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Philip Beisswenger

Dear Kevin,

This post is interesting to me in that you congratulate your daughter on how she processes the ridicule by the group of teenage boys, and then you seem to process it very differently, as a reflection of America in general. It seems that a key to living in a multi-cultural society is to state, but not overstate, the meaning and degree of cultural conflict. Every country struggles with inter-cultural dynamics. In this case, I don't find it constructive to speak disparagingly of America as a "machine," and to then question why Korean culture should be expected to contribute to it.

Kevin Park

Thank you, Philip, for your comments. You are right that moving from racist teenage boys to making generalizations about U.S.'s attitude on multiculturalism seems overstating the issue. I was using the stories as a kind of personal parable/case study to look into the phenomenon of ornamental multiculturalism in the U.S. and the church. I am planning to write a few more blogs on this subject -- I hope we can continue our conversation.

Kevin Park

Philip Beisswenger

I appreciate your response, and look forward to your future blogs. My observation is that ornamental multiculturalism is popular in many of our churches because it lets us celebrate the virtues of cultural diversity while avoiding the messiness and hard work of practicing it. This isn't to scold such churches, but out of regret that they're missing out on a beautiful part of the good news.

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