May 4, 2010


I'm closer to the center than I am to the right of the political grid; though I'm still right-of-center I think; though I like to claim I'm "above center." Anyway, in class we sometime touch on the subject of multiculturalism; often with criticism. The "multiculturalism" we discuss is actually the "cultural relativism" that is often promoted in liberal academic spheres, which approaches, but does not reach, a "real" positive multiculturalism.

I tend to agree that multiculturalism is paradoxical, but I'm with Chesterton that paradox is sometimes the proper ordering of Truth - e.g., a crucified messiah, love for those who hate us, etc.

I don't seek a purely multicultural society, but I do hope for something more than a mono-cultural society. One of the things I find appealing about Christianity is the myriad of traditions that can be united, at least to an extent, by our fundamental creed.

This has come to my mind lately because I'm a soccer fan and I'm getting pumped for the World Cup this summer - to be played in South Africa. I came across this commercial that seems to tap (for me) the hopeful and inspiring facet of multiculturalism.

I experience the same kind of thing around the Olympics as well; really, any international encounter that plays out without violence is a good thing, in my opinion. Or at least better than a violent alternative, right?

Here's another "multicultural" video:

I love in this video that the interest goes from Matt, to the scenery, to the other people - from the personal, to the general, to the "other as other," as Acquinas would say. Every time I watch that video (and I watch it a lot!) I find a new person in the crowds who strikes me with their "otherness."

In my mind, these cross-cultural expressions of common humanity are a good aspect of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism can be a strong indicator of the Truth that God creates us all in a similar image - a divine image intended for that 'participatory theonomy.' Of course multiculturalism should be understood as a means to that end - i.e., a relationship with each other with God - and not as an end of itself. And I think it's sad that our multiculturalism is now reduced to either relativism, or else merely 'amusing' objectives (soccer or dance). Why does it seem so hard to mix cultures on more substantial issues - hunger, poverty, war, disease, human trafficking, and the like?

1 comment:

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