In an interesting twist that was at times humorous (It’s funny because it’s true!) while at others insulting, HBO’s hit comedy Silicon Valley flipped the script on gays and Christianity and admitted to the hatred Christians endure, especially on the left coast, by having a gay character come out of the closet as a Christian.
The show is set in the Bay Area and revolves around tech guru Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and his equally eccentric and nerdy friends as they try to create a new internet, called PiperNet. On Sunday’s episode “Tech Evangelist,” Monica helps Richard get a meeting with K-Hole Games, a huge gaming company that might be looking to make a deal.
At the meeting, Richard introduces his developers to K-Hole CEO Colin (Neil Casey). When he gets to Deedee (probably based on Peter Thiel), he announces that Deedee is creating a gay dating site called 1stSight, but also declares that Deedee is “very gay and also a Christian,” which is a big no-no. Being Christian, that is.
Everyone is aghast that Richard “outed” Deedee as a Christian because in Silicon Valley, “the one thing you cannot be is a Christian.” But being gay? That’s ok, “that plays great.”
Aside from offensive comments about Christian theology being illegitimate and “the source of the majority of the world’s problems,” this scene is hilarious in how it points out how bigoted Silicon Valley is against Christians.
Richard: Okay, so, that went well. It started out a little weird, but things really picked up—
Deedee: Why did you do that? Why did you say that?
Richard: Say what?
Deedee: Richard, you just told a room full of tech people that I'm a (whispers) Christian.
Richard: Oh. Okay, but-- but you are, aren't you?
Deedee: 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.
Richard: Oh, I'm sorry, Deedee. I didn't-- Okay, um, should we hug? I can not make it weird this time.
Jared: I'm-- I'm sorry, Richard. You know that my default position is blind support of whatever you do, but... this was not your best moment.
Richard: Guys, it can't be that big of a deal, right?
Dinesh: Why should it be? America loves Christians. Muslims are the enemy.
Jared: Well, that's true in most of America, but not in Silicon Valley, sadly.
Jared: You can be openly polyamorous. And people here will call you brave. You can put micro-doses of LSD in your cereal, and-- and people will call you a pioneer. But the one thing you cannot be is a Christian.
Gilfoyle: 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, fuck, Richard, even I wouldn't just... out a Christian like that.
Jeff: Yeah, it was kinda fucked up.
Richard: Cool man, thanks. (Softly) Hey, I thought he wasn't supposed to chime in.
Gilfoyle: Yeah, he's not, but... based on its merits, I'll allow that one.
Richard: Guys, (stammers) come on. It can't be that bad.
Monica: Richard! What the fuck did you do over there? So I just got off the phone with Colin over at K-hole, and while he loves your tech, he's considering blowing up the deal.
Richard: What? Just because one of my CEOs is Christian?
Monica: It freaks people out in the Valley!
Richard: Okay, so what do you want me to do, Monica? You want me to drop Deedee just because he's Christian? The company's not Christian. It's gay... which is fine, right?
Monica: Yeah! No, that-- that plays great.
Jared: Look, cutting all ties to Deedee and 1stSight will definitely send a strong message to Colin. And it might be the only way. Like killing somebody to prove you're not a narc, or showing a John your genitals to prove you're a legitimate male prostitute and not an undercover cop.
The next day, Deedee’s still reeling from being outed. “Gossip travels so fast in the Valley. I'll be lucky if my parents ever talk to me again, “ he says, explaining that of course they’re not Christian, they’re from Palo Alto. His own dad is gay and Deedee says, “My dad says my lifestyle makes him sick. He just wants his gay son back.”
But the good news is, as he tells Richard, “I’m out, okay? 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 shows Richard the new logo he just created for his app, but when he sees the tagline is “Gay, Christian, Proud,” Richard balks saying, “Well, I like the gay part. If anything, it could be more gay. You should gay it up, and then, I like the "Proud" part. It's just the... Christian part.”
Richard and the team meet with Colin again and Colin makes his anti-Christian bigotry extremely clear. Richard backhandedly defends Deedee saying he’s including him because they’re making a new internet that’s open to everyone, no matter how repugnant, ignorant, stupid, or “totally fucking wrong” their views are. Then, when Deedee quits, Richard joins the rest of Silicon Valley in declaring, “Fuck that guy! Christians suck!”
Colin: Thanks for dropping 1stSight. Jesus, my board would have nailed me to a cross.
Richard: Well, I think we're just about ready to get going here, uh... Oh. Hey! Oh, good, there he is.
Colin: What's he doing here?
Richard: He is here because I asked him to be. I want him to be one of our developers.
Colin: What? No! Fuck that guy! Hey, man, how's it goin'?
Deedee: Richard. Can I talk to you?
Richard: Yeah! No, no, no. Actually, look! Look, guys, I... I asked you to be a part of this because 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. Well, I'm sorry, gang. Truly open means "Open to everyone." No matter how repugnant their views are. How ignorant or stupid, or, to be honest, totally fucking wrong. And, look, who are we to judge, right? There's some people out there that believe that we're living in a computer simulation.
Colin: Well, that is supported by the evidence.
Colin: Uh, it's basic probability theory.
Deedee: Right, uh, Richard, can I talk to you for just a sec?
Richard: Yes, of course.
[Developers talk amongst themselves]
Richard: Guys, I was wrong. Um, Deedee is... not in. He's actually very much out. So... do-over on the whole speech. Fuck that guy! Christians suck! And, uh, here's a good side effect though. Uh, we all get to keep the name Octopipers.
"Christians suck" was pretty much the theme of the episode, but ultimately it was refreshingly honest about our brave new world where Christians are treated as pariahs while gays are given parades.