Friday, November 03, 2017

Ethnic and cultural diversity

People need to make a distinction between ethnic diversity and cultural diversity. Ethnic diversity is a good thing. It is a core Christian value. Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. The Book of Revelation says that there will be people from “every tribe, language, people and nation” worshiping before the throne of God. Ethnic diversity is a Christian value. By contrast, racism is fundamentally anti-Christian.

Cultural diversity, on the other hand, can also be good. We can learn a lot from other cultures and they can learn from us. But contrary to what seems to be popular opinion, cultural diversity is not always necessarily a good thing. Many cultures affirm values that are fundamentally irreconcilable with other cultures. Some cultures are fundamentally evil or destructive (e.g. Nazism or Islamic radicalism).

So what happens when two fundamentally opposite and irreconcilable cultures clash? The result is often persecution of the weaker group at best, and ethnic cleansing or genocide at worst. Ethnic diversity should be encouraged and promoted. Significant cultural diversity, however, can be a powder keg. Proceed with caution.

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