"...if our Meetings become more class-diverse, we, as individuals, will grow close to God's ideal for ourselves. As Tai from the Friends of Color blog said:
I find truth in opposites. I believe that when we are faced with someone who is culturally "opposite" from us, we learn. And it's not the kind of Barney purple dinosaur learn, it's the, this fucking hurts because I'm growing learning.
And if our Meetings become more class-diverse, our Meetings might grow. Martin, quoting statistics about a decline in both Liberal and Evangelical Friends' Meetings except where the Yearly Meeting is dually affiliated with both FGC and FUM, recently said on his blog:
Could it be that serious theological wrestling and complicated spiritual identities create healthier religious bodies than monocultural groupings?
What Quaker doesn't want their Meeting to grow and doesn't want to grow personally?"
Jeanne, at quakerclass.blogspot.com (this came across as a link this morning from Martin Kelly's Quaker Ranter) makes an argument for greater class diversity in Quaker meetings. What do you think of this? It caught my eye because often in my work as a religion reporter I met kind, sincere people who wanted me to write about the "diversity" of their group. However, the group in question was seldom more than superficially diverse ... the skin colors and ethnicities might be different, and the group might include the representative Muslim, Jew, Buddhist ... but everyone in it looked at life through the same educated, liberal lens. People would feel good about their "diversity," and they were good, kind people, but their groups only underscored that the diversity paradigm has shifted from race, ethnicity and religion to class and worldview. My experience has been that embracing people who are truly different increases my compassion and self-awareness. Listening carefully to people with different perspectives has shown me flaws or gaps in my own thinking and also revealed to me where I have prejudged (shown prejudice) against a group. But what are some things that block us from doing this more often? What is the downside?