• Wed
  • Oct 1, 2014
  • Updated: 2:33am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 2:12am

Democracy is a real religion

I had not met a childhood friend for years, until this week. Ostensibly it's because he has a growing business on the mainland while I spend most of my time in Hong Kong. The real reason is that we simply drifted apart as we grew older and had our own families and children. A bunch of us have been friends since we were classmates at a Catholic primary school and used to have gatherings regularly, to gamble playing cards and mahjong.

But I got bored over the years because our conversation topics were always the same: soccer, soccer gambling, horse-race gambling, other sports, including sports cars, and women. As we got older, we added children and schooling to our conversations. As post-60s children, we never thought much about politics. It was just beyond our mental horizon to protest in the streets and fight with police.

So I was expecting more talks about children and schooling when my friend called me and a mutual pal up this week. We did talk a bit about that, until we inadvertently turned our conversation to Occupy Central. My friend has had a conversion on the road to Damascus! "I am joining it next year," he declared.

"You got your sleeping bag?" we asked, half-jokingly.

"No, no, I am serious. We have to do something. Benny Tai [Yiu-ting, organiser of Occupy Central] is not like 'Long Hair' [Leung Kwok-hung] or Wong Yuk-man. He has a serious aim. So do others who are joining him."

Seeing how earnest he was, my other pal and I started laughing even more loudly. "But you will be breaking the law."

"Fine, I go to jail then. If you do nothing, Beijing will just ignore us and do nothing. We don't want to see Hong Kong 'mainlandised', and become another Shanghai or Shenzhen. You people live all your life in Hong Kong. I have spent half my life on the mainland. I know how things work on the mainland and you don't want Hong Kong to end up like that.

"We may still get nothing with universal suffrage. But at least we are trying. You people are sitting on your *****; you are so shallow."

Last time I saw such fervour was when another friend discovered Christianity.

Seeing my old friend in a detention cell was never a possibility in my mind. Now it is. My friend has just become a lot more interesting. I must not let him out of my life this time.

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This article is now closed to comments

321manu
"You people live all your life in Hong Kong. I have spent half my life on the mainland. I know how things work on the mainland and you don't want Hong Kong to end up like that."
---Not only should Mr. Lo keep in touch with his friend, he should also listen to him more carefully and in earnest. It seems a certain subset of Hkers are all-too-willing to accept the CCP with open arms, without having any real knowledge of what exactly they're inviting into their house. Commitment to principles with religious fervor is not necessarily a bad thing; it beats passive acceptance based on blind faith.
johnyuan
Democracy is an idea in how human behaves. It has few followers and US is being recognized as the most fervent country that embraces that idea. US for its puritan origin also once embraced Christianity as its favorable religion but which is on its way supplanted by translating it into democracy idea. But democracy can never replace religion or Christianity totally. In Christianity there is an eternal hell awaiting all sinners. Democracy is no real religion in the absence of that threat.
……
Democracy when existed in tendon with Christianity, the drop in the latter has had a change in US of its people and as a country. US may have enjoyed but passed its golden age as people and country among the rest of the world.
……
I went to a Catholic primary school too. I am not particularly a religion person. Just passing on at the instigation by today’s caption of what I have been observing all these years. AL is lucky still has schoolmates keeping check.
lainy
Amen!!!
kevin.mallen1
Alex Lo is a disgrace to journalism, he sounds like a government crony, his articles are all completely biased in deference to his paymasters in Beijing. He should learn to be more critical with articles. "You'll be breaking the law". Right. Did that stop Thomas Jefferson, or George Washington? They were also breaking the law at the time. If I recall correctly, Nelson Mandela also spent 28 years in jail. He broke the law. If the law is unjust, it is your duty to resist.
kevin.mallen1
"You'll be breaking the law". You are an idiot Alex Lo; what about Rosa Parks? She broke the law too.
impala
Subtitle: 'In which Mr Lo encounters a person with a spine, principles and a dose of idealism and doesn't recognise these things, opting to label them 'religion' instead.'

You see Mr Lo, we are not all hypocritical technocratic pragmatists like, oh I don't know - some columnists.
321manu
You are indeed what you read. For some, unfortunately, the inherent selection bias that accompanies the concept is entirely lost upon them. Alas, Mr. Lo, and some others here, might do well to inspect principles for their worth, and not merely based on the congruence of said principles to their apparently strongly held "religious" beliefs, such as they are.
For some, a little self-reflection might afford them at least the capacity to change their tune; for others, unfortunately, it looks like it'll be the same broken record playing that same old song.
rsallen
Ridiculous headline, which completely misrepresents the tone of the article.
caractacus
Pierce Lam, why don't you take a rest from poetry? You are really very bad at it.
pslhk
It’s a common seamen’s boast:
“you people live your lives on land,
ignorant about the sea and the world”
Most of them actually know nothing about ships and seas
and what they know about the world, their “worlds” !!!
-
For reliable info, let’s listen to the learned, such as
Jim Rogers who needs no introduction
or Tim Clissold, Cambridge Physicist and “Arthur Andersen”,
who shares his coming of age experience in “Mr China”
The fact is, too many also-rans retire without ever coming of age
-
You’re what you read
It’s your choice, to be in the company of successes or failures
 
 
 
 
 

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