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

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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. 

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The Falun Gong Machine

June 25, 2010

When I attended the 6th Asian Heritage Street Celebration in San Francisco, I stopped at a booth for Shen Yun Performing Arts staffed with attractive, college age girls. My wife loves dance, and I thought she might be interested. I asked if this dance troop was part of a local college or university. The girl who handed me the brochure said yes. She lied to me.

6th Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration

That evening, when I arrived home, I handed the brochure to my wife, who said, “That is Falun Gong.” I’ve written about The Falun Gong and Costco, about A Visit from the Falun Gong, and the more I learn about this group, the more sinister they become.

Turning to the Internet and using Google, I learned that New Tang Dynasty Television, Shen Yun Performing Arts and The Epoch Times all appear to be part of Falun Gong. I also discovered that Falun Gong must buy lots of Internet AD words so Google searches lead to one of the gears in the Falun Gong machine.  In fact, I had trouble finding anything but Falun Gong propaganda and had to keep altering my search terms to get beyond the Falun Gong firewall.

In time, I discovered a piece published in the Buffalo News saying, “the promoters and creators of “Shen Yun,” who have picked up a reputation for misrepresentation and deception over the years, have adopted the questionable propagandist tactics of the very government they criticize in their productions.”

Digging further, the New York Times reported, “China’s decision to ban Falun Gong was made after 10,000 adherents staged a silent protest outside the gates of Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party’s leadership compound in Beijing, to complain about reports in the state-run media that the group said were defamatory. Security forces apparently had no advance knowledge of the demonstration, which took place on April 25, 1999. The Chinese government began treating the group as a threat to national security.”

How about visiting Belching About China

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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. 

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Asian Heritage is Universal

May 18, 2010

The 6th Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration took place in San Francisco on May 15, 2010.  There were Chinese, Thai, Tibetans, the Falun Gong hiding behind another name, a free Burma booth, and booths for Dragon Boat Races, and the Lion Dance.

I was there with President Margie Yee Webb of the Sacramento branch of the California Writers Club,  Frances Kakugawa,  and Teresa LeYung Ryan .   The CWC’s booth was in front of the San Francisco library.

Authors Frances Kakugawa and Teresa LyYung Ryan at the CWC booth

It is estimated that 100 thousand people attend this street celebration each year.

Many people stopped by our booth to talk about China and/or buy books. By noon, I went for a walk toward Little Saigon. Booths lined the street for blocks. It was obvious from what I saw that all of Asia’s cultures have been influenced by China one way or another.

Lion Dance booth

California Dragon Boat Races

The Chinese believe in lucky symbols and bamboo plays a part in that belief.  China was the super power in Asia for more than two thousand years. At one booth, I stopped to take a few photos of a Chinese band playing traditional Asian music.  All the instruments I’ve written about were there.

The silk trade started in China and there was a booth with a woman creating tapestries from silk thread.

Even the Glamour and Grace of Miss Chinatown USA was represented.

It was a long and rewarding day that went by too fast, but it was a harmonious day.

photo 005

Lloyd Lofthouse

When I was teaching, I attended an in-services where I learned that by the third generation, the children of most immigrants are assimilated by American culture.  If that is true, why is it that Asians, as an ethnic group, have the lowest incidence of STDs, the lowest incidence of drug use and the lowest incidence of teen pregnancy?   American Asians, including Chinese, tend to graduate from high school with higher GPAs and go on to complete college more than any ethnic group in America.

Why is this? The answer is simple, and I’ve talked about this before—the collective family culture with a strong belief in the importance of education and respect for teachers. The public schools where I taught for thirty years had a small percentage of Asian students. Most always earned high grades and were concerned about anything lower than an A. Even an A- minus would worry some. I seldom had behavior problems from the Asian students I taught.

Discover Chinese Yu Opera with Mao Wei-tao

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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The Falun Gong and Costco

April 25, 2010

Before going into the Orpheum Theater that night, I thought Falun Gong was a Christian sect. After all, there are more than forty Christian sects. But during the performance, I discovered that Falun Gong was not Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish. Falun Gong promoted individual peace and harmony through belief in several gods.

If you are curious, you may find a few members of Falun Gong outside the Chinese embassy in San Francisco. They are almost always there when we go to pick up visas before traveling to China. You may even see the pictures they have set up showing victims of torture. 

Falun Gong protesting outside Chinese embassy in San Francisco

A year later, while shopping at Costco, I discovered a table and display for a Chinese musical. The people at that table were dressed in Ming or Tang Dynasty costumes, and I was intrigued to say the least.

Then my wife whispered in my ear, “That’s Falun Gong.” I had no idea these costumed people were selling tickets to the same production we’d already seen at the Orpheum. I quickly left.

See “Controlling Opinions” http://wp.me/pN4pY-pe

 
 

 


The Alleged CIA – Falun Gong Connection

April 25, 2010

I cannot say that what Gao Fangpi said about the CIA supporting the Falun Gong was true.

However, take into account that in the 70s, the Dalai Lama admitted that the CIA funded his movement against China. So, why not fund the Falun Gong? After all, the CIA has supported Islamic militants in China’s northwest province and has supported the other Tibetan separatist groups (there are four). The CIA has a long and shady history of doing things like this in countries all over the world.

Orpheum Theater – San Francisco

My wife and I saw the Falun Gong Chinese New Year show at the Orpheum and were disgusted (that’s being polite).  What Gao Fangpi didn’t tell us was that the show heavily promoted Falun Gong. Nothing I read or heard over the years prepared me for the truth.

Instead, the Western mainstream media has often criticized China for not allowing the Falun Gong the religious freedoms enjoyed in the United States where freedom of religion is a fundamental right.

See ” What is the Truth about Tiananmen Square?

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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.

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Brain Washing on Stage is Not Dirty Dancing

April 24, 2010

Gao Fangpi brought a fellow member of the Falun Gong to our house a few days before a New Year’s show. While we were sitting around the kitchen table sipping tea, the two women pitched the benefits of their group in soft voices. It was obvious that they had been trained like an Amway salesman is, but not as flashy.  

My wife and I were invited to attend the Falun Gong show in San Francisco at the Orpheum Theater. The tickets were eighty dollars each. Putting on that show in that theater must have been costly and I suspect eighty dollar tickets would not raise enough to cover the expenses.  

 My wife asked Gao Fangpi where the money came from to pay for the show, since it was on tour to several cities in Western countries in North America and Europe. Gao Fangpi admitted that the CIA subsidized the show.

See Wearing China’s Shoes http://wp.me/pN4pY-1p

 


A Visit from the Falun Gong

April 24, 2010

In December 2007, two members of the Falun Gong visited our home. It’s one thing to hear about the Falun Gong in the Western media that China is discriminating and/or abusing them. It is another thing to meet members of the cult and drink tea with them at your kitchen table.

I’ve heard about the Falun Gong through the Western media for years but knew little about the cult except that they were a thorn in the throat of the Chinese government. In 2008, members or supporters of the Falun Gong may have fire bombed the entrance to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. The media mentioned it might have been Tibetan separatists. Who knows which group was responsible, since both are enemies of China’s government?

My wife knew someone who joined the Falun Gong years after they were friends. This friend also spent time in Chinese jails for her Falun Gong beliefs and activites. I’m going to call this friend Gao Fangpi (not her real name).  In 2007, Gao Fangpi was on tour with a Chinese group performing a musical to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

See The Millennium Cult

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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. 

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