An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
In the comments associated with this post I noted that it would be interesting to see if anyone actually reads the thousands of quizzes that had to be turned in by employees after suffering through "diversity training."
Well, amazingly enough, someone is in fact paid to "grade" the quizzes. They didn't like mine and sent it back to me with a little note to my boss:
"Obviously this is a joke to James. His answers were flippant and offensive. This just shows the need for diversity training."
I am so excited that my answers were considered "offensive!" The word offensive is soooo interesting to me, in fact I was just telling my esteemed coworker Jared this morning how much I LOVE that word and its over use in today's PC culture. I am also glad that my answers justify the test designers'/graders' employment with the University - you're welcome folks! Now, can I get back celebrating homogeny and being generally intolerant?
In the end, I was clapped in irons and at eight bells was escorted out with the rest of the PC defaulters to be flogged. Afterwards we shared some good laughs at my answers over some grog.
Wow, James! They might even use you as an example. I know for a fact that you are obviously the most intolerant person I know ;-)
Give me a break! I think that they should include some religious questions on that remarkable quiz; maybe:
What are the four major fasts of the Eastern Orthodox Church?
I wonder what sort of answers we would get from our coworkers. I think I have a pretty good idea: "I'm offended". Would they be considered intolerant? Heck no! The writer of the question would be considered intolerant, be fired, and join us in the government cheese line after our terminations due to intolerance.
I know you laugh at my "conspiracy theories", but I wonder if we don't have one right here. It definetely seems to me there is an agenda here. Religion vs. tolerance. We can't have one without the other? Our cross to bear as Christians IS to be tolerant of our enemies. Love those that hate us, do good to those that mock us, forgive in the face of unforgiveness...etc. These ARE attributes of Godly tolerance.
Don't be mad Jared...I am actually rather excited about the whole thing and a little disappointed that more was not made of the issue. I am prepared to "do battle" on a number of fronts:
1. Much of the quiz and training have absolutely NO practical application to my job. Hence, a thorough waste of my time - and this fact along plays a major part in the reasoning behind my asnwers...a protest if you will (I mean, how many of these sorts of things must we do???? Recall the one on "campus security" we had to take? Profoundly applicable since we are perhaps 4 miles off campus, not connected to the campus phone system, never participate in campus drills, and have no idea what campus alarm systems sound like.)In essence, I concede that my answers were flippant, but I would argue that my having to take the quiz is flippant.
2. Who, precisely, did I offend with my answers?
3. Save for questions 3 and part of 5, I think I could argue that my answers are actually correct.
4. I, personally am offended (hehehe) by being asked to do "diversity" training. The only aspects of this quiz that were applicable to me involved the asserting of values that I do not believe my workplace has the right to assert. If I were a racist, could I no longer being employeed? (Assuming I do not create strife and generally keep my beliefs to myself?) This has some very practical applications since I am arguably a member of an "intolerant" religious minority.
Training designed to "celebrate" diversity, I think is utterly wrong. I do not celebrate diversity...it is NOT (in many cases) something that should be celebrated - but rather lamented.
But one can be tolerant and yet disagree. One can be tolerant and yet be willing to tell others that you believe they are wrong. One can be tolerant and yet willing to engage in debate. Some people think that tolerance means we wander about with a mindset that says "to each his own"...but in the end this is the same lie that is implied by the Fall.
Tolerance to me is the exact same tolerance that God offers to everone: free will. But there are consequences to free will.
It seems that because I am NOT a Labmed employee that I need not retake the test - to me this is GOOD news because it tells me that future exercising in such futility can be avoided by me.
The thought just struck me, while reading your last bit there, that what "tolerance" is really actually begging for is not "tolerance" at all, but love. And when we can peacefully love, intolerance...I mean TRUTH...suddenly has plenty of wiggle room as well-unless of course the powers that be are not actually interested in Truth or Love, but are actually interested in being the thought police and shoving post-modern relativism down all our gullets.
James I just want to thank you for striking a blow for intolerant extremists everywhere! I only hope that if I am in a similar position I can treat the "diversity test" with the same level of ridicule...
One thing that is common to all of the Leninist wannabes that afflict us: they have no sense of humor. None. Too bad, because they are actually falling-down hysterical funny in their so very earnest efforts to get everybody else's mind right. Illegitimi non carborundum. And Merry Christmas to all, even Leninist wannabes.
i'm not sure what it means to lament diversity, or why homogeneity would be better. but i do think we live in a world where a deep discomfort with *difference* is a real reason for... well, hate. i mean, there really are hate crimes... racism is a phenomenon alive and well... sexism as well. people in our society, today in fact, have been abused, beat, treated less-than because of some fundamental difference. our social struggles in this regard must be addressed in some way.
however i've long thought that the 'tolerating diversity' movement actually is a subtle attempt at erasing diversity more than anything else. simply because we can't handle the tension that difference creates.
ie, look at the related widespread movement that suggests that all religions are ultimately the same... going the same place, etc... to me, as a Christian, that sentiment is profoundly disrespectful to the hindu hermit authentically striving to follow a path that does NOT include virgin births, personal Deities, bodily resurrections... ect... ie, karma and grace REALLY ARE very different things.
so why not acknowledge and enter in to *the necessary* tensions of REAL difference and see where it takes you? let the tension stand... but face and address the tension with what alana said: love.
as opposed to eradicating the difference in a coat of we're all one banal greyness.
"i'm not sure what it means to lament diversity, or why homogeneity would be better"
How about the diversity that prevents and the homogeneity that allows us to partake from the same cup of salvation???? C'mon man...I'm not advocating racism!!!!! I think lamenting diversity, in this sense, IS a form of love.
Think of me as a balance against the banal greyness...while in no way implying that hate doesn't exist. It exists right here in my own heart and I'm hard pressed to believe that the Human Resources Department of the University of Washington is going to heal my soul.
"but i do think we live in a world where a deep discomfort with *difference* is a real reason for... well, hate...must be addressed in some way."
And clearly, this little training program and test is the solution...and my place of employment will be the saving light on a hill.
Indeed, face the tension of differences...wholeheartedly agree.
"I, personally am offended (hehehe) by being asked to do "diversity" training. The only aspects of this quiz that were applicable to me involved the asserting of values that I do not believe my workplace has the right to assert. If I were a racist, could I no longer being employeed? (Assuming I do not create strife and generally keep my beliefs to myself?)"
Perhaps, when discussing this volatile issue we should agree on language and definitions of words we so casually toss around. Quite frankly, James, if you were a racist (meaning: someone holding a position of power to oppress, repress, down-press, and dis-empower others) I would hope that you wouldn't be employed by a university system. However -- were you a bigot, you could surely continue employment as long as you didn't create strife and discord. Remember that racism implies a power over others, a systemic oppressing power that is less about ones own hatreds or fears and more about power over, the power to hold down, and the power to keep others from exercising their own rights.
With love and graciousness intended -- a fellow sojourner.
"How about the diversity that prevents and the homogeneity that allows us to partake from the same cup of salvation???? "
yes... i hear you. i guess is a semantic difference. when scripture says both that those from every nation (diversity) will bow... and also says that in Christ there is neither jew/gentile male/female, etc...