"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boycott China

Chinese Father Punished For Food Safety ActivismCHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press
BEIJING (AP) ― A father who organized a support group for other parents whose children were sickened in one of China's worst food safety scandals was convicted and sentenced Wednesday to 2 1/2 years in prison for inciting social disorder, his lawyer said.

Zhao Lianhai had pushed for greater official accountability and compensation for victims and their families after the 2008 scandal that shocked China. His sentence appeared particularly severe because the case related to a public safety incident that the embarrassed leadership had pledged to tackle in a bid to restore consumer confidence.

"We'd expected it to be much less than that. It is such a harsh sentence," lawyer Li Fangping said. "The crimes he was accused of were nothing more than what regular citizens would do to defend their rights."

Zhao, a Beijing resident whose young son was among the nearly 300,000 children sickened by melamine-tainted milk, vowed to appeal and began a hunger strike to protest the verdict, Li said.

Zhao set up an online forum to share information about the poisonings in 2008 after his son, then 3, was diagnosed with kidney stones.

"When he heard that his sentence was two and a half years, he was appalled, and he pushed away a sign that was in front of him, and said, 'I'm not guilty. I want to appeal.' He tried to remove his prison uniform, and refused to be handcuffed," Li said.

The rest is here.

China has a despicable human rights record. It breaks my heart, because China is such an ancient and noble land. It's a place I'd dearly love to visit. The Great Wall is a wonder of the world, but it is also a testament to governmental cruelty. The ancient architecture is unique and splended, though it stands hand in hand with the temples of a false faith, a people who have not yet heard the gospel. Chinese are a fascinating, beautiful, winsome and varied people who span a vast and remarkable landscape.

China also has one of the longest records of cruelty of any industrialized nation in the world. North Korean defectors, admittedly illegal immigrants, are immediately shipped back to be tortured, thrown into prison camps, and often executed in their homeland. Women who are pregnant more often than permitted can be pressured or even forced into abortion. Christians whose church is not the approved and censored state congregatin are subject to fines and prison.

China is also the premier exporter to America of "affordable" (read: cheap and usually worthless but Americans snap this stuff up by the ton) goods. Goods not a one of us would think of living without but probably should. I am sure, without checking that some item of clothing I am wearing as I write this, that you are wearing as you read, is made in China. The worthless clutter on my desk is probably half Chinese made. Perhaps, I don't know, the desk itself is, in whole or part. Just reaching at random to a package of paperclips, yes, its made in China.

And so, I'm thinking. This season, as the Christmas shop-a-thon comes on, why not boycott Chinese goods? Yes, it will require forethought and planning. But I don't see how it is a good thing to put our Christmas dollars toward the promotion of cruelty. I don't see how it is Christ-honoring to support a nation that jails Christians. So what would happen if, until these abuses stop, we stop buying from China?

Usually, I'm not a big fan of boycotts. I spend my money as I need to and the company that takes my dollars is responsible for what they do with them. But in this case, this giant monolith that is America has a real chance to make a difference.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, we value "low cost" more than "high principle", I mean to say, "low principle".

    ReplyDelete