Re: Diversity, what diversity?
From: Jerry Callen (
Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1996 23:44:36 -0500
Tony Rocco writes:

   The appeal and advantage that cohousing (intentional communities,
   etc.)  offers lies in its potential for breaking down the isolation
   and alienation of contemporary urban and suburban American society,
   and to replace it with community. I repeat: breaking down barriers
   by creating community among ALL kinds of people is the greatest
   single potential benefit of cohousing, in my view.
   To use cohousing as just another way for people to isolate
   themselves from one another based on class, politics, religion, or
   even more ludicrously, the food they eat, is a perversion of the
   spirit of cohousing and completely self-defeating. That's why I "go
   ballistic" when I hear all the exclusionary rhetoric that seems to
   get bandied about by cohousers and intentional communitarians. I
   absolutely can't stand it.

While there's a certain idealistic attractiveness to this position, in
my experience this denies a very real human need to "seek like kind."
Remember that we're talking about our HOME. I think there's a real
strength that can come from know where one's center is, respecting and
caring for that center, and, yes, sharing one's home with like-minded
people with whom a strong sense of identity can be found. This can
provide a grounding that enables one to move among a very diverse
broader community in an accepting manner.

Should churches be force to admit all comers as members, regardless of
beliefs, in a desire to be inclusive? Should we completely eliminate
all opportunities for single-sex education in the name of equality?

Living in a diverse society does not mean homogeneity. I don't see why
chosing to live with people who share my values and beliefs implies
that I am necessarily rejecting people with other values and beliefs.

Having said all that, I find the particular community in question
pretty unappealing, so I doubt I would want to live there. :-)

-- Jerry Callen
   jcallen [at]

   "The best lack conviction, given some time to think,
    and the worst are full of passion without mercy."
        -- Joni Mitchell (borrowing from W.B. Yeats)

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