Author Juno Chang, in her book Wild Swans, she shares her family story. She reveals a great love story although torn with problems yet overthrown with love. Who doesn’t like a good love story? Her grandmother was given to General Xua as a cumberbine. This was not acceptable to her, but she had no choice. Her grandmother found favor in General and he provided her with her own residence and a promised wedding ceremony. Years later, she became miserable because he was gone all the time. Her father’s wisdom to her was a virtuous woman should suppress her emotions and not desire anything beyond her duty to her husband…a good woman was not supposed to have a point of view at all…. He quoted to her the Chinese saying, “If you are married to a chicken, obey the chicken, if you are married to a dog, obey the dog. (16) It is amazing that some American Christian men believe that in the 21st century. Women are considered the property to them rather than a gift of treasure and will receive the favor of God. (Prov 18:22) Being Xua’s property she was also the property to the wife. Her grandmother found herself trapped and she resorted to running away with her daughter. She met with an old friend who lived in the home of Dr. Xia and resided there. General Xua later gave her freedom and died.
As a single mother, her grandmother married Dr. Xia but was rejected by his family. The anger of his children, especially his favorite, resulted in physical harm to her daughter, Bao Qin. His love for her grandmother was evident when he moves her and her mother to another city. He gave up the majority of his property and wealth by bequeathing or bestowing them to his children and other family members. This was an act of tragedy, dividing up an extended family. To Dr. Xia, his present family’s peace was more important. They arrived in Jinzhou and began a new life. He loved her daughter and “named her De-Hong which incorporates the character for ‘wild swans’ (Hong) with a generation named (Dei).” (160) Years passed, and Dr. Xia had not seen his extended family and one of his sons committed suicide. Dr. Xia became “taciturn” according to her grandmother. (58) Jung spoke of the Japanese control over the country and the tension as well as fear of the people making a misstep in their honoring the new leadership and rules of the Japanese. Those who disobeyed were either killed or imprisoned.
Her mother married “Comrade Wang who had been a member of the guerrillas, the communist party and appointed as the head of the Public Affairs Department of Jinzhou.” (117) Her mother worked with the underground Women’s Federation although she was not a member. She was ostracized from the Women’s Federation and she convinced her husband to move to Sichaun. As parents, they were serious about education and ensured all the children were academically strong. They also allowed them to be individuals in their development. Her father said, “I think it is marvelous that your mother has this policy of ‘letting you roam free on the pasture.'” (256) As a young woman, Jung admired the life of a young man Lei Feng which was encouraged by Chairman Mao. Feng was one who did good deeds. “In 1964, it became a cult of Mao. His diary became their moral textbook. In summary, do good deeds but not for your class enemies.” (260)
She spoke of being taught if you were not a supporter of Mao, you were an enemy. We in America have a similar experience. The current politicians say that there is a special hell for those who go against this President. His Christian supporters remained silent. In his book, Bad Religion by Ross Douthat, he wrote, “Douthat seems to generalize Bad Religion to include: Christians entering the political arena focused on trying to force the people they serve to follow their rules; Christians becoming contemporary rather than staying with the traditional ways, and One’s misinterpretation of the Bible. Many have supported their actions by stating ‘God told them to do this.’ They misinterpreted the scripture to support their hatred of others.”  She spoke on the traditions of the Chinese ruler “being an emperor figure who was state power and spiritual authority rolled into one…Mao made himself more godlike always appearing remote beyond human reproach.” (263) His cult was built on fear. In 2005, she and her husband wrote a book biography of Chinese Communist leader titled, Mao: The Unknown Story.
How can we as individuals make a difference in preventing political cults in America? Civil wars? In America, there are many families with three to four generations deep. How do we keep our generations protect in the future when the present is disjointed? To strengthen my faith, I will keep this scripture close to my heart, Psalm 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Tell the stories of you family to all generations, they should remember their history. I will continue to speak out on injustice. I encourage my generation legacy to do the same. We must stay vigilant in the spirit of Christ.