Those words, “God loves diversity,” were spoken by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in his recent interview for Interfaith Voices. He is the former chief rabbi of Great Britain, internationally respected as an interfaith leader.
I’ve been pondering those words ever since he spoke them. They hold a deep meaning, and they call us to do the same. “God loves diversity.” Sacks was talking about how God loves people of various faith traditions, but his words could be applied to people of all ages, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and endless other characteristics. Yes, God indeed loves diversity in the human beings who inhabit our planet. Thus God calls us to love that diversity too, to revel in it, to celebrate it.
God also loves the diversity of life on earth: seas and rivers, winds and clouds, soil and snow and ice, trees and grasses, mountains and valleys, birds and animals of all kinds.
And herein lies a deep message for today: we are called to love as God loves, we are called to honor and preserve this diversity in all its forms. The diversity of humankind and the diversity of life on our planet.
Yet, we often shun differences and act as if they are to be feared. This is the origin of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, ethnic prejudice, you name it.
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Today, we hear politicians make prejudicial remarks about refugees in peril and refuse to welcome them. We hear racist remarks about people with dark skin and snide comments about women. We hear deeply prejudicial and uninformed remarks about Muslims. Some running for public office refuse to acknowledge the beautiful diversity of our planet because they will not recognize that climate change is real; their refusal to deal with it can destroy the diversity of life on planet earth.
These attitudes turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the diversity God created and loves. In so doing, they turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to God. Yes, God loves diversity. We are called to love as God loves.