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Church Relations

steve chavez2Have you noticed? If you watch network TV or streaming video services, the underlying theme of nearly every program (especially the commercials) is diversity.

I'm old enough to have grown up when every TV program and commercial featured White people in traditional settings—father, mother, a couple kids (usually a boy and a girl). Then Black characters started appearing in television sitcoms, and eventually, Asians and Hispanics played major roles in television and movies.

Now it's not unusual to see characters in mixed race or same-sex relationships; people whose figures and hairstyles don't match the typically American stereotype. The Prime Video series, Rings of Power, has been criticized for casting Black and Brown characters in its prequel to The Lord of the Rings, because, as everyone knows, Middle Earth is inhabited by White Europeans.

Today's emphasis on racial, gender, and sexual diversity is good news for those of us who care about equality. Ideally, it means that society is gradually catching up with the fact that diversity is good. Unfortunately, it also means that those committed to the status quo have another imaginary enemy with which to do battle.

Equality is one of the founding principles of the United States. But equality does not mean sameness We're not all the same. But we all have intrinsic value, despite what society says about our appearance, race, or sexual orientation. Indeed, God's word to us is: "You are precious and honored in my sight" (Isaiah 43:4).

— Stephen Chavez, Director of Church Relations
     Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International