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Thursday, May 21, 2009

When the Christian Right praises Confucianism for pro-family...

When the Christian Right praises Confucianism for pro-family, this is what you should say to shut them up:
 
Confucianism proposes proper respect & responsibility between different members of the family, relations between the family & community, & between the community & rulers. It provides general guidelines but does not prescribe. Interestingly, bondage slavery and subservient status of women were also important aspects of Confucianism. These were what the 4 May Movement (五四运动) seeks to deconstruct. This was also the movement that leads to the various national movements in 20th century China.
 
And yes, Confucianism also glorifies ancestor worship as a key tenant, which is something, regrettably, not all Chinese follow these days. In Vietnam, even the atheistic Communists have accepted joss-sticks as a sign of respect for the long dead.

Confucianism was NOT the only important force in China. Taoism & Buddhism - both the most important religions of China - were as important as Confucianism in defining China. These 2 religions propose moderation, harmony and accept diversity in its full spectrum. Despite being among the earliest faiths and philosophies in the world - even more so than the monotheistic faiths originated in Middle East except Judaism - both faiths continue to evolve and perhaps this is why the more dogmatic monotheistic faiths have failed to make significant headway in traditionally tolerant & diverse China.
 

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