I despise multiculturalism. I believe the cultures of specific groups of people too easily become false gods and a cause of idolatry that leads to violence of one sort or another.
It is true that we are born into the particular culture of family and situation. But after that we should be free to choose and create our own culture. Here are two personal examples of what I mean:
From the age of twelve I have been fanatical about black music, especially soul and reggae. Initially I just enjoyed the music but this led me to learn about where the music came from. I found out about the history and experiences of the people who produced it and from there, I formed an abstract relationship with those people (and “relationship” is the key to my thinking on this matter). Personally, I believe that in many ways I have a closer cultural relationship to the soul singers of 1960s Detroit than I do to a heavy metal fan living in Penzance (many ways, but not all, as I have much in common, culturally, with the heavy metal fan in other areas of my life).
Another example is a more recent cultural adaptation in my life. In the last four years I have formed a cultural link with the Episcopal faction of the Anglican Communion that is now a closer relationship than I have with the Church of England.
I admit it, I am a melting pot hippie by nature. As far as I can see there is good and bad in all cultures and I can see no reason why we shouldn’t all ditch the bad and share out the good. Worse still, from a PC point of view, I believe that we should have a pick and mix attitude towards culture. We should create our own personal culture by shopping around and choosing the bits of culture that are relevant to us. At the moment our rigid cultural settings divide us and keep us apart. Each culture has its gate keepers that are there to keep others out. If we did not hold culture as sacrosanct, if we could each choose from the smorgasbord of culture, then the number of possible links between different people, from different backgrounds, becomes almost infinite.
God did not create culture (unless you hold the Tower of Babel story to be literally true). It is a human invention. And what is more it is always evolving even within the most rigid of cultural groups. Therefore, culture can and always does change, so there is no reason why we should regard our inherited cultures as set in stone. Once we free ourselves from the bondage of our false view of culture we can start to enjoy culture. And not just the culture of our own family, religion and geography, but the culture that is our universal heritage – the culture of being human, created in the image of God and playful in our own creativeness.