Cultural Conundrum:
Multiculturalism's Far-Reaching Effects

Recent years have witnessed a sea change in the assumptions that many make regarding culture, especially academics in the social sciences. For example, where once we were citizens of a greater society, we are now portrayed as a vast collection of competing subcultures, bent on getting equal time and undeserving of any critique. In fact, it is considered taboo for those from another group (primarily those of European, Protestant backgrounds) to speak to the values of another culture. That proves to be a double standard, however.

The university increasingly teaches that ethnic, sexual and cultural identities supercede--even trump--all other considerations. This multicultural ideal, springing from a postmodern mindset, has even challenged of our philosophy of knowing (epistemology): knowledge is seen by many exclusively as group-specific, culturecentric phenomenon, leaving no room for transcendant ideals that apply to all people of all cultures. You have to be a group member to know.

How did American society change from the proverbial melting pot (where all cultures supposedly blended into a new whole) to pluralism (which maintained cultural distinctives, but remained responsible for the society at large) to multiculturalism? What philosophical assumptions underpin multiculturalism and what fruit are they bearing? Has political correctness (the institutional and lingual outworking of multiculturalism's tenets) become an emancipator or a jailkeeper? And finally, what is a Christian response to multiculturalism? We touch on these issues in our special focus.

—Leadership University Editor/Webmaster, Byron Barlowe

Feature Articles:

Don Closson
Multiculturalism is a politically correct attempt to over-correct cultural bias by elevating all subcultures to equal status. It features the new tolerance, inclusivism, and a profound lack of discernment.

Indoctrination 101: Professor lifts the veil on the radical takeover of liberal arts classrooms and curriculum
An English professor blows the whistle on the invasion of the "soft" disciplines by multicultural "barbarians" propounding "porno-Marxism." She warns parents and students, offering some hope for change.

Jews in Multicultural America
Alan L. Mittleman
Where do the Jews fit into multicultural America? Where did they fit into pluralistic America? Answering these questions involves distinguishing between pluralism and multiculturalism as well as determining what it means to move from one to the other. "A vacuum has sucked all the pieces of stained glass out of the window of American pluralism. Multiculturalism is the attempt to reassemble them without, as it were, a surrounding frame."

Academic icon exposed: But the academy rushes to her defense
Gene Edward Veith
When a Stanford grad student exposed the myths associated with 1992 Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchu's life story, he encountered an academic cadre whose members villified him as "truthteller." It seems that one of multiuculturalism's best examples needed preservation, no matter the falsity of her claims.

Attention Must Be Paid
Edward T. Oakes
A review of Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Recognition." An Essay by Charles Taylor with commentary by Amy Gutmann (Editor), Steven C. Rockefeller, Michael Walzer, and Susan Wolf.

Related Articles:

Overhaul at Stanford
Heather Williams
A Stanford university graduate speaks openly about her journey to faith in Jesus Christ and the experience of being a Christian at a large secular university.

Christianity and Culture
Jerry Solomon
The Christian is encouraged to become a transformer of culture as he seeks to glorify God in all of life.

Babel Undone
Richard J. Mouw
Richard J. Mouw, President of Fuller Theological Seminary, analyzes the outworkings of postmodernity--in all its schizophrenia. Further, he relates the confusion of today's culture to Babel, while pointing to Pentecost as a healing multiculturalism.

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