The rise of boutique multiculturalism

Bruce Logan: The rise of ‘boutique multiculturalism’

The rise of ‘boutique multiculturalism’ – by Bruce Logan

Richard Dawkins, atheist extraordinaire and apprentice conservative, has not been on the road to Damascus, but somewhat belatedly he has recognised the significance of what we have come to call “Cultural Christianity.” He would much rather live in a Christian culture than an Islamic one. Why, I wonder?

It would seem that Christian ethics are worth keeping even if we no longer appreciate their foundation.

It would be a step in the right direction if the Coalition Government showed it understood that “cultural Christianity” residual as it is, reminds us that private and public morality must not be shaped by political ideology.

A rediscovery of conservative confidence would be liberating.

But we have a problem; the lie of cultural relativism, (CR) all cultures are equal. It neuters the conservative mind by suppressing belief in God given human dignity, the foundation of Western civilisation.

CR with its duplicitous plea for tolerance hides under the “safe” banner of multicultural theory hoping that it will not be examined closely. Why? Cultural relativists are chronological snobs. The material world is all there is; subjective experience overwhelms tradition and history.

In order to embed CR’s version of tolerance its major weapon of offence and defence has to be hate speech legislation. You no longer need to hold your nose and get on with it. Rather just accept and affirm the tribal creating consequences of cultural relativism; “designer tribalism” as Roger Sandal calls it in his seminal text “The Culture Cult.”

At one level multiculturalism appears to encourage tolerance. It welcomes the arrival of legal immigrants as an enrichment. We see and hear interesting new habits, different food, lively fashion sense, cafe street action and we are fascinated by hearing foreign languages being spoken. Stanley Fish aptly called this “boutique multiculturalism”.

However,  multiculturalism penetrates much deeper than what New Zealand theologian Harold Turner called “surface culture.” By its very rejection of transcendent truth it must become the dominating cultural narrative because underpinning the whole deal there is an anti-Christian ideology declaring what it means to be human. There is no room for the theological verities and history that shaped Western civilisation. These are outdated and oppressive. Western civilisation is racist, colonialist, rapacious, patriarchal, Eurocentric and, in short, irredeemable. 

Identity without its transcendent foundation must find it’s presumption of dignity in tribal membership. Consequently human rights concentrate on protecting and discovering new group identities rather that preserving individual freedom.

CR would shunt Biblical religion off the stage to replace it with an aggressive civil religion that demands state protection. It denies the sovereignty of God in order to exchange it for the sovereignty of the state. It would strip the world of its mystery any possibility of ever exploring the Sublime. Criticism is forbidden because CR is a self-contradictory house of cards. Satire is impossible; tragedy and comedy are inexplicable.

If you’re wondering why most universities have submitted to the above condemnation of Western civilisation go back to just one canary in the mine event in 1987. That year, 500 protesting students, led by the Rev Jesse Jackson, chanted outside Stanford University’s main gate, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go.” Californian students, seduced by Herbert Marcuse’s neo-Marxist doctrine of “Repressive Tolerance”(make revolution tolerable and tradition intolerable) were leading the world.

The students were claiming that an introductory humanities programme called “Western Culture” lacked diversity. Astonishingly, the academics and the  administrators, whose very existence depended on Western Civilisation, appeased the protesters. A replacement, “Cultures, Ideas and Values,” with texts on race, class and gender, was hastily put together. Other US universities soon followed, and eventually, the entire English-speaking world.

Stanford now has 177 full time Diversity bureaucrats spread across various divisions and departments fostering a “culture of inclusion” and “protected identity harm reporting.” NZ Universities are well on the way with inclusion and equity administrators to make up the DEI trinity (Diversity Equity Inclusion). It has become the overriding moral imperative; that CR defies reason, even logic, doesn’t matter.

Multiculturalism is a Christian heresy based on a reductionist grasp of the second commandment to love your neighbour ; and a secularised deconstruction of the Genesis explanation of human dignity. It plagiarises that unique (I really mean unique) declaration of dignity while denying its roots. Cut the tree down and demand that it grows.

Denial of the transcendent comes with a price.

The multicultural theorists have been doing their best for decades to cut us off from the Biblical definition of human dignity that gives meaning and order to Western civilisation; the rule of law, the core civil liberties, a base on which civil society might rest, and scientific method. It should come as no surprise that recent Ministry of Education curricula documents no longer value scientific method.

DEI would level us all like Procrustes, a mythical inn keeping blacksmith whose beds were all the same length. Guests who were too short for the bed were stretched to fit. Tall guests had their excess length amputated. Procrustes continued his terrorising hospitality until he was captured by Theseus.

Perhaps the Coalition government will discover a latter day Theseus among its ranks.

Bruce Logan is a board member of Family First NZ

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