freedom of religion

Can China and U.S. governments define a new Christianity?

Can China and U.S. governments define a new Christianity?

Who gets to define religion? In our case, specifically, who gets to define the new Christianity? China passed new religious regulations almost six tears ago. I started to write about them a couple of times. It was never quite right though. I felt like the U.S., in some way, was going to copy what China did. As it turns out, we’re doing just that,

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Freedom of religion in china. A real thing or an oxymoron?

Can the atheist government in China redefine religion?

Who gets to define religion?  Actually, the better question is – who gets to redefine religion?  Maybe even who defines “of”.  We’re looking at China in this series, but the same issues come up everywhere.  It’s all about who sets the rules.  One thing we can be sure of – it’s not God.  Not in China.  And not in my country or yours either.

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Protecting laws from religion?

Religion and the law. Are we protecting laws from religion?

Protecting laws from religion?  Management of religious affairs is about protecting what is lawful.  That last sentence is the English translation of something from China’s Religious Affairs Regulations.  But does that even make sense?  China claims their citizens have freedom of religious belief.  So shouldn’t laws about religion be concerned with protecting those religions?

What’s this thing about protecting the law from religion?  It sounds so backwards.  And yet, is it even unusual?  We claim to have religious freedom in the U.S.  So do many countries.  But are we really doing anything different than China?  In other words, is the real issue that China isn’t hiding what they’re doing?  Let’s find out.

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Chinese citizens have the freedom of religious belief

Citizens have freedom of religious belief?

Citizens have freedom of religious belief.  That’s the English translation of something from China’s Religious Affairs Regulations.  But is it really true? 

Remember, China is a Communist country.  And an officially atheist one as well.  We must be forgiven if we doubt those fine-sounding words.  Especially after reading part 1 of this series. 

Remember, Article 1 of these regulations included the text, “increase the level of legalification in work on religion” as one of the stated goals for putting them into law.  How does that even make sense? 

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Which god will win the election?

Which god will win the election in the U.S.?  The god of power?  Maybe the god of greed?  How about the god of white power?  Or the god of me first?  What about the chance for the god of caring about other people?  Have you noticed, there’s really only two choices there?  I’m not even going to say it’s between Republicans and Democrats.  It’s between Trump and Biden.  Or is that between Trump and not Trump?

Notice that I didn’t capitalize god either.  Because it’s not directly about God.  Both sides want us to believe they have God on their side.  But then, it’s really more about wanting us to believe that, rather than either party being particularly Godly.  However, one does appear to more more god-like, in the same way Roman emperors were gods.

Because of these things, and more, the question of which god will win the election is very real.

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pigeon or dove - example of religious freedom in China

Religious freedom in China

To some, the idea of religious freedom in China sounds like an oxymoron.  You know – a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.  Given that China is an officially atheist country, “religion” in China certainly isn’t what people in the so-called west expect.  Further, the concept of freedom of religion in an atheist country like China is, if it’s possible, even more of an oxymoron.

And yet …

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What is freedom of religion?

What is freedom of religion?

What is freedom of religion?  It depends.  Who gets to define freedom?  And who defines religion?  Maybe even who defines “of”.  We’re looking at China in this series, but the same issues come up everywhere.  It’s all about who sets the rules.  One thing we can be sure of – it’s not God.  Not in China.  And not in my country or yours either.

Here’s the thing about freedom – of religion or of anything.  See that eagle flying around in the sky?  That eagle is free.  But he’s probably looking for someone to eat.  Something alive.  And when the eagle finds his target, a little bit of freedom is lost.  A life is gone.  And the eagle remains free.

With people, freedom of religion is kind of like that.  Someone’s “flying around” above us.  Someone who either doesn’t like our religion, or likes theirs better.  Sometimes they hate our religion so much they want to kill it.  If they’re strong enough – they can certainly take out individual people.  Even any given church building.  But can they destroy an entire religion?

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