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Asian-Americans troubled by stereotypes from white evangelicals

First Published      Last Updated Oct 11 2013 02:04 pm
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In 2004, LifeWay Christian Resources was criticized for its Asian-themed "Rickshaw Rally" Vacation Bible School curriculum, which some saw as racially insensitive. After the criticism, some changes were made in those materials but the curriculum continued to be used.

"It is worth observing that it has almost been 10 years since 'Rickshaw Rally,' and there are prominent American evangelical publishers, conferences, and pastors who still use Orientalizing imagery," said Justin Tse, who is finishing a Ph.D. in geography at the University of British Columbia.

Author Helen Lee wonders whether the continued use of Asian imagery suggests evangelicals are unable or unwilling to see their own cultural blind spots.

"How many times must we say the same thing before we are heard?" Lee said. "It is not acceptable to caricature Asian culture and to do so for quick laughs."