Diversity is Not a Catholic Value

Diversity is a modern shibboleth. It has long become the secular creed of the United States, and in no area is it celebrated as religiously as in academia, mostly as a substitute for true religion. It has now finally invaded universities that by name are still Catholic. Under the pretext of diversity, proponents engage in a frantic drive to replace the traditional curriculum with “ethnic” or women’s or “gender” studies; they observe Kwanzaa; they “include” homosexual students and faculty; and they cultivate their self-defined cultural and other “identities.” A veritable cottage industry has sprung up, with diversity “studies,” diversity advisors, recruitment programs for “diverse” students, sensitivity training to overcome the “essentializing” and “homophobic” tendencies of all males, and many more delights of this sort. Every academic around the country can easily add examples. I certainly can from years of experience at a college that still identifies itself as Catholic yet remains practically indifferent to the deposit of faith, the teachings of the Church, and the Catholic ethos.

And here arises a first problem with diversity as a regulative principle. No individual can be diverse, but only a collectivity. For logical reasons, it is impossible to recruit more “diverse” students, for no individual is diverse from himself or herself. Basic statistics informs us that only the standard deviation of some variable describing a group such as a student body, city, or nation can be greater or smaller. For any given population, increasing “diversity” then simply means replacing some members by others with different characteristics. Diversification always implies losers, namely those members in the middle who have so far defined the standard. It produces flatter distributions. In populations that are not growing, it is a zero-sum game, a simple substitution of members, as in ethnic cleansing. It is an artificial and political move in opposition to natural justice and law.

The frantic quest for “diversity” is a deeply anti-Catholic impulse. It finds no support in Catholic moral and social teaching. There is no mention of diversity as a goal of Catholic life in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or in any of the pastoral, moral, or social constitutions and encyclicals before and after Vatican II. Diversity has never been advocated by the great thinkers of the Church, who have instead preached unity. And there is a good reason for this glaring absence: Catholics marvel at the natural diversity of God’s Creation, at the difference in people, animals, landscapes, plants, and languages. They want to preserve as much of this diversity as is possible, because it enriches all of us. But they will resist disturbing the order God has willed for the world. Erecting skyscrapers in the Sahara Desert, crossbreeding species, developing artificial languages, dying our hair green—all of these increase diversity, but at what cost? Artificial diversification drives out the natural diversity of God’s very good Creation. Enticing students of a particular race from a distant big city to move to a small rural one, or making every effort to prioritize gay and lesbian candidates for faculty positions, does not exactly exemplify the improvement of the world to which Christians are called.

The destructive quest for artificial diversification is an outgrowth of the scourge of the twentieth century—the all‐pervasive creed of relativism. If there are no truths to be known about man, physics, biology, society, or God, if everything is a matter of perspective, of opinion, or of individual feeling, then increasing diversity indeed makes sense, for in a heap of different stones one is more likely to find a gold nugget. And this still is the battle cry of most diversity propagandists: it supposedly enriches a group just like the admission of more opinions gives us a greater chance of finding the truth. But are they right? They err, of course, in assuming that truth in science or about life arises somehow randomly, if they are willing to admit the possibility of truth at all. Pope John Paul II gave the Catholic response in Ex Corde Ecclesiae when he taught that the task of a Catholic university is “to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth.” Not only must we search for the truth, but we already know where to find it: in Jesus Christ, who Himself is the truth (“I am the way, the truth, and the life”―John 14:6). A greater or smaller diversity in the domain of our studies has nothing to do with finding the truth. Turning towards the fount of truth has everything to do with it.

Thus the quest of diversity is really a political stratagem to impose an anti-Christian agenda. Mao Zedong’s 1956 slogan, “Let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend” stood at the beginning of one of the most brutal crackdowns on human freedom known in history. Not even a year later, millions of Chinese were sent to labor camps. Totalitarians want artificial diversity to obtain the streamlined thought and behavior of their choice, for their intention is not to foster greater variety but rather the ascendancy of a favored group or ideology. The same is happening in this country and elsewhere, with speech codes, thought policing, and punishments targeting those who do not support the politically correct diversity campaign. The population of many nominally Catholic universities is now such that one constituent is badly needed to make them truly diverse—Catholic students, faculty, and administrators.

The categories of diversity may change, but whatever the diversity du jour may be—at the moment it is homosexuality—there is no foundation for it in Christian thought, and particularly not in Catholic thought, which is by its very name “directed at the whole.” Ironically, Catholics can always claim to want more diversity than even the most obstinate diversity fanatic: we strive at a diversity of one, the most radical option, because we see each and every human being of whatever race, class, sex, or nationality as a God‐breathed individual: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). The diversity our superficial culture cherishes is one by groups alone, where some master thinker selects the category. Catholics, on the other hand, are committed to respecting the individuality of all persons, who are without exception created in God’s image and therefore enjoy a sacred dignity. Nonetheless, relativism (sometimes disguised as pluralism or whatever else) and group diversity are now the mantras of Catholic universities just as much as state institutions, and some Catholic universities actively strive to attract more gay and lesbian students, professors, and staff, provide public forums for them, and thus cause what canon law calls scandal. On the other hand, they contribute precious little to the New Evangelization, the project the Church regards as its most pressing task.

And this is the saddest aspect of this unnecessary and destructive ideology. Its propagators do not reveal simple joy in the wondrous multiformity of God’s Creation but a dogged determination to make the world conform to a standard that they, the enlightened and righteous few, have thought up. Diversity then turns into a militant and purely secular creed. Pope Francis got it right when, in a recent homily, he castigated the “spirit of adolescent progressivism” which seductively suggests that it is always right, when faced with any decision, to move on rather than remain faithful to one’s own traditions: “Still today, the spirit of worldliness leads us to progressivism, to this uniformity of thought.” Negotiating one’s identity, the Pope declared, is squarely impossible, because it is a gift from God, a grace that must be recognized and nourished but that can be rejected or changed only at one’s own peril.

How does this go together with “constructed gender identities” as a phantasm that now circulates even on Catholic campuses? Alas, by imposing artificial diversity, Catholic universities have also abandoned the search for truth to which they are called. Thus they betray the goal of the university, which since its inception has been to unite rather than to divide knowledge. They have substituted an empty slogan for the direction laid down by Jesus Christ as the fount of truth for us and for all time. No, diversity is by no means a Catholic value. It is a fact, a gift we have received and that we should not artificially distort in order to follow a siren song that only intends to establish a uniformity imposed by the opponents of our faith and morals. As believers, Catholics are rather guided by the transcendentals of the One, the Good, and the True. If anything, they will add the Beautiful to this triad that animates the human spirit in its search for God. For the diversity of Creation, which is our gift and legacy, cannot be topped in beauty, certainly not by puny secular designs.

Editor’s note: In the image above genuine diversity is represented by Middle Eastern archbishops and patriarchs attending a synod of bishops at the Vatican in October 2010.

Wolfgang Grassl


Wolfgang Grassl is Professor of Business Administration at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. His research and writing is on branding, marketing strategy, the ontology of business, and the Catholic intellectual tradition.

  • Guest

    Great article. It needs to be said more often and more powerfully. Thank you.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    The older I get, the more I think that pluralistic culture is an error from which the world cannot recover.

  • poetcomic1

    Tolerance dehumanizes both the ‘tolerant’ and the ‘tolerated’. Diversity creates a range of ‘types’, narratives through which the ‘other’ is perceived. I take my human beings one at a time. 7 Billion unique expressions of God’s love. Now that is diversity.

    • Anthony Zarrella

      Amen to that! “How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been; how gloriously different are the saints.” – C.S. Lewis

      The escape from the downward spiral of pluralism will occur when society realizes that the kind of diversity that is truly valuable is not the diversity of well-distributed demographic curves, but the diversity between and among each of God’s individual children – each soul a unique, handcrafted example of the Master’s craft.

  • In the best Leninist way, what liberals call diversity is actually uniformity. In the name of diversity, public Christmas trees are turned into holiday trees. Everything is stripped of their unique character to conform to a vanilla, cardboard identity. Worse, the same is applied to people, especially foreigners. How often don’t liberals approach me feigning interest in my native culture spewing stereotypes and pigeonholing me? Not to mention that what they mean by integration in the American culture as the shedding of one’s particular ways to conform to the American ways, total assimilation. As long as a foreigner is being assimilated, selling his soul to the American mammon, he’s accepted; but woe to him if he insists on speaking his language and keeping his customs!

    • Adam__Baum

      Diversity is what we say it is!

      Four legs good, two legs bad, except…

  • S

    One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, “sourpusses”. — Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium

  • JBvonO

    Superb & timely piece Prof. Grassl .

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  • publiusnj

    The root of Anglo-American “diversity worship” can be found in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. In the course of the earlier English Civil War, the Scottish Presbyterians had joined with the “dissenting” English Protestants (largely the Puritan remainder left over from the Marian exiles of the past century) and tried to overpower the existing Anglican Establishment. They couldn’t do it, and the “Anglican” Stuarts were “restored.”

    The Stuart exiles, though, had been exposed to their mother’s Catholicism while on the Continent and both Charles II and James II eventually converted to Catholicism (although Charles hid his conversion until his deathbed). Once James had a male child baptized into Christ’s Holy Catholic Church, the Anglicans realized that the “king’s religion” had been exposed as a “potemkin’s village” (although they wouldn’t have known the term), even though James had made it clear Anglicanism would remain the Established Religion while the King would extend “toleration” to all Christian religions from Catholicism to Presbyterianism to the Quakers. The Anglican Establishment therefore broke faith with their liege lord the King and agreed to extend “toleration” just to other protestants (with significant restrictions) in exchange for their help in overthrowing the Catholic king and continuing the penal laws against Catholics.

    As a result, Protestantism in English speaking countries has been far more divided than in other Protestant lands. In the 13 colonies, Anglicanism predominated in the South and more Reformed sects in New England. the Quakers had gotten Pennsylvania as the result of real toleration by Charles II. That “diversity” became enshrined in the US Constitution as the result of a compromise between the Reformed North and the ever less Anglican South (Anglicanism had been weakened in the South by the Methodist Movement and other revivalist efforts in the 17th Century) that is embodied in the Establishment and Free Exercis Clauses of the Constitution. Those provisions were not designed to create a radical separation of church and state as some 20th Century de cisions pretend; rather, they sought to prevent “Congress” from establishing a national religion that might overpower the state-wide establishments that various groups had imposed on a colony-wide basis (e.g., Congregationalism in Massachusetts (with its viciously anti-Catholic Constitution).

    The Democrats have gone even further than that degree of “diversity” for another reason entirely. One of the oldest ways of ensuring a docile population is, as the Romans knew, to “divide et impera”–divide and conquer. Back in the days of the old urban bosses, the Democrats became good at defininfg voters on the basis of ethnic identities. When that started getting old with the End of Substantial Immigration in 1924 at least for awhile), the Democrats looked for new ways to divide the populace into manipulabe groups. Feminism, the Stonewall Riots, Civil Rights, restored massive immigration in light of the 1965 Immigration Act, the identification of “hispanics” as somehow different from other white immigrant groups and other diversity efforts have now given the Democrat Party a new basis to divide the electorate and they have done so while elevating “diversity” into a good per se. Why? Well, it is a lot cheaper to pass a law banning discrimination against persons who have been taught to think of themselves as victims than it is to forego revenues and foster economic growth.

    • Rob B.

      I like your historical analysis, but I do want to mention something:

      “The Democrats have gone even further than that degree of “diversity” for another reason entirely. One of the oldest ways of ensuring a docile population is, as the Romans knew, to “divide et impera”–divide and conquer.”

      And this is something that the GOP would *never* do, right? 🙂

      Sorry, I just felt the need to point out that the other party is just a guilty of playing this card. Neither ideology is particularly innocent in this regard.

      • John200

        Nice little slider, that.

        A concrete example, or set of examples, would help us to assess the believability of the claim.

      • publiusnj

        The Republicans have not raised the issue of diversity to the high art form the Democrats have. The term “Hispanic” is a prime example. America had immigrants from other cultures since its establishment and the 13 colonies before them also had their own imigrations ofttimes from other than English cultures (e.g., the Pennsylvania Dutch grom the HRE or the Greeks of St. Augustine, FL). The Spanish had also colonized great swaths of America before the English and their descendants got to such parts as Florida and the Southwest. People from Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico and parts of Latin America came to the US for the entire period from 1492 through 1924. Puerto Ricans (citizens since 1917) continued to emigrate to the Mainland throughout the period 1925-64 when they represented the fullest stream of immigrants to the Maonland during the period of restrictive immigration.

        When the new Immigration Law was passed in 1965, though, the Democrats saw a way to peel off (divide) a segment of the immigrants by recognizing “hispanics” (broadly defined to bring as many in as possible) as a separate from the white race, even though most “hispanics” would define themselves as being just as white as anyone else. Now, we must engage in vast circulmocutions around that political term, so we now speak of “non-hispanic whites.”

        And the sad truth is that the Republicans have ceded the “hispanics” to the Democrat Party by letting the Democrats speak of “hispanics” as somehow different from the vast number of other immigrants” children who make up this nation. Really, there is no difference as is the case with blacks who have the unique issue of slavery in the mix. Yet, republicans let the Democrats speak of white “hispanics” as somehow different from other new immigrants. So, I think the truth is that the Republicans are babes in the woods next to the Democrats when it comes to divide and conquer politics.

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  • cestusdei

    As soon as I hear the “D” word I know I am going to hear only one thing.

  • hombre111

    Conformity is not unity. But that aside, I just LOVED those big hats on those two bishops or whatever they are, pictured at the head of the piece. Means they must be very important persons. The Pope’s hat is not that big, but then, he follows St. Francis. Oh, and I am waiting to hear Crisis wail about Pope Francis and his first apostolic letter. How can you be orthodox when your attitude no longer matches that of the Holy Father? Suddenly, a whole new brand of Catholic at the cafeteria line.

    • Adam__Baum

      Conformity is not unity.

      Depends what you conform to.

      Do you have hat envy?

      The idolatry of money is something the left is guilty of, because money, especially other people’s money, is the thing that solves all problems.

      Then again, look at George Soros, big money, big lefty.

      • hombre111

        Some psychologists suggest that the big hat stands for a penis. Those men are making a public statement.

        • Adam__Baum

          Wow, dude – that’s screwed up, even for you.

        • thebigdog

          “..the big hat stands for a phallus”

          And you are all hat and no cattle.

          • hombre111

            Now, just say to yourself, “I will look at those tall, tall miters some bishops sport, and not think of a phallus, ever again. Heh, Got you!

            • thebigdog

              The blood of the Martyrs was the seed of the Church.

              When I see the organized hierarchy showing reverence in public, I think “they are paying respect to those who came before and made great sacrifices, toward an eternal goal for each of us”

              … the whole penis envy thing is on you, please stop projecting that others share your problem.

            • R. K. Ich

              I’m at a loss as to why this conversation could even exist on a conservative Catholic forum. Oh, that’s right, since losing oneself to tradition, taste, decorum, and orthodoxy is what’s wrong with this world, and contrariwise, spiky, in-your-face, iconoclasm under the umbrella of a faux in-touch-with-the-common-bloke “Incarnational” theology is the antidote, *naturally* it makes sense. Silly me, carry on.

              • hombre111

                Actually, I regretted taking the discussion in that direction. But there must be some reason explaining this sudden appearance of huge miters. The bishops of my generations wore less imposing headgear.

                • Adam__Baum

                  You should regret it. It was puerile.

            • John200

              Does nothing penetrate with you? Got you, yeah, ha, ha, ha, I got you on a penis joke; but my real point is that you have descended into lunacy.

              Do you plan to ascend? The whole idea of descending is to ascend in triumph. Perhaps you can ascend to where you were supposed to be 50 years ago. You got yourself this time.

              The miter-as-penis thing really is revolting. Go see the nice doctor. He only wants to help you.

              Hombre, a while ago I called bullscheiss on your claim to be a Roman Catholic priest. Today I call it again.

        • John200

          Some psychologists are just enough “trained” to say something like that. You are a priest who is far enough off track to echo it.

          Some psychologists spend their time trying to learn about and help internet kooks. Hmmmmm…. you’ll have to pay their fees, but uh, what could it hurt, eh?

          Start with just a few friendly exploratory sessions, you might not need the whole treatment.

        • fredx2

          Ladies and gentlemen, I present your modern day left-liberal Catholic.

          • Susan Quinn

            He’s just a troll. Ignore him. These people get their jollies making stuff up and trying to get a rise out of people.

    • redfish

      No, but the demand for diversity is often just another form of conformity. If people are recognized by their worth, and each given proper dignity, how different they are from one another in a group doesn’t mean much except for political purposes.

      Unless I’m mistaken and Crisis is radically Objectivist, I didn’t see much in the letter that conservatives here would be offended by. The Pope did say “Growth in justice … requires decisions, programmes, mechanisms and processes … which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality,” and in passing criticized “irresponsible populism.” He didn’t support any specific political program; he did attack consumerism and blind faith in commercial behavior. He attacked trickle-down theories, but few conservatives argue trickle-down theories; they don’t think favors to the rich help everyone else, they just don’t think punishing the rich helps either — they view that as “irresponsible populism,” to use the Pope’s phrasing. He did pass comment on marriage and abortion, something less reported on, because the press is eager to represent him as a liberal force in the Church.

      • Adam__Baum

        It’s tyranny with a veneer of rectitude.

      • fredx2

        Popes have been attacking the worst forms of capitalism for decades:


        “Address to Seminarians in 2012:
        “[t]he world of finance, while necessary, no longer represents an instrument that favours our wellbeing or the life of mankind, instead it has become an oppressive power, that almost demands our adoration, mammon, the false divinity that truly dominates the world.”
        Benedict in Caritatis in Veritate:

        “Profit is useful if it serves as a means towards an end, [but] once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.”

        John Paul II said the same things. This is nothing new.

        • Adam__Baum

          What are referred to as “forms” of capitalism, usually aren’t capitalism at all. Corporatism, Cronyism, and such as much capitalism as a tumor is a part of your body.

          Just because thieves dress in nice clothes and head down to the marketplace, doesn’t make them capitalists. They are still thieves.

          Of course if they head down to the capitol, then they are really dangerous. You know, ol Joe Kennedy and his brood weren’t really dangerous until he started using his money to make politics the family business.

    • thebigdog

      “Means they must be very important persons.”

      How could the appearance of pompousness and self importance possibly offend you?

      • hombre111

        Just your humble servant pointing out the foibles and follies of the bigdogs of this world.

        • Adam__Baum

          If you were a humble servant, you wouldn’t offer your opinion prior to its solicitation.

          It’s like when I tell Cheeves to release the hounds. He wouldn’t dream of doing before my command.

          Cheeves, release the hounds, there’s madman about the estate.

  • Mom2amob

    Pope Francis addresses this concern in his newly-released Evangelii Gaudium, in which he writes: “131. Differences between persons and communities can sometimes prove uncomfortable, but the Holy Spirit, who is the source of that diversity, can bring forth something good from all things and turn it into an attractive means of evangelization. Diversity must always be reconciled by the help of the Holy Spirit; he alone can raise up diversity, plurality and multiplicity while at the same time bringing about unity. When we, for our part, aspire to diversity, we become self-enclosed, exclusive and divisive; similarly, whenever we attempt to create unity on the basis of our human calculations, we end up imposing a monolithic uniformity. This is not helpful for the Church’s mission.”

    He also writes, “The message of peace is not about a negotiated settlement but rather the conviction that the unity brought by the Spirit can harmonize every diversity. It overcomes every conflict by creating a new and promising synthesis. Diversity is a beautiful thing when it can constantly enter into a process of reconciliation and seal a sort of cultural covenant resulting in a “reconciled diversity”. As the bishops of the Congo have put it: “Our ethnic diversity is our wealth… It is only in unity, through conversion of hearts and reconciliation, that we will be able to help our country to develop on all levels”.[184]”

    So he appears to be suggesting we should “harmonize diversity” rather than aspiring to it. I’m busy reading through the whole thing.

    • Adam__Baum

      You can’t assume that what he means by “diversity” is the same thing the American academic, corporate and government fascista mean. I love the term “diverse individual”, as if the normal meaning of diversity is a unit, rather than a group or inter group attribute.

      • Mom2amom

        Adam, I’m still trying to figure out what he means:-) But, yes, his exhortation seems to be about getting people to come together, rather than artificially creating distance.

        • Adam__Baum

          Diversity is a nebulous term stateside. It lacks anything like coherent meaning, because at it’s core, it’s a device to obtain power.

          Ultimately it says all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than other animals.

          • fredx2

            They use the word diversity, but to them, it is only a word. For example, universities, who chant “diversity, diversity”, never include conservatives in their thinking. Conservatives are, on the whole, unwelcome at universities. There is no ideological diversity. So you are right; diversity for them is a means of attaining power. The only ones to be covered by the word “diversity” are those on their side – Liberals who are of various races and inclinations. The ones to be included are only people who are on their side politically. As soon as one of these minorities is NOT on their side, the long knives come out. For example, Clarence Thomas has had the most hideous things said about him, things that would be considered deeply racist if said by conservatives. Sarah Palin was a woman on the wrong side; she had to be demonized. Ted Cruz is the latest; he is a Hispanic on the wrong side, now he must be painted as a nut – a man who has argued 8 times before the Supreme Court.

  • Jaha Arnot

    I would argue that the Catholic Church is the most diverse and tolerant institution – in fact, the only truly tolerant and diverse institution. Firstly, it is universal, in time and place. Membership, participation, and contribution embrace all, and reflect the true harmony of each different and proper organ of the body of Christ. Secondly, it is assured the protection of the Holy Spirit – the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. It is patient with heterodoxy, precisely because it is true and inviolable. It is a house built on solid rock. “Progressive institutions,” like modern liberal universities, on the other hand, are acutely conscious and sensitive to any deviation from the party line, and have a fixation with the rubrics of a progressive culture that would put a FSSP priest to shame. I have never met a group of people this sensitive to doctrinal heresy, or fierce in their persecution of “intellectual deviants.” Comfy chair, indeed. Lastly, and closely related to this last point, the Church’s historical perspective, and permanence, enable her members to see variations in culture, beliefs, and practices in a broader context – the Body of Christ is not enslaved to the Tyranny of the Present. The wisdom of experience allows the Church to see things in the context and vantage point of 2000 years. This wisdom guides the Church in a measured and prudent response in the pastoral care of Her Children, and Her ministry and presence in the world as a leavening agent. There is nothing new under the sun.

    • Catholicus


  • M Toupin

    Fantastic article! Thank you

  • Tony

    I sometimes hear the complaint about students at my college, that they are all “the same.” It astonishes me. The same? Some are boys, some are girls. Some have come from happy homes, some from unhappy homes, some from broken homes. Some rejoice in the faith, some are wavering in the faith, some are angry in the faith, some long for it, some long to run away from it, and some do not really know that it exists. Some are brazen, some are cheerfully bold, some are quiet, some are painfully shy. Some love poetry, some love music, some love numbers, some love science, some don’t love anything at all. When I hear people blathering about our “diversity,” I wonder whether they have ever troubled themselves to get to know their students more than superficially. There is plenty of diversity already in a pair of identical twins.
    That said, if they really wanted to assist “underrepresented” students, they could reach for these groups:
    Local kids whose families don’t have much money;
    Born-again evangelicals;
    Boys (we actually do a very good job at recruiting male students)
    But nobody will ever go for those.

  • Stechschritt

    Speaking of identity, let us recall the thousands of Saxons that were mass-murdered by Charlemagne and all of those evil pagan temples burned to the ground. The Germanic identity was massacred en masse, forcing our beliefs to go underground in the form of Germanic Saints and Germanic “folk” traditions. Yes, let’s talk identity. There is MUCH reconciling to be done.

  • jacobhalo

    I blame the Catholic church for allowing such diversity. Such as, pro-abortionists, pro-homosexual marriages, etc. calling themselves Catholics. I’m sorry. You can’t be a Catholic and not believe in the teachings. Would they tell Jesus that they don’t believe in some of his teachings? The pope and the bishops should explain to these so called Catholics that if you don’t believe in the teachings, then join a denomination or religion with which you believe.

    • disqus_Hi8TdlL9ei

      I too think Catholics should accept our pro-life stance and uphold the dignity of marriage, etc., and all the teachings, but I don’t think telling them to go elsewhere is helpful. I for one think we should keep the door open and let the Holy Spirit work. I’ve met people who were very wary of things the Church teaches and hesitated to come back to the faith, but gradually they learned why the Church teaches what she does, which they hadn’t known before, and became very faithful Catholics. I sometimes tell people, Jesus said, “Come, follow me,” but He called them to conversion, He didn’t invite people to eat with Him just to continue in their old ways. I think we Catholics should follow that model – open the door and welcome people, but do our best to help them on the Way to holiness and union with God, and to let them help us in the process.

  • One name

    I think it needs to be pointed out that conformity to a particular doctrine or set of doctrines is not the same as unity in Christ. What Professor Grassl seems to want at the college is conformity, which is antithetical to true diversity.

    • Wolfgang Grassl

      Not so. Unity in Christ is compatible with nearly infinite natural (or “true”) diversity. We are all different on many counts, but our souls are not defined by our nationality, sex, race, or class. Catholics should cherish true diversity — but this is not what happens on our campuses, where conformity to secular ideologies is demanded.

    • Adam__Baum

      And what the radical left wants is to accentuate the divisions of race, sex and other differences, celebrate some and suppress others, in order to claim that they are embracing humanity, all while imprisoning people in intellectual concentration camps.

  • DaCoachK

    Diversity brings nothing but conflict and trouble. The only good it does a neighborhood is maybe supplying it with an ethnic restaurant. If you believe that by being black, you think a certain way, then you are no different than the segregationists who believed blacks all thought a certain way. It is Walter Williams, I believe, who said something to the effect of “Race would be a great accomplishment only if a white turned into a black or black to a white.” But the Left-Wing-kooks think otherwise. They have even managed to get the alimentary canal assaulters included in that “diversity” club. Geeeezzzzee, these people.

  • Kyle

    Great read, thanks.

  • Ezra Pound

    Never would I have ever expected to find this kind of crypto-anti-Semitism in Crisis, which has generally been so fair to the Jewish people – the people Chosen by God. Attacks on “Diversity” are always nothing more than thinly-veiled attacks on the Jewish people because the Jewish people have been so prominently involved in promoting a more diverse and more tolerant society rather than the Christian-white-male-centric culture of the last millennia. Shame on you Crisis. If you want to attack Jews and Israel, just do that; don’t dress up your anti-Semitism in the garb of combatting “diversity.” We know who your real target is when you attack “diversity:” You are attacking the Jewish people and preparing God-knows what kind of Holocaust this time. The Jewish people will not allow the Church to perpetrate another Holocaust against them.

    • I’m a Jew and I agree with Mr. Grassl. “Diversity” is just a euphemism for genocide.

      • Ezra Pound

        When diversity is under attack, Jews end up in gas chambers. Period. If it comes down to “preserving America’s traditional culture” or ensuring that another Holocaust never takes place, I will sacrifice America’s “traditional” culture everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. Jews must put the safety of the Jewish people above all else.

        • Adam__Baum

          When diversity flourishes, Islamists march in the streets, troll.

          • slainte

            Nope Adam…this sort of targeted intimidation based on untruths designed to compel conformity with anti-Catholic, politically correct screeds has to be witnessed by all, resisted, and summarily stamped out. Good job Editor.

            • Crisiseditor

              I agree with both of you. There are times when we should give trolls enough rope to hang themselves (metaphorically speaking, of course). “Ezra” did a good job of it in this case. But clever trolls can do harm and moderation is sometimes necessary. But I do try to give readers an opportunity to respond before I intervene. Our regular readers are pretty darn smart too.

            • Adam__Baum

              It’s not politically correct, it’s illogical.

          • Ezra Pound

            I guess we can blame the acceptance of Islamism in America on Jews then. Without Jews, there would be no diversity-culture in America. Without Jews, we would all still be forced to live under the tyranny of the cross and white male Christian hegemony. It was Jews who de-Christianized America (thank G*D!) and we should be proud that we helped lead the gentiles out of the darkness of medievalism and more into the light of Jewish values.

            • slainte

              Our Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew to whom we owe our salvation. To be anti-semitic is to be anti-Jesus. We are pro-Jesus and pro-Jewish.
              Your words are divisive, antagonistic, and do not reflect the Jewish spirit or Jewish values. You do not come here in good faith to promote collegiality, only provocation, division, and discord.
              Be gone.

              • Ezra Pound

                You’re just another Jew-hating anti-Semite that wraps your Jew-hate up in religious garb. Christianity is intrinsically anti-Semitic. Christians have been butchering Jews for thousands of years and there is no sign of stopping any time soon. That is why the Jewish people need Israel, so Jew-hating Christians can’t try to commit another holocaust against us. As soon as you drop your Jew-hating pro-Jesus attitude, the Jewish people will forgive you for the Holocaust which was the fault of ALL Christians.

                • Adam__Baum

                  The great thing about Disquus is your public record, fraud.

                  Five days ago you wrote:

                  “It has become clear that Jews, and Zionists in particular, are a threat to the national security of the United States. This 5th column of Israel-loyalists in the US is currently waging warfare against America on many levels the purpose of which is to maneuver us into a war on Iran which would be disastrous for our nation. Iran is no threat to America, but 5th column Jewry is a mortal illness that is dragging our country down. America has a Jewish problem, its time we all grew up and admitted it.”

                  Choke on your swastika.

                  • Ezra Pound

                    heh. You caught me. I was wondering why no one had bothered to check on me. I’m not nazi. Just a loyal American who is sick of seeing my country and my culture betrayed and attacked by treasonous, Israel-first Jews.

                    • slainte

                      Ezra Pound…You are a disgusting anti-Jewish reprobate…there is no part of you that is loyal to America.
                      Good work in exposing this fraud Adam_Baum.

                    • Ezra Pound

                      I find it interesting that to you, being “anti-Jewish” is synonymous with being anti-American. Very interesting! It seems that you agree with me that America is a Jewish country these days. I am 100% pro-American on EVERY front. But because I don’t like the fact that Jews attack my culture and try to control my government, that makes me incapable of being a loyal American. It seems that your definition of a “loyal American” is someone “doesn’t oppose the Jews.” Yes, I am anti-Jewish because any religion that teaches that gentiles are subhuman animals and that Jesus was a “bastard” and a “sorcerer” is a sick, insane cult. “All gentiles are suspect with regard to bestiality.” – “holy” book of Judaism, Mishnah, Avodah Zarah 2:1. Judaism is not a Biblical religion, it is a Talmudic religion. The holy book and the “Law” – “Torah” – of Judaism is the Babylonian Talmud, not the Old Testament. Do you like abortion? Do you like “Gay” rights? Pornography? Multiculturalism? Political correctness? Open borders? Endless wars in the Middle East for the sole and exclusive benefit of racial-supremacist Israel? ALL of these cultural diseases are Jewish rackets. It was Jews that gave this country abortion, “gay rights,” non-stop floods of pornography and the filth of Hollywood, the anti-white racism of multiculturalism and the suffocating straight-jacket of political correctness. So don’t get high and mighty with me. I am loyal to MY country – America – not to Israel or the Jews. Remember the USS Liberty!

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Here’s what we know about you. You masqueraded as a Jew, or at least an advocate for Jewish interests. You are actually a repellent and disgusting bigot.
                      The only thing any reader can conclude about you is that you are prone to misrepresentation, and that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.
                      Get lost creep.

                • slainte

                  The only hater present is “you” who are projecting your own very apparent inadequacies onto others.
                  The Holocaust was perpetrated upon countless millions of innocents by god-less, socialist, barbarians who sought to destroy anyone who failed to conform to their humanistic, bestial, eugenic-driven standards….that you fail to recognize or disclose this fact is a further testament to your own lack of discernment. Go away…you are just such a bore.
                  Surely Mr. Soros can hire better candidates to advocate on behalf of his causes.

                • Guest

                  Haldol is still available by prescription. Just saying.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    A lobotomy might be indicated in this situation.

                    • Guest

                      It may have already taken place.

        • Guest

          Do you think the rain will hurt the rhubarb?

    • Crisiseditor

      It is clear that you are incapable of rational thought. You are the product of the diversity police who ensure that intellectual variety is not permitted. Anyone who dissents from the dominant groupthink is called names and marginalized. Thank you for offering up yourself as an example of what Dr. Grassl is talking about.

      • Ezra Pound


        • Crisiseditor

          Ah, more name calling. You’ve already proven my point. I don’t need any more evidence. But if you insist on digging a deeper hole I won’t stop you.

          • Adam__Baum

            I smell a troll. Anybody that’s done battle with the diversity machine knows it has its crosshairs trained on Jews as well. There’s the Israel nonsense, Palestinian supercessionism, and the welcoming hosting of radical Islamists.

            Spew your lies elsewhere troll.

    • Guest


      • Adam__Baum

        See below.

  • FernieV

    It is very difficult to add any meaningful comment to this masterpiece. All is courageously said with great clarity. Thank you!

  • Tiredofthis

    Well I hope you have thanked God for choosing you to be born as a white Christian male. You have been born in to the “norm” and are therefore blessed not to have to contend with the perspectives and experiences of others. Good for you for taking a stand against these “others” who want so badly want a place at the table. White Christian Male perspective of God is TRUTH!

    • Wolfgang Grassl

      I am sorry that you have missed the point. Christians must do whatever they can to help others to get a “place at the table” (and particularly if it is Our Lord’s Table) whoever they are, because they are our brothers and sisters created in the image of the same God, but not because they happen to belong to a particular group. And yes, there is a truth which is totally independent of whether those who utter it are male or female, white or yellow, rich or poor. Would science be possible otherwise? Denying truth means denying Christianity, which is founded on revealed truths and truths arrived at by reason – the same truths for all.

      • Concerned Student

        Professor Grassl, you say that “Christians must do whatever they can to help others get a ‘place at the table.” From my understanding of the issue, the primary reason that colleges institute diversity efforts is to do exactly that. Diversity efforts are designed to alleviate the effects of racism, homophobia, and sexism that are ingrained historically and socially in our society. If Christians really must do whatever they can do to help others get a ‘place at the table,’ than isn’t “artificial diversification” one mechanism of doing this? I am concerned because you seem to completely disregard white privilege in your article. Do you have no appreciation for the social fact that white privilege exists?

      • Tiredofthis

        I do agree with you on that point. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment. We are all made in the image of our creator, and in the eyes of God, such differences do not matter. As a human being on this planet, you must acknowledge that, historically and presently, we human beings have a difficult time acting as if we understood this truth. As a consequence of well over half of the developed world’s population (women, minorities) historically being left out of economic, religious, and academic circles and conversations for centuries and centuries – is it any wonder that these same people may still struggle today to get to the same place in religion and academia as their white european brothers? Your article does seem resentful of the fact that you have to make an effort to include those historically pushed away from the table. You are part of a dominate group in the developed world, and you can happily live in that bubble if you chose to. Some are choosing to broaden the voices of those who have experienced injustices in our imperfect world. When most academics talk about diversity, and a diversity of perspectives, they do not include science. I think you know this, and use it to confuse the argument, but to clarify – I am speaking to your being seemingly appalled at having to include LGBTQ, women, and people from various ethnic backgrounds in your academic circles. I mean that you have had a life experience as a white male, Christian, and I assume straight. I mean to say maybe you do not value diversity because, by default, you do not have to. You come from a privileged position. What you know to be true about sexuality, economics and power has been validated by your white, straight bubble. God does not see race and gender, this is true, but it is dishonest to assert that these things do not cloud our human view. There in inequality in our society. How would you know of any one else’s experiences – the truth of what they have lived through, if you are not making efforts to include them in your churches and universities? If they oppressed, then most likely they are having trouble getting to the table. This is why the people in your university wanted to make the effort to invite them. White privileged males were already having an easy time getting there. Do you really think your understanding of econemic and racial justice is informed in the same way as a black gay male? Or a black woman? Why don’t we hear more about Tamar in our churches? Is it because there has historically been a male conversation going on within those walls? What if white males had never listened to the experiences of their slaves and their wives. Did white men not learn something about “truth”, about God’s love when it was revealed by those people speaking and saying they were being harmed in their current positions in society? Do you believe we humans still have something to learn about God? More to learn about the bible? God is perfect I will grant you that. Do you truly believe we imperfect human beings have learned EVERYTHING we are meant to know about God and the Bible in 2013? If Truth, as you say, is totally independent of our human categories – why fear including people from all categories? What if these different voices could help us to learn more about said Truth, sooner? Certainly we gained something by having a pope from South America, a change from only Europeans.

        • Wolfgang Grassl

          Too many important points raised for a brief answer. Therefore only this: why do you see people in categories, as you write? Can you not see them as individuals? Some of the greatest atrocities in history – may I remind you of the Nazi treatment of the Jews? – resulted from seeing people as only members of groups. This is why I advocate the diversity of the individual, together with St. Paul and the teachings of the Church.

          • Guest

            How do you get from recognizing people may have different experiences as oppressed groups to acting like a Nazi. Tone down your rhetoric or there is no point in having a conversation about this. Genocide is a very serious issue and should not be thrown around cavallierly to score points. You are a professor, no? How about a little class?

          • Tiredofthis

            I guess I should have clarified that “yes, people are individuals.” I thought that was a given? But you are mistaken if you think straight white males will provide you all the diversity of experience and individualism your university/life/religion needs. I feel like you are not being very honest with your rhetoric. Or your logic just doesn’t compute. You just said you were a fan of diversity… except if the individual is homosexual or black or something? I really don’t follow how your comment above fits in with the point of your article?

    • Guest

      Ah yes, spoken like a true enemy of reason. You want a special type of “diversity? Not a diversity of thought. You want uniformity of thought. What you really want is acceptance of moral deviancy.

      • Tiredofthis

        Wouldn’t there be “diverse” ideas on how to be deviant? Not sure how uniformity of thought and moral deviancy fit together. Can you say more?

  • G

    I’m so flattered to be “‘included'” as a homosexual student.

  • Marianna

    What about the Catechism’s teaching son HUMAN COMMUNITY (1877-1880)? What about St. Paul’s teachings on the Body of Christ in his first letter to the Corinthians? Why did God create humans in such a range of phenotypes, cultures, climates, personalities, and with a range of ideas, if He didn’t value diversity?

    • scripsi

      God certainly values diversity, Marianna, and He has given us a fair amount of it. But is it ours to change?

  • William R Cook

    Leaving aside some silliness and babble that has always existed at universities, your basic argument is fatally flawed. Does a photo of the pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch qualify as unacceptable diversity? I thought we Catholics were over that. Do you get out much. I have worshiped recently with Catholics (and Orthodox and Protestants) all over the world, and although there is a manifest unity, there is also great difference that is to be celebrated. You certainly cherry pick the writings and speeches of Pope Francis. Read what he says in his book co-authored in 2010 with Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

    • Wolfgang Grassl

      Yes, Mr. Cook, I do get out much, and I have worshipped in many countries. Kindly consider this from Pope Francis, which was published a day after I wrote my comment and makes exactly the same claim: “Diversity must always be reconciled by the help of the Holy
      Spirit; he alone can raise up diversity, plurality and multiplicity while at the
      same time bringing about unity. When we, for our part, aspire to diversity, we
      become self-enclosed, exclusive and divisive; similarly, whenever we attempt to
      create unity on the basis of our human calculations, we end up imposing a
      monolithic uniformity. This is not helpful for the Church’s mission.” (Evangelii Gaudium, n. 131)

      • Art Deco

        If I am not mistaken, this is Dr. Cook from the State University College at Geneseo.

        And, no, humbug on the level of the contemporary diversity discourse has not “always existed’. It was absent at the college I attended thirty odd years ago and found only at cesspits like Brown University.

  • Catholicism Isn’t an Ultimatiu

    He is a business professor, not a theologian. But some media formats, especially conservative media formats, don’t care about any credentials. The message is all that counts and conservatives wait for that message to be delivered. Brains turned off for thinking or understanding. This article is as far from the Catholic intellectual as you can get.

    • Grace Petry

      His current position as a business professor does not negate his credentials. He worked for the Church for many years in Europe before eventually coming to teach in Wisconsin. Clearly this media format knows more about his background than you do. Rather than criticize, why don’t you do something constructive and deliver your (ever so clearly formed) opinion on the Catholic intellectual?

      • Adam__Baum

        Because all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

    • Crisiseditor

      So Dr. Grassl is not qualified to speak about diversity policies in academia because he has no theology credential? If I published an article by a theologian who said the same thing, would you be persuaded? I doubt it because credentials have nothing to do with it. You object to Dr. Grassl’s argument because you favor the political diversity enforced by our cultural elites since it conforms to your progressive prejudices. It is a tactic of the left to dismiss opponents if they are not “experts” who earned their degrees from progressive institutions. James Kalb has written about it extensively on this website. It is how Christians are marginalized and silenced. You offer no argument, just derision and insults. You are the product of diversity. It is a substitute for intellectual rigor. The diversity ideology does not permit Intellectual debate which is why you are incapable of making a coherent argument. This Catholic site requires you to use your mind. Come back when you are up to it.

      • S

        The request to use one’s mind is an especially interesting one to me. Of course, Grassl certainly put a lot of thought and work into his argument. Unfortunately, I feel like the argument being made, and many comments which can be found here, are born from a mindset which are rather closed in certain ways. In my point of view, a mind which is in a position to pass judgment on others and their thought processes should be respectful towards mindsets of others, as long as they are respectful in itself, instead of being racist, xenophobic or dismissive towards anything that is “different”. Such a mindset would certainly foster mutual understanding between the people inhabiting this planet.
        I myself have some homosexual friends. Never have I heard anyone of them talk down other openly Catholic students and their beliefs. The other way around, however, I witnessed it multiple times.
        To me, this articles spreads the impression that Catholicism does not accept notions of mutual respect, equality, and – what the SNC, the college Grassl talks about, is supposed to teach in particular – communio.
        Without intending to discredit your beliefs in any way, and for the sake of a respectful treatment of all of Gods creatures, couldn’t it be helpful to attempt taking other peoples’ perspectives once in a while?

        • Guest

          No. Just because a view is held or a position exists is not proof it deserves respect. The false notion that every view deserves respect is incredibly at odds with reason and justice.

          Some positions are anti truth or anti human and should be exposed and dismissed.

          • Concerned Student

            ^especially this one.

            • Guest

              Especially yours.

            • Adam__Baum

              How about changing you nom de plume from “concerned” to “brainwashed”.

    • Guest

      Is this a joke? You think credentials are the standard for truth?

    • Adam__Baum

      Theologians seem to have no problem commenting on business matters.

  • Grace Petry

    Putting buzzwords aside, I find his main grievance to be with the lack of sincerity that is involved. Rather than being Christian (which is a word synonymous with “universal”, following the example of Christ and by definition should be accepting of all God’s creation) some institutions are becoming political in their diversity campaigns. By handpicking it’s pool of “diversity”, groups can become ostracized within a sort of us-vs-them mentality and prevent the genuine formation of an environment of one-ness. He is not saying that women, LGBT, or any other individual be excluded, but rather that their acceptance should be inherent by way of their creation and not used as PR.

  • DPRedbird91

    “Diversity has never been advocated by the great thinkers of the Church, who have instead preached unity.”
    Great thinkers like who? Paul? He seems to think that bringing together varied talents and backgrounds to be a great foundation to build a community and a church in 1 Corinthians 12:12-20. Intentional Diversity within a unified community is indeed an old, deeply Christian idea.
    Hate mongering towards specific groups on the other hand, is not. Maybe you are upset that your institution or department favors a homosexual candidate, and I am sorry if you find the favoritism otherwise unjustified. But an community that tries to openly demonstrate a safe space while being tied to a church that is overwhelmingly shown to be hateful and exclusive to the “other” is to be praised for its effort to reach out. God made diversity, and also made within us the capacity to overcome our prejudice and our hate. To include is to love, to celebrate the diversity that we have been blessed, and to expand your thinking beyond your personal paradigms. I would encourage you to try it.
    There is so much wrong with your article, but I’ll choose one to clarify. Is there a reason why homosexuals are the only group that upsets you enough to earn mention in this article? If diversity is truly a threat, surely there is a race or nationality you could hold up that might stand against your idea of Christian theology! Don’t hide behind the only remaining socially acceptable form of prejudice. Stand up and name every group you don’t want in your community. How else can you make sure that they don’t come knocking on your door asking for an education?

  • Meghan

    A standing ovation for Dr. Grassl!

  • recallingjarl

    I am honestly trying to understand why this article has been criticized so much. Can someone who is against Dr. Grassl’s views please explain his or her own? It appears Dr. Grassl is simply saying that everyone is (and should be) treated equally in the eyes of God and that viewing people in unequal ways because of things they can’t help (i.e. race, ethnicity, sexuality) is unjust. Please provide reasons if you disagree with this viewpoint. I am genuinely interested. Thanks!

    • Concerned Student

      Allow me to direct you to a well articulated response to Dr. Grassl’s essay, and why many people, including myself, find it so problematic:

      Many students and faculty at St. Norbert have been reacting to Wolfgang Grassl’s article titled “Diversity is Not a Catholic Value” in Crisis Magazine (November 26, 2013). Normally I would ignore arguments like the ones presented here, but in this case the author is a respected member of our faculty, and his position demands some sort of response, especially since, in my estimation, he has done our college community a disservice with his remarks.

      Grassl demeans his colleagues when he writes that St. Norbert “remains practically indifferent to the deposit of faith, the teachings of the Church, and the Catholic ethos.” He apparently bases that accusation, in part, on the way we value diversity, a priority he perceives as “a deeply anti-Catholic impulse.” I profoundly disagree with Grassl’s understanding of diversity and its role in the Catholic tradition, and I find absurd his implications toward the college we serve.

      Grassl rejects programs aimed at increasing diversity, but seems not to understand them. He argues that diversity is a collective concept, not an individual trait, so “it is impossible to recruit more ‘diverse’ students.” He is evidently annoyed by the shorthand reference to non-majority students that has replaced equally unhelpful descriptors like “students of color” (which was too narrow) and “minority” (which was too stigmatized). I tend to agree with him on this point, finding our language too often inelastic and clumsy, even when I cannot pose a better alternative. However, his more significant point in that paragraph is a pseudo-statistical rejection of even the mildest form of affirmative action. “For any given population, increasing ‘diversity’ . . . simply means replacing some members by others with different characteristics. . . . In populations that are not growing, it is a zero-sum game, a simple substitution of members, as in ethnic cleansing. It is an artificial and political move in opposition to natural justice and law.” Setting aside Grassl’s implication of guilt by association (obscenely comparing college recruiting to genocide), the obvious answer to this argument is that colleges do not have fixed populations. A new wave of students arrives every fall, inevitably accompanied by new faculty and staff. This is no zero-sum game with a fixed number of members. A college is a constantly evolving community that is always open to growth. It does not become more diverse by unjustly removing current members and replacing them, but by bringing in new members. Further, even in the selection of those individuals, federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, or age. Professional staff who diligently follow policies that conform with employment law, Title IX, and Catholic teaching about the life and dignity of individual persons deserve more respect than Grassl affords them in his gross misrepresentation of their work.

      Grassl’s complaint is not just with the process of enhancing diversity, which he does not understand, but with the ideal itself. He decries “artificial diversification” as “disturbing the order God has willed for the world.” “Enticing students of a particular race from a distant big city to move to a small rural one” would be like “erecting skyscrapers in the Sahara Desert” or “crossbreeding species.” This argument is reminiscent of the appeals to natural law that stood behind miscegenation laws and other attempts to preserve patterns of white privilege, and I am startled to see Grassl resurrecting it. Does he seriously believe that patterns of migration and racial segregation are the consequence of some pristine natural law? Does it apply also to whites, or is that natural law violated only by students of color who travel far from home for college? Is it just about students, or do we disturb God’s order by hiring white faculty members from Europe? Is this natural law a matter of distance, color, urbanization, or social class?

      The fact is, people live where they do because of history, not natural law, and sometimes that history has privileged certain people over others. Rather than perpetuate the injustice by calling it the product of natural law, we should be mindful of ways in which we might create a more just society, one that offers people opportunities that were denied their parents. Contrary to Grassl, this is precisely the kind of work to which Catholics are called. For example, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has treated affirmative action as a potentially necessary, if temporary, policy. “Those who support these voluntary policies reply that it is not enough to recognize equality – it has to be created. And in fact it cannot be denied that the weight of historical, social and cultural precedents requires at times positive action by States” (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, “Contribution to World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” (Durban, 31 August – 7 September 2001), article 18).

      Grassl calls “the destructive quest for artificial diversification” an “outgrowth of the scourge of the twentieth century—the all‐pervasive creed of relativism.” He continues, “If there are no truths to be known about man, physics, biology, society, or God, if everything is a matter of perspective, of opinion, or of individual feeling, then increasing diversity indeed makes sense, for in a heap of different stones one is more likely to find a gold nugget.” The straw man is obvious here. Nobody in their right mind would say that no truths are to be known or that everything is a matter of perspective. Nor does anyone say that “truth in science . . . arises somehow randomly.” What most of us do say is that natural limitations of understanding and experience can easily distort our individual perceptions of truth. Whatever our field of study, we come to a fuller understanding when we engage in critical questions with people who bring different perspectives to the subject of inquiry. In this sense, diversity is not important only to Grassl’s straw man. It is vital to the continuing conversation that is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. In the words of Pope Francis (himself quoting John Paul II), “In the diversity of peoples who experience the gift of God, each in accordance with its own culture, the Church expresses her genuine catholicity and shows forth the ‘beauty of her varied face’” (Evangelii Gaudium, 116).

      When questioning the motives of diversity advocates, Grassl returns to the tactic of guilt by association. After stating, “the quest of diversity is really a political stratagem to impose an anti-Christian agenda,” he describes the tactics of Chairman Mao to suggest that the promotion of diversity is only a ruse. An authoritarian state is sure to follow, as “the same is happening in this country and elsewhere, with speech codes, thought policing, and punishments targeting those who do not support the politically correct diversity campaign.”

      I’m not buying that argument. As a non-Catholic member of the college’s Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the director of our Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding, I probably represent some of the things Grassl is opposing. However, I don’t recognize this straw Bogeyman. Our promotion of diversity is not a Maoist attempt to smoke out opinionated people so they can be silenced. It is a reflection of our belief in the sacred dignity of all persons, our affirmation of basic human rights, and our Norbertine values of communio and radical hospitality. In accordance with our college’s Civility Statement, we can act consistently with our values and beliefs while remaining open to diverse perspectives and actively opposing intolerance.

      In that vein, it is important to note the topic that seems to be Grassl’s primary concern. He is not so concerned about attempts to increase ethnic diversity (though he refers sarcastically to Kwanzaa celebrations and he does offer those alarming arguments about population and natural law). His primary complaint, raised at least seven times in this four page article, is the perceived prioritization of, or perhaps simple inclusion of, homosexual students, staff, and faculty. He rejects the idea of diversity as anti-Catholic particularly when it relates to gender or sexual orientation.

      Sexual moralism and alarmism about homosexuality is not uncommon in the Christian tradition. However, it oversteps appropriate expectations for privacy, personal conscience, hospitality, and respect for human dignity while distorting a more essential message. In the words of Pope Francis, “Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others. Under no circumstance can this invitation be obscured! All of the virtues are at the service of this response of love. If this invitation does not radiate forcefully and attractively, the edifice of the Church’s moral teaching risks becoming a house of cards, and this is our greatest risk” (Evangelii Gaudium, 39).

      The church will likely struggle for some time with many issues pertaining to sexuality and gender. Catholic colleges can contribute to this conversation by cultivating and enforcing an atmosphere of hospitality and mutual respect, and theologians in particular can contribute by articulating an evolutionary model of marriage and sexuality. In engagements with science, the church has affirmed evolution and common descent, but it continues to ground its teachings on a creationist model of marriage. How can theologians and ethicists model the doctrinal integration of science and faith in the area of sexuality? Further, how can Catholic colleges interact with a growing international consensus in the area of human rights, parallel as it is to the Catholic concepts of human dignity, solidarity, subsidiarity, and the preferential option for the poor (and marginalized)? I believe these and other substantive questions are best addressed by a diverse group of dedicated scholars who enjoy an atmosphere of collegiality and mutual esteem. May we continue to strive together for such an environment.

      • Guest


        Dress it up any way you want. Homosexual desire is disordered and the acts will always be wrong. The only evolution that would be moral would be when you and other closed minded folks embrace the Truth of human nature and our Lord’ gift of authentic marital sexuality.

      • Art Deco

        Well, we’ve heard from the press office at St. Norbert’s College.

        Some words from Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, SJ a decade ago:

        “I define as corrupt, in a sociological sense, any institution that has lost the capacity to mend itself on its own initiative and by its own resources, an institution that is unable to uncover and expel its own miscreants…. If we examine any trust-invested agency…we might find that, say, out of every hundred men, five are scoundrels, five are heroes, and the rest are neither one nor the other…. When the institution is healthy, the gutsier few set the overall tone…. More importantly, the healthy institution is able to identify its own rotten apples and remove them before the institution itself is enfeebled. However, when an institution becomes corrupt, its guiding spirit mysteriously shifts away from the morally intrepid few, and with that shift the institution becomes more interested in protecting itself against outside critics than in tackling the problem members who subvert its mission…”

        We get it.

        • Concerned Student

          Art Deco, I don’t believe that you do. I’ve read a good number of your responses, and not one of them engaged any of the criticisms that I, or my colleagues, have posed to Dr. Grassl’s essay. Instead, you have focused your efforts on discrediting our college’s president. You have charged us to say something substantive, and I have– thrice–yet you are mute to them.

          • Art Deco

            Mr. Press Officer, the organization kid offered a lengthy quotation from the college president which was itself vacuous. There was little to criticize because it had no substance other than to express (in an excess of verbiage) the college president’s rejection of Dr. Grassl’s perspective.

            In my experience, institutional inner ringers rarely say anything engaging, so that much was unsurprising. Given the topic, it was also unsurprising; no one ever makes cogent arguments for the busywork of diversicrats. Still, I was interested in what this man brings to the table. The answer is, not a whole lot. I could imagine the Norbertine Order electing to forego academic accomplishment in favor of someone with an investment in the supposed institutional mission of a Norbertine college (e.g. a Norbertine father). I could imagine (though not condone) the appointment of an accomplished academic in lieu of that. You all got neither. That is just stupid.

          • Art Deco

            I really was not enthusiastic about getting into the weeds of your 1,700 word text wall, but here goes.

            –Your first, second, and third paragraphs are vaporous.

            –Your fourth paragraph (316 words) is largely taken up with a petty complaint about a point he made about terminology and usage. You then veer into a complaint which is non sequitur (“a pseudo-statistical rejection of even…”). You then misconstrue one of his analogies in order to attack him (“obscene comparison”). You then offer an irrelevant truism that the population of a college admits each year new students and graduates old ones.

            –In your fifth paragraph, you career into another non sequitur, splicing together several unconjoined pieces of text and accusing Dr. Grassl of having done something akin to advocating anti-miscegenation laws (which you fancy were ordered to ‘preserving white privilege’). To a clear and honest mind, what Dr. Grassl said is as follows: none of the policies and practices described (making it a point to hustle students from the South Side of Chicago, dying your hair green, or erecting skyscrapers in the Sahara) are ordered to a mission of propagating the faith by producing educated Catholics who have been exposed to the thought of the Doctors of the Church. To your mind, it’s Loving v. Virginia. Sucks to be you.

            –In your sixth paragraph, you offer a mess of verbal blancmange about history, ‘natural law’, ‘creating a more just society’, and ‘offers opportunities that were denied their parents’ and concludes with a reference to the scandalous Durban Conference in 2001. Like anyone of sense, I am reluctant to criticize any of this because you’ve avoided making reference to any commonplace concretes and can simply issue evasions and denials. Unless you are trolling around Catholic churches in the slums of Chicago, Milwaukee, and Detroit looking for parishioner’s children who might benefit from what a properly constituted Catholic curriculum might offer, your activity is not ordered to the end of propagating the faith. It is ordered to the end up upping the school’s melanin quotient. That does not make the world more just. It makes a bunch of posing bourgeois feel better. St. Norbert’s College does not have the tools to do diddly/squat to induce quality-of-life improvements in Chicago’s slums. In point of fact, no college or university does because a dearth of baccalaureate degrees is not a salient problem therein.

            –In your seventh paragraph, you misconstrue another of his points. To restate the point: a school which has a defensible and articulated architectonic mission is concerned with the content of what it teaches, not with the specs of its student body (unless it has a vocation to a specific clientele), provided, of course, that the characteristics of the student body are congruent to a project of learning.

            –In your eighth paragraph, you again attack Dr. Grassl for ‘guilt by association’. The thing is, he is making reference to a real and verifiable social phenomenon on college campuses, one familiar to anyone who reads newspapers: public chuffering about ‘diversity’ is inversely correlated with the sort of institutional climate in which public discussion can take place without continually struggling against local brownshirts. (Ask Raymond Kelly how his recent talk at Brown University went).

            –Your ninth paragraph is vaporous, other than revealing that your are a volunteer in the skunkworks.

            Please recall Richard John Neuhaus’ correction of a misapprehension of one of our recent presidents: “a man who is an unusually good liar would not have a reputation as an unusually good liar”. A capable flak can do what you do with a good deal more concision at the very least.

            • Adam__Baum

              Such episodes of logorrhea of might be the presenting symptom of hypergraphia.

          • Adam__Baum

            As opposed to the comments that tried to discredit the author on the basis of academic specialization.

            The rank odor of hypocrisy fills the board.

      • Adam__Baum

        Interesting. Faculty member called him/herself “student”..

      • Percy Gryce

        You actually proved Prof. Grassl’s point with your call for a “diverse group of dedicated scholars” to overturn the Church’s “creationist model of marriage.” In other words, let a hundred heterodox flowers bloom so long as we get to “the ascendancy of a favored group or
        ideology,” i.e., the normalization of homosexuality and the redefinition of marriage.

        I’m a donor to SNC. Unfortunately, I’ve already made my year-end contribution. If I had read your piece first, I would have to rethink my gift.

  • lol

    lol this article is gay and not the fun kind

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  • Guest

    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

  • sncfacultymember001

    I am a member of the St. Norbert College faculty. Wolfgang Grassl does not speak for me. His comments do not reflect that college at which I teach nor the Church of which I am a member.

    • Augustus

      Thank you for confirming for us that the problem Dr. Grassl describes is in fact true and that St. Norbert has abandoned the intellectual and spiritual nourishment of the Gospel for a pot of progressive porridge. Christ didn’t preach diversity. He preached unity of all people around the one truth of Revelation. Your “Church” is not the Catholic Church but a church made in your image and likeness.

    • Art Deco

      Thanks for your input.

    • Wolfgang Grassl

      Dear Colleague,
      Where does the article claim to speak for anybody else or, for that matter, allude to any institution, except in one sentence, and even there only obliquely? It makes a factual claim about the Catholic Church and her teachings. These have indeed always focussed on the sacred dignity of the Individual. There are no group rights but only human rights. In his Apostolic Letter “Mulieris Dignitatem”, for example, John Paul II did not recognize any “women’s rights” (quotes in the original) but taught that the rights of women and men must be seen “in the broad context of the rights of the human person.” So, should the debate not be over whether my reading of Catholic doctrine is right — and I propose it is and can provide much evidence for it — rather than whether someone feels offended where there was no attack? The inability to conduct a fact-based debate is a sorry trait of our civilization, but shouldn’t academic institutions be islands of rational discourse in a sea of sentiment and suspicion? I am sure we can both agree on an affirmative answer.

    • Adam__Baum

      What church do you belong to?

    • Percy Gryce

      More’s the pity. BTW: I am a donor to SNC. I will be rethinking my generosity in future years.

  • disqus_Hi8TdlL9ei

    Thanks for the article. As an SNC student, I completely agree that a problematic consequence of the artificial diversification Dr. Grassl writes about is that Jesus Christ and His Gospel are often replaced with someone or something else, which of course is always of less value.

  • Valerie Rucinski

    As a student at St. Norbert College, I am proud to say that this is NOT the opinion or belief of our school, the majority of its students and the faculty, or what I was raised and taught by devote Catholic parents. The office of the president shortly sent out this email to its faculty and student body in response to this article:

    As a college president who also was a longtime journalist, I hold especially dear the right to free speech. That right safeguards us all — even those who might occasionally exercise it to their own detriment or that of others.

    As many of you know, a faculty colleague of ours recently published a commentary in an obscure journal that was entitled “Diversity Is Not a Catholic Value.” That odd idea might surprise you, or Pope Francis, or St. Augustine, or St. Norbert, or St. Paul — who, it will be remembered, in spreading Christ’s message reached out to Jews and Gentiles, Romans and Greeks, women and men, rich and poor, slave and free.

    Indeed, that all-encompassing embrace is why we are called the Catholic, or universal, church in the first place.

    I have not commented on this article previously because I thought it so patently misbegotten that no one would take it seriously. I have great regard for the author in his field of expertise, but as an armchair theologian he leaves much to be desired. Yet in the spirit of free exchange he has a right to his own opinion.

    Still, in recent days many of you have expressed concerns to us about this article, its hurtful tone, and its faulty assertions about our institution. You also asked about the administration’s view of it.

    So let me just say categorically that the author doesn’t speak for St. Norbert College or reflect the core values we work so hard to embody. In the spirit of communio, embracing diversity is simply another way of saying “all are welcome.” Our very mission statement asserts that, standing firmly in the Catholic tradition, “we are called to recognize the sacred dignity of all persons.”

    With that thought, let me close by reminding everyone that this year’s campus theme is Abbot Pennings’ motto, “Let us love one another” — not “I will love the people on my list.”

    President Kunkel

    • Art Deco

      Sister, we understand that the professional managerial bourgeoisie are given to striking certain attitudes as a manifestation of their social position.

      What is striking about this letter and both interventions from people who identify themselves as affiliated with this college is their vacuity. Say something substantive or keep your peace.

    • Art Deco

      Evidently, the Norbertine Order is in the corporate charter guaranteed 20% of the seats on the board (they currently hold 6 of 42 positions) and their approval is required in the selection of a college president.

      This Kunkel person is a lapsed newspaper editor. He has no scholarly background whatsoever beyond an odd masters’ degree in “Humanities” awarded by a mid-card college in Indiana. Nothing in his curriculum vitae indicates any involvement in Catholic life whatsoever. He appears to have had career crashes in 1987 and 1992.

      Hiring him seems an act of insouciance.

    • Art Deco


      Why not explain to us why the fellow whose cv is archived here is identifiable as a participant in Catholic life and the Norbertine’s choice to run their one and only college is not.

    • Adam__Baum

      Why are all the attack dogs so windy in their prose. It’s like they never heard “brevity is the soul of wit”

      • Art Deco

        Because a concise statement of the content of the college president’s remarks – “Dr. Grassl’s article is poopy-pants” – would make Kunkel look silly.

    • Brian

      Did T-Kunk’s really send that email? Specifically, did he actually say “I have not commented on this article previously because I thought it so patently misbegotten that no one would take it seriously.” I am an alum and I don’t get a lot of the student body e-mails anymore.. if he said that though, wow that is harsh

      • Valerie Rucinski

        Yes, Kunkle himself wrote and sent that email out, word for word. There’s been a lot of debate, response articles, and even open meetings on campus to discuss Dr. Grassl’s piece.

        • Art Deco

          If the result of the discussions was such that you were motivated to offer the world gems like

          As a student at St. Norbert College, I am proud to say that this is NOT the opinion or belief of our school.

          The discussion was not helpful to you. You should be wary of pride, sister, and take pride only in actual accomplishments.

        • Percy Gryce

          It’s a hilarious email coming from a college president who is a journalist and who doesn’t have a doctoral degree in any subject.

  • John Pini

    Thank you professor Grassl. As an SNC grad, I very much appreciate this article. I will pray for you and the campus, as I imagine this will not be received well or responded to in a just manner by those who disagree.

  • Genevieve Kocourek

    Dr. Grassl, thanks for this article. Artificial, forced diversification is not in the spirit of the real diversity shown in sacred Scripture. It can lead to a loss of identity. The president’s e-mail, which was posted earlier, misrepresents your position, and I hope people take the time to read what you actually wrote. Keeping you and the college in prayer.

  • Concerned Student

    First, the claim that efforts to “‘include’ homosexual students and faculty” and
    overcome homophobia are not in line with Catholic teaching is blatantly false.
    The US Catholic bishops argue that every person, regardless of gender identity
    and sexual orientation, “have a right to be welcomed into the community” (Always Our Children). Our communities ought to be free from unjust discrimination and, beyond a simple avoidance of discrimination, LGBT persons “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358). The US Catholic bishops “call on Christians and citizens of good will to confront their own fears about homosexuality” (Always Our Children). It is therefore an appropriate and
    necessary task of educators in Catholic institutions to combat homophobia in
    whatever ways we can.

    Second, at the heart of our Catholic faith lies the conviction that God’s very being is
    characterized by perfect relation among three distinct “persons”—the Father,
    the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our faith calls us to strive to enact this kind
    of perfect relation among our diverse selves—in our families, in our
    friendships, and on our campus. The aim of achieving unity among diversity
    should not be mistaken as an effort to eliminate or abolish diversity.
    To the contrary, our faith challenges us to mirror God’s inner life in our own
    lives—to recognize that each person of our campus community is uniquely dynamic
    and vital to the whole of community just as each person of the Trinity is
    uniquely dynamic and vital to the life of God.

    Third, Professor Grassl claims that St. Norbert College is “practically indifferent to the deposit of faith, the teachings of the Church, and the Catholic ethos.” Yet commitment to our mission as Catholic, Norbertine and liberal arts is one of our many
    institutional strengths, as noted in our recent accreditation report, and as
    experienced by students, faculty and staff on a daily basis on campus. Our Catholic
    and Norbertine identity is consistently expressed, promoted, and deepened in
    myriad ways, both curricularly and co-curricularly. In addition to courses that
    engage students in the Catholic intellectual tradition, one might consider the
    efforts of: Campus Ministry (e.g., programming, retreats, liturgy and prayer
    opportunities); the Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice, and Public Understanding;
    the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning, to name a few. Moreover,
    the diversity efforts so harshly dismissed by Professor Grassl are a reflection
    of the Norbertine value of radical hospitality that is rooted in the message
    and ministry of Jesus Christ. For example, the recent implementation of a
    Senior Advisor to the President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the
    establishment of the Cassandra Voss Center are indicative of the College’s
    commitment to create an environment in which every person is treated with the
    respect deserving of one made in God’s image (a value that Professor Grassl
    affirms). Further, to see these diversity efforts as against Catholic teaching
    is to ignore the tradition’s acknowledgement of the presence of social sin, sin that is embedded in systems and communities (such as racism, sexism and homophobia) that demands not only the conversion of hearts, but the transformation of systems.

    Fourth, to simply equate a concern for diversity/inclusion or respect—even appreciation—for difference with “relativism” is intellectually unconvincing and an easy way to dismiss what may threaten power and privilege within communities and systems. Our goal at St. Norbert College is to educate students so that they can recognize and seek the good and build communities that are just—far from a relativistic
    goal. We do that through a liberal arts education that is broad, intellectually
    honest, and engaging; by offering an education that values and integrates the
    Catholic and Norbertine traditions both inside and outside the classroom; and
    by making every effort to create a College community that is loving, just,
    diverse and inclusive.

    • Guest

      Hey Baby,

      The 1970s are alive at your college. The only thing missing from your propaganda group think manifesto is the call to make a felt banner and a few episodes of Maude.

      So much academic masturbation and facile nonsense here that it is no wonder we no longer have so few educated people in our society.

      • Art Deco

        a few episodes of Maude.

        C’mon. Bea Arthur was pretty funny.

    • Art Deco

      That someone is addled by sexual perversions and also makes a public point of it does not make them more suitable or valuable to the task of promoting the educational mission of a Catholic college (or to any task, while we are at it).

    • Wolfgang Grassl

      Dear Concerned Student (if you still read this reply),

      I do realize that you are passionate, intellectual engaged, and seek the good and just. I appreciate all these characteristics. And we need not agree on all topics — isn’t this what a university in the classical sense (universitas studiorum) is about? Time permits me only to reply to two of your points.

      (1) Intellectual honesty and our faith require us to take all three paragraphs in the Catechism seriously: 2357-2359. We must not cherrypick what we like. It may be a harsh truth, but it is the biblical truth. In this sense, I fully subscribe to what you write, but I expect a Cathoilic college to teach the full truth about sexuality.

      (2) You are exactly right on what you say about intra-Trinitarian relations. I have had several opportunities to lecture on this, first in Venice in a conference sponsored by the then Patriarch and present Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Scola, and the second time in a conference held at CUA in Washington, DC. Here are the papers, they actually elaborate on what you point out: http://www.consultorium.com/docs/Pluris%20Valere.pdf
      No other idea I find as aspiring for work in social science today as the Trinitarian vision.

      I wish you a succesful finals week and many blessings.

  • Ron burgundy
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  • Laura

    In response to the criticism Dr. Grassl has received from the St. Norbert College community: http://laurarileyblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/the-importance-of-a-comprehensive-understanding/. He has been grossly misunderstood. This article is not in any way “anti-diversity”, it is against the process of creating artificial diversity.

  • Art Deco

    St. Norbert’s core curriculum is a hash. (Though I’ve seen worse).


  • Brian

    I typed a long thought out comment but was apparently censored for reasons unknown to me seeing as there are comments below that are far more inflammatory

    • Brian

      The essence of it was that in an ideal world, we could view every person as an individual and not have to worry about grouping people into “minorities” or “majorities,” but since we don’t live in an ideal world, this isn’t feasible. The whole idea behind democracy is basically that the majority rules. It is fine if you want to say that diversity is not a Catholic value, but I think you would also need to argue that democracy and capitalism are not very Catholic values either (which in my opinion, the author of this article would be much less willing to do).

      To me, this was an anti-homosexual article and nothing more.

      • Wolfgang Grassl

        Dear Brian,
        Absolutely not so. You are perfectly right that the Church long had problems with democracy and favored monarchical systems without popular participation. This is no longer so. A guarded support for democracy prevails, for democracy without virtuous democrats can lead to evil deeds, but recent papal teaching overall favors democracy. As regards capitalism, John Paul II and Benedict XVI emphasized the creative opportunities of this economic system but also pointed out its limits. This is actually one of my favorite fields of research, and I take a very differentiated approach to capitalism, much in line with the encyclical letter “Caritas in Veritate”. So, your suspicion is not true, nor that about my article being “anti-homosexual”. I subscribe exactly to what the Catechism teaches in articles 2357-2359.

        • Brian

          You completely discard diversity in the common sense of identifying majority/minority groups because “The diversity our superficial culture cherishes is one by groups alone, where some master thinker selects the category” because as Catholics, “we strive at a diversity of one, the most radical option, because we see
          each and every human being of whatever race, class, sex, or nationality
          as a God‐breathed individual.” This is a completely unrealistic idealization, especially in a political system that emphasizes aligning as a majority to accomplish anything, and especially where the power lies in the hands of a population that is not exactly full of saints.

          If everybody practiced the ideal virtuous life, then perhaps diversity would occur more organically. Unfortunately, people are stubborn and often bigoted, and this is where artificial or forced diversity is necessary. People shouldn’t need to be told that homosexuals or Muslims are not actually subhuman, but it is amazing how opinionated people can be about a group of people that they have never been exposed to. I honestly believe that if everybody were forced to meet people of more diverse backgrounds (and no, the umpteenth white, Christian, heterosexual male who is actually his own unique little snowflake and hence diverse does not count), they could learn to be a little more tolerant. Just settling for “tolerance” shouldn’t be the end-all goal, but I think it is a good first step to aim for (and perhaps even tolerance is a bit too lofty of a first goal)

          • Art Deco

            I honestly believe that if everybody were forced to meet people of more
            diverse backgrounds (and no, the umpteenth white, Christian,
            heterosexual male who is actually his own unique little snowflake and
            hence diverse does not count), they could learn to be a little more

            1. So what? Where does being ‘a little more tolerant’ lie on the scale of things one might do for self-improvement?

            2. “A little more tolerant of what”? That does not cut much ice with non-idiots in a world where photographers and bakers are facing legal harassment and boycotts for refusing to get with the gay marriage program./

            3. While we are at it, why would you entrust such a task to academic administrators?

            4. As an adjunct to that, most of us seem to get along in workplaces and neighborhoods without the cloying ministrations of the campus diversicrats. Did it ever occur to you that Thomas Sowell’s experience as a faculty member might be representative: that these people make the campus less agreeable for minorities than it would otherwise be, and that the rest of us can get along without them?

            5. And at what cost? There is only trivial institutional focus at St. Norbert’s college – to be found only in a couple of synthetic introductory courses. Your president is a manifest lightweight. Your institutional defenders are vapid.

            • Brian

              1. If you are meaning to imply that being ‘a little more tolerant’ is such an insignificant or weak attempt at being virtuous, I think we are in agreement. You could certainly make a much stronger statement than “a little more tolerance,” but that is all the more reason that becoming “a little more tolerant” should not be an issue.

              2. I have no idea what you are referencing, but I am sure you can find anecdotal evidence on both sides of the debate (though I’m not sure why you brought up both legal harassment and boycotts… one of these is not quite like the other and doesn’t really provide a strong counter-argument)

              3. I agree, let’s all become nihilists. Why would you trust any task that you DO support to academic administrators? I mean, the Pope himself is not going to be able to micromanage every Catholic institution in the world.

              4. I would agree that “most of us” do seem to get along fine because “most of us” are in the majority. Again, you can find countless anecdotal examples of people whose experience in the workplace or their neighborhood was not quite as pleasant as yours, and the discrimination they faced was solely because of their faith, sexuality, or ethnicity.

              5. This is an impressive word salad that does not really make a point. What “institutional focus” are you referring to?

              • Art Deco

                1. Your aim, not mine. And you did not answer my question.

                2. Well, read the papers.

                3. What does questioning the competence of academic administrators to run speculative social engineering projects have to do with nihilism? My suggestion is that you hire people who raise funds, manage institutional finance, manage physical plant and purchasing, manage the personnel office, run the IT service, run the library, maintain the registration system, review applications for admission, superintend the student disciplinary system and counsel students in danger of losing their standing, and review faculty hiring, departmental budgets, accreditation reviews, and course lists. Only the work of the provost, the admissions examiner, and the dean of students implicate skill sets which are local to academic institutions.

                4a. People in workplaces have disputes over process, over job responsibilities, over work assignments, over staffing levels, over scheduling problems, over leave times, over promotions, over disciplinary matters – not to mention abiding interpersonal friction. The notion that workplaces are pleasant or unpleasant because you do not have some social worker schooled in the racial obsessions of marginal faculty pestering people is a function of a disorientation so comprehensive it is difficult to imagine how it came about.

                4b. People in neighborhoods suffer anxieties over crime and the bad manners of their neighbors. Whiteness studies majors do not help with this either.

                5. There is no word salad and everything uttered is in commonplace language. Proper institutional focus would be manifest in your core curriculum, in your disciplinary practices, in your mundane habits, and in institutional celebrations. It’s not there.

      • Art Deco

        also need to argue that democracy and capitalism are not very Catholic values either

        Since theology is neither political theory nor political economy, such a statement is non sequitur. A properly formulated question would ask which sorts of political economy were congruent with Catholic principles.

        Electoral systems are not novelties and were pervasive in the medieval period: kingdom-wide, representative assemblies, local municipal councils, and peasant convocations. The Church co-existed with these. What could not co-exist with were constitutionally protestant or anti-clerical regimes. That would be France (1790-1815), clients states of France (same period), and the Spanish Republic (1931-39) in particular.

        • Brian

          Simply “co-existing” is a far shot from attaining “unity,” and unity is what we should be striving for as Catholics (and I think even most non-Catholics would agree with that.. maybe not though). The Church can “co-exist” just fine with the current system of diversity that the article is against; it will not be the death of the Church. I do not literally believe that capitalism and democracy should be abolished, but I think if you take things to their extremes and are describing an ideal Catholic world, then they become just as unnecessary or irrelevant as diversity (in the sense of this article).

          • Art Deco

            Your response is non sequitur. The Church nestles in institutions (political, economic, and social) it does not create and has concerns about how they operate. That does not mean it has or should have a critique so particular or systemic that its implications demand a specific political order.

            Political and economic institutions the Church interacts with; we are here discussing the operations of one of the Church’s own creatures supposedly erected to advance the Church’s aims. So, yes, the content of instruction and institutional ethos is very much a concern.

            What Kunkel and these other apparatchiks have to say comprehends nothing the least bit unexpected. You get this bilge from academic inner-ringers in every kind of institution you can imagine. Why should the ill conceived shticks and sectarianism of the generic higher education functionary be found at a Catholic college?

            You are never going to persuade someone not addled by self-deception or intellectual defects that recruiting sexual deviants for your faculty is an extension of Catholic principles, or that the propagation of the faith is appreciably advanced by relaxing admission standards and trolling about for recruits from among people with a particular complexion.

            Read ‘concerned student”s blather. “Homophobia” and ‘sexism’ are nonsense terms outside of the rancid little world of late 20th century identity politics and especially have no place in a discussion with parameters set by Church teaching. Chatter about ‘racism’ is pretty irrelevant the actual institutional problems as well (and the wrong idiom, while we are at it). All that has nothing to do with advancing the teachings of the Church. It’s just chaff.

            • Brian

              I guess you and I just have differing views of what the role of a college like St Norbert should be then.

              “…that the propagation of the faith is appreciably advanced by relaxing
              admission standards and trolling about for recruits from among people
              with a particular complexion.” I can confidently say that if anybody is on the cusp of admission to SNC and loses their slot to some minority (possibly one who is less qualified), college was probably not the right choice for them anyways. St. Norbert doesn’t exactly have the highest admission standards even if you are a white Catholic male.

              I just think it is bizarre to make a stand on this issue of diversity as one of the flaws in a Catholic university’s attempt to spread the faith. I understand that many in the church are against homosexuality and would view the hiring of homosexual faculty members as undermining the mission of the Church, but that is basically where the argument ends for me (which is why I repeatedly stated that I felt this was nothing more than another anti-homosexual article). The article tries to give other examples, such as “Enticing students of a particular race from a distant big city to move to a small rural one… does not exactly exemplify the improvement of the world to which Christians are called.” Really? I mean, I agree that the Church doesn’t explicitly say that we should be doing that, but I don’t see how/why the Church would be against it either.

              Your last paragraph may be missing a couple words so I’m not exactly sure what you were trying to say with it, particularly the sentence “Chatter about ‘racism’ is pretty irrelevant the actual institutional problems as well (and the wrong idiom, while we are at it)”

              • Art Deco

                I guess you and I just have differing views of what the role of a college like St Norbert should be then.

                Except that your view is silly. There is no point to a “Catholic” college which is merely a mid-card private institution addled by the same fad mentality that is pervasive in higher education. Its a pose and a cheat and indicative of the unseriousness of this particular province of the Norbertine order.

                As for everyone’s objections to ‘diversity’ as a criteria for institutional achievement, the reasons for this have been adequately elucidated in the original article and in the comments. We can explain this to you. We cannot comprehend it for you.

      • Guest

        Have you ever studied the Catholic faith?

    • Crisiseditor

      Your comment was not censored by the editor. It was identified as spam by the website software and pulled for moderation. I have just posted your comment. It is full of weaknesses that I know our readers are fully capable of identifying without any intervention from the editor.

  • Sara

    “Thus the quest of diversity is really a political stratagem to impose an anti-Christian agenda.” Sorry what? Or maybe they just recognize that our country, by its very definition, is secular? We’re a liberal democratic republic. Maybe you should figure out what those terms mean, and if you can’t respect that, then maybe this isn’t the country for you.

    (Stick to business administration along with the rest of your conservative brethren. Political philosophy doesn’t seem to be your thing, considering you can’t even grasp its most basic concepts.)

    • Wolfgang Grassl

      Whoever uses ad hominem arguments has already lost. Would you care to look at some specimens of previous work (www.consultorium.com), for example http://www.consultorium.com/docs/Freedom%20and%20Solidarity.pdf ? Thank you.

    • Art Deco

      Or maybe they just recognize that our country, by its very definition,
      is secular? We’re a liberal democratic republic. Maybe you should figure
      out what those terms mean, and if you can’t respect that, then maybe
      this isn’t the country for you.

      Perhaps you would care to explain why either of those features of the country should determine the educational mission of a Catholic college. (And while we are at it, why you fancy that Dr. Grassl cannot define ‘secular’ or ‘liberal democratic’).

    • Dale

      Actually the country by definition is a constitutional republic and to quote yourself, “Maybe you should figure out what those terms mean…” I won’t quote the rest of your statement of telling someone, on the basis of disagreement, that they should consider leaving this country. Nice true colors of your authoritarian demands though. Your statement that the country “by its very definition is secular” is so vague that it’s not clear what you’re even alluding to, care to expand?

    • Guest

      By secular you mean the tyranny of relativism you support?

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