition to concessions, it involves the prospect of doing what is best for both parties - which involves at least assuming as a posture in discussion (if one cannot believe it to the core of one's being...) that the other party is entitled to basic respect, has rights and expectations, and that whatever ther views, they as individuals are no "less than" those on your side.

(I would argue that the (fragile) peace in Northern Ireland was achieved by that route, same for the end of apartheid, and I think that any resolution to ISIS, North Korea, etc., will begin along these lines.

I would further argue that outside Hell, these boards fuction on the principle that the parties are at least willing to "get round the negotiating table", as the picture at the top of Purgatory suggests).

Again, I haven't seen any sign of that at all from you here.

I reflected back to you your absolutist position as I understand it: "the rainbow campaign was appropriate and justifiable, there were no reasonable grounds for dissent, and all opposers are ipso facto homophobes", and immediately gave you an honest offer to correct me: "Am I misrepresenting you there? If so, show me".

I've had no answer (you completely ignored that entire post). That offer is still on the table.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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North East Quine

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Originally posted by Curiosity killed:

quote:
The trumpeted 240 members who have left have been replaced by 7000 new members in the same seven day period (which has not been reported by the right wing press).
This is a tangent, but the NT has over 4,000,000 members. Wouldn't NT membership normally rise by about 7000 a week at this time of year? I know the National Trust for Scotland encourages tourists who might be in Scotland for only a couple of weeks to take out membership; it can be cheaper to take out a year's membership than to pay to visit three properties. If the NT operates in the same way as the NTS most of those "new" members will be tourists from overseas.
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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes, and in any case there's a big difference between being a member and getting active as a volunteer. Those tourists mentioned by NEQ aren't going to know or care about the current kerfuffle or the points raised in the Guardian article.

My wife and I are members of Cadw. Why? Largely because we like visiting their places and it gives us entry for a year. And, whenever one goes to a National Trust or English Heritage etc. property, one is actively encouraged to become a member for that very reason.

[ 12. August 2017, 08:51: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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