As the ‘tigers and flies’ anti-corruption campaign works its way through the system, not only is Chairman Mao being invoked regarding the frugal life of party cadres, but so also are ancient proverbs – such as:

Even if you have 10,000 hectares of fertile farmland, you can only eat so much rice in a day; if you have 1,000 mansions, you can only sleep in one bed.

As those who know me can attest, I am all for the simple life and frugality – as is the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Now for the modern quotation, this one in relation to religion. It comes from none other than President Xi Jiping himself. He pointed out that

there should be a focus on helping religion adapt to a socialist society and ensuring the role of religious figures and believers in boosting economic and social development.

It’s a vain hope perhaps, but I hope nonetheless that my paper, ‘Marxism and Religion Reconsidered in a Chinese Context,’ may actually reach his ears in some form. It was taken up enthusiastically by a member of the Communist Party’s Committee of Overseas Representatives, and he promised to circulate it among government figures.

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