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« on: October 03, 2005, 01:49:54 PM »

Dead But Not Gone

The Strange Death of Marxism, Paul Gottfried, University of Missouri Press, 154 pages

by William S. Lind
It sometimes happens that the worst characteristic of an otherwise valuable book is its title. Such is the case with Paul Gottfried’s latest work, The Strange Death of Marxism. Instead of Marxism’s obituary, what Gottfried has actually written is the story of its transmutation into—well, into exactly what remains in dispute. Whatever it might best be called, it is clearly the basis for the political correctness and multiculturalism that have become the state ideology in most of Europe and the United States.

Along the way, Gottfried does chronicle the death of classical, economic Marxism-Leninism both in and beyond European Communist Parties. There are no surprises here; postwar revelations of Stalinist horrors coupled with a rising prosperity that enabled European workers to join the middle class undermined the powerful French and Italian Communist Parties of the 1950s, along with those in most other countries. Maoist and Castroite attempts to internationalize the workers’ revolution by translating it into Third World liberation kept Marxism-Leninism on life support for a while, but it was already brain dead. By the time the Soviet Union fell in 1989, classical Marxism had long since been stuffed and mounted, like Lenin. Not even the Chinese Communist Party takes it seriously anymore.

Were that the main substance of Gottfried’s book, it would amount to little more than the usual ho-hum academic work. In fact, it is very much more. What Gottfried really presents is the history of Marxism’s bastard offspring, political correctness, and the institution most responsible for its birth, the Frankfurt School. In so doing, The Strange Death of Marxism joins Lorenz Jäger’s superb new biography of Theodor Adorno in making the intellectual history of the most radical of anti-Western ideologies accessible to a nonacademic audience.

Gottfried traces the rise of PC and multiculturalism through Antonio Gramsci, Georg Lukacs, the Frankfurt School, and others, showing how Marx’s economic determinism evolved into an obsession with the unholy trinity of “racism, sexism, and homophobia,” which now demands endless sacrifices. The first way station was what Gottfried calls “neomarxism”:

    Neomarxists called themselves Marxists without accepting all of Marx’s historical and economic theories but while upholding socialism against capitalism, as a moral position …. Thereafter socialists would build their conceptual fabrics on Marx’s notion of “alienation,” extracted from his writings of the 1840s …. [they] could therefore dispense with a strictly materialist analysis and shift … focus toward religion, morality, and aesthetics.

What happened next is a matter of dispute, more over terminology than anything else. As Marxism became PC and multiculturalism, did it turn into cultural, as distinguished from economic, Marxism, or did it, as Gottfried contends, move so far beyond Marx as to constitute post-Marxism? Gottfried writes,

    Is the critical observation about the Frankfurt School therefore correct, that it exemplifies ‘cultural Bolshevism,’ which pushes Marxist-Leninist revolution under a sociological-Freudian label? To the extent its practitioners and despisers would both answer to this characterization, it may in fact be valid … but if Marxism under the Frankfurt School has undergone [these] alterations, then there may be little Marxism left in it. The appeal of the Critical Theorists to Marx has become increasingly ritualistic and what there is in the theory of Marxist sources is now intermingled with identifiably non-Marxist ones …. In a nutshell, they had moved beyond Marxism … into a militantly antibourgeois stance that operates independently of Marxist economic assumptions.

Here Gottfried is both right and wrong. He is correct that the cultural Marxism we know as political correctness has left Marxism-Leninism and orthodox Marxist economics behind. It did so early; by the late 1910s, Gramsci and Lukacs perceived that culture was not merely “superstructure” but a separate and important variable, and in 1930 Max Horkheimer, the Frankfurt School’s new director, said that the working class would not be the basis of a revolution.

But Gottfried writes, “In defense of this project as a Marxist one, it might be said that its practitioners regarded themselves as revolutionary disciples of Marx and took pains to place their work into a Marxist framework.” Perhaps we should simply take them at their word.

While much has been written about the Frankfurt School’s move from Germany to the United States after Hitler came to power and its subsequent influence here, Gottfried breaks some new ground in his look at the boomerang effect. How is it that Jürgen Habermas, Horkheimer’s and Adorno’s successor at the Frankfurt School, has good things to say about America? As Gottfried writes,

    Immigration reform for the benefit of Third World populations, followed by laws aimed at curbing discrimination against racial minorities and recognition of feminist and gay rights, began in the United States about ten to fifteen years earlier than in Western Europe.

Far from being a bastion of church-going cultural conservatism, the United States has become the world leader of the culturally Marxist revolution, to the point of attempting to impose secular democracy and women’s rights on the Islamic world by force of arms. Gottfried rightly traces European cultural Marxism back to the American-designed re-education of the Germans after World War II, of which Habermas proudly proclaims himself an heir. If some European countries have now gone farther than the U.S. in making cultural Marxism the state ideology—any dissent from which risks a term in prison—America had much to do with injecting the poison into the European body politic. This time it was Horkheimer and Adorno who arrived on the sealed train.

In his last chapter, Gottfried argues that the “soft despotism” of cultural Marxism, the spirit of Huxley’s Brave New World, is a political religion. That is a fair description of ideology in general; all ideologies are anti-Christ, false Christianity promising heaven on earth through man’s own efforts. Despite labeling cultural Marxism “post-Marxism,” Gottfried acknowledges that “the appeal of a Communist god remains a critical point of reference for explaining the current European parliamentary left.” The transmuted effect of this god is that

    Those who are secure in their pure intentions also understand the pervasive evil of their Euro-American or German identity. It is something that must be devalued and eventually removed from human relations, in the transition to a global society that will ‘enrich’ the Western world by replacing it.

Nor is this goal confined to the European Left:

    Prominent American neoconservative journalist and author Stephen Schwartz has argued in the National Review that those who are fighting for global democracy should view Leon Trotsky as a worthy forerunner.

In the end, Gottfried ends up proving the opposite of the thesis in his book’s title. Uncle Karl may be buried, but he’s far from dead. 
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2005, 04:19:53 PM »

Marxism is a doctrine of class struggle. The idea that black people might be offended by being called a nigger is the doctrine of political correctness. The two ideas have no connection. No Class Struggle, no Marxism. Ask a Marxist.
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2005, 05:08:37 PM »

I do not agree, Philokalia, and given the history of Marxism and those who have upheld the theory might doubt the veracity of any answer given. Indeed in other areas I have heard those on the far left actually deny there is any such thing as political correctness. Indeed any reference to political correctness (often critical of some inanity or other) meets with a tilt at the 'supposed' prejudice of the commentator.

Perhaps a more accurate description of both 'PC' and multiculturalism is that they are offspring of Marxism
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2005, 05:29:30 PM »

The more accurate description would be that Marxism and political correctness and multi-culturalism (which I very much support) are part of the outworkings of the 1789 French Revolution and the events and ideas it precipitated.
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2005, 06:21:13 PM »

The French Revolution and Christianity are hardly compatible, and Marxism no more so surely?
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2005, 06:37:14 PM »

The French Revolution and Christianity are hardly compatible, and Marxism no more so surely?

Just to clarify, it is multi-culturalism that I support, not Marxism. In what ways do you think the ideas of 1789 are necessarily anti-Christian? They were certainly contingently anti-clerical but to what extent was that a product of particular historical circumstances rather than any notion that adult suffrage and freedom of the press are contrary to Gospel truth?
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2005, 05:10:45 AM »

I was thinking more of the virulent attacks not just on clergy but on every aspect of Christianity and every symbol, as comtemporary records show. And the wanton violence on enemies real or imagined. Nor did the French revolution stop there.

Multiculturalism interestingly has come for criticism from of all people Trevor Phillips, a black politician, erstwhile Blairite and head of the statutory Commission for Racial Equality. A sometimes 'potty' and divisive construct that hands national symbols to extreme nationalist, instead of having people of colour and newcomers embrace those very symbols thus robbing a nasty and destructive minority of symbols they are not aggregate to themselves but are facilitated in their expressing their hate by the disciples of multiculturalism. I write as one who not only has chosen to live in a 'rainbow' city and in an area where to be white is to be in a very small minority but has lead a city wide charity and promoted inclusiveness with some success.

Like you I like to see everyone and every section of the community engaged in civic society but have grave doubts about the compatibility of any socio-utopian philosophy or political theory and Christianity. Yes, the state has a responsibility to protect its citizenry and anyone else who enjoys the protection of that state, whether as a visitor or resident and all should be equal before the law and treated without fear or favour.
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2005, 04:44:05 PM »

Multiculturalism encompasses Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English Britons living together and letting their differences and commonalities shine. Multiculturalism encompasses French and English speaking Canadians. Multiculturalism encompasses Fleming and Walloon Belgians. Critics of multiculturalism by and large are white people who want to get rid of blacks from Europe and North America. Its not going to happen people. Live with it.

There is no contradiction in principle between the principles of the Frecnh Revolution and the Gospel of Christ. The fact that the Hierarchy of the Church were big landowners made them targets of land reform, not before time. Try reading Alexis de Toqueville if you want to see how wrong it is to suggest the revolution was anti-Christian.
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2005, 08:04:51 PM »

Multiculturalism encompasses Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English Britons living together and letting their differences and commonalities shine.

No, not in the least. Multiculturalism is a fallacy, a fraud, a non-movement. It is, in fact, a guise under which enemies of traditional Christian culture have assembled to remake the West in their egalitarian image. It has nothing whatsoever to do with people of different creeds or races living together in harmony. PC and multiculturalism are the modern, non-threatening face of egalitarianism, which was born directly of Marxism, and is part of the ideology that supports abortion, the normalization of homosexuality, and the complete elimination of all traditional understanding of sexuality. It is laughable, nay pitiable, to believe that the modern multiculturalist movement has anything to do with people "living together and letting their differences and commonalities shine."

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Critics of multiculturalism by and large are white people who want to get rid of blacks from Europe and North America. Its not going to happen people. Live with it.

This is a statement of such profound ignorance and prejudice, I don't even know how to answer it.

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There is no contradiction in principle between the principles of the Frecnh Revolution and the Gospel of Christ.

Of course there are differences, profound differences. The French Revolution was born out of the so-called "Enlightenment" of the early 18th century, which was, philosophically speaking, in stark opposition to Christianity. The Enlightenment thinkers rejected all of what Christians revere as revelation, preferring instead to call themselves Deists or unitarians, as were many of America's Founding Fathers. The Gospels are not about rationalism or empiricism; they are about faith in Christ. The only possible way to square the Gospels with the ideals of the French Revolution is to look at the Gospels through the lens of liberation theology, which is a total distortion of Christianity.
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2005, 05:20:41 AM »

Several point I might have made have been made by others. The kingdom of heaven He promised was not to be one of this world but of the next. Political movements and socio-uptopian idealism is about this world. Some things may touch or appear to touch but they are not the name nor should they be confused.

Critics of multiculturalism are largely white? Where is your evidence. I offer the Blairite Black activist and head of a statutory body in the UK to promote and challenge discrimination against people of colour and so-called ethnic minorities, as a very recent critic how said it has been a mistake and gone on at length. Something I think you would have been aware of without even reading my post. Nor is he alone. Opponents of multiculturalism include Muslim activists, some significant bodies among Afro-Americans in North America and others.

Proponents of multiculturalism include endless white 'liberals' who come up with daft ideas like that of Dudley Council in the English midlands of banning anything in the form of a pig in their offices, including toy pigs and cartoon characters on tissue boxes because it might 'offend' Muslims. It is similarly dreamt up by white 'liberals' in the British Red Cross who banned all Navitity related decorations and symbols in their charity shops, and the independent prison watchdog who wants prison officers to stop wearing charity pins displaying the English national flag/cross of St George on their uniforms, and town halls who refuse in England to fly the flag because if might offend minorities. (North American readers I jest not, in 'upside-down' Blairite Britain this happens, and at the head of the queue for such inanity are white 'liberals').

Like others I shop, associate with and relate to people of colour, people from a wide variety of backgrounds, ethnic, religious and language groups. Having lived for some years in areas of very diverse population, it has been easy. I get on with only a Christian rather a political philosophy to guide me.

Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Jains and others I have talked to worry about some of these examples feeling that such interventions far from helping may lead to them being blamed for something many of them think mad. Some are perplexed by people who appear unable or unwilling to acknowledge and show attachment to their own cultural background and its symbols. Some like me are puzzled at the passive, even collusive, handing over of national symbols to extremists and crackpots.

The sheer of hypocrisy of British multiculturalism may be demonstrated as follows (and often appears to be ashamed of Christianity or the country's Christian roots):

Respect for each others customs and values:

Staff in a local authority home (and this is repeated many times) are criticised for a lack of awareness and catering for minority diets. Some authority is giving the children of these people whose ways must be respected advice on sexuality and abortion secretly. Now which of the two issues will weigh more heavily with a community that has very strict understanding of human sexual behaviour and a deep abhorence of abortion?

Schoolchildren may not have a nativity play and despite their being very few children from minorities will be expected to celebrate festivals of other faiths?

Respecting the right in a secular society of others to believe differently from yourself is fine. But when you grant citizenship to people who have only the slimmest understanding of the language of the host community? When making them aware of the British way of life appears to be more focussed on how to obtain welfare benefits than the responsibilities of a citizen? When to object to this warped perspective or even to question it is to bring outrageous cries of 'racist' on your head?

Americans, in Blair's Britain the granting of citizenship bears little resemblance to the American approach. Indeed the setup almost appears ashamed of Britain.
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2005, 05:14:58 PM »

The fact that it is so surprising that a black New Labour hack like Trevor Philips speaks out against multiculturalism rather illustrates the point that it is unusual. The thing about Wakefield prison as you no doubt know is that fascist activity in that part of Yorkshire is quite prominent and the British National Party use the St George's flag extensively in their propaganda. You probably will find few if any prison officers in the North of Ireland wearing Red Hand of Ulster badges either since it is both a "national" and a political statement.

I think Orthodox Christians in Western countries who have their liturgies in non-indigenous languages are beneficiaries of multi-culturalism. If integration is such a great thing is Church Slavonic going to be swept away? There are Gaelic speaking Presbyterians in Scotland who want to stop ferries sailing or shops opening on the Lords Day. There are secular Muslim girls who wear mini skirts and watch Pop Idol. Who is integrated into British society and who is not. There are Welsh language TV programmes for British citizens and there are Bangladeshi TV programmes for British citizens. Why is one a good thing and the other an outrage?

I was listening to the BBC Asian network yesterday and heard a nominally Muslim comedian delivering a eulogy about Ronnie Barker and saying how he had influenced his live and work. The day before I was listening to a competition where some schoolkids were trying to dub an excerpt from the comedy series "The Office" into Punjabi and having great fun trying to find Punjabi words for dwarf, midget and elf. Thats what multi-culturalism is about. People proud of their families. People proud of their culture and history and religious faith. People sharing a common space and respecting each other.

The Good Samaritan did not give up his nationality or faith in order to help the man who fell among robbers. He began a Samaritan and ended a Samaritan. But I would rather have a Samaritan neighbour than a Pharisee.
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2005, 02:38:52 PM »

Multiculuralism is not about choosing your neighbours. Your views of Trevour Phillips are your own, and like mine of any one person, purely subjective unless supported by evidence. Separatist Black Muslim groups in the US cannot be so easily dismissed or those who seek the establishment of a world wide Caliphate. Nor is opposition confined to Blairites or those holding separatist views.

I got on with my neighbours, have forgotten for how many years I have returned late home and discovered it is full off Punjabi sweet and savoury dishes. Ah, it is Eid. Neither I nor anyone else needs to embrace mutliculturalism to live in harmony with their neighbour. Certainly not the Christian, nor anyone else of goodwill.

Christianity is not and should not be confused with the latest fashionable 'ism', which will run its time and be followed by the next and the one after that.

Indeed too often it appears to be a tool for provoking division, too often used as a tool to 'bash' those who do not appear enthusiastic enough or to present a deceptive front for those who do not respect in any meaningful way the cultures of others that on the surface they appear so enthusiatic about.

The Parable of the Good Samaritan is not about multiculturalism.
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2012, 02:19:54 AM »

I live in California, I see multiculturalism first hand ,  what a wreck . Diversity isnt the issue,  but thumbing down one set of values over another is. The liberal establishment has wrecked this state. Ill give you an example of the kind of absurdity Im talking about. When I was in Highschool, the School Board had an issue with the reading list for English. The book they had the issue with was Mark Twain's, "Huckleberryfin" because of its use of the word "nigger".  Well If you look at the place and time that the book was written, it was written back in the Antebellun South, before the Civil War. There was a cultural context for the word in the book. Knowing this makes no sense to take it off the reading list. On the other hand the liberal school district didn't take issue with Maya Angelou's "I know why the cage bird sings" which deals with rape and child molestation! We had to read this garbage in Highschool!
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2012, 02:44:23 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I live in California, I see multiculturalism first hand ,  what a wreck .
Really? What do you mean by a wreck exactly?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2012, 03:58:27 PM »

California, my home state, has been trying to implement multi-culturalism for some time now, and it has been a disaster.  The problem is with the methodology: all cultures are equal and should be treated as such.

The problem has been in the implementation: what do you do if one culture sanctions physical abuse on a spouse?  Of course, people become outraged by the abuse of women, but that's because the predominant culture frowns on such behavior.  But, as critics pointed out, does that not 'judge' the culture that permits it?  The funny thing here has been to see gays protesting against US interference in the Middle East, not realizing that we are largely fighting elements that think gays should be put to death!

The long and the short of it is that the schools have told children for several decades to accept people without 'judging' them and criticizing them.  The problem is that the results are a generation of kids with no real morals.  They are very much adrift and have difficulty setting priorities and making decisions because they lack the ability to differentiate good from evil.  Then we complain when they won't get jobs or demand too much.

The sex offender problem is also a byproduct of the general message incorporated with multi-culturalism: you can be held responsible for your desires.  People can't help but act the way they do, and so we can't really punish them if they were 'disadvantaged' or simply born a certain way.


Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I live in California, I see multiculturalism first hand ,  what a wreck .
Really? What do you mean by a wreck exactly?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2012, 04:04:44 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I live in California, I see multiculturalism first hand ,  what a wreck .
Really? What do you mean by a wreck exactly?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
California is a joke any way you spin it. That place is a chaotic scatology-storm.

PP
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2012, 04:28:11 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I live in California, I see multiculturalism first hand ,  what a wreck .
Really? What do you mean by a wreck exactly?

stay blessed,
habte selassie
California is a joke any way you spin it. That place is a chaotic scatology-storm.

PP

Our government and budget fiascoes are the only jokes in California, and they really aren't that funny either Sad

The people are beautiful, our diversity is beautiful, and our cultural relevancy is remarkable.  The problem in public education and sentiment is that for a long time, especially in California, people were taught to accept "white" as normal, even superior, but alas, a lot of folks in California are not white can could not find themselves appropriately represented in the California image and dream ( I see this first hand daily with my students as they try to make sense of their place in a conflicting American identity)

The moral decline in California is nothing new, we've always been a cesspool if you want to look in our gutters, but y'all might be surprised at just how moral, ethical, compassionate, and spiritually aware most Californians actually are. Further, we are generally quite tolerant, accepting, and even inviting to cultural diversity and demographic shake-ups.  There will always be bad-apples in the bunch, and in California it is true we have more than our fair share, but we shouldn't let those deviants and trouble makers downplay or overshadow the good folks here. 

For those who snub their noses at California, please tell me how great it is exactly where you live in comparison then?  I am willing to wager that we will find all the same problems everywhere in the country and world universally, just as we will find all the same virtues, and in California we have some unique ones which other states lack.  For example it has been criticized that the Iowa Caucus and the state of Iowa in general is not representative of America as a whole, because Iowa is largely white, middle-class, and socially conservative, and that is not California by a long shot, and honestly as a Californian, I dare say that is one of our best virtues Wink



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2012, 04:50:36 PM »

HS, I have to totally disagree with you on this.  Your experience of California is very different from mine.

I'm not alone: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/01/visitors-say-la-is-the-rudest-city-in-america-do-you-agree.html



<snip>
The moral decline in California is nothing new, we've always been a cesspool if you want to look in our gutters, but y'all might be surprised at just how moral, ethical, compassionate, and spiritually aware most Californians actually are. Further, we are generally quite tolerant, accepting, and even inviting to cultural diversity and demographic shake-ups.  There will always be bad-apples in the bunch, and in California it is true we have more than our fair share, but we shouldn't let those deviants and trouble makers downplay or overshadow the good folks here. 
<snip>
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2012, 04:55:44 PM »

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The people are beautiful, our diversity is beautiful, and our cultural relevancy is remarkable
I can agree mostly with that.

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The problem in public education and sentiment is that for a long time, especially in California, people were taught to accept "white" as normal, even superior
State your source. I've never seen a school textbook teaching white supremacy anywhere.

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Further, we are generally quite tolerant
People touting how tolerant they are, usually aren't.

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There will always be bad-apples in the bunch, and in California it is true we have more than our fair share, but we shouldn't let those deviants and trouble makers downplay or overshadow the good folks here
Nobody is saying that there aren't good people in California

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For those who snub their noses at California, please tell me how great it is exactly where you live in comparison then?
Virginia is not a leftist social experiment.


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I am willing to wager that we will find all the same problems everywhere in the country and world universally, just as we will find all the same virtues,

True

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and in California we have some unique ones which other states lack
Which are usually of your own making and not learning your lesson the first time.....

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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2012, 05:45:04 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

HS, I have to totally disagree with you on this.  Your experience of California is very different from mine.

I'm not alone: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/01/visitors-say-la-is-the-rudest-city-in-america-do-you-agree.html



<snip>
The moral decline in California is nothing new, we've always been a cesspool if you want to look in our gutters, but y'all might be surprised at just how moral, ethical, compassionate, and spiritually aware most Californians actually are. Further, we are generally quite tolerant, accepting, and even inviting to cultural diversity and demographic shake-ups.  There will always be bad-apples in the bunch, and in California it is true we have more than our fair share, but we shouldn't let those deviants and trouble makers downplay or overshadow the good folks here. 
<snip>

I am sorry you feel that way, I pray God send some of the good folks from California your way to enhance your perspective Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2012, 05:48:14 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!




Quote
and in California we have some unique ones which other states lack
Which are usually of your own making and not learning your lesson the first time.....


I was referring to our unique virtues Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2012, 12:01:03 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!




Quote
and in California we have some unique ones which other states lack
Which are usually of your own making and not learning your lesson the first time.....


I was referring to our unique virtues Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2012, 05:47:26 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The absolute best virtue of California is our level of mutual tolerance and respect for each other, believe it or not we have an unimaginable diversity here and most people are quite nice to each other all things considering.  We have our problems to be sure, but by and large Californians are rather hospitable and respectful to each other when push comes to shove.  Our schools have made concentrated efforts to include diversity and cultural relevancy into the curriculum, and as an educator I see the tangible benefits in our communities as the diversity of our student population now is better reflected in the curriculum our students are exposed to. My students need to be able to relate to what we are teaching them, and further I feel it is important to expose my students to themselves and they need to see themselves in the lesson plan. 

Our public infrastructure is about ten times as developed as most places in the country, as is the diversity of job opportunities (that is pre-2008 status, still even with some of the highest unemployment in the country we still have a wide variety of employment options).  We have probably more culinary options then anywhere else aside from metro DC or New York.  We have one of the largest agricultural economies in the world, so we have a wide variety of  fresh produce available.  Our natural wonders are beyond explanation, you can snowboard and surf in the same day in some places.  We have religious diversity, temples, mosques, synagogues, a lot of Orthodox parishes, A LOT of Catholic parishes etc etc, and so folks are used to seeing the world in more realistic ways because they see pieces of the world. 

I think the biggest difference between the diversity of California compared to other American regions is that in California we really have very few
"ethnic neighborhoods" instead people live together. This means people are exposed to each other more often as neighbors and co-workers, whereas in cities with ethnic neighborhoods and social segregation people can have diversity and yet not because they never actually live together.  Back East there are concentrations of diversity and since California is the home of suburban sprawl folks get more mixed up together.

Yes, we have a lot of problems, in fact some very serious problems, such as horrifying prison over-crowding, huge budget cuts, high unemployment, gang violence, poverty etc etc, but realistically everywhere in the world has these problems, we may have more than our fair share at times, but I'm talking about the good in this instance, something very much overlooked.  There are two cliched narratives of California, that it is either TMZ or Menace II Society, but the truth is we are somewhere in the middle, not to dismiss the violence or to exaggerate the superficial hipster, but as a California I honestly couldn't live anywhere else in America, and whenever I travel I love to meet new people and see new things see new places, but I get homesick rather quickly because I just don't feel at home. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2012, 03:22:53 AM »

Father, after three days of pondering your post and not seeing a justification, I am going to respond. Primuspilus, if you are reading this, I like you, but your posts are even more disturbing.....

California, my home state, has been trying to implement multi-culturalism for some time now, and it has been a disaster.  The problem is with the methodology: all cultures are equal and should be treated as such.

All cultural backgrounds should be respected. All cultures are imperfect, but at the same time all have beneficial aspects worth emulating. Is there some California law stating that all cultures are equal? That would be news to me.  Any source?

Quote
The problem has been in the implementation: what do you do if one culture sanctions physical abuse on a spouse?  Of course, people become outraged by the abuse of women, but that's because the predominant culture frowns on such behavior.  But, as critics pointed out, does that not 'judge' the culture that permits it?  The funny thing here has been to see gays protesting against US interference in the Middle East, not realizing that we are largely fighting elements that think gays should be put to death!

I am too much of an amateur to have a name for this type of statement. The only word I can think of is hyperbola. Perhaps it is considered an acceptable debating tactic but I think is wrong. In other words we are some how transported from the beautiful notion of multiculturalism, acceptance, respect and caring --- to spousal abuse and whatever is occurring in the middle east --- and by the way who cares what your opinion is about the conflicting dilemmas that confront gays that care more about other people than themselves.  Not knowing the circumstances, it seems that these gays should be commended rather than disparaged. I would appreciate the facts that relate to this accusation.

Quote
The long and the short of it is that the schools have told children for several decades to accept people without 'judging' them and criticizing them.  The problem is that the results are a generation of kids with no real morals.  They are very much adrift and have difficulty setting priorities and making decisions because they lack the ability to differentiate good from evil.  Then we complain when they won't get jobs or demand too much.

Children should not be judging other children. They do not know enough. I state this as a parent of what was once an autistic child (son) and now an adult. He is still persecuting himself due to the judgemental abuse from children in his past. Let it be known that your innocent notion above can cause much evil.

Quote
The sex offender problem is also a byproduct of the general message incorporated with multi-culturalism: you can be held responsible for your desires.  People can't help but act the way they do, and so we can't really punish them if they were 'disadvantaged' or simply born a certain way.[/font][/size]

Father, where is this coming from? I haven't seen anyone promoting this notion as stated. The law is the law and there has been an ancient tradition having nothing to do with multi-culturalism that takes into account extenuating circumstances in regard to prison terms. What multitude of clearly multi-culturalism-related sentencing decisions in California are you referring to?

HS, I have to totally disagree with you on this.  Your experience of California is very different from mine.

I'm not alone: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/01/visitors-say-la-is-the-rudest-city-in-america-do-you-agree.html


I totally disagree with you Father. I love this state and its people. The majority (defined here as >50%) are willing to accept taxation to keep programs for the less fortunate and for schools. Social safety nets are the greatest gift to mankind and for the peace within this world. The majority of us Californians are concerned about the environment because the majority of us have some sense of responsibility. I would also say that the majority of us accept all without regard to culture. I think this is admirable.

In regard to rudeness. Fr. George Morelli wrote an article about this in my local paper yesterday: http://www.nctimes.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/columnists/morelli/morelli-commitment-for-overcome-rudeness/article_27ca939a-e829-5909-acb8-1ec337511e91.html

Rudeness is in the eyes of the beholder. Condemning an entire state and its people unjustly falls into that category for some but it is much worse in my mind.

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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2012, 02:33:37 PM »

greetings in that divine and most precious name of our lord and savior jesus christ!

Father, after three days of pondering your post and not seeing a justification, I am going to respond. Primuspilus, if you are reading this, I like you, but your posts are even more disturbing.....

California, my home state, has been trying to implement multi-culturalism for some time now, and it has been a disaster.  The problem is with the methodology: all cultures are equal and should be treated as such.

All cultural backgrounds should be respected. All cultures are imperfect, but at the same time all have beneficial aspects worth emulating. Is there some California law stating that all cultures are equal? That would be news to me.  Any source?

Quote
The problem has been in the implementation: what do you do if one culture sanctions physical abuse on a spouse?  Of course, people become outraged by the abuse of women, but that's because the predominant culture frowns on such behavior.  But, as critics pointed out, does that not 'judge' the culture that permits it?  The funny thing here has been to see gays protesting against US interference in the Middle East, not realizing that we are largely fighting elements that think gays should be put to death!

I am too much of an amateur to have a name for this type of statement. The only word I can think of is hyperbola. Perhaps it is considered an acceptable debating tactic but I think is wrong. In other words we are some how transported from the beautiful notion of multiculturalism, acceptance, respect and caring --- to spousal abuse and whatever is occurring in the middle east --- and by the way who cares what your opinion is about the conflicting dilemmas that confront gays that care more about other people than themselves.  Not knowing the circumstances, it seems that these gays should be commended rather than disparaged. I would appreciate the facts that relate to this accusation.

Quote
The long and the short of it is that the schools have told children for several decades to accept people without 'judging' them and criticizing them.  The problem is that the results are a generation of kids with no real morals.  They are very much adrift and have difficulty setting priorities and making decisions because they lack the ability to differentiate good from evil.  Then we complain when they won't get jobs or demand too much.

Children should not be judging other children. They do not know enough. I state this as a parent of what was once an autistic child (son) and now an adult. He is still persecuting himself due to the judgemental abuse from children in his past. Let it be known that your innocent notion above can cause much evil.

Quote
The sex offender problem is also a byproduct of the general message incorporated with multi-culturalism: you can be held responsible for your desires.  People can't help but act the way they do, and so we can't really punish them if they were 'disadvantaged' or simply born a certain way.[/font][/size]

Father, where is this coming from? I haven't seen anyone promoting this notion as stated. The law is the law and there has been an ancient tradition having nothing to do with multi-culturalism that takes into account extenuating circumstances in regard to prison terms. What multitude of clearly multi-culturalism-related sentencing decisions in California are you referring to?

HS, I have to totally disagree with you on this.  Your experience of California is very different from mine.

I'm not alone: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/01/visitors-say-la-is-the-rudest-city-in-america-do-you-agree.html


I totally disagree with you Father. I love this state and its people. The majority (defined here as >50%) are willing to accept taxation to keep programs for the less fortunate and for schools. Social safety nets are the greatest gift to mankind and for the peace within this world. The majority of us Californians are concerned about the environment because the majority of us have some sense of responsibility. I would also say that the majority of us accept all without regard to culture. I think this is admirable.

In regard to rudeness. Fr. George Morelli wrote an article about this in my local paper yesterday: http://www.nctimes.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/columnists/morelli/morelli-commitment-for-overcome-rudeness/article_27ca939a-e829-5909-acb8-1ec337511e91.html

Rudeness is in the eyes of the beholder. Condemning an entire state and its people unjustly falls into that category for some but it is much worse in my mind.



Amen Amen!

A heartical testimony to the truth of the joy of California living Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2012, 05:03:12 PM »

What does "heartical" mean, Habte?

I've lived in California for all of my life, save about two recent years in Oregon, and a few months now in New Mexico. I am in California right now, in fact, visiting extended family who are also California natives. I was born here and raised here, as was my father (my mother was born in Colorado, but that's because her father was in the military; she was raised here in CA).

With my bona fides out of the way, I wish all the self-hugging would stop in this thread, and in California in general. You're not better or more specialer than anyone else for being from or in California, and neither is your stupid state. I don't know where Habte is from, but this magical land of ultra-tolerance and unique values certainly isn't the California I am from, but is rather the death of it. I dunno, maybe its an L.A. thing? (I'm from the North, and we have enough stupid hippie crap of our own here, thank you.)

Tolerance and intolerance are everywhere, but just as love is only true when it is freely given, tolerance is only a virtue when it is cultivated from inside a person in a way that is consistent with solid values, not imposed by fiat from some stupid committee or board of directors somewhere. And tolerance doesn't mean that all cultures should be respected, either. To tolerate something is to put up with it, even if you disagree with it greatly, not to enforce a kind of false equivalency on the world that sees us all as such beautiful little snowflakes, each perfect in its own way and blahblahblah. That's all garbage, no matter where it comes from.

I tolerate many of my friends here in California lobbying for homosexual marriage and abortion on demand and the increasing Islamicization of society, but you know what? My CULTURE, steeped in Christianity and the inviolable right and responsibility of moral discernment, is better than what they would replace it with. It just is. Strong Christian values will always be better than the secularist agenda, no matter where it is being pushed or who is pushing it. I don't think this is anything to apologize for. I want to live in a Christian society, not a bland, pandering Islamojewisecularomosexualist one. The fact that many Californians disagree with me is not a sign of my intolerance or their tolerance. For something to be introduced into society (e.g., gay marriage), it requires the values of those who would oppose it to be pushed aside. They tried that with their gay marriage initiative and lost due to the majority of voters not actually being on their side (I have friends who simply cannot believe this to be the case, since they too buy this myth that California is nothing but uber-(fake)tolerant hippie types; it must have been some kind of conspiracy on the part of the evil Mormons, Catholics, and those gosh-darned Hispanics). Eventually they'll probably succeed, but I resent having this pushed on me as the apex of tolerance, while those who oppose this new order are less and less tolerated and more and more ostracized with the criticism-silencing label "intolerant", as though this is a label akin to "murderer" or "rapist" or something.

Basically, California's tolerance is just as two-faced and contradictory as whatever else someone from somewhere else praises about wherever they're from. As an aging hippie from this area was fond of telling me, "it's not where you're from; it's where you're at." I am not sure I want to be where many people here are at.

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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2012, 05:18:06 PM »



Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Wow, the levels of cynicism and negativity never cease to amaze me considering this is a Christian forum, no wonder folks like Yeshuaism question where our fruits are, there are way to many sourpusses  here  Undecided
What does "heartical" mean, Habte?

I've lived in California for all of my life, save about two recent years in Oregon, and a few months now in New Mexico. I am in California right now, in fact, visiting extended family who are also California natives. I was born here and raised here, as was my father (my mother was born in Colorado, but that's because her father was in the military; she was raised here in CA).

With my bona fides out of the way, I wish all the self-hugging would stop in this thread, and in California in general. You're not better or more specialer than anyone else for being from or in California, and neither is your stupid state. I don't know where Habte is from, but this magical land of ultra-tolerance and unique values certainly isn't the California I am from, but is rather the death of it. I dunno, maybe its an L.A. thing? (I'm from the North, and we have enough stupid hippie crap of our own here, thank you.)

Tolerance and intolerance are everywhere, but just as love is only true when it is freely given, tolerance is only a virtue when it is cultivated from inside a person in a way that is consistent with solid values, not imposed by fiat from some stupid committee or board of directors somewhere. And tolerance doesn't mean that all cultures should be respected, either. To tolerate something is to put up with it, even if you disagree with it greatly, not to enforce a kind of false equivalency on the world that sees us all as such beautiful little snowflakes, each perfect in its own way and blahblahblah. That's all garbage, no matter where it comes from.

I tolerate many of my friends here in California lobbying for homosexual marriage and abortion on demand and the increasing Islamicization of society, but you know what? My CULTURE, steeped in Christianity and the inviolable right and responsibility of moral discernment, is better than what they would replace it with. It just is. Strong Christian values will always be better than the secularist agenda, no matter where it is being pushed or who is pushing it. I don't think this is anything to apologize for. I want to live in a Christian society, not a bland, pandering Islamojewisecularomosexualist one. The fact that many Californians disagree with me is not a sign of my intolerance or their tolerance. For something to be introduced into society (e.g., gay marriage), it requires the values of those who would oppose it to be pushed aside. They tried that with their gay marriage initiative and lost due to the majority of voters not actually being on their side (I have friends who simply cannot believe this to be the case, since they too buy this myth that California is nothing but uber-(fake)tolerant hippie types; it must have been some kind of conspiracy on the part of the evil Mormons, Catholics, and those gosh-darned Hispanics). Eventually they'll probably succeed, but I resent having this pushed on me as the apex of tolerance, while those who oppose this new order are less and less tolerated and more and more ostracized with the criticism-silencing label "intolerant", as though this is a label akin to "murderer" or "rapist" or something.

Basically, California's tolerance is just as two-faced and contradictory as whatever else someone from somewhere else praises about wherever they're from. As an aging hippie from this area was fond of telling me, "it's not where you're from; it's where you're at." I am not sure I want to be where many people here are at.



Are you calm down now from the tirade? You didn't have to read me the riot act just because you didn't like your life in California and others here do, sorry you feel that way but seriously, a bit over-heated there Wink

In regards to "living in a Christian society" I agree with you completely and yet we couldn't disagree more.  California is not a Christian society, and we as Christians have no right to change it.  We are a minority here, we can ask for mutual respect and tolerance, and no more. We want to be allowed to have our own Churches and to have mutual respect from our community, and my experience with Orthodox in California is that we are quite well-respected and folks are even politely curious about who we are.

What we can't do is we can't force our values on the community at large can we? Would the Baptists agree? What about the Catholics? Or the Orientals and Chalcedonians? Let alone the Jews and the vitriolic Dawkins crowd..  That being said, when we live in a secular, democratic, pluralistic society like California in particular we all have to learn to simply play nice with each other. 


No disrespect, but if you want to live in a more Orthodox Christian environment, I suggest you move and stop raining on our parade yo, we Californian are doing the best we can.
 
stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2012, 05:21:34 PM »

What does "heartical" mean, Habte?

I've lived in California for all of my life, save about two recent years in Oregon, and a few months now in New Mexico. I am in California right now, in fact, visiting extended family who are also California natives. I was born here and raised here, as was my father (my mother was born in Colorado, but that's because her father was in the military; she was raised here in CA).

With my bona fides out of the way, I wish all the self-hugging would stop in this thread, and in California in general. You're not better or more specialer than anyone else for being from or in California, and neither is your stupid state. I don't know where Habte is from, but this magical land of ultra-tolerance and unique values certainly isn't the California I am from, but is rather the death of it. I dunno, maybe its an L.A. thing? (I'm from the North, and we have enough stupid hippie crap of our own here, thank you.)

Tolerance and intolerance are everywhere, but just as love is only true when it is freely given, tolerance is only a virtue when it is cultivated from inside a person in a way that is consistent with solid values, not imposed by fiat from some stupid committee or board of directors somewhere. And tolerance doesn't mean that all cultures should be respected, either. To tolerate something is to put up with it, even if you disagree with it greatly, not to enforce a kind of false equivalency on the world that sees us all as such beautiful little snowflakes, each perfect in its own way and blahblahblah. That's all garbage, no matter where it comes from.

I tolerate many of my friends here in California lobbying for homosexual marriage and abortion on demand and the increasing Islamicization of society, but you know what? My CULTURE, steeped in Christianity and the inviolable right and responsibility of moral discernment, is better than what they would replace it with. It just is. Strong Christian values will always be better than the secularist agenda, no matter where it is being pushed or who is pushing it. I don't think this is anything to apologize for. I want to live in a Christian society, not a bland, pandering Islamojewisecularomosexualist one. The fact that many Californians disagree with me is not a sign of my intolerance or their tolerance. For something to be introduced into society (e.g., gay marriage), it requires the values of those who would oppose it to be pushed aside. They tried that with their gay marriage initiative and lost due to the majority of voters not actually being on their side (I have friends who simply cannot believe this to be the case, since they too buy this myth that California is nothing but uber-(fake)tolerant hippie types; it must have been some kind of conspiracy on the part of the evil Mormons, Catholics, and those gosh-darned Hispanics). Eventually they'll probably succeed, but I resent having this pushed on me as the apex of tolerance, while those who oppose this new order are less and less tolerated and more and more ostracized with the criticism-silencing label "intolerant", as though this is a label akin to "murderer" or "rapist" or something.

Basically, California's tolerance is just as two-faced and contradictory as whatever else someone from somewhere else praises about wherever they're from. As an aging hippie from this area was fond of telling me, "it's not where you're from; it's where you're at." I am not sure I want to be where many people here are at.


Quote
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions
G.K. Chesterson (one of my favority carbon-units)

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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2012, 06:30:40 PM »


Wow, the levels of cynicism and negativity never cease to amaze me considering this is a Christian forum, no wonder folks like Yeshuaism question where our fruits are, there are way to many sourpusses  here  Undecided

But of course, we're not happy about things that make us unhappy. Is this not also a part of the Christian faith? We go to the lions singing joyfully, but we are right to be distressed at the people's turning away from God, are we not? I am not happy when evil is called good and good evil. I think this is not an outrageous reaction.

Quote
Are you calm down now from the tirade?


Tirade? I am trying to find where the tirade is, but keeping getting lost in all the exclamation points, caps lock, and bold I did not use. Or is it that everything that you disagree with is a tirade?

Quote
You didn't have to read me the riot act just because you didn't like your life in California and others here do, sorry you feel that way but seriously, a bit over-heated there Wink

What do you mean? I love California. Its natural beauty (at least here in the north, with all the redwoods and whatnot) is unsurpassed, its people are by and large very friendly, and it's where the vast majority of my friends and family are. I love it; I just don't look at it, or anywhere, with rose-colored glasses.

Quote
In regards to "living in a Christian society" I agree with you completely and yet we couldn't disagree more.  California is not a Christian society, and we as Christians have no right to change it. We are a minority here,

I am sorry to interrupt your seemingly arbitrarily-chosen string of words, but it should be pointed out that Christians are, in fact, the majority of the state, as per Pew Forum's 2008 study, wherein Protestants and Catholics alone made up 66% (with Orthodox and others grabbing another few percent in total).

Quote
we can ask for mutual respect and tolerance, and no more.


We are not beggars. This is a bare minimum, such as is extended to any group regardless or religious or other background as a matter of the basic humanity and dignity that is shared by all people by virtue of their common origin (a concept that is itself very much rooted in Christianity). And, I should add, given the perversion of words like "respect" and "tolerance" by those who have very little of either, not only should we not limit ourselves to such debased goals, we should not even be taking them as a starting point. Our relation to the rest of society is not and has never been within the confines of what it means to play nice with others and get along within a society that hates us. You don't win friends with salad, and you don't win souls to the Lord by merely asking for bread crumbs from the table, as though we are in Egypt or Iraq or whatever. No. Our message is revolutionary in the sense that it does not see society as it is, even in ultra-"tolerant" California, as the best of all possible worlds. If the singularity/uniqueness of our message (that is, the salvation of all the world through Christ, whose sacrifice unites us with the one true God as only He can) is lost in this tolerance-fest, then we have gained the world but lost our souls. Doesn't sound like a good way to be.

Quote
We want to be allowed to have our own Churches and to have mutual respect from our community, and my experience with Orthodox in California is that we are quite well-respected and folks are even politely curious about who we are.

Okay.

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What we can't do is we can't force our values on the community at large can we?


Why is it that when special interest groups for the gays, atheists, Muslims, Jews, Shinto people, etc. get ordinances and propositions drawn up to increase the favor shown to and influence of their groups it is a triumph of tolerance, but when I say I want to live in a Christian society, I am somehow forcing my values on everyone else? Should I vote against my own conscience, in line with unrestricted abortion and gay marriage, so as to not be seen as mean? Don't be silly. This is the reality of life where, I'm sorry, most of the time you have to stand up for what you believe in regardless of how it might make your neighbor sad, because your neighbor might have some wacky idea that they should be allowed to force you not to pray in public, not to have religious icons or crosses in a private religious school, not to have "God" on a piece of currency, or whatever the cause du jure is this month. So their personal preferences should win over mine because...why, exactly? It'd be one thing if we were having this conversation in some kind of vacuum where aggressive secularization, Islamicization, and other things weren't happening, but they are. And they are not tolerant forces. Even if it puts me well out step with some imagined majority of non-Christians, I'd rather go down fighting against them even if it makes me seem crazy and intolerant. Mas vale vivir de pie..., no? Again, what they would replace it with is much, much worse. You can't sit on the sidelines hoping you can kumbaya your way into heaven, my friend.

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Would the Baptists agree? What about the Catholics? Or the Orientals and Chalcedonians? Let alone the Jews and the vitriolic Dawkins crowd.. 


Does everyone have to agree with everything ever? I'd be fine with the Jews, vitriolic Dawkins crowd, etc. being on the losing end, though I suspect that in reality we may have more points of commonality with at least some of these groups than we ever thought we did (i.e., Mormons and Catholics coming together to oppose gay marriage), and besides no one is irrecoverably beyond reach. (See, I'm plenty positive.)

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That being said, when we live in a secular, democratic, pluralistic society like California in particular we all have to learn to simply play nice with each other. 

I don't want to play nice with forces that want to destroy me and make me a slave to their sick, anti-Christ ideologies. No.

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No disrespect, but if you want to live in a more Orthodox Christian environment, I suggest you move and stop raining on our parade yo, we Californian are doing the best we can.

I already moved (I'm visiting family over the holidays), and since when is that an appropriate response to anything, Mr. "Stop Raining on Our Parade"? Why are you raining on my parade and on the parades of the millions of committed Christian Californians, by suggesting that we beg like dogs for scraps of false tolerance and false respect? Why don't you move, if you don't like the reality of a Christian-majority California? I'm not saying that non-Christians can't be there or anywhere, but I am saying that in reality, we don't need to kowtow to anyone or anything. We should be proud, not triumphalist, and at the same time humble, not sheepish. If there were less "all cultures and religions are equal" propaganda going around, maybe we wouldn't be in the mess we are now in with regard to the declining prestige of our own heritages among our young people, who are flocking to God-damned alternatives as a result of decades of hippie crystal energy star gazing and moral and cultural relativism gone amok. (Which is certainly not a California-only problem, but is felt rather acutely here among the enormous Latino populations here who are, after all, traditionally Christian.)
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2012, 06:48:45 PM »

Discussions of my great home state of California aside, I think the real problem with multiculturalism is its shallowness. It confuses the trappings of a given culture (customs, language, food, holidays, etc.) with the essence of a given culture. It is nothing more than dressing post-enlightenment European (and specifically Anglo-Saxon) culture in foreign and exotic clothes. So when multiculturalists talk about Middle Eastern culture, for example, they'll defend customs of dress and religious observances and praise the value of their food and language; but if you ask them if a man has the right to abuse his wife and children or if it's right for a family to reject a child because they do not choose to follow those religious observances they will obviously object to the conduct as wrong and immoral.

Ultimately, multiculturalism is dishonest, it tries to make all cultures of the world the same, essentially nothing but minor variations on post-enlightenment European culture; but in the real world, they're not. If we're going to push multiculturalism in education, fine, but let's be honest about the principles of inequality and power that underlay the cultural trappings they're so anxious to praise; our own culture being largely an intellectual reaction against those principles. However, this is how we were taught about other cultures before the rise of this multicultural movement and I don't think the policy makers of today like the outlook that an honest evaluation of the subject will naturally lead to: that European culture since the enlightenment is fundamentally superior to all other cultures.
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« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2012, 07:06:25 PM »

I agree with your assessment of the faults of multiculturalism, GiC, but I wonder why that is? It seems that the biggest proponents of this kind of cultural fetishism (er, excuse me, "multiculturalism") are often themselves Europeans or European-Americans. Why all the self-hatred and self-denial in favor of praising anything non-European as inherently good, or at least inherently better/more "pure" than the European?
 
I've never been to Europe, so maybe it's secretly awful, but I know that so many Middle Eastern Jews, for instance, didn't end up there by accident, or in the USA by accident. We should be more willing to say "yeah, we do have the kinds of societies that, historically, people have wanted to live in because you aren't forced to follow the religious edicts of the emperor/king, or you generally don't have to worry about your house getting washed away in a flood because it is made out of pliable bog mud and sticks, and in most times the government will not lock you up for imagined treason for complaining that you'd like to have a little more variety in your meal than rice with bugs or rice with twigs." These are all good things, I think. It doesn't make other places bad by default, but the challenges here are different and, for many, of a less pressing (life and death) nature than they would have faced at home in fill-in-the-blank-istan or what have you.
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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2012, 07:18:02 PM »

I agree with your assessment of the faults of multiculturalism, GiC, but I wonder why that is? It seems that the biggest proponents of this kind of cultural fetishism (er, excuse me, "multiculturalism") are often themselves Europeans or European-Americans. Why all the self-hatred and self-denial in favor of praising anything non-European as inherently good, or at least inherently better/more "pure" than the European?
 
I've never been to Europe, so maybe it's secretly awful, but I know that so many Middle Eastern Jews, for instance, didn't end up there by accident, or in the USA by accident. We should be more willing to say "yeah, we do have the kinds of societies that, historically, people have wanted to live in because you aren't forced to follow the religious edicts of the emperor/king, or you generally don't have to worry about your house getting washed away in a flood because it is made out of pliable bog mud and sticks, and in most times the government will not lock you up for imagined treason for complaining that you'd like to have a little more variety in your meal than rice with bugs or rice with twigs." These are all good things, I think. It doesn't make other places bad by default, but the challenges here are different and, for many, of a less pressing (life and death) nature than they would have faced at home in fill-in-the-blank-istan or what have you.

I agree, there's no need to say that other places, or other people, are simply bad. It's just a matter of recognizing that not choices we have about life and society are equally beneficial. That the happiness and prosperity of a people tends to be proportional to the adoption of certain, initially Western, values in law and society, such as equality and self-determination. It's hypocritical to praise these values, then turn around and say that, for instance, a random sub-Saharan African tribe's customs and law are the equal of, say, English customs and law (and, yes, law is a very important element of culture...though you never see the multiculturalists clammoring to talk about some of less comfortable details found therein).
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« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2012, 10:33:07 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


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we can ask for mutual respect and tolerance, and no more.


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Would the Baptists agree? What about the Catholics? Or the Orientals and Chalcedonians? Let alone the Jews and the vitriolic Dawkins crowd.. 


Does everyone have to agree with everything ever? I'd be fine with the Jews, vitriolic Dawkins crowd, etc. being on the losing end, though I suspect that in reality we may have more points of commonality with at least some of these groups than we ever thought we did (i.e., Mormons and Catholics coming together to oppose gay marriage), and besides no one is irrecoverably beyond reach. (See, I'm plenty positive.)

I'm sorry you don't like it, but ask Iranians what it feels like to live in a Theocratic government if you disagree.  Would you be so happy if California was a Puritan Republic like Salem and convicted we Orthodox as Papist traitors and threats? See what I mean? That is precisely why California is rightfully a secular republic.  We all agree to pick a mutually neutral stance as citizens of the republic of California, and we then agree as I said to play nice with each other.  If you don't want to play nice, you need to pray about that, Christ never asked us to be rude to our neighbors, I do believe he asked us to love them?  In a diverse, pluralistic, secular society the government has to find the middle ground of universally recognized civil rights and civil liberties and then enforce these.  Our society needs to learn the same, and be respectful and tolerant of each other's differences for the sake of simply getting along without the gridlock.  Christians are  majority in California? Not Orthodox.  Not even Catholics, even though there are a lot of Catholics, what if the Catholics ran the show? Would that help we Orthodox? Would it make some things better? Perhaps for some folks, but what of the others?  That is problem with a secular society, and in California our ideal is to work out our differences mutually. 


Discussions of my great home state of California aside, I think the real problem with multiculturalism is its shallowness. It confuses the trappings of a given culture (customs, language, food, holidays, etc.) with the essence of a given culture. It is nothing more than dressing post-enlightenment European (and specifically Anglo-Saxon) culture in foreign and exotic clothes. So when multiculturalists talk about Middle Eastern culture, for example, they'll defend customs of dress and religious observances and praise the value of their food and language; but if you ask them if a man has the right to abuse his wife and children or if it's right for a family to reject a child because they do not choose to follow those religious observances they will obviously object to the conduct as wrong and immoral.


A lot of folks seem to be criticizing multiculturalism in education and public policy from the wrong perspective of strictly white folks.  California is not New Hampshire people, the students do not have multicultural curriculum strictly to learn about other cultures which are strictly foreign to them, its also to equalize what for most of recent history was a blatantly white-washed curriculum where non-white students didn't see themselves.  California classrooms are largely Latino students, and even where it is not largely Latino, there is still diversity.  I work in 8 schools right now, and in any of my classes white folks are about 20-40% tops, and there are a lot of Asian folks as well along with black folks and Latinos.  The multicultural curriculum allows these students to find THEMSELVES in their education, and that is a monumental achievement and step forward.  America is an increasingly pluralistic society, and our curriculum needs to increasingly diversify and reflect the students.  Kids need to see pictures of themselves in their texts, read about themselves in their history classes, and find multicultural, diverse role-models to emulate, celebrate their holidays on the calendar, etc etc..

  On the other side of the coin, when students are exposed to and learn about other cultures which surround them as neighbors and friends in our communities, they become more aware of each other, and they are often moments of connection and reflection.  A lot of times, people are simply not exposed to diversity, hence the multicultural approach.  I am just trying to explain ourselves as an educator in California public system, this is how and why we implement this kind of curriculum on a daily basis, and I have seen the tangible benefits first-hand time and time again in the classroom.

I am sorry we disagree so much.  I agree with y'all that our society is in a moral challenge, and we as Christians need to continue to pray for our communities, that Salvation spread.  But we must pray for this in love, not judgment,  we want our neighbors to be saved from sins not destroyed by them right? So we need to take these matters in prayer, fight this battle in prayer, and in the meantime, learn to get along. We get what we give.  There is no such thing as "insincere" tolerance or respect when it comes down to eye to eye, face to face, and if we give sincere respect and tolerance from our hearts and ourselves, then we can rightfully expect such in return, but if we can't even do it ourselves, how could we expect sincerity from anyone else? It always goes both ways, and we need to manifest our faith in action and take the leap of faith to love our brothers and sisters, especially those sinners who we disagree with, that God bring them to repentant and they join our Christian family.  We can't browbeat or bully pulpit them into our family, they must be adopted but then again they must be directly invited in the first place.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2012, 10:41:15 PM »

Except you aren't supposed to leave alone your neighbor's beliefs, you're supposed to bring them to Christ through Christianity. The former is an agenda from an entirely different source.
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« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2012, 11:24:02 PM »

I'm sorry you don't like it, but ask Iranians what it feels like to live in a Theocratic government if you disagree.  Would you be so happy if California was a Puritan Republic like Salem and convicted we Orthodox as Papist traitors and threats? See what I mean? That is precisely why California is rightfully a secular republic.  We all agree to pick a mutually neutral stance as citizens of the republic of California, and we then agree as I said to play nice with each other.
 

That's precisely my point, though: We (whoever "we" is supposed to be) precisely don't do that. In reality, no one is neutral. The atheists want to live in a certain kind of society, the Mormons in another, the Catholics in another, the Orthodox in another, etc. To the extent that we can form alliances on certain issues, we do. That is precisely why we live in a pluralistic society, as we would like to prevent some other guy's vision of what life should be from being imposed on us. The problem is, of course, that as one side invariably loses when another wins, someone is always going to be unhappy with the way things are. This is not a strike against pluralism, of course, but rather the reality that we live in. It is not the idyllic, neutral fantasy-land that has been presented here. I am certainly not neutral on many of the issues that have been forced into the ballot box in CA like gay marriage, abortion, and certain changes to the health care system, and I know that those who hold views that conflict with mine on these and other issues are likewise not neutral. So all other things being equal, I would like public policy to reflect my values, and to the extent that I can find someone or something to vote for that closely mirrors my values (a very tough proposition in California, usually), I vote accordingly. What's not nice about that? That's no different than what anybody else is doing.

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If you don't want to play nice, you need to pray about that, Christ never asked us to be rude to our neighbors, I do believe he asked us to love them?


You really are a broken record, Habte. No one is saying don't love your neighbor. No one is ever saying that whenever you bring it up. Enough already. What's next -- I'm being "racist" by disagreeing with you?

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In a diverse, pluralistic, secular society the government has to find the middle ground of universally recognized civil rights and civil liberties and then enforce these.  Our society needs to learn the same, and be respectful and tolerant of each other's differences for the sake of simply getting along without the gridlock.
 

Are you saying that if the rest of society were more like California, we'd all get along and there'd be no "gridlock"? Oh my...I don't even know what to say...it's like your account has been hijacked by some kind of Rastafarian Care Bear or something. I can't...that's just not reality here, there, or anywhere.

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Christians are  majority in California?


Yes, and by a fairly wide margin (60+ percent; the next largest group are non-religious, at 25%). Did you look at the Pew study I linked? All the percentages are in there.

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Not Orthodox.  Not even Catholics, even though there are a lot of Catholics

What's your point? Your original post stated that Christians are a minority in California. I only posted the latest stats I could find to refute that claim, not to claim that Orthodox or RCs are the majority of Californians.

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what if the Catholics ran the show? Would that help we Orthodox? Would it make some things better? Perhaps for some folks, but what of the others? 


What if they did? Again, what is your point?

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That is problem with a secular society, and in California our ideal is to work out our differences mutually. 


Yeah, unlike those smelly Hawaiians and dirty, no-good Pennsylvanians. They always want to work out their differences by kidnapping each others' children and sacrificing them to Petbe and Set. California is better than they are.

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A lot of folks seem to be criticizing multiculturalism in education and public policy from the wrong perspective of strictly white folks.  California is not New Hampshire people, the students do not have multicultural curriculum strictly to learn about other cultures which are strictly foreign to them, its also to equalize what for most of recent history was a blatantly white-washed curriculum where non-white students didn't see themselves.

On the other side of the coin, when students are exposed to and learn about other cultures which surround them as neighbors and friends in our communities, they become more aware of each other, and they are often moments of connection and reflection.  A lot of times, people are simply not exposed to diversity, hence the multicultural approach.  I am just trying to explain ourselves as an educator in California public system, this is how and why we implement this kind of curriculum on a daily basis, and I have seen the tangible benefits first-hand time and time again in the classroom.
 

Are you forgetting that both I and GiC are Californians? Why are you writing things like this to people who know how California is? And why is absolutely everything about race to you? Can't we just disagree without bringing race into absolutely everything? Also, doesn't the fact that you're doing that kind of discredit your whole "in California, we're so great at getting along" thing? I can't speak for your area, but where I'm from things are pretty segregated by race and class, so unless you've got both whites and Latinos in your family (like I do, and a lot of other people here do), you don't really interact with the other population very much outside of certain specific (largely economic) contexts. Even at the local Catholic church where I was baptized, where there are of course many Latinos, the communities are separate to the point where the Anglo and Spanish masses are very, very different from one another in tone and content (one of the early warning signs I picked up on that all was not all about "unam sanctam ecclesiam" in the RCC). There is not always antagonism in this arrangement, but there often is. Cinco de Mayo celebrations at my high school, for instance, were routinely interrupted by idiots, one year ending in an attempted hit and run and (completed) stabbing. Ahhh, yes...California...land of racial harmony and getting-alongnedness at all costs. Too bad all the multiculturalism in the world doesn't stop idiots from being idiots.
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« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2012, 02:23:52 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


That is precisely why we live in a pluralistic society, as we would like to prevent some other guy's vision of what life should be from being imposed on us. The problem is, of course, that as one side invariably loses when another wins, someone is always going to be unhappy with the way things are.

I fundamentally disagree with this analysis, when we as a diverse society make mutual compromises everybody wins.
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You really are a broken record, Habte. No one is saying don't love your neighbor. No one is ever saying that whenever you bring it up. Enough already. What's next -- I'm being "racist" by disagreeing with you?

What so wrong about reiterating the moral of brotherly love? It is not a condemnation unless you read it that way.  I always play the record of Jesus' love on repeat, to console and pacify the sins of my heart daily, what is the harm? It is only a refresher if we are all truly on the same page, and all you got to say to such things is simply "Amen" or nothing at all, but I honestly don't see how you could get up set at ambitions of love.  We all agree, so why do you get so defensive about it? The command to love wasn't a command directed at solely at you, it was rhetorical for us all[/u]


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Are you saying that if the rest of society were more like California, we'd all get along and there'd be no "gridlock"? Oh my...I don't even know what to say...it's like your account has been hijacked by some kind of Rastafarian Care Bear or something. I can't...that's just not reality here, there, or anywhere.
JAH! ini like the sound of that, I-man going to roll with that yo..



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Not Orthodox.  Not even Catholics, even though there are a lot of Catholics

What's your point? Your original post stated that Christians are a minority in California. I only posted the latest stats I could find to refute that claim, not to claim that Orthodox or RCs are the majority of Californians.

Christian is not a monolythic term, especially in California, and the interests at Calvary Chapel are far different from Our Lady of Angels which is far different from Saint Sophia Cathedral.. Even as Christians we don't necessarily agree about sociocultural norms and politics, how could we expect the entire state then to jump on board? That is why as a secular republic we set up a mutually neutral middle-ground of common laws and normative behavior expected by citizens and residents of the republic. 




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A lot of folks seem to be criticizing multiculturalism in education and public policy from the wrong perspective of strictly white folks.  California is not New Hampshire people, the students do not have multicultural curriculum strictly to learn about other cultures which are strictly foreign to them, its also to equalize what for most of recent history was a blatantly white-washed curriculum where non-white students didn't see themselves.

On the other side of the coin, when students are exposed to and learn about other cultures which surround them as neighbors and friends in our communities, they become more aware of each other, and they are often moments of connection and reflection.  A lot of times, people are simply not exposed to diversity, hence the multicultural approach.  I am just trying to explain ourselves as an educator in California public system, this is how and why we implement this kind of curriculum on a daily basis, and I have seen the tangible benefits first-hand time and time again in the classroom.
 

AAnd why is absolutely everything about race to you? Can't we just disagree without bringing race into absolutely everything? Also, doesn't the fact that you're doing that kind of discredit your whole "in California, we're so great at getting along" thing? I can't speak for your area, but where I'm from things are pretty segregated by race and class, so unless you've got both whites and Latinos in your family (like I do, and a lot of other people here do), you don't really interact with the other population very much outside of certain specific (largely economic) contexts.
[/quote]

A) Race and multiculturalism is THE TOPIC OF THE OP, duh Wink

B) Yes, I am from a multiracial family, like a lot of Angelinos, and in all the neighborhoods I live in, visit, or pass through, I see folks living together, not strictly segregated. Folks live side by side, not in strictly ethnic neighborhoods.  Give me an example of strictly segregated city or neighborhood in Los Angeles and I will prove you wrong, I promise you.  The OC, the Bay Area, Sactown, San Diego, the Emerald Triangle, Lord even in the Reno area, folks are quite diverse and quite mixed up together.  If we disagree I am sorry, but that is my testimony as an Angelino and a well-traveled Californian with family living in every corner. 


And on the topic of cultural relativism.. today I just finished an assignment where my 7th grade History class learned a dozen Chinese characters to connect with the Chinese history unit we are currently studying.  Not only did they kids simply LOVE this assignment, they had a blast guessing what each character might mean.  Further, I had no less than TWO kids in my class who actually could already READ Chinese, another girl who reads Korean, and they begged me to sing to them in Amharic, so please, don't forget in y'all high and mighty criticisms of cultural relativism that our students in California love it Wink

Y'all understand that we all don't have to always come to an agreement on everything all the time, we can have different views, but it is important we express them clearly and respectfully to each other.  I am not trying to convince you, simply testify my witness of what my experience is in California, and I am sorry we disagree, and I don't mean to disrespect or disregard your experience, and I apologize sincerely if such has been the case, praying for you, me, and us all.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2012, 04:11:05 PM »

I fundamentally disagree with this analysis, when we as a diverse society make mutual compromises everybody wins.

But, again, that's my point, Habte: That's not what we do as a society. You can't tell me that everybody won on prop 8, for instance. Clearly, the homosexual marriage lobby lost. And there are so many other examples...I don't even know how you can make a statement like that. You cannot make mutually satisfying compromises so that everybody wins on every issue.

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What so wrong about reiterating the moral of brotherly love?


Other than the fact that it is an extremely annoying non-answer to criticism, nothing. I like love, and I love all people, but that's not really what we're talking about here. No one in this thread or anywhere that I can remember has said anything about not loving those who come from other cultures. The trouble with the brand of multiculturalism we've been discussing here is as GiC reasoned: It's not REALLY love, respect, etc. It's shallow and fake.

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Christian is not a monolythic term, especially in California, and the interests at Calvary Chapel are far different from Our Lady of Angels which is far different from Saint Sophia Cathedral.. Even as Christians we don't necessarily agree about sociocultural norms and politics, how could we expect the entire state then to jump on board? That is why as a secular republic we set up a mutually neutral middle-ground of common laws and normative behavior expected by citizens and residents of the republic.  

I don't know where you're getting this "mutually neutral" business. There's nothing neutral about prop 8, prop 14 (1963), etc. And they're not really "mutual" either, as none who lost agreed to live with the consequences or whatever (prop 14 was declared unconstitutional by the CA supreme court a few years later, prop 8...we'll see). Again, neutrality is literally impossible. The second you pull that lever or fill in that square, you have forfeited all reasonable claims to neutrality. And some sort of mutually-agreed upon middle ground of "normative behavior"? Please. I didn't vote for pot clubs, and yet here we are.

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A) Race and multiculturalism is THE TOPIC OF THE OP, duh Wink

Let me rephrase that: Why does everything have to be about people who disagreeing with you being RACIST? That's essentially what you said. "Some of you are looking at this from the perspective of white folks, blahblahblahblah." In other words, if you don't like the CA brand of multiculturalism, you're an ignorant bigot.

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B) Yes, I am from a multiracial family

As do I...not really seeing the point here.

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...the Bay Area...folks are quite diverse and quite mixed up together.
 

Not that SF is the whole Bay Area, but this is actually not too terribly off-base when it comes to the "racial diversity" of that whole area (and if SF and its environs are like this, what would make a better example of how people are so mixed up? Marin?  Cheesy): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfaV7tkLl60

Not that having white people AND a Chinatown in a major US city isn't something to write home about. Oh...wait...

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If we disagree I am sorry, but that is my testimony as an Angelino and a well-traveled Californian with family living in every corner.


Okay. Uh...I am also half of those things (not an Angelino, but I have or had family in every corner, and have traveled the entire length and width many times over). I'm not saying the state is not diverse. It certainly is. And diversity isn't a bad thing. My only point is that it's not better or more enlightened than anywhere else, and that phony multiculturalism isn't going to solve any of its problems.

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And on the topic of cultural relativism.. today I just finished an assignment where my 7th grade History class learned a dozen Chinese characters to connect with the Chinese history unit we are currently studying.  Not only did they kids simply LOVE this assignment, they had a blast guessing what each character might mean.  Further, I had no less than TWO kids in my class who actually could already READ Chinese, another girl who reads Korean, and they begged me to sing to them in Amharic, so please, don't forget in y'all high and mighty criticisms of cultural relativism that our students in California love it Wink

That sounds like a fun assignment. We didn't do things like that when I was going through junior high school, but much earlier (before voters decided to end immersion education, which was what I was educated in) we regularly did other cultural (read: non-white...haha) things like going to plays about Caesar Chavez and whatnot. I dunno. It was nice, I guess. I don't think anyone here is against having kids learn about their own and others' cultures. The problem is when the message becomes "all cultural values are essentially equal and if you disagree with anything that someone from another culture/race/lifestyle/etc. does or says, you're a terrible bigot and should not be allowed to have that opinion", which, honestly, is not far from what I have seen going on in various news stories coming out of the state (things like CA-SB 777, which make it illegal to teach a traditional family with a mom and a dad as being normative, despite the fact that it IS freaking normative). There may be a fine line here, but if there is, the multiculturalists don't seem to respect it when it comes to the rights of people who aren't black lesbian colorblind eskimo midgets, and the ambidextrous, lactose-intolerant transexual acrobats who love them.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 04:14:43 PM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: January 10, 2012, 06:34:14 PM »

A lot of folks seem to be criticizing multiculturalism in education and public policy from the wrong perspective of strictly white folks.  California is not New Hampshire people, the students do not have multicultural curriculum strictly to learn about other cultures which are strictly foreign to them, its also to equalize what for most of recent history was a blatantly white-washed curriculum where non-white students didn't see themselves.  California classrooms are largely Latino students, and even where it is not largely Latino, there is still diversity.  I work in 8 schools right now, and in any of my classes white folks are about 20-40% tops, and there are a lot of Asian folks as well along with black folks and Latinos.  The multicultural curriculum allows these students to find THEMSELVES in their education, and that is a monumental achievement and step forward.  America is an increasingly pluralistic society, and our curriculum needs to increasingly diversify and reflect the students.  Kids need to see pictures of themselves in their texts, read about themselves in their history classes, and find multicultural, diverse role-models to emulate, celebrate their holidays on the calendar, etc etc..

I'm not challenging the policy from the perspective of white folks, I'm challenging it from the basis of objective observation (and what does race have to do about this? I thought we were talking about culture, not race...there is a distinction to be made). I have nothing against exposing people to different cultures academically, I simply object to it being presented in a manner more fitting for propaganda than education. We do no one any service by saying that Chinese culture is just like British culture except they eat funny food and use chopsticks or by saying that Arab culture is just like American culture except they have funny headgear and worship slightly differently...there are far more fundamental cultural differences that I have never seen expounded upon in the context of so-called multicultural education.

Half truths and propaganda should be even more offensive to those who identify with minority cultures than to those of us in the majority culture, 'multiculturalism' has basically recast these other cultures in our own image and then presents it as an objective view of who they actually are. It doesn't help them find 'themselves' in education (which I would hope would be an image formed by more than merely their cultural and ethnic heritage) it helps them see an Anglo-Saxon version of themselves, or to put it another way, it helps them see how white people believe their culture should be. It's no less imperialist in vision than the jingoism of the 19th century, it's simply both less honest and better propaganda.

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On the other side of the coin, when students are exposed to and learn about other cultures which surround them as neighbors and friends in our communities, they become more aware of each other, and they are often moments of connection and reflection.  A lot of times, people are simply not exposed to diversity, hence the multicultural approach.  I am just trying to explain ourselves as an educator in California public system, this is how and why we implement this kind of curriculum on a daily basis, and I have seen the tangible benefits first-hand time and time again in the classroom.

I simply fail to see the benefit of inaccurately exposing people to diversity, of sweeping the uncomfortable bits under the rug to make certain cultures more palatable. I love being exposed to and experiencing other cultures, with all their history, complexity, and depth, I just find the Disneyland version to be quite unfulfilling and a pointless waste of time.
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