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I know the feeling… January 31, 2007

Posted by betweennaps in Asians, Childhood, Funny, Life, Procrastination.
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girl on piano

Multiculturalism January 27, 2007

Posted by betweennaps in Christianity, Politics.
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The first time I heard the term “multiculturalism” used negatively was probably a little over a year ago.  In school we were always taught that multiculturalism was a good thing. My college’s student center was known as the Multicultural Center.  Also, the opposite, for me as a minority, meant that everyone would have to act white.

One of the main arguments I hear against multiculturalism is that it promotes moral relativity, claiming that all cultures are equal.  I don’t think that they’re the same thing, though.  I’m not opposed to multiculturalism to the extent that it means diversity, but I do think that moral relativity is hogwash.  Every culture has different strengths and weaknesses.  In America, we should celebrate the stronger aspects of different cultures, but we should not be afraid to tell people that what they’re doing is stupid, detrimental, or wrong, even if it’s attributable to the culture they grew up in.

The Church today often celebrates multiethnicity.  My college fellowship was named Multiethnic InterVarsity.  Upon reading Divided by Faith (worthy of a separate post), I decided that as a Christian, diversity is important to God, and I should do my part in trying to bridge cultural gaps.  My home church is 50% Black, with a Black pastor, and I went so far as to join the Black Law Student Association in law school.  A fascinating post I recently stumbled on made me rethink all of it.  The author essentially argues that multiethnic churches destroy actual diversity because they unintentionally diminish ethnic diversity.  You can read it here.

I still believe that diversity is a wonderful thing.  I just don’t know what it means to be diverse anymore.

I’m Glad I Don’t Live In Europe January 26, 2007

Posted by betweennaps in Christianity, Politics.
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Today I was reading a thread on the BBC about whether Catholic adoption agencies should be exempted from gay rights laws.  A lot of the comments unsurprisingly were centered around either “the Bible says homosexuality is wrong,” or “the church is outdated and organized religions only spread hate.”

To me, this really comes down to two legal issues: freedom of association and the state’s interest in protecting its orphans.  (Granted I don’t know much about the British legal system.)  I don’t believe that children in adoption agencies will be harmed if Catholics are allowed to discriminate when deciding which parents to match their children with because Catholic agencies are not the only adoption agencies in England.  Forcing religious groups to alter their beliefs to what the government decides is “morally right,” is curbing people’s freedom to worship.  While the secular mindset isn’t an organized religion per se, it’s a set of beliefs all the same, and the proposed legislation is no different than Christianity/Muslims/etc. imposing their beliefs on others.  If Catholic agencies are not exempted from the gay rights legislation, I would completely support their decision to close their adoption agencies in Britain entirely.

There are some arguments that the church shouldn’t be above the laws of the land, and if the church were to be exempted, the legislation would be effectively meaningless.  However, anti-discrimination laws should not be applied to private and public institutions identically.  Everyone has the right to be racist/sexist/homophobic if they want to be.  The government just can’t endorse it.  In America, the church and the state are supposed to be separate.  Here, as in elsewhere in the Western world, it seems like instead of the church meddling with governmental affairs, the state is the one encroaching on the church.