It’s been a strange week or so in which things I care about and which have a personal relevance have come into the media spotlight somewhat. In certain ways the axis of the world has turned a smidgen over the last week and certain conversations have opened up.
First there was the opening up of the trans debate. Whilst this has been messy and the fallout is yet to be fully seen (Observer publishing own comments later today apparently, and PCC now launching enquiry into Burchill article) according to this on the Greenslade blog it has I think achieved something. I think through articles such as Deborah Orr’s comment is free piece something has been added to people’s understanding of the issue and made them think more about the relationship between feminism and transgender issues. Certainly discussion has taken place. For those wondering what I’m talking about see what Karl wrote last week – although events have moved on, Observer removed Burchill piece and Moore apologised for initial remark – although she also put it in context in further article.
Then there was the whole discussion around the Steve Chalke article which has taken up quite alot of blog space on here this week. As I said in my initial post on the subject it was a definite breaking of a public silence, which saw what was being said publicly come into line with what was being said and done semi-publicly or privately.
The nature of response has varied. In addition to the EA/ Steve Clifford response I have referred to previously the EA have also put up this interesting article by Steve Holmes. In the States where Wendell Berry was publicly speaking out in a similar manner Tony Campollo put out this post on Red Letter Christians and Brian McLaren who also had the public coming into line with the widely known private knowledge in the Christianity editorial gave this response. In the UK Adrian Warnock responded with this post in response, Premier Christian Radio had this range of responses and so I could go on. Charlotte Norton summed up the significance well in this post when she said,
“People haven’t changed their minds, but they have become willing to talk about it.” .
Finally this week I have become through several conversations even more aware of what is happening and what has the potential to happen as a result of the cuts. That is one conversation which needs to open up much more widely and I hope other conversations aren’t used to obscure this.
That all said we need to remember these conversations will have little or no significance to many people and will have passed them by. I was reminded of this yesterday when I was very grateful for having caught a couple of episodes of Celebrity Big Brother this week and so being able to chat about that with somebody for whom life doesn’t revolve around either the Guardian or evangelical sub-culture debates.