Assimilation into American Evangelical Theology: They Had Me at We’re Equal!

Cultural and social disparities exist within religious immigrant assimilation processes. Growing up in a tricultural home, I learned how to disentangle and integrate differing cultural norms and expectations. My biological parents are first-generation Romanian-Americans who identified with the Pentecostal faith. I was raised by my father and stepmother; my stepmother was raised in the U.S. by Italian-American parents. In my household, we spoke English as the main entrée with Romanian and Italian for dessert. Discovering my cultural identity in categorical terms proved difficult, but when paired with religious identification, it became easier and less important.

Given that my father wanted my brother and me to assimilate into the American culture as comfortably as possible, we regularly attended an American Pentecostal church. The Romanian Pentecostal churches we infrequently visited appeared vastly different; the social and cultural expectations seemed astonishingly dissident to that of the American church.

The study Preserving Patriarchy: Assimilation, Gender Norms, and Second-Generation Korean American Evangelicals, “found that individuals maintained a substantial commitment to patriarchal gender norms and articulated these norms in language consistent with American evangelical theology rather than in ethnic/cultural terms.”

This was precisely my story.

Read entire post at Feminism and Religion Blog.