Monday, August 27, 2007

If Diversity Is King

By Rick Pearcey

"Diversity" is one of secularized America's favorite pretended absolutes. God has been declared dead to public life, including learning, so something has to take His place. Human beings and human societies, atheist or otherwise, cannot operate without a center of gravity.

"Diversity" is making a go of it. A host of freethinking worshippers have bowed the knee, in the name of education, the group, "my truth," tolerance, and humility. Some apparently do not realize that diversity without unity leads to chaos. It is anything but a strength.

For one thing, it ontologizes evil in all its multiplicity. Moral categories disappear in the diversity of bare existence with its impersonal particles, compounds, heat, cold, solar systems, and galaxies. As such, it is impossible, on the basis of sheer diversity, to make morally humane discriminations that protect civilization from barbarism and destruction.

The PR for this approach offers comforting words about "tolerance." Enlightened people, it is said, can relax in "safe" places where differences can be explored. We can live at peace knowing that what's true for "my morality" may not be true for yours. There is no judgment in the bliss of ethical humility.

Except that if diversity is king, there is no way to discern morally sporting activity from terror activity; football or soccer from abortion and dogfighting; Vince Lombardi from Saddam Hussein. The moral element of crime also disappears. Every loophole in court is technical only.

In such a setting, who are we to impose our diversity of feelings on the private inter-species canine entertainment activities of Michael Vick and company? Diversity is a weak god. It protects neither Man nor Man's Best Friend.

This brings us to "Multiculturalism's War on Education," an article that appears in today's Frontpage magazine.

The article begins: "Back to school nowadays means back to classrooms, lessons and textbooks permeated by multiculturalism and its championing of 'diversity.' Many parents and teachers regard multiculturalism as an indispensable educational supplement, a salutary influence that 'enriches' the curriculum. But is it?"

Education should be about questioning, including questions regarding the pedestal upon which multiculturalism now rests in the public schools and elsewhere. The article makes several good points, and I am happy to recommend it.

But it stumbles, it seems to me, when it asserts: "The American republic, with an elected government limited by individual rights, was born not of stone-age peoples, but primarily of the European Enlightenment."

It is true that the American republic was not born of stone-age peoples. But it was born of peoples rooted in the concept of the Judeo-Christian Creator, not in the secular Enlightenment per se, which rejected the Creator for a naturalism that founded human rights in, among other things, the secular state. (Put differently, there is a continuity from Reformation freedoms and the English Revolution of 1688 to the American colonies of 1776, but a real difference in worldview between the French and American Revolutions.)

I touch on this here: "On one side of the culture war are people who understand that this nation is founded upon the governing principle of independence under God. This position is clearly set forth in the Declaration of Independence, which is based on a framework in which there is a Creator from whom all human beings, by virtue of creation, are endowed with inalienable rights. This particular worldview orientation is what dramatically sets the American experiment apart from ancient Greece, classical Rome, the French Revolution, National Socialism, Marxism, and the anti-Christian secularism that rose up in America in the 1960s.

"On the other side of the culture war are people who reject this founding framework in favor of a concept of independence apart from God. This view emerged on the Western political landscape during the French Revolution. Instead of a Creator God as the basis for human rights, people on this side of the struggle have come to see humanity as the product of an impersonal nature that has produced autonomous human beings who look to themselves (their choice, power, genes) or their groups (race, class, gender, party) or the impersonal natural order itself as the final reference point for human rights and identity."

The entire Frontpage article by Elan Journo is here.

Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report (archives).