On Being Inclusive (and Other Foolish Nostrums)
Why we must not be inclusive of inclusion:
One of the main mantras of our dumbed down, morally foggy, and increasingly senseless society is the need to be “inclusive” – whatever that means. A new Eleventh Commandment has arisen: “Thou Shalt Be Inclusive.” Or, to put it in a negative form: “Thou shalt not be exclusive.”
But as with all these new absolutes being bandied about by those who in fact no longer believe in absolutes, this injunction is never properly defined or rationally thought through. So we are left with a feel-good, motherhood statement. It gives us nice feelings when we repeat it, but it is devoid of any solid content.
Related trendy buzzwords such as tolerance and acceptance and diversity and equality are in the same category. They too have been stripped of their former legitimate meanings, and have been hijacked to support the causes of various radical and activist groups.
There are two main camps that are running with this today: secular lefties and religious lefties. Let me discuss each in turn. In the non-Christian world this of course is all the rage. And while the terms mentioned all sound good and reasonable, it is how they are being used that is the real problem.
We have always thought that being accepting and inclusive was a good thing – within limits. But the radical counterculture revolution of the late 60s and all that went with it – including the radical feminist, homosexual, and now trans revolutions – have given these words and concepts whole new meanings. Let me offer a few examples.
Until just recently everyone was happy to be inclusive, but no one thought that this meant forcing girls to share their bathrooms, locker rooms, change rooms and the like with males. Until just recently everyone was happy to be inclusive when it came to marriage: any man of suitable age could marry any woman of suitable age – but not a close blood relative. No one thought until recently that it would mean two – or more – men getting “married”.
Until just recently everyone was happy to be inclusive when it came to things like sport: all people should be able to participate, especially if they meet certain physical standards. While we would accept that a five-foot guy could play on a professional basketball team, it was unlikely the team would want to hire someone that short. It was not a matter of discrimination, but just common sense.
Today however with these bogus views on things like inclusion and acceptance, we are demanding all sorts of nonsense, including that big, bulky men be allowed to play in women’s sport – creating huge and unfair disadvantages for the females of course. Dozens more such examples could be given. As I said, so much of this is the direct result of the radical sexual revolution.
And our media and politicians and academics have all hopped on the bandwagon here. Thus we now have entire government programs and departments pushing all this. Consider just one recent case of this – from Biden’s America:
The State Department on Tuesday notified Congress it intends to spend $2.5 million to establish the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the Office of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, according to State Department documents.
The documents, obtained by Breitbart News, showed the State Department intends to create the new office to support its newly established position of Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) and to reprogram $2.5 million from elsewhere in the department’s budget to fund it. The new office “will provide a framework that transcends historical limitations and promotes boundless possibilities for all individuals regardless of status,” the documents said. https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/03/30/state-department-to-spend-2-5m-to-create-office-of-diversity-equity-and-inclusion/
Of course a major problem with this new understanding of terms like “inclusion” is the complete hypocrisy and duplicity inherent in such concepts. While the militants and activists scream all day about how we need more inclusion and tolerance and acceptance, they know full well that they will NOT be inclusive of those who dare to disagree.
Thus in the name of tolerance and inclusion, conservatives and Christians are banned from speaking on university campuses; they are having their own meetings disrupted and shut down; and they are having their books and websites pulled down and censored.
As the European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance, Article 4 actually states, “There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant” Hmm, that is a funny kind of tolerance when those who differ are not to be tolerated. That is a strange kind of inclusion when those who take a different point of view are not to be included.
Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig created a useful post on this issue several years ago. It featured these words: “Warning: This is an inclusive society and if we think you are talking, thinking or behaving in a non-inclusive way you will be excluded.”
Yep, quite so. Dinesh D’souza put it this way: “The paradox of liberal tolerance is that it extends to Marxists, transsexuals, and Islamic radicals – but NOT to conservatives or Christians.” Or as Francis Beckwith once said, “‘Tolerance’ has lost its meaning and is simply a cover for trying to shame and coerce others not to disagree with one’s position.”
The old theological liberalism, along with the more recent emergent church and progressive Christian movements all love to talk about inclusion as well, and once again, issues of sexuality lead the way. ‘God loves us all just the way we are. He loves homosexuals – and even made them that way. So we must include them in our churches and as church leaders, with no questions asked.’
They will continue to intone: ‘We must not judge anyone. We must just accept everybody, whether they are trans or homosexual or bisexual or adulterers or fornicators. After all, Christianity is all about love and inclusion. So we must exclude no one.’
Um, no. The truth is, we are to be inclusive of people, but we are NOT to be inclusive of all beliefs, creeds, philosophies, worldviews, actions and lifestyles. As Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft put it, “Be egalitarian regarding persons. Be elitist regarding ideas.”
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was very perceptive on all this. As he once wrote, “Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error.”
Or as he also stated: “America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”
I have written often on this unbiblical understanding of acceptance and inclusion. See this piece for example: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/12/02/no-jesus-did-not-accept-all-people-all-faiths-and-all-behaviours/
The worst sort of “inclusion” that the religious leftists are pushing has to do with salvation. They claim that God loves everyone, accepts everyone, rejects no one, and therefore all people are – or will be – saved. There is no hell, there is no wrath of God, and there is no narrow road to salvation. We are all part of God’s one big happy family.
Of course that runs against the entire biblical revelation. There are in fact two humanities, two destinies, and two sorts of people in this world. Not all are saved, and not all even want to be saved. But see more on this here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2017/06/07/two-humanities-two-destinies/
And here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2011/03/12/against-universalism/
Christianity is above all else an exclusive religion. It does NOT speak of inclusion and the like. It makes very demanding and “intolerant” truth claims. When Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6), he was not showing us any kind of modern wishy-washy inclusiveness and acceptance, but the exact opposite.
That is why Christianity is so very much hated in today’s relativistic, pluralistic and ‘inclusivist’ age. As D. A. Carson put it in his important 1996 volume, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism:
If any religion claims that in some measure other religions are wrong, a line has been crossed and resentment is immediately stirred up. . . . Exclusiveness is the one religious idea that cannot be tolerated. Correspondingly, proselytism is a dirty word. One cannot fail to observe a crushing irony: the gospel of relativistic tolerance is perhaps the most ‘evangelistic’ movement in Western culture at the moment, demanding assent and brooking no rivals.
Biblical believers today need to be very wary when they hear these newly redefined terms being tossed about. And “inclusion” is certainly one of them. It would be good advice that if you hear a pastor or church leader or Christian going on and on about inclusion, you might need to head for the hills. They likely are not offering you Scriptural truth but humanistic mush.
8 Replies to “On Being Inclusive (and Other Foolish Nostrums)”
“In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair…the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”
Dorothy L. Sayers
Thanks Jan. Yes that is one of my fav quotes of hers.
Tolerance leads to surrender.
The first truth that must be uttered is the meaning of LGBTIQA+!
It is my submission that all the writings are meaningless unless we first expose the foundations of the so called leftists and queers so that the person reading the writings is aware of what stands for what and who stands for what.
In amongst the letters is the letter Q. Ask any person in the street what the Q stands for and they will not be able to tell you. This is the fault of those who write the writings as the thousands of words written – none explain what the celebrated letters actually stand for.
For example, when the debate was raging regarding so called same sex marriage, the leftists (so called) were pushing for EQUALITY and or inclusion but if anyone bothered to explain the meaning of the letters the B in LGBTIQA+ would have stood out. What does the B stand for? BISEXUAL.
If anyone understands what bisexual means they would quickly assess that a bisexual – under equality or inclusion would be able to marry one of each sex as a bisexual requires both sexes. If this was explained to the masses none would have voted for equality or inclusion and the bill would have been defeated. However, those who make the writings offered millions of words that were not understood or believed.
Has the time come for us to be more up front and educate the unwashed masses?
Thanks once again for your wonderful insights Bill.
During a recent vision Sunday message, one statement rang alarm bells for us. The pastor stated we would now be establishing the church as a ‘safe space’ for everyone. On hearing this, there was an immediate uneasiness in our spirits wondering what it really meant, as we’ve always believed that in a Christian Fellowship this is very much a given according to Gods Word. We are also aware that we are all sinners and from time to time there will be problems to be dealt with and rectified.
The radical lefts Safe Schools program came to mind, as this ‘safe space’ was also advertised as having 2 currently working female teachers as the leaders who will implement and oversee it’s functionality! Aware of course this could be a coincidence.
I have questioned what this statement entails via a member of the leadership team. Our concerns were quickly dismissed saying it is nothing sinister as it simply implies being inclusive and making sure no one is abused, bullied or shamed.
Your post today on inclusiveness has again stirred up concerns and we would very much appreciate any insights or thoughts on this matter. Are we overreacting and also is this a serious enough matter that requires action or something trivial to be ignored?
Very grateful for your wisdom and appreciate reading your regular post.
Warm regards, blessings & ongoing prayers for you,
The Judgement Day exclusion that the Lord Jesus speaks of will come as a surprise to many:
” I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 8:11-12 (ESV)
The disciple’s lot is often to be excluded by the same world that rejected the Lord Jesus:
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.” – Luke 6:22,23,26 (ESV)
Coexist is another big one but they only want US to coexist with THEM not vice versa.
Satan only wants to coexist when his people aren’t in power. They whine and complain on and on till you make peace with them BUT as soon as they are in power all the talk of coexistence goes out the window as now it is dominance and submission that they delay. A societal S&M.
We are seeing the pushing for paedophilia being a sexuality as they are called minor attracted persons and people are touting “virtuous paedophiles” that don’t act on their attractions to kids. Also they are lowering the age of consent so one should rightfully ask will child molestation still exist in the future??? And like with homosexuals any child killing himself will be used for political gain, people aren’t accepting child adult relations enough yet, even though the real reason is they can’t deal with what is being done to them. We will tolerate ourselves to oblivion.
Thanks Bill for this relevant and vital message today. We do need to ask certain people who use these catch words to explain what they mean and how others are affected. Use of words has always been a cover for evil. From Satan’s question to Eve, “Did God really say”? to Hitler’s “Final solution” Now we have euphemisms such as “termination of pregnancy” and “a woman’s reproductive rights” as well as “Planned Parenthood” instead of saying that a baby has been aborted.