By Tom Quiner
How often have you heard liberals invoke the word “diversity?”
In the context of liberal-speak, diversity is automatically considered to be good. The University of Oregon says it this way:
The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
I mention “diversity” in light of the recent Supreme Court decision, Christian Legal Society vs. Martinez, which I wrote about on June 29th (A Triumph for Political Correctness).
Duke law professor, John Inazu, had an interesting take on the Court’s decision. Although he agreed with me that it was the wrong decision, he disagreed as to why. He said the court should have supported the Christian Legal Society (CLS) in the name of diversity.
That’s exactly what an appellate court did 36 years ago in a similar case. It weighed whether a student group “so far beyond the pale of the wider community’s values” that “university facilities [should] not be used by the group to flaunt its credo.”
In the name of diversity, the court back then ruled that Gay Students Organization of the University of New Hampshire should enjoy the right of free association.
In the recent Supreme Court decision, a similar standard applied. The CLS embraced a philosophy far beyond the pale of the wider communities’ values, namely that sexual relations should be confined to a man and a woman within the confines of marriage. Such a radical notion!
Alas, diversity is only applicable if it applies to liberal groups.
Professor Inazu wisely opined:
Christian student groups ought to be able to exclude non-Christians. Groups that object to homosexual conduct ought to be able to exclude those who disagree. Groups of Democrats ought to be able to exclude Republicans. Groups of environmentalists ought to be able to exclude people who don’t care about the environment. That leaves us with diversity.
Over at Yale Law School, professor Stephen Carter put it this way:
Democracy needs diversity because democracy advances through dissent, difference and dialogue.
Professor Inazu leaves us with a dire warning:
Expression presupposes existence. And the court’s decision doesn’t silence CLS – it destroys it.