The explanation I’ve received to the question “What good is there in multiculturalism?” is usually consistent. It involves notions of being “fair”. It is required by “free speech” and “freedom of religion”. It stems from “judgement” being bad and “tolerance” being good.
Tolerance is a curious term, because toleration requires disagreement. One cannot tolerate their favorite food. It is the meal cooked for them by a friend that they are obliged to accept but with which their stomach disagrees that they will tolerate.
Tolerance aside, multiculturalism is itself a self-defeating proposition. I believe multiculturalism ends with all cultures being equally irrelevant instead of equally treasured. If the premise of multiculturalism is that all cultures should be equally valid, there is no other conclusion to be drawn.
Suppose this: Orthodox Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the only path to God. The consistency of this stance through the ages is unquestionable, even if someone disagrees with the stance itself. The primary foundation of Christianity requires Christ to be in this role. A Christian in a pre-modern world would say “Christ is the only way to God.”
Enter multiculturalism. The Christian is now pressured to change his line, but not entirely. The first stage of multiculturalism is simply in asserting the inherent value in every belief system, and at this stage, Christianity is not by any means excluded. So a Christian is now to say “Christ is the only way to God for me.” It may seem harmless to some. Perhaps for some cultural issues it is. “Cooked steak is the only kind of steak for me” because I don’t eat raw meat, even if it is free of anything that seeks to kill me on ingestion. For Christianity, it defeats a primary tenet of the faith.
But multiculturalism isn’t done yet. Now that all cultures are equally valued, the cultures are encouraged to go a step further. All cultures deep down are equal. “Christ is one way to God” is the new slogan. You see, in this view, ‘God’ has many names. There are many paths to ‘God’. The road is wide. There are many who seek it and find the end. Christianity and Islam and Buddhism and even spiritual humanism are all really the “same religion”. The trappings may differ, such as the form of dress or style of music, but fundamentally all are one.
All along, the State must decide what this ultimate “same religion” is. After all, contradicting it with statements like “Jesus Christ is the only path to God” is tantamount to not equating the value of all religions, which is tantamount to not equating all religions.
But herein lies the first problem. It is not the trappings of religions that differ, but the beliefs! The trappings are mostly the same. There are clergy. There are Holy Books. There are liturgies and songs and spirituals. There are ideas of the past, the present, and the future. But what those beliefs are is fundamentally, irreconcilably different!
The second problem comes with the role of the State. In promoting multiculturalism, the State promotes the eventual equating of all religions with all other religions and the selection of what the “same religion” that every believes ultimately is. The State, then, becomes the church, one in the same. It decides what ‘hate speech’ is and deals with it swiftly. It rewards people who promote the “same religion” as everyone else.
So, in the end, multiculturalism promotes only one religion. All the differences dissolve away, on the surface at least. Instead of equally valid cultures, the end result is one culture. Instead of Americans having pride in America and Britons having pride in Britain and Franks having pride in France, humans have pride in humanity. What is lost is the essence of America, Britain, France, and all other nations. What is gained is forced equality of ideas, which leads to tyranny at best and a colorless world at worst.
As you can probably gather, I oppose multiculturalism and I think others should as well. I believe in the very Christian notion that the State must not interfere in matters of religion and that “freedom of religion/conscience” really means what it says it means. It does not mean that all cultures and religions are equally valid. It is one of those paradoxes that often resides in the space between the conception of an idea and the result of its implementation. If the goal of multiculturalists is to promote the good aspects of every culture, then multiculturalism is the last tool that should ever be used to do so.