Truth can't be censored

A film made in the People's Republic of China, and currently banned there, has stirred curiosity among Western audiences. Why is it banned? people ask. Some say it is because the film is immoral, as the Chinese government contends. Others believe it is primarily because the story of young lovers waiting for an elderly man to die is actually a veiled metaphor understood to express frustration of Chinese youth toward the old communist regime that represses and punishes free expression.

Whatever the particular filmmaker had in mind, we know that artists have always sought means to communicate ideas in indirect ways when they weren't able to express them directly. There's an irrepressible spirit in men and women to describle truthfully what they see.

A Russian poet, sent to a labor camp for the crime of writing "subversive" poetry, managed to find a way to continue writing. Her compelling poems were smuggled out and published for the world to read. Another Russian poet—sometimes accused of selling out because he remained within the system—maintained integrity while working through long, stifling years.

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Meetings for youth of all faiths
June 24, 1991

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