The freedom to associate should be respected and re-affirmed.  In American and the UK there has been an undermining of the freedom to associate under Equal Opportunities laws. The most recent case is in America (just this week ) where a Christian group at Hastings College of Law was not allowed to exclude people who do not share their statement of faith.  In reality this means that the group will now be run over by atheists and aggresive secularists and will cease to be a Christian group. This is unfair. 

People will criticise this idea for being exclusive but a couple of things can be said in response…

I would not have a difficulty with being excluded from an atheist group or from practising Ramadan. Saying that Atheist groups have to be open to Non atheist members is like saying that people should be allowed to take a football onto a rugby match and play rugby with a football, or take take a golf ball onto a football pitch and play football with a golf ball – its just silly and lacks common sense.

Every world view without exception makes exclusive truth claims – when people choose to associate with people who share the same worldview how can their association not have an exclusive aspect to it? All worldviews have exclusive things in them.

Inclusivity can sometimes function as a kind of covert exclusivism. The Christian Institute has commented that Christians are being excluded in the name of inclusivity.

Religious groups are inclusive in that anyone can attend meetings, we try to do do good to all, and anyone can choose to convert to our faith. But being inclusive in all things seems unbelievable and mythical. 

Why is this idea important?


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