Sunday, April 2, 2017

"Diversity" is Destructive: People are the Same in the Most Important Ways

In the last three decades or so our society has been inundated with the idea of  how important and valuable the easy-to-see differences between human beings are. It is called multiculturalism, diversity, anti-discrimination, inclusiveness, pride, kindness, compassion, even love. No, it's not enough to see these differences with our eyes. We must appreciate them, praise them, embrace them, even idolize them. We mustn't see that some differences are prideful or ignorant or irresponsible or self-destructive or criminal or anti-Christ or even suicidal or murderous. We're to close our eyes to the elephants in the room. We're to pretend the naked emperor is wearing beautiful clothes. Many people feel a great moral superiority by pushing this thoughtless, politically correct notion of the value of ostensible human differences on everyone else in spite of what idolizing these differences may result in.  

Now, by some arbitrary measure, if somebody is thought to fail to realize the huge value of these varieties of human identities, in this brave new world he is compelled to take a training course, as in "diversity training," or is lectured nonstop by his or her betters on "kindness," "love" and "compassion." If the long-held, traditional, ordinary way you believe and live centers on anything that appears to contradict any of those applauded varieties, you're in trouble.

So let's think this through. What are the criteria used to define these differences? What is behind this push for dividing humankind? And where will it get us?

It seems to us that the criteria for valuing these differences are only skin-deep. They are based on how people look or present or proclaim themselves. It's all about the most superficial things: appearance, skin color, ethnicity, language, talents, handicaps, sex, sexuality, clothes, personality, their words, their opinions, you name it. Everything you can discern with the senses. Nobody stops to think what is underneath these differences, whether it's true or healthy or worthwhile or whether it's false or destructive or worthless.

We get what's behind it. We get that liberals (churches included) want to fill people's felt needs. They exploit what makes people tick, what they care most about, what appeals to their emotions and senses, what makes them feel better about themselves. Such as, the world is too fractured. Let's get together. Sure we're different but let's embrace our differences. Let's just serve. Just love. Just forgive. Just be patient. Just be respectful. Sure it sounds so nice. But this isn't reality. There are bad things and bad people in the world. There is a devil and he has a name, said Flannery O'Connor.

What's more, Christianity isn't based on sociology. Embracing all those 60-something "genders" will not unite us or make the world a better place. In this evil world we're living in, more evil than it's ever been, where people are trying to raise their children, ignoring or embracing evil, in favor of getting along, are evils themselves. When in the history of humankind, where in the scriptures, where in classic literature does it ever happen that playing up and embracing any and all human differences as normal or wholesome or harmless or worthwhile unites people or brings them closer to God and goodness? Where in the Book of Mormon are all those '-ites a good thing?

Where will this embrace of differences get us? Incredibly, this over-the-top "noticing" of these  variations is supposed to make us all "equal." Yes, we're supposed to play up our differences, which is supposed to make everybody feel equally important. But it's counterintuitive. It's the opposite that is true. While it's interesting to learn and understand about human varieties, we must also discern between good and evil, health and illness, order and disorder, safety and danger. Our universal, God-given, potential ability to discern these things is more important than any differences we may have.

Keep in mind as you read that this loving-our-differences thing only goes so far in this world today. That's the thing about liberalism. When you peel off a few layers you can see that it contradicts its own most vehement talking points. For instance, while we must accept the dozens of different "genders," we must also pretend that male and female (the only two actual sexes) are not different at all. What? And when any of these issues---alternative sexual orientations, sexuality in schools, terrorism, illegal immigration, abortion, gun control, threats against religious freedom---suddenly hit too close to home, some liberals finally start to think things through and change their spots.

Apparently, people think this inconsistent, ostensible pretending is supposed to get rid of every human prejudice and rule, from rudeness to racism, from right to wrong, and turn society into an earthly heaven or utopia. This is not happening and never will. This is earth and we are human beings and there's no way around these facts. What's happening is that human beings are reducing themselves to the lowest common denominator. Everybody is supposed to be made to feel equal based on the most superficial, unimportant characteristics of human beings. It's supposed to be totally okay to be yoked with unbelievers--unequally yoked. There's nothing about absolutes here, nothing about virtue, nothing about truth, nothing about improvement, honesty, goodness, purity, or nobility. It's just humanism at its basest. Selfish. Shallow. Stupid. Humans reduced to their lowest form are not great human beings, inside or out.

This new world order comprises a hazy, lazy sort of "love," a superficial, self-serving "kindness," a fraudulent "compassion" based on radically individual outward appearances. There is very little discernment on things that really matter. Most often, the things that really matter don't even enter into the discussion in our schools, in our governing bodies, in our sciences, in our churches. It's all about the most superficial things, whatever can be discerned with the senses. Sure we say we are all God's children, and yet we don't talk much at all about God, His will, and His rules. Nothing about the value of each soul to God apart from every appearance. Nothing about good or evil. Nothing about those deadly invisible flaxen cords. Nothing about evil influences leading people astray. Nothing about heaven or hell. At least these things are not emphasized. At all.

It seems to us that the more society insists that we are all different (which is racist among other things), the more our unchanged samenesses stand out. As in:  there is both good and bad in people, we all experience pain and evil in the world, every human problem cannot be solved, we're all going to die and be judged.  

Yet even churches are picking up on this dividing and valuing of the human race according to human criteria. The LDS church public relations department is evidently on this track. "I'm a Mormon" commercials celebrate a Mormon Harley Davidson motorcyclist, ballerina, comedian, and fashion exec. Meet the Mormons, two films produced by the church, show Mormons of all stripes, a black Mormon bishop, a Costa Rican kickboxer woman, the tatooed girl (who has a book or two out), the 1948 candy bomber, entertainers from Tokyo, a horse trainer, and a teen mom. Then there's, treating us to stories about Mormon gays as perfectly wonderful and normal.

If you can stomach it, see the videos the church put out about pornography addicts. Apparently they are victims and we're supposed to pity and appreciate their victimhood. There's no judging here between good and evil, between lust and sexual purity. You see, these people are just who they are. Porn addicts. Everybody has their different challenges. That's just the way it is and we're all supposed to make people's particular, current, imagined, even self-appointed, differences the things that matter most. Remember Bruce Jender and TransRachel? Oh, and now there's a one-minute video in the Social Media Shareable Videos section of the LDS Media Library. It's called "We Don't Need to be the Same to be One." Here is most of the audio:

He [God] made everything different.. . No two people are the same. . . We look different. We sound different. We act different. We believe different. But we can different and still be together. We can be kind. We can be patient. We can not judge. We can forgive. Over and over again. Because we don't have to be the same. To be one. We are all God's children.

We get it. But there are problems. Problem: is this religion? At best it sounds like psychobabble. At worst it sounds like a kindergarten propaganda chant for some socialist regime. Out of our differences we can become one? How so? We're all different so let's point these differences out so we can then ignore them and all be the same good people. Yikes. Not only is this incomprehensible, but religion is about the welfare of the immortal soul, not temporal differences or even sociology. Religion is about our relationship with God first, each other second. Religion is based in God's standards of right and wrong, inside and out. And we are supposed to judge right from wrong, truth from error, good from evil.

Another problem: What do they mean by being one? Apparently, the definition of "being one" means appreciating all the differences between us, which is the opposite of being one. News flash:We are supposed to be of one heart and mind. Yes, we are supposed to believe the same way on important things. God's children? Yes. But that's not where Christianity ends; it's barely the beginning. God loved us so He sent His Son.  One way we are definitely all the same is our fallen human condition. We aren't perfect. We need a Savior. Hello? Anybody out there?

Notice how the emphasis is on how we should be kind and accepting because we are different. This is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not by a long shot. Why not make commercials, movies, books, and videos about how there is good and evil in the world, how our human condition makes us all sinners, how our temporal bodies house immortal souls, how we will be judged by a merciful God who provided a Savior, how these truths unite us and cause us to best help and forgive one another and grow spiritually in the process, how people are all the same in the really important, transcendent ways, how people can choose to believe in Christ, how these essential realities apply to people's everyday lives, how the Lord's solutions are the ones that work best and the ones that really matter?

What about our samenesses? Isn't it the universality of human nature that unites us all? Scripture and all classic literature is based on the universality of human nature, deep down. Yes, everybody, regardless of "gender," race, personality, talents, efforts, appearance, socioeconomic status, education, position, beliefs, opinions is a fallen human being. That's why classic literature is classic---because through the millennia, through the centuries, we can still relate to it.

When in the history of humankind, where in the scriptures, where in classic literature does it ever happen that embracing any and all superficial human differences as normal or wholesome or harmless or worthwhile unites people or brings them closer to God and goodness?

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