'Silicon Valley' TV Show Admits Tech Companies' Anti-Christian Bias
On Sunday, HBO's hilarious tech TV show "Silicon Valley" admitted that technology companies in California have a powerful bias against Christianity. The show mockingly portrayed the "outing" of a self-identified gay Christian, who was "in the closet" not for his homosexuality, but for his beliefs. The best satire is based on fact, and so Sunday's episode reached a pinnacle of excellent satire.
The closeted Christian, known as "D.D." and played by A.D. Miles, joins the "Octopipers," a team of eight tech CEOs joining main character Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) to create the world's first "truly open, truly decentralized Internet." Ironically, this effort to create an open Internet derails because the team cannot accept an openly Christian member.
D.D., the CEO of a homosexual dating site, comes to Hendricks in confidence toward the beginning of the episode. He describes himself as "so boring," adding, "I've been with the same man eight years, I go to church every Sunday."
Hendricks seems to have no problem with his Christian teammate, but he has no filter in a later team meeting. The main character introduces D.D. as the CEO of a gay dating site, adding, "But don't worry, he's not snobby about it, he's actually pretty boring."
"I don't mean that as an insult. Those are his words. Long-term relationship, doesn't smoke, doesn't drink. And him and his man go to church every Sunday," Hendricks blurts out. "Loves Bible studies, right? Just a straight-up boring, ordinary guy."
During this meeting, D.D. becomes increasingly uncomfortable, shifting in his seat. Hendricks ends his introduction with a qualifier: "But obviously not straight, very gay. And also a Christian, right?"
D.D. confronts the main character, asking, "Why did you do that? Why did you say that?!"
"Richard, you just told a room full of tech people that I'm [whispered] Christian," D.D. says. "But you are, aren't you?" Hendricks responds. "Yes, but I told you that in confidence. I said, 'between you and me.'"
"I'm not openly Christian. Thanks a lot man, you just outed me," D.D. explains.
Later, Hendricks's close friends confront him. Donald "Jared" Dunn (Zach Woods) declares, "You know my default position is blind support for whatever you do, but this was not your best moment."
Hendricks, still uncomprehending, asks, "Guys, it can't be that big of a deal, right? Why should it be?"
Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani) chimes in, "America loves Christians, Muslims are the enemy."
"Well, that's true in most of America, but not in Silicon Valley, sadly," Dunn responds. "You can be openly polyamorous, and people here will call you brave. You can put micro-doses of LSD in your cereal and people will call you a pioneer. But the one thing you cannot be is Christian."
The anti-Christian stigma runs so deep, even an anti-Christian character says he would never "out" a Bible believer in Silicon Valley. Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) chimes in, "I find their theology to be illegitimate, and it's clear that they are the source of the majority of the world's problems. But f**k, Richard, even I wouldn't just 'out' a Christian like that."
Hendricks immediately faces pressure to drop D.D. from the project, due to his faith. "It freaks people out in the valley," explains Monica Hall (Amanda Crew).
"You want me to drop D.D. just because he's Christian? The company's not Christian, it's gay," Hendricks responds. "Which is fine, right?" Hall explains, "Yeah, that [the gay part] plays great."
Hall advises Hendricks to speak with D.D., to "apologize for outing him, of course, but you need to make sure he keeps quiet about this. Let's put it this way, would you want to go from being a rock band to being a [whispers] Christian rock band?"
Instantly comprehending, Hendricks responds, "Oh sh*t."
When the main character apologizes, however, it turns out D.D. has come to accept his identity going public. He's "out and proud."
"I don't even know what normal is anymore, Richard. It's been such a crazy 24 hours, you know? Gossip travels so fast in the Valley. I'll be lucky if my parents ever talk to me again," D.D. says. Hendricks asks, "Your parents aren't Christian?"
"I'm from Palo Alto. My dad says my lifestyle makes him sick," D.D. explains. "He just wants his gay son back." Even D.D.'s father is gay.
"But the crazy part is, when I finally got home, and I got in bed, I had the soundest sleep I've had in years," the gay Christian CEO says. After being "in the closet" for years, he is overcome by relief. "My nightmare's over. I don't ever have to go back in the closet again, and I've got you to thank for it."
He then reveals a new logo, reading, "Gay, Christian, Proud!" Hendricks objects to the Christian part. "Or just be gay! ... just, don't be a Christian."
D.D. responds with the classic wounded homosexual response, just applied to faith instead: "Wow. After all you've put me through, it turns out you're biased, too."
Leaving, D.D. mocks Hendricks, mentioning the goal of creating "the first truly free and open Internet." Powerfully, he asks, "What ever happened to that, man?"
The sketch concludes with a final team meeting. One of the characters thanks Hendricks for dropping D.D.'s company, quipping, "Jes*s, by board would have nailed me to a cross."
Hendricks then proceeds to give an arresting speech about what a truly open Internet really means. "I thought you were willing to take a chance on my idea — an entirely new Internet: an Internet that is everything the old internet is supposed to be but isn’t, truly free, and truly open," he says. "I’m sorry, gang, truly open means open to everyone ..."
Then the main character launches into a tirade revealing Silicon Valley's anti-Christian bias. "Truly open means open to everyone, no matter how repugnant their views are, how ignorant or stupid or, to be honest, totally f**king wrong. And look who are we to judge, right?"
Tellingly, after this speech attacking Christianity, Hendricks leaves and the team debates among themselves about a possible religion based on artificial intelligence (AI). They mock Christianity, but they adopt wacky tech religions instead, and those religions battle over whether AI is good and should be worshipped or bad and should be fought.
Meanwhile, D.D. has abandoned the project and gone to Hendricks's competitor. When the main character shows up again, he asks for a "do-over on the whole speech. F**k that guy. Christians suck."
HBO's "Silicon Valley" was very much on-point throughout this whole sketch. James Damore, the senior software engineer fired from Google for writing a politically incorrect manifesto, said that conservatives are "in the closet," just like homosexuals have been. A recent Lincoln Network survey found that Silicon Valley employees engage in self-censorship, terrified because of the bias in their workplaces. California is even considering a law that would ban books teaching traditional Christian sexuality.
Furthermore, a former Google executive registered a "church of AI" with the IRS last year.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has branded social conservative organizations that represent millions of Christians "hateful" because they stand for marriage between one man and one woman. The SPLC has also pushed Internet censorship and has deep ties with tech companies like Apple.
While homosexual practice and identity are condemned in the Bible, the gay Christian portrayed in "Silicon Valley" captured anti-Christian animus perfectly by contrasting it with the utter acceptance and celebration of homosexuality. The gay Christian is not controversial because he is gay, but because he is Christian. Even a gay Christian cannot escape the anti-Christian bias.
This episode was also not the first in which "Silicon Valley" brought up anti-Christian bias. In 2015, a main character declared, "Christianity is borderline illegal in northern California." He went on to say, "Pot-bellied pigs have been wildly unfashionable since 2005. Owning a pot-bellied pig is frowned upon almost as much as being a Christian."
This anti-Christian bias theme in "Silicon Valley" proves hilarious because it is based in over-exaggerated truth. Christianity is indeed stigmatized — unfairly — as being responsible for hate, as well as historical oppression and opposition to science. With the SPLC's influence and the bias against conservatives in Silicon Valley, tech companies do indeed have a dangerous bias against conservative Christians. This episode should remind them of just how important it is to balance out this blindspot.
Watch the trailer for "Silicon Valley" below.