One Kingdom in China

At this link [HT: Forester, Stories From Beijing] you can find a fascinating article about a Photoshop hoax in China. If you are at all familiar with the Outhouse, you might well wonder, “What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?” Well, other than the fact that I encountered this link while reading about toilet paper, I wanted to highlight this peculiar quote from the disgraced Chinese photographer:

I have no reason to continue my sacred career as a newsman.

It would seem that, even without Christendom, it is possible to conflate two kingdoms.

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17 Responses to One Kingdom in China

  1. RubeRad says:

    Actually, my secret agenda is just to drive traffic to my man forester’s writing project Stories from Beijing — the project is not “Christian” per se, but it is a shining example of inherent goodness in a common-grace endeavour! If you at all enjoy learning about foreign cultures, you will love Stories from Beijing.

  2. RubeRad says:

    Or this could just be another in a series of posts about 1K around the world

  3. Zrim says:

    My sense is that the photog was simply using shorthand to give “due credence” to his craft. People do this all the time. I’d be inclined to say it’s more a figure of speech than anything else.

    Some people call certain things grounded in creation “incomplete” and are being literal, they actually mean it. That bothers me more. I’ll take the newman’s line over that most days.

  4. RubeRad says:

    That’s cool, as long as you go read and enjoy Stories from Beijing!

  5. Rick says:

    I was about to tell Zrim to, “simma down na”

  6. Zrim says:

    Funny, I usually feel like I am in the middle of this exchange though:

    Parole Board chairman: They’ve got a name for people like you H.I. That name is called “recidivism.”

    Parole Board member: Repeat offender!

    Parole Board chairman: Not a pretty name, is it H.I.?

    H.I.: No, sir. That’s one bonehead name, but that ain’t me any more.

    Parole Board chairman: You’re not just telling us what we want to hear?

    H.I.: No, sir, no way.

    Parole Board member: ‘Cause we just want to hear the truth.

    H.I.: Well, then I guess I am telling you what you want to hear.

    Parole Board chairman: Boy, didn’t we just tell you not to do that?

    H.I.: Yes, sir.

    Parole Board chairman: Okay, then.

  7. Rick says:


    That’s classic. Had that one on file too, huh?

    Here’s another exchange, this one is on topic:

    Ulysses: Baptism! You two’re just dumber’n a bag of hammers.

    Pete: The Preacher said it absolved us.

    Ulysses: For him, not for the law. I’m surprised at you, Pete, I gave you credit for more brains than Delmar.

    Delmar: But they was witnesses that seen us redeemed.

    Ulysses: That’s not the issue Delmar. Even if that did put you square with the Lord, the State of Mississippi’s a little more hard-nosed.

  8. Zrim says:

    Ah, so you meet my Coens with more Coens. Nice.

    Hart uses that same bit in A Secular Faith to make a point. Double nice.

    I was trying to be on topic with all that “repeat offender” stuff.

  9. Echo_ohcE says:

    Well why shouldn’t atheists view the state as God?

  10. Zrim says:


    Maybe because they are atheists?

    As a Christian secularist, I would expect that the legal secularists (sometimes known as atheists) with whom I at once have something in common and am very at odds, would maintain that which keeps me at odds with them, namely that God doesn’t exist. Seems to me that once they view the state as God they may no longer be called atheists.

    But just because they maintain that with which I would agree, namely that the state should be secularized and religion-free, doesn’t mean they see the state as God. I think that is a common assumption on the part of those who still think religion and the state should be collapsed to lesser or greater degrees: “atheists make the state God.” Seems like a disengenous way to cry idolatry on the part of those who think one religious expression should rule either overtly or covertly (i.e Evangelical) and another should be put down (i.e. anything not expressly Christian) from propping up statecraft.

    Granted, many do seem to do this because it is the natural human tendency to coalesce the sacred and the secular. But then we’re back to stripping them of their atheist label. And, voila, they actually have something now in common with those who think statecraft and religion go hand-in-hand more or less, otherwise known as “most American religionists.”

  11. Echo_ohcE says:

    There are no true atheists. At the very least they worship themselves.

    So my point was that it is very natural for an atheist in a country like China, to think of the state as God – without of course acknowledging that they think the state is God.

    Because all men need (a) God.

    This is what communism really does anyway. It makes the state into God. Sort of like in Plato’s Republic, where he wanted to take children away from their parents to be raised by the state so that they would see the state as their mother and father.

    Of course, this isn’t the natural outworking of a SECULAR state, because I’m arguing that a communist state like China isn’t actually a secular state.

    Of course, ours isn’t either. Not for everyone in it anyway. Many people view these primaries as a matter of life and death, as if it were some kind of theomachy going on. But I digress…

  12. Echo_ohcE says:

    It takes more to be a secular state than a mere declaration of secularity, or a secular self understanding.

  13. Zrim says:

    No true atheists? I’m not sure what that really means. There are fools, those who deny that there is a God. But they are true fools…or atheists, if you prefer. I use fool and atheist synonymously, but I don’t deny either is truly one or the other. And neither does the Bible. I wonder if you’d say there is no such thing as a homosexual? Or if someone claimed being perfectly happy without sharing our beliefs, would you tell him he really isn’t truly happy? When you work backwards from the “no such thing as a true atheist,” I think one finds the seeds to the dogmas of seeker-sensitive theology, actually. You find all that “God-shaped void” stuff, everybody is naturally seeking God that makes no distinction between our creational reality and redemptive. Then out pops, “There’s no such thing as an atheist and everyone wants to be saved.” Huh? What about Romans 3:9-18?

    I don’t think communism makes the state into a god (since, on paper it denies the central tenants of transcendant religion). It’s people who make the state into a god.

    Seeing the state as a mother or father is just that. How that translates into seeing the state as god I don’t follow. It is certainly against the natural, ordained order of things (i.e. sphere sovereignty–yes, I think I can use that Kuyperian term without compromising anything) to substitute the state for parents, but how that means Plato saw the state as God isn’t so obvious to me…he saw the state as parents. So, what about the Statue of Liberty’s inscription? Is that less deifying of the State than whatever communist state simply because “it’s us Christian folk saying it, which obviously doesn’t mean what those commies mean”?

    I would agree that China isn’t really so much a secular state. That’s what I meant when I said, “Granted, many do seem to do this because it is the natural human tendency to coalesce the sacred and the secular.” (Sidebar: Caesar was similar insofar as he saw himself as a deity. And, yet, Jesus said to submit and honor him and said nothing about trying to persuade the Dear Leader otherwise. Rather, to confess, contra Caesar, “Jesus is Lord,” even in the face of the consequences such a confession would bring. We seem to be told to submit to heads of state even when they usurp Jesus’ rightful office as sovereign, since all authority comes trough him anyway. Submit to Caesar as unto Jesus.)

    Yes, I agree that we are not really a secular society. “We are a silent theocracy.” But haven’t you been one to give me grief over that assertion before though?

  14. Echo_ohcE says:

    Haha, Zrim, you make me laugh.

    That there are no true atheists means everyone must worship something. Someone who worships only themselves has a god: themselves.

    People may deny the one true God, but they always, always, always have their idols.

    About a communist state, they demand atheism, but necessarily put the state in God’s place.

    And well, that’s similar to Plato’s removing individual parents and replacing it with the state.

    And I did say that many people look to our state in America as God, at the Congress as a pantheon, etc. Did you read what I wrote?


  15. RubeRad says:

    You find all that “God-shaped void” stuff, everybody is naturally seeking God that makes no distinction between our creational reality and redemptive. Then out pops, “There’s no such thing as an atheist and everyone wants to be saved.” Huh? What about Romans 3:9-18?

    What about Rom 1:18–?

  16. Zrim says:


    So…women who want reproductive rights think they’re gods and there are no such thing as atheists. I think I got it now. Why do I feel like I am sitting around your dad’s Sunday table again? Seeing as how you seem to be engaging in a more disengenous way of going about political and religious differences, maybe you are also with Nash on economic theory with regard to socialists:

    “Rather than relying on God’s provision . . . [they didn’t] continue in faithful dependence on God . . . [they] rejected the trust they had placed in God’s provision . . . The Israelites chose to trust in organization rather than in God . . . The same is true for us today.”

    It seeme to me that, as usual, you run way too roughshod over the categories of creation and redemption. This is part of what I find so Evangelical-ish yet about your views, Echo. It’s just so much easier to smear, isn’t it?

  17. Echo_ohcE says:


    You are very confused.


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