Separation of Church and State — Part 1/3

In 1998, something dire happened in Washington DC while President Clinton was in the White House and the GOP controlled both houses of Congress.

Clinton must have made a compromise with the GOP since in the 105th Congress, the GOP held 55 seats in the Senate and Newt Gingrich was the Speaker of the House with 228 GOP votes of 435.

I have no idea what Clinton got out of the deal, but what happened was a huge victory for America’s conservative evangelical Christians. It also created a threatening situation for most of the world’s population.

These evangelicals are the same people who want to control women’s reproductive rights in the US and the same people who fight to block sex education designed to combat the spread of HIV AIDS.  These evangelicals are the same people that managed, while President G. W. Bush was living in the White House, to limit stem cell research possibly leading to many early deaths and much suffering among the living. 

To explore more on this topic, see Christian Today Australia – US evanglical engagement in politics is too partisan, say authors or Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right.

What President Clinton and the GOP majority in Congress did was turn the U.S. Department of State into a global advocate for organized religion.

For many in China, this blending of government with religion in the US may be of a particular concern since China has a history with Christianity that has often ended badly.

When the treaty was signed ending the First Opium War (1840-1842), the British Empire included a clause that forced China to open its doors to Christian missionaries.

A decade later, the Taiping Rebellion (1851-1864) was led by a Christian convert that wanted to turn China into a Christian nation. In fact, Jonathan D. Spence wrote about this Christian convert in God’s Chinese Son.

In the end, more than twenty million were killed.  Ironically, Hong Xiuquan called the part of China he controlled the Kingdom of Heavenly Peace.

Then in 1900, there was the Boxer Rebellion (Righteous Harmony Society Movement), which was a popular peasant uprising to rid China of meddling Christian missionaries and foreigners.

An armed force made up of military from mostly Christian nations invaded China and ended the Boxer movement. The Christians stayed.

In Part 2, we will see why it is dangerous to allow a government to use taxpayer dollars to get into the business of spreading organized religion across the world.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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