Thursday, August 16, 2007


This is a really provocative article passed along to me today by a parishioner. The article is an op-ed from the Wall Street Journal which basically calls into question the value diversity gives to our society.

The article raises a lot of interesting questions about what diversity means and why we should value it as a society. I am afraid that some readers will see this as suggesting that the call for a more diverse society is what is fragmenting our society. That is certainly not the case. Rather it is the mandate for greater public diversity absent of substantive connection in our private lives that sometimes leads to disjuncture and frustration. To say that we have diversity in our schools and our work places without having any diversity at our dinner tables calls into question what it is that is valuable about diversity in the first place.

St. Paul said that we can have faith so as to move mountains but if we have not love we are nothing. So it is with diversity. We can have a lot blacks and whites in the same classroom but if they aren't loving one another then we have not yet reached our goal. My heart weeps for a world full of so much richness that cannot take the final and hard step toward love.

But, as Dr. King said, "I've been to the mountaintop." I've seen the promised land. I've read books like Chris Rice's Grace Matters. I was at our wedding when two families as different as night and day came together and celebrated what God had brought together. There were white people there and black people there and men in traditional African dress and others in Western boots.

And a mariachi band played the theme music...