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Serenbe: a Green Town in the Making

Developer Steve Nygren is putting New Urbanist principles into practice at the Serenbe Community outside Atlanta

Posted on Sep 12 2013 by Alex Wilson

I’m just back from Atlanta, where I spoke on Saturday at the new Bosch Experience Center located in the unique Serenbe Community thirty miles southwest of Atlanta.

I gotta say, I was impressed!

Serenbe is the creation of Steve Nygren, who was kind enough to show me around and point out some of the community’s green features after my presentation. It is a 1,000-acre new town development that is one of the best examples in the country today of what a green development can be.

For starters, the larger area — about 62 square miles — was incorporated by Nygren and some other developers as its own municipality, the City of Chattahoochee Hills, allowing them to establish some highly unusual zoning regulations. For example, at least 70 percent of the land in any development must remain as open space, which can include agriculture, recreation, or natural area.

Naturalized wetlands for sewage treatment

Before my presentation Saturday morning I explored some of the wild areas at Serenbe — or at least I thought they were wild. When I later talked with Nygren, he explained that part of the area I had walk through is actually an extensive constructed wetland for wastewater treatment.

Michael Ogden, of Biohabitats, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, whose work I have long admired, designed this system, which will be able to treat the wastewater from all 220 homes and townhouses once build-out is complete, along with two schools and significant areas of commercial development. Rather than being cordoned off with chain link fences, as one might expect with wastewater treatment, this sewage treatment area hosts a network of trails and a boardwalk for all to enjoy.

Biophillic features

Nygren appreciates nature and wants to facilitate greater appreciation of our outdoor environments. He is creating at Serenbe an institute focused on biophilia to promote and teach about biophilic features of land use. (Biophilia, a termed coined by Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson, is the innate affinity — or love — that humans have for nature.) Much of the landscaping in the development reflects this priority. I spent a while Friday afternoon photographing swallowtail butterflies on some gorgeous plantings of butterfly bush by the Inn at Serenbe and the Farmhouse Restaurant.

Many of the traffic-calming bump-outs (extensions of curbs into the streets to slow traffic and demark on-street parking) are planted with edible landscaping. Nygren told me that the blueberry bushes and fig trees are favorites for the students who attend the Montessori school next to the Bosch Experience Center. Fruit trees that have been planted there will become popular as they reach fruit-bearing age.

New Urbanist development patterns

Conventional development today is sprawling, with each home served by a driveway and usually a garage facing the street; most houses are on cul de sacs, which discourage walking. At Serenbe, the houses are located right along the streets, with on-street parking in front and, often, alley access behind. Townhouses provide greater density and more urban feel in the town centers of the community.

Saturday afternoon, as I was leaving for the airport, a “tailgate party” of Georgia Tech football fans with a live band on one of the homes’ porches, had spilled out into the street as an impromptu block party — something the community is designed to encourage.

Many of these buildings feature live-work arrangements with commercial or retail space on the street level and apartments above. I stayed in a very pleasant in-town apartment that is managed by the Inn at Serenbe. After working on my presentation in my room Friday night, I walked downstairs and down a few doors on the sidewalk to discover a musician performing at the Blue Eyed Daisy Bakery Café.

I bought a beer and joined the 20 or so others enjoying the music. It isn’t quite East Village, but I can see how this will become a more and more vibrant area as the build-out continues.

Serenbe is different from Seaside, probably America’s most famous New Urbanist town (on Florida’s panhandle). Serenbe is more spread out, with a lot more open space that separates the higher-density neighborhoods and three town centers (the construction of one of which has yet to begin). To get from one neighborhood to another some people drive (either by car — 15 mph speed limit, controlled by rather robust speed bumps — or electric golf carts, which are very popular). An extensive network of trails also connect these areas.

As more of the development is completed at Serenbe, I think it will gain more of a “critical mass” feel. Nygren pointed out places where clusters of additional homes will be built, along with several hundred thousand square feet of commercial space, including retail shops, offices, a hotel, and (notably) a brew-pub.

Farming at Serenbe

It was partly out of an interest is supporting local agriculture and farm-to-plate initiatives that Serenbe was first created. Currently eight acres of land are being actively farmed in a certified organic and Biodynamic operation, and 25 acres are set aside for farming. The farm is managed by Paige Witherington with several interns, and it supplies food to a 125-person CSA (community-supported agriculture operation), the Saturday farmers’ market in one of the town centers, two acclaimed restaurants at Serenbe, and the Blue-Eyed Daisy Bakery.

There are also horse pastures and stables, with trails extending through the undeveloped portions of the property.

Next week I’ll cover some of the energy features at Serenbe.

Alex is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. In 2012 he founded the Resilient Design Institute. To keep up with Alex’s latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.


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  1. Alex Wilson

1.
Sep 12, 2013 5:47 AM ET

Edited Sep 12, 2013 6:30 AM ET.

Our communities are segregated by class and income
by Martin Holladay

Alex,
When my girlfriend and I visited Altanta this year, Allison Bailes took us on a tour of Serebe. I agree with you that the community is lovely. What bothers me about this type of planned community is that the price of the lots, local zoning regulations, and building codes effectively restrict access to the community to a narrow slice of Americans -- upper-middle-class families. The poor are necessarily excluded.

I just searched for real estate listings at Serenbe. Right now you can buy a two-bedroom house for $295,000, a three-bedroom house for $399,000, a six-bedroom house for $750,000, or a three-bedroom house for $785,000.

What is missing from these communities are the types of homes that Stewart Brand calls "low-road" buildings -- the improvised, thrown-together shelters that are common in rural areas in the U.S. and in rural and urban areas throughout the world.

The residents of these planned communities miss out on the chance to live in a real, vibrant city, where all income groups are thrown together in a neighborhood that is lively and ever-changing.


2.
Sep 12, 2013 7:09 AM ET

Income disparity
by Alex Wilson

Martin,
I can't disagree with this assessment, though I was heartened that during the time I was visiting the two model homes, there were more African-American visitors going through the units than whites. I realize that racial diversity is different than income diversity, but it made me feel that Serenbe will end up being less homogenous than many neighborhoods in the area. With another innovative housing project in Atlanta, I asked about designating a certain number of housing units as "affordable" (as is often done in New England), and I got the sense that that isn't normal practice in Atlanta.

There are a lot of infrastructure costs associated with this project, so an affordability component would require the community or developer agreeing to subsidize that. My sense is that the potential for affordability to become a component of Sernebe is somewhat greater than it is with conventional subdivision development in the Atlanta area--because of the higher-density live-work units being built at Serenbe and the potential to create very small apartments.


3.
Sep 12, 2013 8:42 AM ET

Edited Sep 12, 2013 8:44 AM ET.

Great summary
by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

Alex, you captured the flavor and distinctiveness of Serenbe well. It's a great community (for people with enough money, as Martin pointed out). One bit of history, though: Serenbe was made possible by the people of south Fulton County organizing to protect their land during the rampant development of the late '90s and early 2000s.

Before Serenbe existed, the people of the area created the Chattahoochee Hill Country organization to protect the land. In 2003, they got a Transfer of Development Rights ordinance passed that helped them to do so by permitting only concentrated development and allowing other land owners to profit by selling their development rights to people like Steve Nygren.

So, Serenbe didn't create this type development; they're a result of people organizing to prevent sprawl from taking over their area, as has happened in so much of the Atlanta region.


4.
Sep 12, 2013 9:22 AM ET

The vibe from these pictures
by Kristopher Steege-Reimann

The vibe from these pictures felt pretty unsettling to me. It didn't feel organic. Looked like an amusement park for white people. Thanks Martin for pointing out why it felt that way.

That said, I think there is so much going on that is admirable with the zoning here. It will be great to see how a place like this will evolve with future generations.


5.
Sep 12, 2013 11:35 AM ET

I agree with all of you but
by aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a

I agree with all of you but also must admit I first thought Disney faux and someone whispering something about "plastic."


6.
Sep 12, 2013 12:04 PM ET

Diversity
by Nick Welch

I hate to pile on, but I found this snippet on the Wikipedia entry for New Urbanism:

The organizing body for New Urbanism is the Congress for the New Urbanism, founded in 1993. Its foundational text is the Charter of the New Urbanism, which says:

We advocate the restructuring of public policy and development practices to support the following principles: neighborhoods should be diverse in use and population [...]

Diversity is the first thing mentioned in this New Urbanism "manifesto". It's clearly a very important criterion. If Serenbe excludes the majority of the population income-wise, can it claim to be diverse? And if it's not diverse, can it claim to be New Urbanist?


7.
Sep 12, 2013 1:09 PM ET

New Urbnism
by Malcolm Taylor

This has turned out to be the awful dilemma of New Urbanism from Poundsbury and Seaside to Celebration: It appears to kill one of the very things it set out to create. That having been said it is a marked step up from the similarly homogeneous suburbs which are the most likely alternative.


8.
Sep 12, 2013 1:14 PM ET

Response to Malcolm Taylor
by Martin Holladay

Malcolm,
Here's my own observations: many cities have neighborhoods that are economically diverse, with the rich, the middle class, the working class, the poor, and the homeless all jumbled together. Where I live in Vermont, most dirt roads are very economically diverse. Million-dollar homes are right down the road from a trailer, which sits beside a double-wide, which sits beside a new home with a pond and ducks.

Suburbs and planned communities are the least economically diverse places to live in the U.S.


9.
Sep 12, 2013 4:12 PM ET

Perspective
by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

Let me try to put this in perspective by swinging the conversation back to my first comment above. Yes, you have to have a fair amount of financial wherewithal to live in the Serenbe community. But if the people of south Fulton County hadn't organized and created the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) for the area, much of the rural land around there may have been overrun with the rampant suburban sprawl.

If you don't believe me, just visit some of the neighboring areas around Newnan and Peachtree City. Once you get outside of Serenbe in the south Fulton area, there's plenty of the type of diversity that Martin talks about, with trailers next door to million-dollar homes.

Without the TDR, Serenbe might well still exist...as a gated community island in a sea of suburbia. With the proper perspective, you might be able to appreciate what a success Serenbe really is.


10.
Sep 12, 2013 4:12 PM ET

Unintended Consequences
by Malcolm Taylor

Martin, I've lived in the same rural area on Vancouver island for over 20 years. It used to be where people ended up who couldn't afford land anywhere else. The residents had to fight off proposals for large planned developments on several occasions and in reaction brought in very large minimum lot sizes and restrictions on building. The result has been a rapid increase in land prices and gentrification. It seems like well meaning interventions often have unintended consequences. We fill one pothole by digging another.


11.
Sep 12, 2013 5:43 PM ET

Edited Sep 12, 2013 5:46 PM ET.

Yes, unintended consequences...
by Lucas Durand - 7A

It seems like well meaning interventions often have unintended consequences. We fill one pothole by digging another.

Malcolm,
That's what Nassim Taleb has termed "naïve intervention" - certainly a relevant concept in many different domains.


12.
Sep 12, 2013 8:04 PM ET

No disagreement here
by Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia

I've lived in Serenbe for more than 3 years and recently starting building a house on a lot I've had for almost five years. (Thank you Green Building Advisor for all your wonderful advise.) I also have 6 acres a couple of miles from Serenbe that I bought about 10 years ago.

I don't think there are too many people who live here who would disagree with the many criticisms that have been mentioned in this thread. I would note that the lack of affordable housing is an ongoing topic of discussion at our homeowner gatherings. We all know that it is not "right" and would like to find a way to introduce more economic and social diversity. Unfortunately, the 2008 downturn hit this little section of ruralism (I don't like urbanism for our development. We are literally in the middle of nowhere.). It is amazing that Steve Nygren was able to hold on to this place without compromising his vision for sustainable development.

Yes, the land in this place is outrageously expensive--even though lot prices are 50% off the peak asking price. I only bought my lot because Steve needed money and lowered the price substantially. Still, it was a stretch for me and my wife to make the move here. One thing I didn't see mentioned in Alex's post is the fact that 70% of Serenbe is permanent greenspace.

Many of us who participated in the Chattahoochee Hill Country Alliance and the formation of the City of Chattahoochee Hills wanted to preserve the rural character of this part of Fulton County. Visitors think it's amazing that you can find cows and working farms right on the edge of the City of Atlanta. What they forget (or don't know) is that the northern part of the county looked just like this until about 20 years ago when a long-delayed leg of highway was completed. As soon at GA 400 opened, the developers move it.

In 2007 just before the downturn, the Merrill Group had plans to put in a "village" about five miles from here with an eventual population of 20,000 people. Chatt Hills, which is the third largest city in Georgia in land area, has about 3,000 people, including the 300 or so who live in Serenbe. Because of the city's special zoning, the village would have been subject to a long list of requirements for mixed use and high-density building. None of that would have been possible without the behind the scenes work of Nygen and other residents.

My wife and I had the option of building on our six acres two miles from Serenbe. But we decided to build here because over many visits we had gotten to know the community and its residents. It is a very welcoming and supportive place with like-minded (and mostly progressive) individuals. I've spoken with many of my neighbors, and we all agree that buying here is decidedly illogical. It is not a good financial decision, but we do it anyway because we like the people and the stimulating environment.

Serenbe is far from perfect, but at least it's not another soulless tract development where no one knows their neighbors or extends a helping hand to the surrounding community.


13.
Sep 12, 2013 8:43 PM ET

Stephen
by Malcolm Taylor

Demographic arguments aside, the pictures, especially of the town core, show a richness of architectural depth usually only seen in older cities. Whether people agree with it or not, what they set out to do they did well.


14.
Sep 13, 2013 4:52 AM ET

Response to Malcolm Taylor and Lucas Durand
by Martin Holladay

Malcolm and Lucas,
I appreciate your comments on unintended consequences. These are thorny questions.

Most environmentalists like the idea of preserving green space. But green space can only be preserved by passing laws of some kind that prevent development.

Many mechanisms have been tried, including minimum lot sizes -- a mechanism that generally just restricts access to a neighborhood to wealthy buyers. Serenbe has managed to use another mechanism, one that preserves large chunks of land in a way the prevents development.

If the net result of these efforts is to create planned communities with very expensive house lots, surrounded by green space that is meant to be enjoyed by the residents of the planned community -- and I'm not saying that that's what happened at Serenbe -- then the chosen mechanism has failed. All we've done is created a park for rich people, and made sure that people who live in trailers will be far, far away, out of sight, and definitely not shopping in the stores of the beautiful walkable community.


15.
Sep 13, 2013 6:58 AM ET

Come on guys
by James Morgan

WRT all the comments on diversity, Serenbe isn't going to solve the Syrian crisis or fix the high cost of American health care either. With very few exceptions, homes in new neighborhoods always cost more than their equivalents in aging, fully amortized ones, and affordable home directives have their own unintended consequences too. With such limitations, it's entirely possible that Serenbe might not have survived the recession - the very well-intentioned and high-profile Greenbridge development in Chapel Hill, NC bankrupted its developers as all the 'affordable' units sold but few of the high-rent condos that were supposed to subsidize them did not. Not a model that anyone is going to want to copy anytime soon. At Serenbe, Mr. Nygren set out to give mid-income Atlanta-area folks a thoughtfully considered, environmentally responsible alternative to the McMansion suburbs which have deluged the region in the last thirty years. The development and the developer have apparently survived the great recession and can presumably move forward to build-out. How about GBA discussion moves forward too, to look at how well Serenbe can serve as a model for, you know, green building?


16.
Sep 13, 2013 10:40 AM ET

Edited Sep 13, 2013 10:47 AM ET.

Response to James Morgan
by Martin Holladay

James,
You're quite right that Serenbe is an better example of development than McMansion suburbs. That's good.

I'm going to take a stab at addressing your concluding question: "How about GBA discussion moves forward too, to look at how well Serenbe can serve as a model for, you know, green building?"

Here's my answer: any community that seeks to be a model for green building needs to at least consider the question of trying to integrate all economic classes. You may not agree with that statement, but I'm not alone in making it. For example, check out a recent article titled Building inclusive green cities. It's a report on a conference called the International Green Building Conference 2013.

The article quotes Gary Lawrence: "He emphasised that any urban solution to help create more resilient cities will have to take the vulnerable populations of the city into consideration. He highlighted the fact that in all societies, older people are usually among the poorest and that by 2050, 22 per cent of the global population will be older than 60 years old.

"Reducing social vulnerability is also one of the objectives of the new development master plan for the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"Felipe Goncalves, special advisor to the secretariat of planning, budget and management within the Mayor’s office in Sao Paulo, said there will be a 20 per cent increase in social housing for low-income residents in the newly-zoned areas of the city. Another measure that will be introduced is the “solidarity quota”, which states that for every private housing development built, a social housing development will have to be built as well. ...

"[Dr. Thomas Schroepfer] continued, “Future eco-cities need to create a more positive correlation between affordability and innovation. If we don’t find a different way to approach such projects, they might remain in the realm of high-end housing, and that is certainly not the role of sustainable development."


17.
Sep 13, 2013 12:07 PM ET

Technological Implications
by Malcolm Taylor

I wonder if there aren't implicit limits on diversity in the technologies we are choosing to use in our quest for more energy efficient housing? Apart from the cost of such programmes as Passivhaus building which may price some potential residents out of such housing, I wonder if the reliance on complex mechanical systems and an envelope that relies on a quite delicate use to maintain necessary air sealing for its performance. means such housing lacks the robustness necessary for rental units or households where the residents don't have the time or experience to understand and manage a more active house?


18.
Sep 13, 2013 12:16 PM ET

Response to Malcolm Taylor
by Martin Holladay

Malcolm,
You're right that many Passivhaus buildings are expensive, but I don't think they lack robustness. In any case, it's easy to imagine ways to design robust rental housing that is superinsulated, very tight, and doesn't require tenants to have a degree in building science.

You're raising an important issue, though: these days, the faddish concepts in green building tend to be applicable (mostly) to new construction, and many new green homes are expensive. That's one reason that I made a reference to what Stewart Brand calls "low-road" buildings -- an entirely different approach to green construction.


19.
Sep 13, 2013 9:52 PM ET

Edited Sep 13, 2013 9:57 PM ET.

It kinda reminds me of
by shane claflin

It kinda reminds me of Levittown on different scale. A new Utopia. His "food to plate" I think he means "farm to table". At thirty miles, It's designed for commuters to Atlanta. They probably all drive Prius's anyway.


20.
Sep 16, 2013 3:57 PM ET

Another (realistic) tack
by JoeW N GA Zone 3A

The reverse-classism of some of the comments above disturbs me. I mean, I would rather celebrate a half-loaf rather than condemn it because it falls short of an ideal.

To offer an outside oversight on the strategy of Serenbe, I'd argue that it's taken the best tack possible for the American South East ... an area where energy efficiency and environmental responsibility are often seen as another sign of liberal/federal government incursion and conspiracy.

Meanwhile, Here at GBA posters have often lamented that consumers don't grab onto the "green" machine with both hands and instead focus on immediate cost and cosmetic upgrades (McMansion style) over the values that we admire. Some of us have pointed out that until sustainable building is accessible for "real" people, and until energy efficiency is seen as prestigious and desirable for social status, it just won't happen on a broad base.

In Atlanta, it's exactly those young folk building their first home, and boomers ready for a new life, who tour the demonstration/model homes and learn to ogle the features that are offered. For some of them (hopefully) such buildings become something they may not be able to afford right now, but they see people who aren't that far removed from themselves who are moving in and enjoying a lifestyle they want to share in, too. Someday.

A friend of mine (who has acted as contractor on my renovations) has built one of the NZ demonstration homes -- he says it's precisely people who want to "move up" to a "life like this" who he sees taking the tour.

I count that as a success. Not an ideal, but a big step toward the type of organic growth that Vermont sees, apparently often, perhaps because so many people move there who, apparently, "get it." Hopefully, Serenbe is planting a seed or three that will take root and nurture a new breed of contractor who will be able to offer skills that depart from a dead tradition..


21.
Sep 16, 2013 4:11 PM ET

Edited Sep 17, 2013 7:17 AM ET.

Response to Joe W
by Martin Holladay

Joe,
Thanks for your comments. I agree with most of what you said, especially your conclusion: "Hopefully, Serenbe is planting a seed or three that will take root and nurture a new breed of contractor who will be able to offer skills that depart from a dead tradition."

You are also correct to point out, "Until sustainable building is accessible for 'real' people, and until energy efficiency is seen as prestigious and desirable for social status, it just won't happen on a broad base." Unfortunately, Serenbe isn't able to provide a model that makes sustainable building accessible for 'real' people. But it's definitely a step in the right direction.


22.
Sep 16, 2013 7:19 PM ET

Serenbe residents aren't 'real'?
by James Morgan

How so? Someone please explain.


23.
Sep 17, 2013 3:54 AM ET

Response to James Morgan
by Martin Holladay

James,
When quotation marks are used around a word, it is an indication that the author is not using the word literally. The residents of Serenbe are real.


24.
Sep 17, 2013 7:09 AM ET

Serenbe and affordability
by Alex Wilson

Great discussion.

My feeling here (largely agreeing with James and Joe W) is that projects like Serenbe that include a mix of housing types, including more urban walk-ups, have the potential of creating greater economic diversity than conventional development that is more uniform in housing types. However, real estate value is largely a function of supply and demand. Really great places to live are more popular, and that drives up prices (or keeps those prices high with re-sale). I don't think the answer is to create less desirable places to live in the interest of ensuring low prices. Providing for small, one-room and efficiency units in future town center development in these communities could do a lot to broaden the affordability range.

Ironically, those sprawling, cul-de-sac-based developments that have been the norm in places like suburban Atlanta may become more affordable if gasoline prices go up further or if more people decide they want more livable communities. To me, that's the wrong sort of affordability.


25.
Sep 17, 2013 9:12 AM ET

Edited Sep 17, 2013 9:45 AM ET.

Overpopulation
by aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a

Trying to deal with overpopulation by blogging about increasing the housing stock basically is ridiculous.

The world is overpopulated. Technology is all that is allowing this. There are 4 billion too many on earth now.

It is worth blogging about as an interesting subdivision again maybe in Fine Homebuilding or Fine Subdividing.

At some point we all must admit green is connected to limiting population not building Serenbies.


26.
Sep 20, 2014 5:05 PM ET

Why add "affordable" housing?
by nancy jennings

I understand that "lack of affordable housing" creates a community which is more "diverse", but that's based on the assumption that "diversity" is necessarily a good thing. Like it or not, the single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area ISN'T the amount of greenspace it has. ("Race, Crime, and Justice in America", Second edition, 2005.) People spending this kind of money to live in Serenbe are gravitating to it's beauty, social capital, and safety for their families. Adding low-income housing (or it's euphemism, "affordable" housing) will add...what, exactly?

Metro Atlantans who have lived in the area more than 15 years have seen neighborhood after neighborhood, county after county, transform from "nice, safe, family-oriented" to "don't go there unless you want to be carjacked". And it always started with an influx of "low income" residents. There's a movement right now in Snellville to keep a developer from putting up apartments in the Brookwood High School district, and homeowners have every right to oppose it.

The hysterical diversity crowd can shrilly denounce my post, but people who have the means and desire to choose their neighbors should be free to associate, and live near, whomever they want. Good for Serenbe for not buckling (so far) under criticisms to add "more affordable units". If a bunch of affordable apartments suddenly went up in the chic Hamptons, I can just imagine the rich and famous residents doing everything they can to tear them down.


27.
Sep 21, 2014 6:29 AM ET

Edited Sep 21, 2014 6:31 AM ET.

Response to Nancy Jennings
by Martin Holladay

Nancy,
You have described a real phenomenon. Many upper-income Americans don't want to live near low-income people. The separation of these two communities is a real phenomenon, with many adverse consequences.

If you have adopted the philosophy you describe -- one that associates poor people with crime, and one that espouses separation of the wealthy from everybody else -- then I doubt whether my arguments will change your opinion.

The old-fashioned American vision of a community that included all of our neighbors, of all income levels -- one that included thriving public schools, public swimming pools, public parks, and public libraries -- is falling by the wayside, unfortunately.

Here are some arguments in favor the a revival of that old vision -- arguments that you will probably find unpersuasive:

1. The social argument: societies with integrated communities are socially healthier than those that are separated into gated neighborhoods.

2. The political argument: the separation of the top 1% or 10% of the population in gated communities leads to resentment by everybody else, and eventually to revolution.

3. The spiritual argument (which you will hear from the pulpit at many churches in your area every Sunday): that we have a religious obligation to include all of our neighbors in our community as brothers and sisters, and to invite them to our table.

There are other arguments, of course. But as your comments show, these arguments are being swamped by countervailing trends.


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