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Thread: China is so strict on religion, but is that the best way to have control?

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    Contributor repoman's Avatar
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    China is so strict on religion, but is that the best way to have control?

    They don't have separation of church and state because the state dictates a very limited expression of religion.

    But if they let everyone join any wackadoo religion (the more the better) like they do in the US, would they not have people thinking about the next life and not concrete political problems?

    It seems to me that if religion were taken out the picture in the US that many people would become much more politically active. More focused on money and labor issues. Not all of this render unto to Caesar bullshit. Perhaps not all for what many consider the best.

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    Veteran Member phands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repoman View Post
    They don't have separation of church and state because the state dictates a very limited expression of religion.

    But if they let everyone join any wackadoo religion (the more the better) like they do in the US, would they not have people thinking about the next life and not concrete political problems?

    It seems to me that if religion were taken out the picture in the US that many people would become much more politically active. More focused on money and labor issues. Not all of this render unto to Caesar bullshit. Perhaps not all for what many consider the best.

    Let us hope we find out soon. The number of "nones" in the USA is rising steadily....around 26%, making them one of the largest voting blocs. There is, however, a worry that instead of becoming sane and atheist, they're going all "New Age" and similar bullshit.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” Terry Pratchett

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    You don't understand what China is actually saying here.

    The Chinese government doesn't care about your religion.

    What they do care about is any organization, religious or not, that doesn't consider itself subservient to the Chinese government.

    It's not that people are Christian, it's that they listen to the Pope rather than Beijing. It doesn't care that they are Muslim, it cares that they listen to Allah (and the Imams) rather than Beijing.

    Thus a bunch of competing whackadoodle religions doesn't help matters as far as Beijing is concerned.

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    Contributor repoman's Avatar
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    But having 3 major non domesticated religions (Buddhism and Taoism are generally broken in for China) with a lot of competing sects would mean that nothing can really get done against the government.

    The US has tons of religious sects and they spend a lot of time quibbling over minor details and don't worry about the government.

    But I guess that maybe the Chinese might not have so many sects that Europe and the US have even in the most favorable circumstances. So, larger unified denominations might be a stronger political force.

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    Quote Originally Posted by repoman View Post
    But having 3 major non domesticated religions (Buddhism and Taoism are generally broken in for China) with a lot of competing sects would mean that nothing can really get done against the government.

    The US has tons of religious sects and they spend a lot of time quibbling over minor details and don't worry about the government.

    But I guess that maybe the Chinese might not have so many sects that Europe and the US have even in the most favorable circumstances. So, larger unified denominations might be a stronger political force.
    China's not so much worried about a religion trying to overthrow the government as they don't want any competing sources of authority.

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    They tried to ban it and it did not work.

    Then they decided to regulate it. They, the govt, has appointed the next Tibetan Dali Lama.

    Like it or not religion fills a need for many. Regulation does not work, and people have a right of free association and thought and speech. I would oppose any kind of Chinese type control.

    The problem we have today is that the constitution is not explicit enough. There is the prohibition against enacting law to promote religion and a prohibition against religious test for public office. That is it.

    The 1st amendment simply says freedom of religion whichn gets what interpretation. On the other hand both freedom of speech and the press get wide interpretation.

    Freedom of speech is liberally interpreted to allow most any kind of movie, music, and literature to be published no matter how grotesque.

    We can not suppress religion and expect to keep wide freedoms elsewhere.

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