As the Beaker Symposium on the Family reaches its 8th glorious day, I can feel that it's time I made clear what the Beaker Symposium on the Family is meant to achieve.
It is not meant to define Beaker doctrine. This is partly because we don't actually have any. But mostly because, if we did, it would be me defining it. It's more of a conversation, where people who have had contact with what we theologically define as "the Real World" tell me what they'd like, and I tell them no.
What happens is that we pick the subject of the day, then go off into small groups to discuss it. Each group writes their opinions - if that's not too strong a word - on flip-chart paper, then they come back and present their findings through the medium of mime or interpretive dance. Meanwhile everybody else strokes their chins, chews the ends of their glasses, and nods sagely.
At the end of the Symposium, we will take all the flip chart paper, and turn it into a giant papier mache model of June Whitfield. Then I will tell everybody to carry on believing what I tell them.
I should correct the press speculation around one of the leaks from one of the groups. When Chazberry said that "gay people have many gifts", what was not reported was what she thought those gifts were. Contrary to popular speculation, she didn't mean in music, creative arts and keeping quiet about their orientation when they're in high office. No. She meant shape-shifting, extraordinary strength and resisting evil. Turns out she was thinking about the X-men. We may never find out the source of her confusion. And to be honest, we're not going to look too hard.