Sunday, September 20, 2009

An Outsider's Perspective on the Christian Subculture

My friend, Dan, recently linked to this article that is written from the perspective of a secular Jewish writer and his encounter with the evangelical Christian subculture in America.

I agree with the writer, Daniel Radosh, on some of the aspects of evangelical culture that are just simply weird. I understand that many in the mainstream culture consider we evangelicals odd because of our devotion to Jesus, belief in the Bible, etc. I'm okay with that but it's the extra, unnecessary stuff that comes across the strangest to others.

Radosh identifies several things he finds the most peculiar:

1. Testamints

2. Bibleman

3. Christian t-shirts (or "Witness Wear")

4. B and C-list Christian celebrities

Remarkably, the fifth thing that Radosh finds the weirdest is much different than the others:
"I certainly don’t think that all Christians are saints (or that all my fellow non-Christians are creeps), but after a year in the Christian bubble, I came to see the best aspects of Christian pop culture—the focus on fellowship, the unabashed celebration of the transcendent, the commitment to personal responsibility—as a bright light shining on the ugly side of the mainstream. I realized that Jesus’ radical message of brotherhood, selflessness and dignity may be just the antidote to our contemporary ethos of shamelessness and overindulgence. Which is why I find myself still, even with my journey officially over, stepping back into the Christian world now and again for a breath of fresh air. How weird is that?"
It's good to know that even in the midst of our "weirdness", genuine love for God and others can still be seen above our cheesy t-shirts and Bible verse imprinted breath mints.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts. What are the aspects of the Christian evangelical subculture that you find the most weird?

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