Through interviews with 33 Chinese American first- and second-generation immigrants, we ask how narratives that describe the link between religion and civic life differ among Buddhists, Christians, and nonreligious Chinese. All groups stress the tight institutional connections between religion and politics in the United States. For Chinese Christians, congregations provide opportunities to serve their fellow parishioners and the wider community, as well as political rhetoric to guide practices. Buddhists actively criticize a religious organizational approach to community service and the US connection between politics and religion, emphasizing the development of inherent ethical dimensions for motivating service to others. And the non-religious stressed the role of religious organizations in facilitating volunteering. There is also a difference between the responses of first- and second-generation immigrants, with first-generation immigrants having a more difficult time understanding the meaning of American community service. Results expand scholarship on the connection between religion and civic life.