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Genuine diversity depends, of course, on lives formed by different understandings of the self or soul. Our tradition of diversity has been largely of diverse religious communities. Now we talk so much about diversity because we’re anxiously aware that we’re losing it. Diversity has largely been replaced by mere difference. We’re increasingly a country full of nervous, isolated individuals who insist on their identities in spite of their emptiness. Difference is negative and abrasive because it’s based on the premise that we’re hardwired for competition and oppression and not for genuinely moral community. Because our diversity has morphed in the direction of difference, clamoring for diversity has become a weapon against true diversity; the mere existence of any institution that makes an authoritative claim to form the conscience or the soul is now an offense against diversity. But without such cultural institutions genuine diversity is impossible.

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