CER Topic: Do the Boxers deserve a bad rap?
The Boxers was a secret society built upon by gullible, delusional Chinese citizens who utilized religious factors/beliefs as a justification for violence to achieve social goals while unintentionally assisting the government to achieve international political goals against foreign imperialists. “Farmers genuinely believed that the Christians had so displeased the gods that the entire region was being punished with drought. Armed with a few rifles and swords, plus a belief in their own supernatural invulnerability to bullets, the Boxers began attacking foreign and Christian populations.” (Supporting Question 2.5) This piece of evidence stresses how delusional the Boxers were, not only did they blame the natural occurrences on foreign religions, they also believed they were invulnerable to bullets due to their religious beliefs, thus disproving the fact that their goal was actually to help the government defend their nation against imperialists, but instead, their goal was actually to stop the droughts by attacking foreigners and Christians without actually possessing any intentions of actually helping the government achieve their goal which was not only unfeasible for the Boxers as the Christians had nothing to do with the occurring droughts but also supporting the fact that they were delusional with what they were attempting to achieve. “The wicked Governor, Yü Hsien, scattered proclamations broadcast. These stated that the foreign religions overthrew morality and inflamed men to do evil, so now gods and men were stirred up against them and Heaven’s legions had been sent to exterminate the foreign devils. Moreover, there were the Boxers, faithful to their sovereign, loyal to their country, determined to unite in wiping out the foreign religion.” (Supporting Question 3) Not only does this piece of evidence show how gullible the Boxers were in believing the governor, it contradicts to what Buddhism promotes, peace. It is never justified to use violence to achieve a goal especially in this case, a social goal; excessive amounts of violence executed by the Boxers continues to clarify the bad reputation the Boxers possessed as violence is never the solution. The governor’s intentions were never to support the idea that the droughts were caused by the Christians, it was a way to abuse the Boxers to help achieve the government’s goal: defending against imperialist countries such as Britain. By showing how gullible and how they utilized religious beliefs as a justification for violence only further supports how the Boxers deserve a bad reputation. A similar historical event through history was The Holocaust, an anti- Jewish movement led by the Nazi political party during the second world war. The Nazis are similar to the Boxers, not only were they both strongly influenced by a group or an individual such as Hitler or the Chinese government, they also executed an extensive amount of physical violence during their times to achieve a social goal.