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Mutant Christianity

Justin Barber
3 min read

In my last email I described how Christians are at the very bottom of Silicon Valley’s social ladder, and I ended the letter with two questions:

Why exactly is being Christian perceived so poorly by those in the Valley? And is it really that bad?

Because Christianity is the “default” American religion, many who grew up in the US have had some sort of experience with the church. Unfortunately, America conflates Christian values with its cultural values.

The challenge of distinguishing faith from culture isn’t unique to the States – but as an American who didn’t grow up in America, I’m shocked at how blind Americans are to this issue.

For example – my good friend recently captured this photo of a car magnet with an American flag pattern inside of the Christian fish:

Why would someone combine these two symbols together?

Because many Americans who identify as Christian don’t know where their patriotism ends and their faith begins – the roots of which can be traced all the way back to “manifest destiny” 🙄.

So the specific mutation of Christianity that the majority of Americans are casually familiar with comes from – to be blunt – centuries of White America merging their Christian faith with their own political agenda. Like justifying slavery, or more recently, in justifying the separation of children from parents (I don’t believe Jesus would justify either.)

As a result, I think many in the Bay Area have grown to associate what they know of Christianity with exclusivity.

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