Pigeonholing Asian American Christians

| 6/10/2008 12:19:33 PM

Paco Church, Manila, Philippines“Most Asian American Christians are conservative,” begins Bruce Reyes-Chow in Asian Week. Reyes-Chow describes the similarities between “traditional Asian values” and conservative Christian values, both of which esteem hard work, the family before the individual, and obedience to the authority of elders. “If this does not describe you as a person of faith,” Reyes-Chow writes, anticipating his detractors, “please save the hate mail for another day.” He promises a taxonomy of progressive Asian American Christians in a June issue of Asian Week

His generalizations set off a storm of comments. In a response to the article, Calvin Chen wrote that Reyes-Chow oversimplified the situation, failing to "distinguish between theological, cultural, and political conservatism." Chen attempted to offer a more nuanced reason why Asian Americans Christians might be thought of as more conservative:

Theologically, Asian American Christians are overwhelmingly conservative (evangelical or fundamentalist) because liberal Christianity has little to no evangelistic drive and Asians are not historically Christian — therefore Asian Americans who are Christian are recent (relatively speaking) converts to a theologically conservative faith.

Image by Shubert Ciencia, licensed under Creative Commons.

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter

click me