A Few Words on the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui

I am Erastian by Christian conviction. I also think screwing your courage to the sticking place is Christian. Too many clerics, Erastian or otherwise, have used the heavenly nature of the Kingdom of God as an excuse to avoid saying anything specific about politics – indeed, about real life after the harmonies of Tallis have resolved their final chords. It is not my place to tell them to support more democratic nominations in Hong Kong, but it is the preserve of the pusillanimous to say nothing that will offend anyone outside of the æthereal pieties of the liturgy. Perhaps the clergy will remember that abortion and racial segregation are also matters of politics, and that justification by faith alone is not licence to be silent about the way we are to order our societies according to the justice of God. When instead of debating matters vigorously in the Church we have an archbishop whose words and policies have chilled discussion, and left the work to the Romanists and the Baptists, I say, Ephphatha.

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3 responses to “A Few Words on the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui

  1. To be honest, after I read an analysis on the basic law, it isn’t entirely clear to me that the protesters have a legitimate case. The nature of Anglican clerics is such that unless they have the black and white clearly on their side, they normally wouldn’t speak up. It is one thing to protest when there is widespread economic mismanagement, evident corruption, etc, e.g. Tiananmen, it is another thing to organise the protest to push a certain interpretation of the law unto an ambiguous text.

    Unlike the Romans, who clearly have much to lose if China encroaches unto HK and who has a vested interest in this, the Anglican Church there, I think, is engaging in a calculated decision of pandering to the Chinese government so as to protect their Church in the long run by currying favour with the Chinese government to ensure their good graces in the days ahead.

    Although I guess it is one thing to be uncertain as to whether or not to speak up for an ambiguous cause, it is another thing to tell their faithful to be quiet. Perhaps the wiser course, if the good bishops are uncertain about supporting the democratic movement, would be for them to take their own advice and be quiet.

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  2. You need to read the basic laws and decide for yourself. Universal suffrage and free election were the goals originally set up. Whether we ultimately achieve it or not is different story, but the government never even made any effort of moving that direction. In fact, CY seems to go against all such principles. That’s the reason for the protest. It is a reasonable protest and it is peaceful.

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  3. This is what I read from this article, maybe you would care to give your analysis?

    “Here’s what Deng Xiaoping said about the Hong Kong rule in 1984:

    Some requirements or qualifications should be established with regard to the administration of Hong Kong affairs by the people of Hong Kong. It must be required that patriots form the main body of administrators, that is, of the future government of the Hong Kong special region. Of course it should include other Chinese, too, as well as foreigners invited to serve as advisers. What is a patriot? A patriot is one who respects the Chinese nation, sincerely supports the motherland’s resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong and wishes not to impair Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. Those who meet these requirements are patriots, whether they believe in capitalism or feudalism or even slavery. We don’t demand that they be in favour of China’s socialist system; we only ask them to love the motherland and Hong Kong.

    And here’s how that intention was implemented in Article 45 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, which became the effective constitution of Hong Kong upon reversion in 1997:

    The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be selected by election or through consultations held locally and be appointed by the Central People’s Government.

    The method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.

    Clearly, the PRC’s envisioned terminus (the “ultimate aim”) of the democratic reform line is universal suffrage to vote for candidates put forth by a nominating committee, not universal suffrage in the nomination as well as election process, which is the Occupy Hong Kong movement’s demand.

    If the PRC government revised, promised to revise, or hinted it would revise this understanding to do away with its most important tool for controlling electoral politics in Hong Kong, the nominating committee, please let me know. Until then, I will regard the “China reneged/broke its democracy promise” line as a canard peddled to provide unnatural enhancement to the legitimacy of the Occupy movement.

    “We don’t like the Basic Law and want to overturn it after 17 years through street action” is, I suppose, a tougher sell than “China broke its promise” but, in my opinion, it’s more honest.”

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