Falun Gong and Evangelicals

Falun Gong and Evangelicals March 19, 2021

Consider the evangelical who has fallen into the GQP, right-wing, conspiracy-minded, Trump worship of the last 4 years. If you have family or friends in that world, you will sense on their part a growing hostility and decidedly anti-China bent or persuasion. At some point, the former president turned against China, especially after Covid hit. There was a clear purpose behind using prejudiced designations like, “Kung-flu,” or the “China virus.”

Perusing the social media of these evangelicals, we notice they believe things like President Biden is beholden to China somehow and that China helped him win the election. In their minds, the threat to the United States is China. Interestingly enough, prior to Trump, for decades, going back to Reagan and before, the greatest threat was always Russia.

Where then is this coming from? How did this shift take place? Now, imagine that same fundamental, Bible-believing evangelical, learning all of a sudden that many of their political views, foreign policy views, and even domestic policy views have, unbeknownst to them, been forged by the Mormon Church or Jehovah Witnesses.

My purpose here isn’t to denigrate Mormons or Jehovah Witness people. Nor is it to defend China. My point is that if most fundamentalists/evangelicals were to learn they were being manipulated through information/news provided by groups they believed were cults, it would certainly give them pause. In fact, they would then begin to view such information and news suspiciously or even discount it.

Or, perhaps, maybe they wouldn’t. Again, if we peruse the social media of these evangelicals, we will see many posts, opinions, and memes with the Epoch Times as the source. Well, the Epoch Times is a media source owned and operated by people who are members of, or supportive of, Falun Gong. Thus, the irony here is striking.

One can get an idea of what the Falun Gong people believe here. I would think most fundamentalists/evangelicals would call the Falun Gong movement a false religion or cult, just as they would Mormonism or the Jehovah Witnesses. And while many evangelicals find common-cause with Mormons/Witnesses on a number of political and cultural issues, due to both using the Bible as foundational to their beliefs, it’s hard to see why they would fall hook, line, and sinker for the political and foreign policy views of a group like Falun Gong.

Anyway, I believe they are being duped and manipulated (again). I realize to a certain extent, we all are often manipulated by the media, news/information, and cultural voices out there. However, those taught critical thinking skills are probably aware of the forces/powers/biases behind those voices and their agendas and goals. Thus, we can hear these voices and digest them in context.

Are evangelicals using critical thinking skills when it comes to sources like the Epoch Times? Now, I know at that query, many eyebrows were raised, and the question was silently asked: “Are they using such when it comes to any source, including the Bible?”  I’m not addressing those other issues at the moment, however, but point taken.

I grew up in the fundamentalist/evangelical world. Something is deeply wrong. Something has happened over the past 4 years. I don’t recognize it anymore (even when I came to disagree with it, I still recognized it). I guess neither does Beth Moore.  I don’t know how the current leadership of that world views all this, but they had better sit up and take notice.

Part of the problem is that the anti-China (more accurately, anti-communist) view of the Falun Gong too easily degenerates into anti-Asian racism in general, when adopted by non-Asian people here in the US and elsewhere. Then add in Covid’s origins and it’s a toxic mix for sure.

When we see the current racism directed toward Asians, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to suggest probable links between this sort of anti-China propaganda and said racism. I realize that much of it is due to Covid and the fact it originated in China. However, I don’t think that is the only cause of the current animus.

Not only are too many evangelicals and white people in general being manipulated by Falun Gong through media like the Epoch Times, that manipulation creates an atmosphere, a context, that in the wrong mind/heart, could lead to (has?) outright anti-Asian racism and even violence, Covid or not.

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