Freedom of Religion:Necessary for Sanity. I believe from all the experiences in my life that people need to believe whatever they want to. Although this pertains to religion it also pertains to all parts of life. Without this basic freedom people are forced to "Live in Denial" which basically means that they have to secretly believe whatever they want to while formally professing something else. This also has been the reason most wars are fought. Freedom of Religion and fighting over natural resources are the two main causes of most wars fought since time began for humans and our ancestors.
Though China is a capitalist nation like the western world and could be called a Republic because only the higher up of the Communist Party can vote it is not by any stretch of the imagination a Democracy where people have rights like in the western world. In such a system there isn't really even a right to life itself for the common man. Although, to be fair there isn't a right to be alive if one is homeless in the United States either.
So, if one is not a rich communist in China then one has about the rights of a dog in America if one is a human being in China. I think that is about the best way to say it. For us in the western world this is horrifying. But there are other factors that must be looked at. China has had serious population problems for several thousand years and has developed systems that sort of work so that western standards would not solve the total problem there.
For example, I was in India in Bodhgaya and there were 500,000 people gathered for an initiation by the Dalai Lama there from all over the world. However, I noticed that country people were dying a lot while there because they either got sick from lack of sanitation around that many people or were run over by horsecarts, motorcycles or trucks or were mowed down by crowds of people trying to run to relieve themselves after the initiations that could last 4 hours or more at a time under the hot sun.
What I'm trying to get at is that English speaking people are taught to be respectful of others not only individually but in social situations where people wait their turns for things. This is not true at all of country people sometimes without any formal education at all. My 12 year old daughter almost died in a mad rush of people in Bodhgaya, India and only because I am big and tall was I able to save her life and putting her "downwind of the mad rush of people for the toilets. I learned my lesson that day of where not to ever be if you didn't want to die. I saved her by basically a football maneuver and facing the oncoming crowd with my shoulder so if they hit us they would definitely be injured. It was the only way I could save my daughter's life back in December 1985.
However, having to hide ones true beliefs about anything can only in the long one make that person a little odd and crazy. So being able to live where one can openly express ones beliefs without fear of murder or maiming is literally a gift from God and a living Grace in ones life.
I personally believe it is very important for world sanity that freedom of religion and democracy flourish so that all can believe what they want as long as that doesn't mean harming anyone else.
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