Are Traditional Christian Values Part of Diversity

Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.


Question:

I disagree with your viewpoint on almost every topic covered in your publication. Traditional, conservative, Christian views seem to be the only viewpoint that you put outside your realm of inclusion. Thanks.

Answer:

It depends on your definition of “traditional, conservative” and “Christian” views.

We are a business publication. Our content measures, explores and explains the management of diversity. We believe that all people are created equally and therefore talent is distributed equally. Diversity management is about the reduction of disparities. By reducing disparities, a company maximizes return from employees, customers, suppliers and investors.

This, in turn, drives profitability and sustainability.

Whether civilly or in business, ensuring equity requires clarity on values. DiversityInc believes that our country’s Constitution and Declaration of Independence provide the best possible framework for civil and corporate behavior. Our Constitution separates civic from religious rights. In the case of gay marriage, we support the right of same-gender couples to have the same civil rights as heterosexual couples–and also defend the right of your church to not marry them in a religious ceremony.

However, if you’re going to tell me that your concept of your religion requires the oppression of “other” people, then we have a fundamental disagreement. Civilly, that is fine; our Constitution allows different values under the umbrella of the law.

However, from a business perspective, diversity management does not mean forced equivalencies. Reading between the lines, I’m assuming you’re not in favor of gay marriage. That’s fine, but if you extend that to, for example, denying an LGBT subordinate an earned promotion or creating a hostile atmosphere at a company that values the rights of its LGBT employees, then not only do we disagree, but I would say your company has an obligation to send you packing.

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