Saturday, August 02, 2008

What to do with the Chinese Olympics

Well are you going to watch them? Some aren't because China has such a record of human rights abuses and persecution of Christians. As China has approached the games they have increased the persecution of our brothers in faith. The chinese government leads persecuting countries in executions. Of course, they have given lip service for decades to religious freedom, but history has shown these words to be hollow. Life for members of the chinese church is not easy(see article). Recently the New York Times told the story of a brave chinese christian woman. "She never broke when she was tortured with beatings and electrical shocks, and even when she was close to death she refused to disclose the names of members of her congregation or sign a statement renouncing her Christian faith.

But now, months later, Ma Yuqin abruptly chokes and her eyes well with tears as she recounts her worst memory: As she was being battered in one room, her son was tortured in the next so that each could hear the other's screams, as encouragement to betray their church.

''They wanted me to hear his cries,'' she said, sobbing. ''It broke my heart.''

Ms. Ma, a steel-willed woman of 54, was brave enough to tell her story of the persecution that Christians sometimes still face in China. Dozens of members of her church are still imprisoned, and those free are under tight scrutiny, but several church members dared to meet me for a tense interview after we all sneaked one by one into an unwatched farmhouse near Zhongxiang, a city in central China, 650 miles south of Beijing."

The dilemma of conscience for me has to be decided before the 8th. I will not knowingly buy Chinese goods, especially Olympic goods. I certainly question the wisdom of our President in going to China for the Olympics. Didn't we learn this lesson in Berlin under Hitler? Are we giving China a stage to legitimize it's brutal regime? What do you think?


MO said...

It's horrible what's happening to Christians in China! I feel sorry for our young men and women athletes who have nothing to do with the host city; but only know the years of grueling training schedules and personal sacrifice, all for this one moment in time. I'm going to support our athletes (not China itself) and trust that God will work vengence and judgment in His time, and expose the government for what it truly is. It seems to me that He's still on the throne and He's not making it easy for China to be a fitting host anyhow (pollution problems, earth quakes, etc.) Just my thoughts.

Paul M. Harrison said...

It is difficult to boycott a country that many of our companies use for cheap labor and profit. To boycott Chinese products would halt our country.

I think boycotts only work in smaller communities where the boycott can ruin the offending party, but not on something of this scale. The best that can be done is sanctions it seems, but we have a lot of dealings with China.

To avoid being hypocrites, we can find much wrong in our own country, our own families, and within our selves. We can boycott to the point of non-functioning.

I am not an idealist and don't believe evil is "out there" in a way that we can rid ourselves of it, nor do I believe there are perfect solutions or systems to "solve" these problems. It seems to me that even the best decisions and intentions have liabilities of some sort.

My advice would be to appreciate the sports and the athletes and not allow the evils of the host to pollute that for you. But if you are wanting to take a stand, send a message, or have a bigger goal at hand such as wanting to be an activist or an example, then boycott the olympics as a billboard to express why. In the end, your conscience will tell you what you can live with.

They just denied a visa to a biker because he is against the abuse in Darfur. They are certainly sending their message that their authority and politics takes precidence over the games.