Mao and Minneapolis

From the New York Sun:

Separation between church and state is one of the bedrock principles that guide America: Congress may not act on religion. No matter how enduring the principle, however, in its application the line has shifted back and forth across the national landscape for more than 300 years, and it has been the centerpiece of some of America’s most celebrated constitutional litigation.

China is wrestling with the line between church and state, too. The Chinese government today appears moderately comfortable with religious practices that remain unorganized and non-political. An increasing number of Chinese identify themselves as believers and even practitioners. What makes the Communist Party squirm and sometimes react with hostility is the mixture of religion with politics, whether by Buddhists in Tibet, Muslims in Xinjiang, or Falun Gong anywhere. Indeed, the Chinese leadership is considerably more sanguine about democracy in politics — even occasionally promotional — than it is about monks or mullahs as political leaders.


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