I remember learning as a child that variety was the spice of life. Variety used to mean enjoying many different experiences, alone or with others. It is a great idea that mitigates against our getting pigeonholed into a set of routines or behaviors that severely limits our ability to taste the Baskin Robinsesque flavors of earthly life.
For example, well into my marriage with my late wife, Judy, I had misgivings about foreign travel. I was content to go to the same old places in New York or Florida. This all changed when she won a trip to London in the late eighties. After that overseas experience, for over 20 years we traveled extensively. We went to places, like the Island of Malta, that I never thought I would ever see—Hawaii five times, Ireland four times, Italy, three times and even my second wife, Anna’s birthplace Sicily.
Since I married Anna, we have been on two cruises, including one that started in Barcelona Spain. She has introduced me to several Italian customs, new people and a lot of very interesting people. Do not get me started on Italian cuisine. Something changed drastically 10-15 years ago.
But in today’s frenzied climate of language and semantics, this normal, useful and very mundane word is being cast out to lexiconic pasture. Variety now seems to have been replaced for all practical and even political purposes with the word diversity. Granted, there is a legitimate usage of the word when it comes to establishing a stock and bond portfolio that reflects a diversity of investment. This is wise and supported by another adage of do not put all your eggs in one basket.
The dictates of the word diversity, which first appeared in a poem by William Cowper, entitled The Task, in 1785, has assumed a more sinister meaning in the 21st century. Under its rubric, several cultural institutions, especially traditional marriage, have had their beliefs, attitudes and practices rocked with the force of tornadic winds.
They demand a blanket acceptance, approval and support of a myriad of diverse sexual preferences, racial and ethnic and religious differences, especially unequivocal support for the linchpin of their cultural transformation of America, a woman’s right to kill her baby in utero. The religious, moral and personal views of those in opposition are considered heresy to the Left. To even voice their slightest criticism is an unforgiveable and unpardonable act of political and cultural treason that they will punish with the powers of character assassination and career ruination.
To criminalize non-compliance, many states and Washington D.C. alike have legislated against opposition, coercing people to bow before diversity like a golden idol. The irony of this national mania is that our government’s leaders and university administrators and faculties have thoroughly stifled a diversity of thought, which to me is one of the landmarks of a free society and one of the few kinds of diversity that has any positive meaning.
I now ask the rhetorical question: What is so good about diversity? When I first personally encountered the word in my parish, 10 years ago, two thoughts came to mind. Diversity, in my then limited experience, usually meant homosexuality or someone of a different language and culture. I see none of these personal differences alone adding anything so special that it needs the government to force us to accept them. If a person has special language skills or anything invariable special to America’s sense of purpose, like being Spanish, Italian or a musician, foreign language teacher or scientist, then I have no problem with diversity.
A facility for language, something I have not been blessed with, is a positive for it enables us to breech the language barriers that often separate the United States in its economic and diplomatic exchanges. Like foreign travel, a knowledge of language and foreign cultures is broadening. Learning about a new culture, especially its language, adds more to the spice of life and expands our understanding of different peoples, but it is something that we should choose, not something forced upon us by Washington or our local governments. To bring millions of poor immigrants into this country, who have no knowledge of our country’s language, history and culture is a counter-productive idea that will eventually cause more harm and undermine the basic freedoms of American citizens.
When I was in school, we learned all about the now much-maligned term melting pot. It was an easy to understand metaphor that described immigrants who migrated to this country to forge a better life in the land of the free and who were willing to learn our language, history and principles of government and most importantly follow the rules and regulations for legal entry into this country. While maintaining their cultural identity, they sometimes created serious tensions; however, most of these new Americans soon learned that the best way to advance in America was to keep a bilateral balance. As a result, prejudices died, sometimes slowly, but eventually they or their children could enjoy their new country in peace.
But our new diversity has created a salad bar of different identities, not only national but sexual as well, that are slowly tearing this nation apart, just as economist, Thomas Sowell has predicted in several of his books. If someone wants to identify causes of racial, religious or sexual national discord, just listen to the apostles of the Gospel of Diversity.
Millions of immigrants have been encouraged by a prior administration to enter this country illegally and many religious groups have bellied up to the bar of disorder and lawlessness to support such pernicious ideas, as amnesty zones, where immigrants, many of whom have terrorized the American people, even to the extreme of murdering them, are virtually immune from local law enforcement. This serves to undermine a free society.
The Left has insulted the American people by replacing the word illegal with the semantic undocumented workers. Semantic phrases, while often very clever, are lies people tell to deceive us of the truth of what they promote. Millions of these border-crashers come to this country, not to assimilate, but to drain our social institutions of funds and energies that were delegated toward America’s poor and indigent. Many times, they overwhelm local school boards that have to provide language teachers in everything from Farsi to Swahili to accommodate their cultural diversity. It is no wonder that many local governments in California, the land of diversity and amnesty are virtually insolvent. Drug lords virtually rule our southern borders where violence and chaos reigns.
As for homosexuals, I have no trouble with them as individuals and I treat them as I would anyone else…unless they confront me with their lifestyle, forcing me to standup for my beliefs. Live and let live is how I think. However, I believe their distinctive lifestyle adds little or nothing to us as a people. If anything, it denigrates the basic traditions of this country’s founders and its religious traditions, such as their assault on marriage. I have been to a Gay Pride Parade on Fifth Avenue, in New York City, only because I had to cross 5th Avenue to get to Broadway. All I can say that’s printable is that what I witnessed was a very flamboyant display that was both adolescent and vulgar.
The Gay Liberation Front has expanded their liberation to include lesbians, transgendered and many other forms of sexual distinction. The Left has exploited and promoted the confused and immature feeling of millions of adolescents, many of whom might be close to developing a mental illness. Instead of offering them some sort of psychological help, they have encouraged them to accept and assert their bizarre behaviors, to the extent we have gone from men and women to a catalogue of outlandish and perverse sexual identities, now numbering close to 50.
As for religious belief, before diversity became the written law of the land, people were free to practice whatever faith, short of human sacrifice, they wanted. But diversity has changed the religious landscape so that the Christian religion especially, has been slowly eliminated from the public square. As C.S. Lewis once noted, the modern world insists that religion be a purely private affair, then shrinks the area of privacy to the vanishing point. When the state moves in, separation means forcing the church to move out. And the state keeps moving into new domains which it claims as its own. As a result, the Christian faith has slowly but surely eroded over the last few generations that it is often difficult to distinguish between advocates of secular culture and religious culture. It is a sad state we are in with no apparent end in sight.