Monday, June 13, 2005

The Problem with Diversity

"God's Way -
Kind after Kind -
different cultures -
A Beautiful Rainbow -
And the Lord Said His Creation was GOOD!"

This past spring I took a class entitled "Sin and Salvation in the Old Testament." In this course, we studied the story of the Tower of Babel and compared some theories behind this event.

Traditionally, we've said this is a story of pride and punishment. People realize how much they can accomplish. People try to make a name for themselves by building a tower to the heavens. God recognizes people's pride and humbles them through muddling their language and scattering them across the earth.

Ted Hiebert suggests a different interpretation. He writes:

"According to this alternative approach, the story is not about pride and punishment at all. Rather, it is about one culture and many cultures. It describes the human inclination to create a single culture with a single language in a single place coming into conflict with God's plan to create a world of many cultures with many languages in many places. The cultural diversity with which the story ends, and which the story was in fact told to explain, is thus presented not as a punishment on the human race for their sin or pride, but as the way God intended the world to look in the age following the great flood, the age in which the story teller, the Yahwist, and we, his most recent audience, both live."

(You can read his entire article here.)

While I find Hiebert's suggestion fascinating, I don't like where this line of logic is headed. Check out the above rainbow-y picture again. Now consider this second picture below:

“Satan’s Way—He Hates God’s Creation—

He Hates Diversity—He Only Wants

One Race—One Culture—

Race Mixing is Satanic—It is Wrong!

Don’t Destroy the Rainbow.”

These rainbow-y pics and statements are from the KKK website. Also from the website: "Love the diversity of God's creation." Diversity at its worst. Talk about spin.

(Thanks to Adam Cleaveland for the Hiebert link).

1 comment:

pk said...

You are a comment queen Mandy. I was 'running the circuit' today checking out a bunch of blogs and I felt like I was chasing you all over cyber-space! I'm glad I landed on your Spot as well. My return to happened to touch on diversity, in a little less KKK sort of way.

Congratulations on being a Master's grad!