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Multiculturalism January 27, 2007

Posted by betweennaps in Christianity, Politics.

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.



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