A couple of week’s ago my family and I had the pleasure of finally seeing “Shen Yun: China Before Communism” for the first time.
We had always been intrigued seeing the title on billboards year after year, and we were thrilled when my oldest brother Will announced he had purchased tickets to the performance as his Christmas present to the family.
To say that this production is a feast for the eyes would be an understatement. I was completely enthralled by every aspect of the performance, from the beauty, grace, strength and agility of the dancers, to the luxurious costuming, epic music, and opulence of color — it captivated me, and from what I could tell, the entire audience as well.
I knew it was primarily a dance performance, but what I wasn’t expecting was the marked spiritualism interwoven into the storytelling, as well as the boldly blatant blight on the public imagery of the current communist China. It’s banned in China, and I had heard that the CCP was even trying to ban it internationally. Now I know why. It’s a showcase of the distinct difference of pre-communist China, with its rich history and vibrant culture, to the living prison it is today.
A couple of days after attending the show, I decided to Google its name to read and learn more about it. For those who don’t know, Shen Yun is a non-profit performing arts group based in the United States, started by Chinese expatriates and followers of the new wave Falun Gong religious movement.
But as I continued my Google search, I was appalled by the amount of links I found with rhetoric such as “the problem with Shen Yun,” or “is Shen Yun dangerous,” or “should Shen Yun be banned.” These were linked NOT to articles written by the CCP, but instead articles written by AMERICANS. When I dove further I realized, not surprisingly, that these weren’t even commentaries by offended Bible-thumpers, but instead journalists of leftist publications, and interviews with university professors.
The hilarious hypocrisy of it all is that these are the exact types of people who worship at the Liberal Arts altar, and who applaud any and every outlandish or deviant form of art as freedom of expression, even going so far as to excuse pornographic materials in elementary school libraries, or Kathy Griffin’s photoshoot holding the severed bloody head of President Trump.
But Shen Yun is dangerous… why? Because one of the lyrics in the soloist’s song says “atheism and evolution are the devil’s doctrines”? Or because in the storyline, the CCP is depicted as targeting followers of the Falun Gong and having their organs harvested, and such a depiction is seen as a grotesque “exaggeration”?
If only it was an exaggeration. Unfortunately there have been dozens of credible reports detailed by the UN Human Rights Commission of organ harvesting in China. This forced harvesting targets ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities, including Christians and followers of Falun Gong, which Shen Yun specifically depicts.
But regardless of the facts, if a conservative Christian southern belle like me can handle the atheistic Darwinism injected into every area of literature, media, pop culture, as well as almost every white woman below the Mason-Dixon being portrayed as a racist, I’m sure the pearl-clutching “progressives” can handle a song lyric.
Freedom of speech is about protecting even the speech you don’t like. We all have the right to be wrong, and if America doesn’t wake up and reject this current trend line of blacklisting and banning anything that opposes our precious narrative, even going so far as to criminalize words, then we ARE the CCP, disguised under a cloak woven in red white and blue.
While I waited during intermission, a reporter from the Epoch Times approached me for an interview and asked my thoughts on the performance. After describing my delight in the visual beauty and art of it all, I ended the interview by saying the most important takeaway a viewer can have from this show is not only an immense gratitude for being born in the Land of the Free, but also a solemn reminder to pray for a better future for China.