Florida: Seminars Introduce Falun Gong to Religion Class (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) Miami is a famous tourist city in the Southeastern United States, and is home to people of all races. Local practitioners have worked hard to introduce Falun Gong to the public here.
On a weekend in February 2005, four practitioners held a Falun Gong seminar at the American Research Center Library of Fort Lauderdale. Practitioners discussed the spread of Falun Gong since 1992 and the ongoing persecution in China.
Ms. Mary McKinney is an instructor at Broward County College, where she teaches a course on religion. During the seminar, she was absorbed in the presentation. The textbook of her class briefly mentioned Falun Gong as a religious belief. However, she learned much more about Falun Gong from this seminar.
Several weeks later, Ms. McKinney contacted practitioners and invited them to give a Falun Gong seminar to her class. Practitioners spent a lot time preparing for this seminar so they could make maximum use of time creating a good overall impression of Falun Gong. A western practitioner shared his positive physical and mental changes from practicing Falun Gong, and a Chinese practitioner touched upon the persecution in China which prevented him from going back to reunite with his family. Ms. McKinney also set aside time for practitioners to demonstrate the exercises on the lawn outside so that her students could see and feel the beauty of this practice.
When practitioners opened the seminar to questions, the discussion was very active. One student asked: As the government banned the practice, according to the laws, you shouldn't practice outdoors any longer. Practitioners were surprised by such thinking, as it is so similar to that of Chinese who have grown up in the Chinese Communist culture. The fact is that there are a lot Cuban immigrants in the Miami area who were also exposed to communist propaganda and brainwashing. Before practitioners started to answer that question, while some other students began arguing with that student. The consensus was that freedom of belief is a fundamental right, and governments can't deprive people of it.
Ms. McKinney calmed down the class and answered this question: Do you know what kind government China has? China is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, which doesn't allow people to believe as they choose. The party enacts laws only according to its own selfish interests. The reason you believe that upholding one's belief is wrong is because you accepted what the communist government claimed instead of using your conscience to judge.
At the end of the seminar, practitioners left some truth-clarifying materials with the class. Ms. McKinney thanked practitioners for providing this opportunity for her class to learn about Falun Gong. She also said that students who attended this seminar will receive extra points toward their grades. In fact, what they obtained from this seminar was far more than some extra points.
Practitioners so far have presented two seminars to Ms. McKinney's classes. The first one had about a dozen students. The second one had more than 20 students, including some who weren't registered in Ms. McKinney's religion class. Many of her students have shown interest in Falun Dafa and contacted practitioners to learn the exercises.