If you haven’t seen this video yet, it was only a matter of time before you did. BuzzFeed’s recent video features self-identified Christians talking about themselves. They talk about what they are, but more importantly (so the video makers think) about what they are not. The socio-political aim of the video is obvious from the things they abjure: homophobia, ignorance, conservatism, etc. While many Christian opponents to gay marriage are offended at the implicit suggestion that they are the “really terrible people” in Christianity, others saw the video as a refreshing, positive spin on Christianity. To the question of why BuzzFeed would create this video, the answer is probably that it’s an attempt to re-engineer their social image after Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith claimed there were “not two sides” to the gay marriage debate. The deeper questions begin to blossom when we examine the culture’s perspective on Christianity, the Christian response to cultural morality, and the church’s desire for relevance and acceptance.
Whether intentionally or not, BuzzFeed’s video starts with an implied description of how the United States culture at large sees Christians. If the culture didn’t see Christians as “closed-minded, ignorant, judgmental ” for example, there would be no reason for these Christians to specify that they are not. And why are Christians seen this way? Perhaps there’s a hint in the video itself, as these same individuals assure us they are not “homophobic” or “conservative.” It’s not a big leap to say that culturally, all of these things are seen to go hand-in-hand.