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Re: “Young, Asian American, and Christian

As a Cal student who knows many evangelical asian students personally, I think that a number of you are truly misrepresenting the growing asian evangelical Christian campus movement. Believe it or not, many students have vastly different backgrounds than the stereotypical deferential, studious, socially awkward nerd. To say that Christianity is being used because people need "a framework for having a social life" or as a stopgap for the void caused by rejection of "Confucian ideals," is to trivialize the legitimate role Christianity has played in many people's lives. In fact, by characterizing evangelical students as people who don't know what's best for themselves, who fall back on religion as a way of coping, who run away from their problems is quite egotistic.

Now, I'm an engineer who can discuss Kant, Nietzsche, and Descartes with the best of them. Not once have I thought of my faith in Christianity as a way of "coping," I have a fairly well established social life outside of church, and frankly when I run away from my problems it usually turns out on the other side of the spectrum--me getting as drunk as I possibly can. Though I may not be asian, I see many of my academic peers who are the same as me: they don't turn to Christianity because they want something to hide behind, they come to it despite being jaded and put-off by pain that run fairly deep.

I urge you all to think deeper than solely "these people are trying to find a coping mechanism." The nature of Christianity is looking at those things in the world that you know aren't right, looking at the things in yourself that you know are screwed up, and confronting them. All of this because you believe in a God who, out of love, overlooks your failings. Think about how people actually respond to situations on a daily basis. No person is going to try to take on some of the world's legitimate evils go through the process of digging up all their faults because they want to run away from parental pressure or cultural identity--it's idiotic to think so.

For once take something you don't understand seriously. Don't demonize students for living their lives differently, realize that that they aren't turning to God because of family instability, parental pressure, or disconnect with cultural identity--they turn to God and religion because they actually believe that there is something there. Whether you believe in their decisions or not, at least give them that.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Drew on 04/09/2008 at 8:31 PM

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