The Role of Religion

March 26, 2011

While reading Religion flourishes in political and historical titles by Henry L. Carrigan Jr. in ForeWord magazine, I thought of China’s history with religion, and saw no comparison as to how religion has influenced beliefs and politics in the West.

Carrigan wrote a seamless piece mentioning fourteen titles that deal with atheists and religion in America. After reading the piece, it’s obvious why Western religion plays such an important role in US politics.

However, in China, religion has never had a role and probably never will. In fact, religion never had an impact on China until after the First Opium War early in the 19th century. The result was the Taiping Rebellion led by a converted Christian known as God’s Chinese son.

More than twenty million died due to God’s Chinese son. Imagine how that influenced opinions regarding Christianity in China. The first major contact with a Western religion ends in bloodshed and much suffering.

The Exodus of the Jews from Egypt took place around 1504 to 1254 BC about the time of the Shang Dynasty (1783 – 1123 BC). A few Jews (not enough to establish the religion in China and have a lasting impact) would reach China almost twenty-four hundred years later.

In 312 AD, Constantine adopted Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire, and he did it for political reasons.

Next came the rise of Islam after Mohammad proclaimed the message of believing in one God about 610 AD.

Freedom of religion in America wouldn’t be guaranteed until July 4, 1776.

The evolution of religion in the West spans thousands of years, yet China’s Western critics expect the Chinese to accept these religions and allow them to have an important role in Chinese culture almost overnight.

Carrigan writes, “Over the past decade, most polls have consistently found that 95 percent of Americans say they believe in God…”

However, more than a billion Chinese do not belong to any organized religion. It is estimated that the number of Christians in China number 40 to 100 million depending on whom you believe. If the high number is correct, that’s still less than ten percent of the population compared to America’s 95%.

In fact, religion in China has mostly been family-oriented for thousands of years.

Some scholars doubt the use of the term “religion” in reference to Buddhism and Taoism, and suggest “cultural practices” or “thought systems” as more appropriate.

Generally, the percentage of people in China that call themselves religious is the lowest in the world compared to America, which is probably the highest number.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

Advertisements

Learning what Win-Win Really Means from China

February 12, 2011


Living With Evolution or Dying Without It by K. D. Koratsky
Publisher: Sunscape Books
ISBN: 978-0-9826546-0-6
Reviewed by Lloyd Lofthouse

Koratsky’s book is a heavily researched, scholarly work that gathers what science has discovered since Darwin’s discoveries and fills in the gaps explaining why evolution has something to teach us if humanity is to survive.

The other choice is humanity going the way of the dinosaurs into extinction.

I started reading in early 2010 and took months to finish the 580 pages. The Flesch-Kincaid Readability level would probably show this book to be at a university graduate level leaving at last 90% of the population lost as to the importance of its message.

For months, it bothered me that so many in the United States do not have the literacy skills to understand an important work such as this (the average reader in the US reads at fifth grade level and millions are illiterate). This is certainly not a good foundation to learn how precarious life is if you do not understand how brutal the earth’s environment and evolution has been for billions of years.

As I finished reading Living With Evolution or Dying Without It, I realized that it would only take a few key people in positions of power to understand the warnings offered by Koratsky and bring about the needed changes in one or more countries so humanity would survive somewhere on the planet when the next great challenge to life arises.

On page one, Koratsky starts 13.7 billion years ago with the big bang then in a few pages ten billion years later, he introduces the reader to how certain bacteria discovered a new way to access the energy required to sustain an existence.

By the time we reach humanity’s first religion on page 157, we have discovered what caused so many species to die out and gained a better understanding of what survival of the fittest means.

To survive means adapting to environmental challenges no matter if they are delivered by the impact of a monster asteroid to the earth’s surface, global warming (no matter what the reason) or by competition with other cultures or animals competing for the earth’s resources.

In fact, competition is vital to the survival of a species for it is only through competition that a species will adapt to survive.

The book is divided into two parts.  The first 349 pages deals with where we have been and what we have learned, and the two hundred and eleven pages in Part Two deals with current ideas and policies from an evolutionary perspective.

I suspect that most devout Christians and Muslims would dismiss the warnings in this book out-of-hand since these people have invested their beliefs and the survival of humanity in books written millennia ago when humanity knew little to nothing about the laws of evolution and how important competition is to survival.

Koratsky is optimistic that the United States will eventually turn away from the political agenda of “Cultural Relativism” that has guided America since the 1960s toward total failure as a culture.

The popular term for “Cultural Relativism” in the US would be “Political Correctness”, which has spawned movements such as race-based quotas and entitlement programs that reward failure and punish success

Even America’s self-esteem movement is an example of “Cultural Relativism”, which encourages children to have fun and praises poor performance until it is impossible to recognize real success.

The current debate started by Amy Chua’s essay in The Wall Street Journal is another example of “Cultural Relativism” at work.

After reading Living with Evolution or Dying Without It, it is clear that Amy Chua’s Tiger Mother Methods of parenting are correct while the soft approach practiced by the average US parent is wrong and will lead to more failure than success.

Koratsky shows us that the key to survival for America is to severely curtail and eventually end most US entitlement programs. While “Cultural Relativism” is ending, competition that rewards merit at all levels of the culture (private and government) must be reinstituted.

He points out near the end of the book that this has been happening in China and is the reason for that country’s amazing growth and success the last thirty years.

In the 1980s, merit was reinstituted at the bottom and most who prosper in China today earned the right to be rewarded for success by being more competitive and adapting. Even China’s state owned industries were required to become profitable or perish.

The earth’s environment does not care about equality or the relativists’ belief that everyone has a right to happiness even if society must rob from the rich and give to the poor.

This book covers the evolution of the universe, the planet, all life on the planet including the reasons why most life that lived on the earth for hundreds of millions of years before humanity is now gone; the beginnings of the human species; religion in all of its costumes; the growth of civilizations and the competitions that led to the destruction and collapse of so many such as the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty two millennia ago.

The environment and evolution says that all life on the planet is not equal and no one is born with a guaranteed right to success, happiness and fun. To survive means earning the right through competition and adaption.

If you don’t believe Koratsky’s warning, go talk to the dinosaurs and ask them why they are gone.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Democracy, Deceit and Mob Rule

October 14, 2010

In 1999, I had no idea that I was about to begin a journey of discovery that would lead to China.

It all started when my wife said, “You might be interested in Robert Hart, an Irishman who went to China in 1854.  He worked for the emperor.”

Since my ancestors were Irish, I was curious.

I learned about Robert Hart through his letters and journals and more than a decade later, I’m still learning about China’s history and culture.

In 1999, I was a member of the ignorant democratic American mob in a country that was born as a republic in 1776 with slavery while women and children were considered chattel.

The slaves would be free eighty-nine years later after a bloody Civil War.  The women and children would have to wait longer for their freedom.

While writing about China, I learned that America’s Founding Fathers built a republic because they despised democracies with good reason. The following You Tube video offers an explanation.

Before 1999, like those Americans who have called me a “Panda Lover” and “Pro China”, I believed China was an evil place with a horrible dictatorship and everyone was brainwashed, miserable and Godless.

Little did I know that the Chinese were closer to heaven and God than most Christians and Muslims were, since these Western and Middle Eastern religions act as the intermediary telling people how to think, act, worship and who to kill when it comes time to convert the heathens and non-believers.

In 19th century America, racial prejudice was so strong that sayings like, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” were taken seriously. See: Counter Currents

Substitute “Chinese” for the word “Indian” and that was another slogan that led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

Many European immigrants to the Americas worked hard to make those slogans true.

Once finished with the North American natives, those people moved on to Hawaii, the Philippines, Japan and China where the killing continued.

See: An American Genocide

In 1999, I knew nothing about the 19th century Opium Wars where Western Imperial powers, including Americans, went to war with China so the West could sell opium to the Chinese people. 

After China lost the Opium Wars, the treaties also forced China to allow Christian missionaries to enter China and go wherever they wanted to save the savage even if it meant more death.

A once proud people with a long history were humbled and crushed as their two thousand year old civilization was torn apart by Western greed and religions.

Then I learned about the Taiping Rebellion fought by Chinese Christian converts. When that rebellion ended, another twenty million Chinese had been killed in the name of the West’s God.

There were also Muslim led rebellions where millions died following a prophet shouting the word of God.

Growing up, the Hollywood movies I watched about China supported the stereotypes. The men were either coolies pulling rickshaws, or owned a Chinese restaurant or laundry and the woman were all concubines or whores.

Thanks to Robert Hart, I learned that the stereotypes about China I was fed as a child were wrong.

I’ve learned that China is recovering its position (one held for more than two thousand years) as a world power.

At the same time, the West continues making the same mistakes that led to the collapse of the Roman Empire — the same mistakes that led to wars in Europe where Christians killed Christians and then Christians invaded the Middle East to fight with Islam where the West is still fighting.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


The Question of Religion (2/2)

August 13, 2010

Think of the violence and wars that religions have caused—the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, genocide against the Cathars (see video), the wars between Catholics and Protestants, and the persecution of Jews by both Muslims and Christians.

Then there are Islamic fundamentalists and the suffering and death caused by their religious beliefs.

Although most people in China are not religious, religions have caused uprising and wars in China too.

The Ming Dynasty (1368-1643) came about due to a rebellion against the Mongol Yuan Dynasty led by a religious sect known as the “Red Turbans” or “Red Scarves”, which included elements from “White Lotus”, a Buddhist sect from the late Southern Song Dynasty. Source: New World Encyclopedia

During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when the Manchu minority ruled China, there were a number of religious uprisings.

There was the White Lotus Rebellion (1796-1804) in the mountain region that separates Sichuan province from Hubei and Shaanxi provinces. The White Lotus was a secret religious society promising salvation to its followers similar to the Falun Gong today.

A Christian convert claiming to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ led the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) and more than 20 million died.

The Panthay Rebellion (1856-1873) was a separatist movement led by the Hui people and Chinese Muslims.

There was also the Dungan revolt (1862-1877), led by Muslims in China’s Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and Xinjiang provinces. Chinese historians and officials believed that Islam played a role in causing that uprising.

Maybe the reason China survived for thousands of years without collapsing as Western civilization did when Rome fell was the absence of a major religious movement in China stirring the peoples’ emotions.

Instead of listening to God from the mouths of Popes, prophets and priests, the Chinese had a blend of Confucianism and Taoism, which the family taught by example.

Return to The Question of Religion – Part 1

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China


Sinophobia and the Nation With the Soul of a Church

July 1, 2010

An old friend of mine once wrote in an e-mail that Communism was evil and if China didn’t do what America wanted, the US would spank them. That and his endless born-again preaching bruised about five decades of friendship. Now, we don’t communicate much.

The definition for Sinophobia is one who fears or dislikes China, its people or its culture—in other words, an ignorant, brainwashed bigot (my opinion).

This morning, I finished reading  An Exceptional Obsession by John Lee, which was published in The American Interest. On page 42, Lee wrote, “Above all, Chinese leaders are anxious about having to deal with a society so different from their own, and by different we don’t mean a superficial contrast between communism and capitalism.  China’s is a communal culture; America’s is individualist. China is rooted in its land longer and more deeply than any society on earth. America is an immigrant society and an unprecedentedly mobile one at that. China has never institutionalized the rule of law; America is fundamentally based on it. China has never experienced deistic religions; America, as Chesterton once said is “a nation with the soul of a church.”

Lee’s comparison reminded me of the few shallow Communist haters and Sinophobic people I’ve run into on the Internet, who live in this nation with the soul of a church. Occasionally, one crawls out of the woodpile on a thousand legs.

Discover Power Corrupts

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


The Millennium Cult

April 23, 2010

Religions, as Christians, Jews and Muslims practice them, have never played a “major” role in Chinese Culture and Politics. Even today, more than 800 million Chinese say they do not belong to any religion and the largest religion in China is Buddhism (about 10% of the population of China).  Even during Imperial times, most members of government did not belong to organized religions. The same is true today with the Communist government.

China’s struggle with pagan cults (like the White Lotus Society) reaches back almost a thousand years. The White Lotus Society appealed to poor Han Chinese peasants and more so to women, who found peace in worshiping the Eternal Mother. It was believed that this Eternal Mother would gather all her children at the millennium into one family.

The Eternal Mother

White Lotus Societies started out seeking tranquilly through a combination of Buddhism with some elements of Daoism (Taoism) and other native Chinese religions. Even in the 12th century, the Yuan Dynasty was distrustful of the Yellow Lotus Society, which didn’t fit comfortably with Confucianism and the five Great Relationships.

See A Visit from the Falun Gong

_________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China


Blaming the Jews—Again!

March 28, 2010

Hitler blamed the Jews and killed millions. Christians blame today’s Jews for the crucifixion that happened almost two thousand years ago. Many in Islam want to destroy them.

Now, the Mathaba News Network is doing it—blaming the Jews for the world’s financial crisis. Look at the headline Mathaba splashed across a page on their Website about “Currency Wars“, a best seller in China about the current world economic crises, and the picture they use. Both are biased and misleading . Are the writers and editors at Mathaba racists and anti-Semitic?

Cover for "Currency Wars"

“The book’s author, Song Hongbing, claims that behind world-changing events like the battle of Waterloo, Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, President Kennedy’s assassination, and the deep recession in Asia during the 1990s stood an intricate conspiracy aimed at increasing Jews’ wealth and influence.”  Huh—the Jewish people are responsible for Hitler’s rise to power?

Reading further, I discovered that the Rothschild family is mentioned as the prime villain. Since when does one Jewish family represent thirteen million people?

I’m not Jewish, but I have Jewish friends, who are not part of a global conspiracy to control the world’s currencies—two of my friends are teachers, another runs a non-profit, and a fourth is a designer, but according to Mathaba’s headline, they are guilty because they are Jews. Who owns Mathaba? Iran.

I’ll tell you the real reasons why “Currency Wars” is a bestseller in China. China hasn’t suffered from the economic crises, and they control their currency. The Chinese want to know how the “masters” did it and learn from their mistakes.

See Deep Family Roots

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.