But the issue of organ donation and managing this which saves people like innocent children and Dick Cheney is not such a simple thing anywhere. The idea of not colonizing space and encouraging organ transplantation and retiring at 90% of one’s salary at fifty to live as long as possible is all part of the Vampirization of American society and the world. I think that the United States and other countries should compensate those who are condemned to die and care for their bodies well and still profit by selling their organs. But China does not think that, the families are expected to lose the condemned, the organs and often pay for the execution. I think that when there are likely deaths organs should be prepared to be harvested and some of the proceeds of all this should be devoted to policing the industry. However, I might be much happier in a world where there was no organ transplantation. Many people think organs last for natural life in the recipient. They do not in the case of vital organ many peoples organs are taken from not entirely dead people and given to the same sick people over and over again. The medical doctors of the world are leading an industry which is near serial killing at its best. However, The use of swapped cadaver organs for living and at that moment murdered donors, organ pirates, bribed record keepers and others thugs are vastly more numerous than anyone can imagine given the delusions we live in now. But China nonetheless has an open industry of organ marketing of the condemned. But let us not confuse cultural differences with realities. Consider this account of organ transplantation not by a critic and contrast it with what many expect to be true. You can find the source here if it is not taken down.
“My mom had a different experience with each of her organs. Her first liver transplant (she was #212 at her transplant center) gave her nine months, her second transplant gave her five years, and her third transplant gave her almost six years. When I look at my mom’s experience, I am so grateful for those extra-special years and the people who made it possible.”
I take children in my care to hospitals and doctors and many of my closest associates and family members are in allied fields to medicine. In China I tried to discuss the One Child Policy intelligently and am glad they have moved it to two. But there are many other insults to the rights to life there and elsewhere and I will not be reduced to an overly simple view of the situation. But while the medical policies of various nations may challenge us in various ways depending on who we are we must address the large and social issues like a nation that is deeply invested already.
Communist China executes a lot of people and it is committed to making money selling their organs. That is a huge industry. That is one fact which along with forced abortion is used to single out China as a place with little respect for Human life. I do not argue that there is not a need for more positive and creative reflection on the value of human life in China. I simply argue that the truth is complicated and demands a great deal of attention to fully grasp.
People from America who have family or friends who fought in Vietnam and Korea are rightly unwilling to overlook the evils of Asian Communism. In addition they may forget the role Chinese Communists played in our favor during World War Two because of the important relationship we had with the Kuo Min Tang (KMT) or Nationalist faction which represented the last government of the old republic and the founding government of Taiwan. However, unlike Russia and Cuba, China is a major trading partner and we interact with China in many ways and at many times during every year and do so at many private and public levels. This requires a more extensive and open dialog with China and Chinese ideas We do face common environmental, law enforcement, trade and security issues. Among other things China has a loyal and valuable Muslim population as well as constant conflict with anti-government Islamist who fall into a variety of categories. China has also been able to support many UN operations against chaos caused by worldwide Islamist militancy and other factors.
China is evacuating many of its thousands of civilians in Iraq right now and is not unaffected by anything that stops or hinder world trade. Chinese companies are hugely active in Africa, developing ties in place like Greece and are supported by social and military pressure in the countries around China itself. This is the main not very communist force of China in the world. The only countries with networks of global connections which come close to China’s in the region Japan Taiwan and South Korea. But the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand all have vast global connections. This region rivals all others for worldwide connections. That is why we must continue to be there and we must deal with a China that will continue to be there.
We also share with China and several other nations in the region a sense of the challenges of preserving national sovereignty in an evolving world order. As partners must learn to express national values honestly and also in forming the international order protect the values of subsidiarity in our politics, design, resource management and economics. There must be an effort to understand how life works and take those lessons seriously. This will include a whole host of Chinese values despite their openness to change. Our host of essential concerns includes issues known in terms as diverse as States Rights, Faith Based Communities, Community Policing, Professional Autonomy, Family Rights and many other causes which do not work together day in and day out in the world.
Of course the US and the Philippines have issues to work out and may perhaps be able to move to restoring bases in that country. I would be in favor of such a development and the reason must be in part to balance China’s growing military strength. But I believe it would be a very costly mistake to build up too much rhetoric and animosity as the strengthening of US -Philippine relations can lead to a more balanced and prosperous region with risks involved instead of a more constantly insecure region, I do believe America needs to map a new way forward not repeating where things were when the bases were removed. America will have the issue of Muslim citizens and Islamist terrorists to deal with in the Philippines. That is an issue which has shaped US experience there for decades.
Likewise there are changes American society could make which would make Japan feel more secure and in fact be more secure that are not directly about China. Our current relationship with Japan is dysfunctional in my view. We can do a great deal to strengthen both countries simply by addressing social issues in the United States and the way those social issues affect Japan.
Taiwan and Korea are in a different category. Here America must assist these countries in their own relationships with China and the DPRK. Resources and personnel at many levels must be committed to transforming the relationships of these countries to China continuously as the situation evolves. Supplying arms and using international leverage to preserve the political status quo should be continued but to the degree that Communist China is a threat these countries must operate to create responsible non Communist organs in China and to help and pressure the party to evolve in productive ways. That may well include seeking power sharing with the KMT and other parties in a formal way over time in Provincial governments.
America is perhaps in a great crisis or perhaps not and little of it has to do only or even primarily with the Communist leadership of the DPRK, Vietnam and China. Not that we should presume all is going to be well. It is simply the case that unlike the Cuban missile crisis our relationships with leaders who happen to be Asian Communists are far more complex. I believe that the US is still Vietnam’s principle trading partner before China. We have an enormous trade relationship with China and many other connections as well. The DPRK is the big exception where almost all of our relationship is hostile. The DPRK is certainly dominated by the Communist Party. However, racial ideology, nationalism and the struggle for a way to balance its role as a blocker for the Russians and the Chinese dominate DPRK politics probably more than their connection to the other two Communist powers. It may be that our relationship to North Korea is on its way to trying to become the complete sack of crap it has long been trying to become for a long time. If that is where it is headed then there is no way to advise anyone on how to get there. However, if it wants to end up somewhere else we need to really to change our views and understandings as regards the facts and conditions which enable and demand the current DPRK leadership. I also believe we need to address our own concepts of leadership for ourselves. For that purpose I refer anyone to my Model Constitution of the United States of America which is in this blog. One reality that is hard to explain to some people is that being an American abroad is often a full-time job and when one is in a high profile position (regardless of the scale of that position on the national or world scene) that is even more true.
We must look at the Asian Communists with the same eyes that we look at the three well-educated, Christian Capitalist Senators in the Philippines being tried for offenses related to billions of pesos in soul killing corruption of their nation;s treasure. We must consider Shinzo Abe and the Japanese who seek to honor the dead and the honor of their Empire but also may fall pray to an even more corrupt bushido code than the one denounced after World War II. We must evaluate Singapore’s enlightened tolerant and capitalist totalitarianism. All these people’s and nations are in at least some pain in the struggle to pass on a worthy future to their children. Christians see dangers in each of these paths. American can analyze them in her own interest. But we must also find our own path into the future and be committed to making it successful. What evolution, the idea of original sin, reincarnation, eugenics and quite a few other theories about the proper living out of humanity have in common is the idea that we pass on something different to the future based on our actions. Humans may not agree on what the mechanism for passing things on is, nor what ought to be passed on, nor how that which is passed on relates to present behavior. But in many different ways and at many different levels of intensity we remind ourselves and are reminded by those we put in charge of our most serious thinking that we are changing the present of future generations by how we live out our own present here and now.
One other fact, not true of the NPA in the Philippines is that while Communists in China have persecuted Christians and Western business over the decades since their party was founded in some ways Communism and its underlying Marxist dialectic were means of creating a social order closer to that of the Christian free market West than many elements of traditional North East Asian society. As Chinese and also Southeast Asian Vietnamese Communists seek to evolve and lead their countries forward they are challenged to integrate communism both into the global marketplace and into their own national traditions. This is different than Communism in Russia, Cuba and France where Christianity and Western ideas of the free market were much more clearly the focus of the Party’s enmity for a much longer period of its history. The Chinese also did not execute the whole royal family in a basement and throw them into a hole in the woods as Russian Communists did. The truth is that Chinese Communists have a different relationship to our most important symbols from the start. But none of this can be used to deny the vast destruction and human slaughter that created the new China from the old.
Son of communist leader and veteran of glories and purges with the “Xi Zhongxun” attached to him for good or ill, Xi Jinping definitely rose rather than sank through the ranks politically in China’s coastal provinces. But although he is a hard-liner in some ways he has been affected by the suffering of his father in his own political and party career which was significant and to which we may return. Chinese politics is not a simple thing and the tension between goals and methods is great and manifests in different people in different ways.
Xi held the office of Governor of Fujian between 1999 and 2002, then was Governor and CPC party chief of the neighboring Zhejiang between 2002 and 2007.Like Li Keqiang he was a big deal when I was in China but had no authority over the region or province where I lived.
Xi was transferred to Shanghai as the party secretary for a brief period in 2007 following the dismissal of Chen Liangyu . Xi was promoted to the Politburo Standing Committee and Central Secretariat in October 2007 and groomed to succeed Hu Jintao whose leadership of the PRC I did know first hand. I do not know any extemely high level Chinese officials personally.
Xi is now the leader of the People’s Republic’s fifth generation of leadership and while he accepts the mature and developed version of Communism he also seems to have a vision of returning to its founding values. This is probably not always a cause for celebration in America and we can take it into account. But XI accepts the importance of US relations to some degree. And we should be able to respect what he is doing that is good and important as he has called for a renewed campaign against corruption. However, Xi is also no exact Maoist ideologue at all. He has a heart for the masses and the party but has demanded continued market economic reforms and capitalist techniques of economic growth like recent leaders — bringing them to new places. Like one of his mentors Wen Jiabao he has been more eager than most to seek an open approach to governance. Perhaps his greatest overture to reaching out for American values is a plan for comprehensive national renewal under the neologism “Chinese Dream”.
Macao is a tiny place which has lots of Catholicism and gambling in China. But the Philippines has more of each. Although I did have ties to Macao when I went to China my real entry had been made long ago through the life I lived in the Philippines. Our family arrived in the Philippines at Christmas time in 1981 and we stayed in Manila during that time period. We stayed with the daughter of Claudio Tee Han Kee who was then the Chief Justice of the Philippines Supreme Court. She was married to an entrepreneur who had studied in the United States. We took a vessel through the Visayas Sea to Cagayan de Oro and there we caught a bus fro a nerve-wracking twelve hour bus ride into the mountains to Malaybalay, Bukidnon on the Island of Mindanao. By the time I left there years later for the last time (as of this writing) it was about a one and a half hour ride.
In the Philippines I worked in college ministry in various places, jail ministry across the street from my house and studied Visayan. I also went through a full research analysis of the Alagad Program of lay leadership training for the prefecture of Malaybalay. I read all of Henri Danile Rops multivolume History of the Church of Christ. I took my sisters back and forth from Malaybalay to the Nancy Knobloch School at Nazuli nearby to study in English with Americans. I organized and ran a Youth Conference and Completed the Basic Scripture Ventures Course at the East Asian Pastoral Institute at the Ateneo de Manila. While there I had countless discussions about other Asian countries, about China and Communism and the future of the Philippines. The New People’s Army in the Philippines and the handful other serious militant or political Communist groups throughout the region have both a historic and a geopolitical significance to many Americans which is very clear. When I came back from China a few people openly stated that I must be a Communist. I am assuredly not but being who I am and having the opinion I have of the judgement being exercised by those speaking — I did not deny it emphatically. I had a rather complex relationship with all parts of Filipino society and there is no use trying to make it more simple now. When Communist guerillas were arrested or suspected Communist guerillas were detained and brought to the police station across the street from our home I used to bring them and all the other prisoners soap and individual fruit on occasion. Some of my close friends in the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines movement were trying very hard to be Christians and Marxists. It is also true that I was funded in my personal ministry to some degree by a handful of wealthy relatively right wing aloof people who understood my goals and views of Catholic Social teaching and my most common introductory speech “Jesus and Social Justice”. In addition to all of that much of my contact was with the broad middle class from precarious to well-off that formed the bulk of my parents friends and ministries. When I was in China I did mention to some people that I had brought aid to some captured Communist rebels decades earlier. The truth is also that I spoke on their behalf to some people in the government. But people I knew killed Communists I had tried to build a rapport with and people I counted as almost being friends were killed by New People’s Army related squads. It was a tough time for many people. I do not share the hated of all Communists that many people on the right have. In China I was willing to show respect for the good achievements of the Communist Party of China despite the fact that some funds from that party had probably contributed to killing some people I had once known and cared about. Such is life, my life has always been complicated.
My brother Simon Peter was born in the midst of my busy life of youth and jail and college ministry in the Philippines and that marked a break in that period and also my regular concern about Asian Communists of any kind. The next time I would really be involved with these people in any significant way was in China. There I would see all sorts of things good and bad in the female majority institution where I taught. Some of these achievements of the Chinese government were very impressive. But the Party and the government not only engaged in some oppressive practices and such but otherwise failed to protect people from many threats while sometimes allocating resources against dissidents. It was in that environment that I tried to act in the interests of my students and friends, to be true to myself and also to encourage responsible dialog. But there was much to admire in China.
President Obama has written of his life in his books. I appear in two of my mother’s memoirs. But the truth is that all of us remember challenges of youth and childhood which shaped us. Perhaps Kim Jung Un in North Korea had the most favored life of any world Communist leader and yet there was no doubt about there being real risks throughout his life. Xi Jinping did not grow up as the Communist prince that Kim Jung Un was. When Xi was 10, his father was purged and sent to work in a factory in Luoyang, Henan. Thus he moved from privilege to suspicion. In May 1966, when I was two years old Xi’s secondary education was cut short by the Cultural Revolution, when all secondary classes were halted for students to criticize and fight their teachers. I have seen the way that time is remembered in China and I compare it to Obama’s own search for identity and my conflicts with various schools over time. Xi was 15 when his father was jailed in 1968 during the Cultural Revolution.
Without the protection of his father, Xi went to work in Yanchuan County, Shaanxi, in 1969 in Mao Zedong’s Down to the Countryside Movement. He later became the Party branch secretary of the production team. When he left in 1975, he was only 22 years old. Xi has expressed disillusion about this period of his life. But I think it has made him a very serious man.
From 1975 to 1979 while I wandered several continents and hemispheres with my family, Xi Jinping studied chemical engineering at Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University as a “Worker, Peasant, PLA” student (gongnongbing xuesheng). All college students in Chinese universities receive some military training. They do not start off complete soldiers but they are not pure civilians in the universities either. I thought the system where I taught was rather impressive. It has been written that because of the Cultural Revolution in 1975, education was more political and practical than professional, and Tsinghua University a decent university that could and did convey an education education, but was not as good as he would have received prior to, much less after, the Cultural Revolution. That revolutionary ferment does not seem so distant from me. Chinese money and monitors found their way to the Philippines in the early eighties who were formed by those same forces.
I did remember in those days our coming back from the Philippines with Simon. He was diagnosed with Prader-Wili Syndrome. Our first leaving of Asia for North America was not an easy transition. We returned to the United States where he received therapy and diagnosis. I founded a group called the Brotherhood of the Cross and worked with it till a conflict in the late summer. I did a semester of study at the University of Southwestern Louisiana from which I would graduate and which is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. There I did well and my good performance locked in advanced credits so that I was a sophomore after my first semester was completed. I also met a number of Asians who were from Communist countries and of varied political persuasions and degrees of openness and who also spoke with other Asian students about their countries which were not Communist and which they had never visited. It was a different experience than the Philippines had been.
I returned to the Philippines with my family. There my brother Joseph was born and as my visa was expiring I made a choice to come home shortly afterwards. I lived with my paternal grandparents for the summer and went up to Steubenville, there I corresponded with my family but not so much with the Philippines otherwise although I did meet and get to know some Filipinos there none of them were my closest friends. My Uncle Jim and Aunt Kathy went with me on my first trip up to Franciscan University of Steubenville, they had no children at the time and I had stopped to visit them in Virginia on the way up . I would visit them at home on short holiday breaks in Virginia later on as well. I was a (and now am an alumni) member of Ahim Adonai Household and won the Sophomore Class Award for 1985. One was awarded to a male and one to a female student.
While there in the midst of my studies I had many contacts with the Philippines and I certainly missed my family as well. I returned to the Philippines to visit my family over the summer and then returned to Steubenville but dropped out in the next year and returned to work in Louisiana. It was there that my parents were coming back with my family and ending there permanent connection to and life in the Philippines.
From 1979 to 1982, while I was mostly in the Philippines, the current leader of the People’s Republic of China Chairman Xi served as secretary for his father’s former subordinate Geng Biao, who was in those years China’s vice premier and Secretary-General of the Central Military Commission. For all I know XI may have been briefed on Chinese secret relations with the NPA in the Philippines. Certainly in these years Xi Jinping developed some military background which exceeds the exposure Obama had by a vast margin. Clinton, Reagan and W. Bush — it is to be recalled were all Commander in Chief for their states as Governor. During World War II from June 21, 1940 when Lyndon Baines Johnson was appointed Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve (USNR) and through t the time when he reported for active duty on December 10, 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor LBJ was a real military man. He gained administrative experience in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D. C., Where after being instructed and trained in his duties he worked on production and manpower problems that were slowing the production of ships and planes. While he may not have gained the knowledge of a George H. W. Bush, an Esienhower or even a ship commanding Kennedy he surely learned a lot as he traveled in Texas, California, and Washington. His duties included assessing labor needs in war production plants. In May 1942, LBJ known for civilian political savvy proceeded to Headquarters, Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California, where he began his tour of combat theater service with inspection duty in the Pacific. Stationed in New Zealand and Australia, the man famed for Congressional skills participated as an observer on dangerous bomber missions in the South Pacific. He was awarded the Army Silver Star Medal by General Douglas MacArthur. Our current commander in chief has little comparable experience.
I cannot say I have military experience either. This essay simply maps some comparisons. I did apply to the CIA and I have an “uncle of cousin” who pays my subscription to Military History. but for all my experiences around the world I an still very much an outsider.
I mentioned in my last post of this series that Obama had spent some time in his youth in what I call Greater Malaya while I was in the Philippines during my stay their he was in Indonesia. But Obama had little experience of China or other Asian nations outside Malaya. On the other hand in 1985, travelling thousands of miles as part of a Chinese delegation to study American agriculture, Xi Jinping visited the town of Muscatine, Iowa. Farming is the most important industry in China. When I got back from many trips and ventures after settling in from Micronesia I had my one small chance to be a real player in Agriculture at a small level. I came back and Dad transferred a very small farm to me called the Rock-a-Bye Tract One which I improved a good bit and later returned to him. The words buy and sell could be used but these family transactions are not the same as ordinary purchases really. However this little farm was only part of my larger experience on the larger family farm. I have also worked on a wide variety of farms, sold food as mentioned in an earlier post and still am dealing with plants today. But I did not make a full-time job nor a living out of the farm. In many ways like so much of my life it was a pretty hellish experience overall. I worked with this farm and did other things too: I distributed my mother’s memoirs Go! You are Sent around the country and the world along with other tasks. In the summer of 2000 I went alone on a long train trip. My mother met me at the end of it. I had business in Virginia and Alabama but also went to New Haven to watch Jason graduate, treat Sarah to a birthday celebration and bond with Alyse and Anika.
On return in August of 2000 I began work as a substitute teacher for the Vermilion Parish School Board and continued to do the work on my farm and business doing this. While I was subbing my sister Susanna married Mike and at this writing they have Michael, Anthony, Dominic, Thomas and Marisa . Susanna’s wedding was held in Mexico out of our family home and mission base once part of the palace of the Marquess de Aglaya to which I had then and later would make many short trips. Mary would marry Chris and they have Eli, James, Cecilia and Naomi. Sarah and Jason moved back and forth to Europe had a wonderful son named Soren and got divorced. In 2001 I got a job as a sportswriter. I had written for newspapers in and around my college years but had drifted out of all of this. Now my career began with the 9-11 attacks and in my first game story I wrote of the courage, grief and patriotism of students at the game and the Marines carrying the flag at the game. I now kept up teaching, writing and continued the other things I was doing.The school system and other parts of my life were battered by a series of storms less famous than Katrina and Rita’s joint devastation years later.
I have taken time to detail my own life in all its nonexpert ragged edges. Because all of it forms my point of view. All of this is relevant because in some ways Xi is far more of a straight up Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Communist than several of his recent predecessors. But it is important to remember the other sides of his life including his trip to America which he has acknowledged with respect. I have quite a bit of very capitalist and free enterprise experience. But there are many things in Xi’s life that I can relate to very well. He is a man groomed for his position for many years and yet part of a large and free-flowing struggle and enterprise as well. But both his life and President Obama’s life contrast dramatically with mine.
As a result of his Beijing upbringing, Xi is the first leader of the Chinese Communist Party to speak Mandarin in a way which the very language conscious intellectual elite and the Beijing educated population would describe as clearly spoken and without any provincial accent. Accents are an important matter. Napoleon spoke French with a noted Italian-Corsican accent. Hitler spoke German with an Austrian accent. Stalin had a Georgian accent. It is also true that many English and British Kings and Queens have had foreign accents. But I wonder to what degree Obama’s Midwest meets Ivy League accent has opened doors for him that might have been closed because of his father’s background, his race and his political background.
When I was teaching in China there was, as I have mentioned before, a female majority in the Shandong Institute of Business and Technology. I had no doubts that this was an important place for me to spend my time. While I had a lot of male contact and leaders in my work in the Philippines and elsewhere I was also involved with women in active roles in all those previous experiences. I am not sure what to say about my relationship with feminism. Sometimes I have been very active in promoting the prestige and participation of women but I have always valued manliness and the nature and role of men as well. Men have a great deal of manning up to do if we are going to survive. However, this is the kind of manning up which acknowledges and does not destroy womanhood. There has been a long tradition of bad sexual behavior among people in my view. I do believe it is possible for something to be long-lasting and widespread as well as deeply wrong.
But my own views about women are rooted largely in my views toward and understanding of my family members. It was from this point of view that I was aware of situations I dealt with in China. Long after the Philippine but in the years just before I went to China female family members played a powerful role in my life. I was staying in Abbeville with my paternal grandmother and my family came back from the Federated States of Micronesia where we had all been in Chuuk together. I had been spending some time together with my only sister who had not made the journey. Sarah was married had a daughter named Alyse and had graduated with a top ranking and perfect grade point average from LSU. She was giving birth to her second daughter Anika at about that time. I became Anika’s godfather. The role of parrain is very important to me and to some others around me. The rest of my family came back after my mother had come back to be with Sarah and the children and her husband.
We all moved into a tiny house (for us a very crowded one) near the railroad tracks in Abbeville. Mom and Dad began building a large home on the smaller farm called the Big Woods Farm which was part of a larger feature called Big Woods and which had been part of my Dad’s large family farm when I was growing up. This would be a long process it seemed with my mother shopping for bargains on materials and her brother Bruce working as the contractor as well as one of the hands on carpenters.
My sister Susanna had taken off some time after high school to do missions and now she began college at Franciscan University of Steubenville where I had won the Sophomore Class Award. My godchild and sister Mary Magdalene finished up her high school career at Vermilion Catholic High School. Which is on the same large campus as Mount Carmel Elementary School in Abbeville. By Christmas of their first year’s in these places we had moved into the Big Woods home. At Big Woods my parents founded Family Missions Company which carried on much of the legacy of our family’s earlier mission work in a variety of forms. This work goes on as of this writing. I have played a variety of minor roles but never been a real part of the company.
My sister Sarah and her first husband and the father of her first three children had some real marital problems while they were living together in a community our family had long relationships with in Georgia. I went and stayed with them for a while and brought Sarah and her kids back for our second Christmas at Big Woods (I think the second). But she and Jason reconciled and he took a more purposeful path at Yale.
I went with my mother, brother John Paul and others on a pilgrimage to Grand Pre in Acadie Canada. We traveled to Domino Farms in Michigan to visit Susanna at FUS, Niagara falls, to historical sites in Boston, to the Shrine of the First North American Martyrs, and to visit my sister Sarah who was working at Yale’s Project on Nonprofit Organizations (PONPO) while her hubbie Jason was studying at Yale Divinity School. We had met up with her and her daughters at Niagara Falls and vacationed there. Some of the stops I mention were made on the way back but our trip’s high point for me was the sacred and powerful time in Acadie. The sense of union with my Acadian heritage was very meaningful to me.
All of this experience and my failed but relatively long marriage had formed my view of interacting with women beyond where it was in the Philippines. Of course the continuing papacy of John Paul II also influenced my views of women and sexuality with his Theology of the Body and other efforts to address ancient misunderstandings and errors. I have long had my own spiritual perspective on sex and the sexes and I will run over a bit of it here.I believe that to know woman one must first renounce that kind of asexual androgyny which has had a great deal of credence and influence in the world of my lifetime. Men and women are profoundly different and that difference is vital, useful and profoundly energizing in a decent and healthy society.
There are many layers of sexual exchange and perception between men and women. The Bible is one of the sources for wisdom and the perception of ages regarding the relations of men and women. In the iconic story of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis in the Bible Adam is the first man and his words upon seeing the first woman are memorable. As Genesis 2: 22b-25 states:” When he brought her to the man the man said.”This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh;This one shall be called “woman” for out of “her man” this one has bee taken.”That is why a man leaves his mother an father and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.The man and his wife were naked but they felt no shame.”
The extreme intimacy of the passage is in comparison to the animals with whom Adam cannot marry or form an intimate partnership. But it remains a very intimate passage. There is almost nothing that has been more under sustained attack for millenia than this excited, intimate and personal recognition by man of his mate in women. Real moral science is a very demanding and elegant pursuit and thus is more often abandoned than pursued. However, real moral science must always take a careful measure of relations between the sexes.
I think it deserves to be said in this context that I believe in a moral struggle as a desirable thing. I find that those who are not struggling have usually settled for something bad. One of the powerful shaping forces of humanity as it is remains the strong belief that anything related to the relational structure of humanity must either be very ancient, fixed and settled or else a really blank slate upon which any given generation can write or draw whatever it wants. For me I think that the entire mystery and meaning of humanity is something quite different. Humans have numerous intrinsic qualities that cannot really be changed much in any generation. Yet one may face the future with confidence when aware of these strictures of the past and present. A generation and an individual can compose any vast number of varied tunes using these notes given by nature. By preserving and fully working the great musical tradition one can even enhance the range and delicacy of notes available to future generations of musicians. Sexuality and the role of women is one of the great musical worlds in which the human race can operate. It is an area where we all practice some form of art whether or not we even acknowledge it.
Life is often hell and human society often a sewer which exceeds my capacity to express and usually it involves building things on one of two principles men hating women or women hating children. Often this is dressed up as religion or ideology but it is really about that. This engine allows the most foul and worthless kinds of people to amass almost all available power and resources. It has happened occasionally since time immemorial.To preserve this humanity needed God’s friendship and to avoid eating the fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil. The writer here is using code for cannibalism. Yes, that again. The passage says that it is a tree in the middle of the garden of course humans are in the middle of their own world always. That on the day one eats it humans will die and again if humans are eaten then the human eaten will die. It brings knowledge of Good and Evil and we actually have a lot of data across many centuries and cultures to show that eating human flesh is a passage which brings cunning, insioght and moral guilt into human minds in a unique way whether the society endorses or forbids cannibalism. Cannibalism occurs around the world and laws are not drafted in a way which acknowledges these kinds of murder very well. But in East Asia it is more of an issue than in the USA. While we deal with honor killings in Muslim countries, ethnic cleansing and murder by negligence form corporate offices we should remember that cannibals are yet another force of killing and destruction in the world. Many East Asians honestly have no exposure to cannibals or their deeds yet it has always been a place where such activity was more important than for many others. This is one more set of life issues to deal with,
The last set of relations is the abusive marriage and the loss of God’s friendship which define behavior which is in the survivable margin for humans as we currently are. These last two phases of the story are described in Genesis Chapter three. We all are still living in the last phase at best from the story’s own point of view.
All Asian countries are redefining womanhood as a cultural and political reality. However, I think that as varied as Americans are and as varied as Asians are this is an area where Americans can make a difference in dialogue with Asia. In China I used speeches by Hillary Clinton whom I said I would not have voted for in the past in my classes in a positive way. I will leave unexplained the statement that I have put my life on the line for women’s civic position in Asia several times. This is a cause that can rightly matter to most Americans if it is properly understood.
So how did I get to China after being away from Asia for so long? It was timely and I will revisit that if there is a third post. But I need ed a change from a pattern that was failing and just as that whole pattern was coming to an end I attended the Health and Life Insurance License required training offered by Insurance Specialty Training of Louisiana. I completed the course successfully. I then took the test, passed it and got my license. However, I was unable to find a real job selling insurance and have since let my license lapse.
The storms had a lot to do with me looking for a change. In 2004 I went to China. It was acountry I had always wanted to visit. I flew into Hong Kong hoping to take a train from there. Instead I flew the rest of the way. I taught at the Shandong Institute of Business and Technology. The school offered me quite a few opportunities though teaching abroad always has risks and is not for everyone. For years since I have effectivley used this site here to link with the school , but there hace been occasons when it did not function for periods of time. I taught in several of the colleges within the university including the China Canada Higher Applied Technology College linked here (with the same possible problems). I had wonderful students and a full load. From several of my classrooms I had a fabulous view of the Yellow Sea and I had a small view of it from my own apartment. I toured extensively in Yantai, Shandong where I lived and in other places. I finished a semester having taught almost a year’s load of courses completely.In fact it was a period time which included finishing another instructor’s course in a couple of classes on a rare semester schedule, teaching a night class and other unusual features. Due to passport and visa paperwork problems I left early and was not able to return but had no classes left in progress though others were scheduled to start. I returned feeling somewhat transformed despite also leaving some problems not addressed as I cam eback to the United States fairly early in 2005.
During the time I was there Li Keqiang whose visit to Britain was the proximate cause of me writing this post was holding an office which reflected the course by which he enjoyed the success he had achieved as he rose through the party ranks through the Communist Youth League earlier on in life. The Socialist Youth League and Communist Youth League were among the organizations active on my campus. but they were certainly not the only forces in simple control of students lives. In fact the government could be meddling on some issues, could be doing good things on other measures and given the harshness of the criminal law and such one would say they were something like Westerners believe a Communist government would be. On the other hand there was a vast amount of at least partly free market enterprise and there were predatory forces which operated both against the government and its organs and through weaknesses which existed in the government and its organs. I was certified by the Board of Foreign Experts and was active in Practicing my own personal Catholic Faith in a country which officially tolerates Christians and also has a ongoing facts and history of official persecution, persecution by groups of the public and persecution by anti-government deviant groups. China is a complicated place.
The year I was there was included in the time when Li Keqiang was, as I said, holding his first really high office in their system. From 1998 to 2004, Li served as the Governor of Henan and the province’s Party secretary, and then the Liaoning party secretary, while the party and the government no longer had the relationship that existed under Mao it is difficult to spell out what changes had occurred in that regard. It was still as much Party as gubernatorial office that made him first-in-charge in that province. It is perceived by some that Xi Jinping may be returning to a harsher and more complete unity between government and party power and offices.
From 2008 to 2013, Li served as the First Vice-Premier under then-Premier Wen Jiabao. That figure is a name to remember in the move for a constitutional law in China which Americans can understand. I will focus more on Japan and Korea if there is a third post — I promise.
One thing about sex and womanhood being very near the core of the human moral struggle is that the issues related to womanhood and sexuality are subject to the same regional and epochal variations as are other part of the human moral drama. From my point of view I may say that all humans are severely confused and diseased in their understanding of these things. However, I would not say that they or we all suffer from the same delusion or disease. We may all be in error but we are in distinct errors across the species. A loose translation of the Bible called the Catholic Living Bible translates a passage as follows: Luke 11: 45-47a”Sir,” said an expert in religious law who was standing there, ” you insult my profession, too, in what you just said.””Yes,” said Jesus, “the same horrors await you! For you crush men beneath impossible religious demands that you yourselves would never think of trying to keep. Woe to you!””
Sex is an area where evil intentions , evil plans and hate often come dressed up as morality. One of the greatest problems humanity faces is the problem of overcoming the advantages accrued by evil in human affairs once evil is recognized as a real thing. I think that for me sex is an aspect of the human condition which accentuates how badly flawed our species is and yet, at the same time, is the point of glory at which we can most resemble the species we were once meant to be.
I do not believe that the story at the beginning of the book of Genesis was written by Moses after visiting the origins of the human species in a time machine. I do not believe the writer had a Ph. D. in biology. I do not believe it is a book coded from another book which was largely a straight first hand bio-history of its time — that is what I believe about the Gospels. I am even willing to say that he early stories are myths which is a word that atheistic relativistic scholars love to use for them. However, I do think that they are true stories written to pass on ancient coded truths and insights which come from miraculoulsy ancient parts of the human story. Why is so much in the Bible coded?
That is a question for a long an important note on another occasion. In this note we will examine a bit more of Adam and Eve. There are three phases of the sexual relationship between the two.,in very general terms, I mean for one could argue for a dozen phases.
The theology of the body espouses a Christian chastity and other virtues in the context of rejoicing in the holy goodness of sex. I was glad in China that i had deeply absorbed those values. The Biblical creation account lays out human nature and experience in several phases — first is the phase in Genesis 2: 22-25b which I have already quoted this is the relationship between Man and Woman which God intended as unique to the human species. This really reflected the Image of an ultimate divine nature. The qualities of that relationship are intimacy, passion, empathy, excitement sex, good bodily self-image and fertility. It sounds tiring to those of us with enough mileage but otherwise one who can think can see the logic and goodness of it. The sexually intense path of paradise requires lots of restriction and guidance in the real world. It always has unless you believe we may have had an unfallen Eden somewhere in the pre-historic past. But it is the path which produces real joy and love, wealth, pressure for progress and other necessities. I presume that almost everyone alive today is someone iI would consider fundamentally insane. But I do not take such a dim view of insanity as some do.
Women are tied to certain kinds of inferiority too. the way a man is supposed to feel superior is in the act of achieving coital satisfaction. Unthinkably in allowing the killer and crusher in him to feel fed by her sufferings in pregnancy and child birth and then letting the good and protective part of him make it up to her in other ways. Women are supposed to have a capacity for mistakes as a class which is not the same in men. If women stopped getting pregnant and being a little optimistic about it when everything was bleak and horrible there would never be a brighter tomorrow. What is wrong is that there have for hundreds of centuries been people racing to the bottom giving women less and less of their share for breeding expenses as it were. There is a lot more I could say on this subject. Men have also been maimed and crippled by women in many ways and that is also part of the drama.
In the West our current disorder is usually to be blindly irresponsible and lie about why. In the East it is to use responsibility as an excuse for racing to the worst positions because they are sustainable. I think that anyone who believes in a God Gods, Fates, Karma or Providence should be very afraid to account for our species’ sexual legacy.
I do believe Americans can play a role in forming view which the Chinese and other Asian nations are seeking to develop and change. A lot of god things are happening that can benefit all of us. But East Asia is a very serious place to be engaged. America will not do well in East Asia unless it confronts in a mature and measured way many of the challenges laid out in my blog. East Asia is largely led by real people with high skills who are subject to influence. But nothing will be coming easy in that region for a long time.