Thursday, December 3, 2009

the inadequacy of diversity as a goal

Beyond ‘Diversity’: New Creation and a Mestizo Vision at Sojourners is sufficiently Christian in its language that I hesitated to read it, but I'm glad I did. The conclusion:
Integration and Diversity do not state the power of the Holy Spirit’s interruption of history deeply enough. To emphasize Edgardo’s point, “all ethnic ministries are provisional because the future is mestizo.” Diversity and integration lack a telos, a goal, a “for what purpose?” New Creation and a mestizo vision properly understood within God’s work of “reconciling all things in Christ” (Col. 1:15-23) offer a fresh paradigm of “toward what” that is not only deeply transformative but beautiful, a bit scary, and subversive to the way things are. Not to mention a deeper way to holiness and vision which requires God.
In the '90s, The Diversity Myth was a lunatic rightwing response to lunatic leftwing experiments in diversity at Stanford University. The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance on Campus is a very sensible review of it. I especially like the reviewer's comments about education in the Soviet Union and Bulgaria.


  1. Will, I think we can get some clues to our human situation from the genius of "ecosystems." To work at optimum level, they require that the rich diversity have a level of interaction and mutual sustenance. Without even knowing it, the various plants and animals contribute to an overall environment that supports the other species (even the ones that represent their own food supply). In human society, isn't diversity and uniqueness of personality a part of the natural state of human nature, from our fingerprints to the unique combinations of thoughts in our brain cells? We may suppress it, but it never completely goes away. The "goal," I think, is to find ways to ensure that as many of the differences can coexist and become mutually supportive as possible. One of the keys, it seems, is to understand the essential difference between unity and uniformity. Liberal religion can be a significant voice in that process, seems to me. What about you?

  2. UUF, diversity's great. But too many people think diversity's the goal when it's just a marker along the way.

    There's a question I keep asking capitalist champions of diversity, and I have yet to get an answer: Given how little movement there is between social classes in the US and the UK, how can we ever achieve true equality without sharing the wealth, which means the end of capitalism?