Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind'

Word studies: multiculturalism vs. pluralism

I've written here before about pluralism and multiculturalism but since "word studies" has proven a fruitful approach to topics, I'm going to try wringing some new changes on them. Though the two terms are often confused by columnists (like Cal Thomas), multiculturalism is the property of the left-secularists (as Dennis Prager was calling that wing of our nation's ideological continuum on Wednesday), and pluralism is an inevitable and, from a social perspective, the most valuable contribution Judeo-Christian or biblical thinking makes to our public life.

Multiculturalism is a hot topic, especially in local governments, schools, colleges and corporate human resource departments. It's what they call "sexy"; it's new, it's hip, and it's the new face of the new totalitarianism. "Multiculturalism" is totalitarian because the real adgenda of "multiculturalism" is to hold up the various colors and sexual preferences in the populations of our city/school/college/corporation and say "how colorful" and how nice that each makes its contribution to our being the best city/school/etc. we can be, and if we can all get in tune with each other and sing the same song, we'll all get alone and those with religious and "pricipial" differences can get lost.

It's skin deep. It's about color and "sleep" habits, but it eschews ideas and ideals. As Howard Dean, the dean of multiculture central, allegedly put it this past week, "we need to find some principles."

Pluralism, on the other hand, is the social outworking of "do unto others what you would have them do unto you," and "love your neighbors as yourselves." In other words, don't force anyone to conform to your curriculum, your tune, or your platform. Not only that, go the extra mile to encourage your neighbors to develop and articulate their ideas and their ideals, even if they conflict with your own. It's much deeper than skin pigment; it's heart deep. It's foundation—as in where-are-your-feet-standing?—deep.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy


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