Why China needs a Chinese edition of CP&S

A Chinese university bans Christmas for being a kitsch Western holiday.

CP&S kitsch at Christmas? Never!

About GC

Poor sinner.
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36 Responses to Why China needs a Chinese edition of CP&S

  1. johnhenrycn says:

    “Wenzhou, a city in the wealthy eastern province of Zhejiang, has banned all Christmas activities in schools and kindergartens.”

    That is sad, but the irony outweighs the sadness. The same thing happened years ago in my corner of the world. Been there, done that. Wenzhou is only mimicking what we Westerners have already done to ourselves. What’s the Chinese equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot?

    I must say, the photo accompanying this post is a most moving one. Wish there were some men at the altar rail. I’m surprised they still have them in Wenzhou (altar rails, I mean). I’ve never knelt at an altar rail in my entire life, except in an Anglican church.

    My very dear mother-in-law (Anglican) and I got into a heated discussion today over the wine and canapés – her asking me what I thought of Pope Francis before saying how she thought he was the best pope ever in her lifetime. All I could say was that he is the Pope. Well, that’s not all I said, but that was my final word on His Holiness.

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  2. GC says:

    Interesting point. The bans in both Wenzhou and Ontario are the result of atheistic ideologies.

    This is quite an old photo, I’d say, JH, and from a rural region, probably quite remote.

    Previously at least, men and women would sit on different sides of the church. You’ll see the men in the background.

    Bān shítou zá zìjǐde jiǎo (lift stone crush own foot/feet).

    You’re welcome.

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  3. johnhenrycn says:

    You’re amazing, GC, linking a Chinese idiom equivalent to the English one for shooting oneself in the foot in less than 20 minutes after I posed the question. But as for the men in the background of your photo link, yes I see them – but why are they not at the altar rail, which has no sides? Happy Boxing Day, a commercial event more fervently observed over here than Christmas.

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  4. toadspittle says:

    No particular reason why it should be an altar rail. Looks like a regular pew to me. There are what look like seats in front, at the bottom right.
    And why do we presume they are Catholics – not, say – Evangelicals? (And what would it matter in the least?) Is there a caption?

    Sex segregation is the norm at Mass in my part of Spain; women up front, men down the back. teens (if any) in a bunch up in the choir.

    Sorry to hear all Christmas activities have been banned in schools and kindergartens in JH’s corner of Canada.
    No Santa? No holly? No prezzies? No pud and custard? Possibly thought to have become over-commercial, too fat-making, or what?

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  5. GC says:

    Ah, but you see, JH, I already knew how to say it.

    They are Catholics, Toad, in their village church in Xinghe, Shaanxi province, in China’s north-west.

    Happy new year, Toad.

    JH, not going to the first day of the test cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is always in Melbourne on Boxing Day?

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  6. johnhenrycn says:

    “JH, not going to the first day of the test cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is always in Melbourne on Boxing Day?

    GC, I understand what you mean by “JH” and “the” and “day” and “Melbourne”, but the rest of your last sentence is a complete mystery.

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  7. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad says: “No particular reason why it should be an altar rail. Looks like a regular pew to me. There are what look like seats in front, at the bottom right.”

    I don’t think you’re right, Toad, but you may be. I remember analyzing photographs of an alleged break and entry once that most obsevers thought showed a break and entry, but that I eventually convinced them was a set-up.

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  8. johnhenrycn says:

    …it involved a broken basement window, a scratched washing machine control panel and several torn paintings and (for my part) the better part of a bottle of Glenlivet consumed during the course of the night when I solved the mystery.

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  9. GC says:

    Excellent work, JH.

    Here, have a whole bunch of photos of things happening at Catholic churches and the like in China:

    http://www.spraguephoto.com/stock-photography/keywords/Religion+China

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  10. JabbaPapa says:

    the rest of your last sentence is a complete mystery

    Never seen a nominal sentence before ?

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  11. GC says:

    I somehow suspect, Jabba, that it is more the case that mentioning “cricket” might have offended JH’s North American sensibilities, or something like that.

    Anyway, in Australia they know Christmas has come when the third test is about to start in Melbourne (as it always does on Boxing Day). Australia 5/259 against India at stumps today.

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  12. kathleen says:

    Must be very hard to be a practicing Catholic in China! And no one seems to know the real number of Catholics either, due to the authorities’ hostility towards them, that many would call outright persecution.

    What credit would you give to the information in this link GC, that says Protestants in China are growing at a faster rate than Catholics?…

    http://www.ucanews.com/news/why-protestants-are-more-popular-than-catholics-in-china/70850

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  13. GC says:

    Dear kathleen, I’d say that article is fairly correct about the growth in protestant numbers in China, which is probably a result of the proliferation of house churches and “free-lance” or independent preachers and evangelists. These worry the party/government bigshots so much that some government-connected social scientists have recommended the government support to some degree the Catholic religion because of the centralised nature of authority in her traditional structures. So much more Chinese and appealing to the Marxist bosses!

    I was trying to find an earlier report on this, but cannot. But please read through this, published a year ago. Very good treatment of the current religious situation in China. China is NOT a secular state, but one in which religion is re-fashioned and regulated by the state!

    http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2013/10/04/the-communist-party-and-the-future-of-religion-in-china/

    We can also find echoes of the Party’s idea that religion is a menace in the tension between the state and “house churches,” a concern arguably fuelled by the expansion of Christianity, which is, by some accounts, currently the fastest growing religion in China. For many in the Party, unrest in the areas populated by Tibetans and Uyghurs, which is intertwined with state attempts to regulate the religious life of these populations, represents further “proof” that religion undermines stability. Certainly adding to the angst of the government is the fact that all of these religious movements are attracting sympathy, if not support, from outside the country.

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  14. kathleen says:

    Thank you so much GC. As JH said the other day – you are truly a wonder in your capability of unearthing all sorts of fascinating information. 🙂 I look forward to reading this link later… I am just off on my way to Holy Mass right now.

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  15. toadspittle says:

    “…some government-connected social scientists have recommended the government support to some degree the Catholic religion because of the centralised nature of authority in her traditional structures. So much more Chinese and appealing to the Marxist bosses!”

    Quite right, GC.
    For Big Brother, read Big God.

    Either way He’s watching your every move.

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  16. GC says:

    Well, dear Toad, I too have your sense of shock. But while the Chinese Marxists may see an important superficial resemblance, they probably missed a few important things.

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  17. johnhenrycn says:

    Karl Marx: the most malign political influence born in the 19th century.

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  18. johnhenrycn says:

    Did I say “political”? Please forgive that unnecessary adjective. I hope he’s not burning in hell, but if ever a man deserved to do so…

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  19. Tom Fisher says:

    Why would he deserve to burn in hell? His ponderous prose made my brain melt when I was forced to read him as a student. But that hardly seems damnable. His flawed analysis of Capitalism is still worth studying, his excellent journalism about the appalling conditions of the Victorian working class is still worth reading, his insights into the alienation of the wage worker are still valuable.

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  20. johnhenrycn says:

    Well, TF, Marx was a scuzzbag in his personal life, if nothing else. Paul Johnson, in his vignette of that damnable man tells us why. Marx was the life force behind the worst, most murderous totalitarian system in living memory. But that aside, many, many writers have spoken more eloquently about Victorian working class conditions than he ever did (that bloke Dickens is one who comes to mind), without being a hero of killers.

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  21. johnhenrycn says:

    Here’s one reviewer’s comment in response to Paul Johnson’s book, which I’ve linked above, about “intellectuals” like Marx and others:

    “Jean-Jacques Rousseau is adored by educational theorists and his ideas are entrenched in the curricula of teachers’ colleges, despite the fact that he serially abandoned every one of his children. Karl Marx was bourgeois to the core and seems to have exploited the only working-class woman he ever knew: paying her starvation wages, impregnating her and forcing her to abandon their child. Johnson lacerates the behaviour of these prominent figures but more importantly shows how their shabby personal values foreshadow the social harm their works engendered.”

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  22. Tom Fisher says:

    Marx can’t be held responsible for killers regarding him as a hero. It would — for example — be entirely backward thinking to blame Thomas Jefferson for being admired by George W. Bush.

    As to the totalitarian regimes — Marx was perfectly clear in his belief that a proletarian revolution would be a disaster if it occurred in an objectively impoverished country (such as Russia) or if it was limited to a single isolated nation. In Marx’s (demonstrably correct) judgement the result such events would be economic, political, and social disaster. So I son’t blame Marx for the outcome of revolutions he would never have supported.

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  23. johnhenrycn says:

    “So I don’t blame Marx for the outcome of revolutions he would never have supported.”

    Tom Fisher: which revolution(s) would he have supported? This should be fun.

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  24. johnhenrycn says:

    As for the ideology known as Marxism, please forgive all the CAPITAL letters and BOLD print in this link, which are more in keeping with the style of another commenter on this blog than mine.

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  25. Tom Fisher says:

    Tom Fisher: which revolution(s) would he have supported? This should be fun.

    That’s rather an odd question. It’s manifestly obvious (and it exposes a rather glaring flaw in his system!), that no revolution in the form predicted by Marx has ever occurred. — Surely you know this? — If I were to rework your question and frame it as “what part of the world did he think was most ripe for revolution?” — the answer is England. As he said himself.

    I’m happy to accept that Marx was profoundly wrong in his historical predictions — I utterly reject the notion that he is morally responsible for his work being used against itself in the twentieth century. Nothing could be less Marxist than Stalinism –the two are antithetical — whatever Stalin’s propaganda (and the American right’s) claimed

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  26. johnhenrycn says:

    “…no revolution in the form predicted by Marx has ever occurred. — Surely you know this?”

    No, I didn’t know that! Thanks for the heads up. Oh well, until we have a truly Marxist revolution, which you say has yet to occur, I suppose we can gain some small comfort knowing that, unlike the revolution predicted by Marx, the revolution brought about by Christ already has. I wonder though if the truly Marxist revolution you allude to will precede or be contemporaneous with the Second Coming?

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  27. Tom Fisher says:

    No idea when JH! — Though as a non-Marxist I tend to think the Marxist revolution will come a little after the freezing over of hell. Speaking of which, I’m still completely in the dark as to why you think he deserves to be there. Although, as you rightly say his personal life left much to be desired. A government agent who visited his (squalid) London flat was appalled to find him asleep on his couch at 2 pm. — Doubtless he was wearing a grubby Che Guevara t-shirt.

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  28. johnhenrycn says:

    Tom Fisher: btw, did you formerly go by the name of “Jerry”, which I ask because I’ve seen another commenter here from a year or so ago with your avatar who went by the name “Jerry” – “Tom and Jerry” – don’t you know? I was meaning to ask something more profound, but it escapes me now…

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  29. Tom Fisher says:

    No, I didn’t know that! Thanks for the heads up.

    Happy to put your mind at ease. If a fully industrialised country at the most advanced stage of capitalism becomes the birth place of an international workers revolution I’ll be sure to let you know. Let’s not hold our breath.

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  30. Tom Fisher says:

    Yes! Though Tom Fisher is just Thomas More + John Fisher. — Nothing to do with Tom & Jerry 🙂

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  31. toadspittle says:

    ” I hope (Marx) he’s not burning in hell, but if ever a man deserved to do so…”

    …Along with the legion who fail the JH Canadian Catholic Morality Test. (including Wittgenstein, I seem to recall – and was it Russell?)
    Still we are indebted to JH for pointing out the shortcomings of the reprobates.
    And cutting them down to size.
    His size.

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  32. toadspittle says:

    Re: Caths and Commies, GC, I’ve long nursed a suspicion that either form of totalitarianism is inimical.
    Under both, what is not banned is compulsory.
    I much prefer plurality – to make life less intolerable, we need masses of Mormons and Muslims and Methodists and Muggletonians – as well as Atheists and Agnostics – all getting along happily.
    Well, it is possible.
    The Great Voltaire (Very wicked man, says JH no doubt – had a mistress, you know) once said he considered England vastly more civilised than France, because France had 60 sauces and only one religion, whereas England had 60 religions and only one sauce.
    …Nice to have both, though.

    JH: The Canadian Inquisition. Although, Tom Fisher, if sleeping on the sofa at 2 pm merits eternal damnation (and it probably does) – I, for one, am done for. Along with Dagwood.

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  33. Tom Fisher says:

    …Along with the legion who fail the JH Canadian Catholic Morality Test. (including Wittgenstein, I seem to recall – and was it Russell?)

    Take deep and calming breaths Toad, try to picture something peaceful, like Wittgenstein passing over Russell’s teapot in silence.

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  34. Brother Burrito says:

    Catholicism is not totalitarian, it is totally voluntary. Conversion to it is only by the sword

    of Truth.

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  35. toadspittle says:

    “Catholicism is not totalitarian, it is totally voluntary.”
    Well, that’s a matter of opinion, Burro.
    Nobody asked me, for a start.
    (No, I know that’s not the point. Just kidding.)

    “Conversion to it is only by the sword.”
    Isn’t there some negative missing from that sentence – or are you just being ironic, and I naive?
    Perhaps to call, for example, Ireland in the 50’sand 60’s “totalitarian,” is a bit of a stretch.
    But I’ve met a lot of people who fled from there, to England or The States, because it was so repressive, anti-progress, illiberal, priest-ridden, and vicious.
    Franco’s National Catholic Spain certainly was totalitarian, I believe.
    Some will disagree.

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  36. toadspittle says:

    Belay the second bit.
    I’ve just spotted the words… “of truth.” Didn’t scroll down far enough. Now it makes sense.
    Of a sort.
    I wonder if the Moors and Jews of Spain would agree.
    …The hell with them, anyway

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