Sunday, January 27, 2013

Reclaiming True Diversity

Sometimes it's easy to say no to a movement or cause just because of some of the characteristics of its supporters.  Diversity is a prime example, I think.  I used to take a negative view of diversity because it struck me as propaganda, a movement hijacked by the politically correct crowd, aimed at freezing free speech which may be opposed to their favored causes of the day--e.g. gay marriage.  

While in many respects, diversity can quickly become a cliche, there is real and substantive truth there, as well.  Lately, I have been endeavoring to use the language of the enemy against the enemy and for the cause of truth.  This is probably easiest to explain through three examples.  First, if the atheist opposes symbols of faith, I would point out that the atheist's position is simply a different type of faith.  Second, another example would concern those who preach "diversity," but who have no shred of tolerance for opinions diverse from their own.  It's a two-way street, folks.  (Strangely, I have found some of the most liberal people I know are also some of the most bigoted.)  Third, I have successfully argued at a state agency, for example, that New Age training within a state seminar is a form of promoting of religion.

What does this have to do with the clarion call for diversity?  Well, what do we mean by true diversity?  It's a recognition of many different cultures and belief systems, right?  At its core, there is the quality of respect and treating others as we would want to be treated.  These are biblical concepts, beliefs grounded in faith.  I submit to the reader that these Christian principles need to be taken back and applied to everything from immigration reform to safeguarding free speech.  If they want to communicate this way, let's give it back to them in full measure!

While my point of view holds that the diversity movement can be important because it reflects the differences within God's diverse and varied creation, I don't hold that it justly applies to chosen behaviors.  Even still, though, the Christian has no argument with regards to the imperative need to show and demonstrate respect and courtesy for the homosexual just as much as to the poor immigrant.  They are both human beings made in the image of God, requiring redemption as all of us do.

So, if you work within a politically correct environment, you may find it helpful to defend your position with the liberal's own toolbox of words and phrases; it really gets under their skin.  After all, it's not an excuse for inaction that some people may do what's right for entirely the wrong reasons.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Staying in the "Creative Groove"

I hope all of my readers (both of them!) had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's.  We started our journey back to Oregon from north Texas yesterday at 6am (Central), and our second flight didn't bring us home to western Oregon until close to noon.  It was a long day, but we're happy to be home safe and sound.

One thing I was struck with this trip is how I finally broke a persistent writer's block.  I thought I'd share a few quick observations today.  If you have a stressful day job as I do, it's really difficult to be able to leave your work at the office and focus on creative projects.  (In fact this really hit home, when the first message I read on my iPhone after arriving in Oregon was a very negative office-related e-mail.)

Temporarily leaving behind the daily life responsibilities, experiencing a change of scene, and I think also attending fairly frequent Mass (Holy Days of "Opportunity," you know) helped me write more than I have in years.  It was wonderful to be able to free mind and connect with my characters again like that.  The million dollar question, of course, will be whether I can stay in this "Creative Groove."  

Someone is bound to ask what attending Mass could possibly have to do with writing, and it's a little hard for a Catholic to perhaps articulate.  Is it the Eucharist or is it simply slowing down to focus on God and His Church?  The short answer is "yes."  The longer answer would remind all writers and artists that the ultimate wellspring of any good creative enterprise is God, the Creator.  

That's all for today.  God bless.