THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUTH:

All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION "MADE IN CHINA" ?

.
One of my yearly Christmas activities is asking you all to join my Brother and me by Making A Wish For Tiny Tim on Christmas Day. I have another tradition which, while just as serious, is of a more important nature. And that is: I feel the need to remind everyone that celebrating the birth of our Savior at Christmas shouldn’t mean that we also line the pockets of nations that have murdered and persecuted their own people and people of other religious faiths.

Unfortunately, a lot of people never give this a thought while Christmas shopping and decorating the house in December. But this Human Rights / Christmas Connection was perhaps never illustrated better than in this true story of Christian persecution which comes from the book “JESUS FREAKS; VOLUME II” by dc Talk and the Voice Of The Martyrs, copyright 2002 by Bethany House Publishers. Please read this short story, give it due consideration, and then ask yourself: Am I really celebrating the true meaning of Christmas in buying my loved one a gift made in China? . . .

Pastor Li De Xian speaks about suffering from experience. The man who said “I will preach until I die” has stuck to his word. Despite continued pressure from the Public Security Bureau (PSB), Pastor Li refuses to miss a service unless he is in prison, or change his message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

During the period of October 2000 to May 2001, he was arrested fifteen times for preaching in his unregistered house church in Guangzhou. He has been arrested so many times during the past two years that he has lost count. During one recent detention, jailers tied his arms and legs together and chained his arms and legs to a bedpost for three days. When they finally released him from this torture, he was forced to work on an assembly line in the prison factory PUTTING BULBS INTO STRINGS OF CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TO SEND TO AMERICA! He and the others had a quota of between 4 and 5 thousand bulbs a day. … Li has seen imprisoned Christians tortured so badly that their buttocks bled through their clothing. He spent 15 days in prison on this particular occasion.

Yet rather than this experience teaching him to be afraid, it has taught him to be prepared. He travels at all times with a small black duffel bag that he keeps packed with a blanket and a change of clothes – the things he will need for prison whenever he is arrested next. “Arrests will come at any time, but we are not afraid, as we have prepared ourselves, and we have not done any crimes.” Whenever possible he will spend his time in prison reading THE BIBLE, something he manages to smuggle in with amazing regularity.

His wife, Zhao Xia, strongly supports him in this and refuses to worry. “God will take care of him,” she says, “so there is no need to worry.”

“Don’t feel sorry for us,” Zhao Xia says of their lifestyle. “At least we are constantly reminded that we are in a spiritual war. We know for whom we are fighting. We know who the enemy is. And we are fighting. Perhaps we should pray for you Christians outside of China. In your leisure, in your affluence, in your freedom, sometimes you no longer realize that you are in spiritual warfare.”

One year, I included a copy of this story in the Christmas cards I sent out to friends and family. My Ma tried to persuade me not to send the story, fearing that I would just bring everyone’s Christmas celebration down. But I felt it was too important that people be reminded of what’s going on in “the real world” at this time of celebrating in America. I included the story again with my Christmas cards the following year or so, and have since begun posting it on my Blog.

This Christmastime, as we shop for gifts that express our love to others, let’s keep in mind that China embraces Communism, a failed economic/social system responsible for murdering approximately 100 million human beings worldwide and torturing and starving many millions more. Perhaps we shouldn’t monetarily support nations with the worst human rights violations. Speaking for myself, I would rather receive NO Christmas gift at all than to receive one made in China. And I would prefer to hang NO Christmas lights on my house (or tree) than to hang lights that might very well have been strung together for my enjoyment by a Christian in another country who has been forced into slave labor due to his faith in Jesus Christ. I don’t need blood lights shining a hypocritical Christmas message into the night from around my roof.

Below is a list of some of the places guilty of the worst human rights abuses. I boycott all of these sources:

Afghanistan; Algeria; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei; Chechnya; China [incl. Hong Kong & Tibet]; Colombia; Comoro Islands; Cuba; Egypt; Guinea; India; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Kuwait; Laos; Libya; Malaysia; Morocco; Myanmar; Nepal; Nigeria; North Korea; Oman; Pakistan; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Syria; Tajrkistan; Tunesia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; Yemen.

Enjoy Christmas but please buy responsibly.

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
"As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PA!

8 comments:

  1. Stephen,

    I agree to a great degree with what you say. It has troubled me for a long time about all of the things made outside the USA period. I almost always look at the label to see where something is made. Sometimes it affects my decision not to buy, while other times it just pisses me off because the Chinese made thing is the only one I can find at the moment.

    On the other hand if we keep buying goods from some of these countries they may become more economically dependent on us and the governments may become more easy for us to influence. China now is far more capitalistic and lenient than it was 20 or 30 years ago.

    So I don't know that it is that simple. There is something to be said on both sides of the argument.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember first reading this on amazon. Loved it then and now.

    "In your leisure, in your affluence, in your freedom, sometimes you no longer realize that you are in spiritual warfare.”

    Sooooooooo freakin true it's scarey. Thanks for posting again.

    WP

    ReplyDelete
  3. OL' KALAMATA BR-O ~
    Thanks for checking in and for your comment. Forget "preaching to the choir" - sometimes I get the feeling that I'm preaching to NO ONE AT ALL... not even a choir!

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

    ReplyDelete
  4. rLEE-b ~
    I'm afraid this is one time I'm going to have to strongly disagree with you, my friend.

    >>[I don't know that it is that simple. There is something to be said on both sides of the argument.]<<

    No, my friend, I'm afraid it really IS that simple, and there is NOTHING to be said for the other side of the argument.

    It's this simple: Good men do not reward evil. Period.

    >>[other times it just pisses me off because the Chinese made thing is the only one I can find at the moment.]<<

    It is no thin line that divides Wants and Needs. Unfortunately, most Americans - accustomed to having anything they want - are no longer able to identify Wants from Needs.

    If I must have a certain type of wrench in order to repair a water leak in my house, and I have made several unsuccessful attempts in good faith to find one made elsewhere, I may be forced to buy that one made in China because I truly do NEED it.

    But if I blow my computer speakers and can't find any made anywhere but China, guess what... I'm going to live without computer speakers. Because I don't NEED speakers; I merely Want speakers.

    However, I've learned that often, even when "Made In China" is all that's available, I can still get what I want by purchasing "Used" - for then Stephen's money goes to another American, NOT some company that imported Chinese Crap.

    I have not been perfect in my Chinese boycott, but for over a decade, I feel pretty good about what I've done.

    There are very few valid reasons for ever having to buy from countries like China.

    >>[On the other hand if we keep buying goods from some of these countries they may become more economically dependent on us and the governments may become more easy for us to influence.]<<

    My personal goal is simply to avoid rewarding evil. However, if it is the goal of Americans to force changes in China, there is a far superior way to go about it than you have described here.

    The U.S.A. is China's biggest customer. Well, if every American somehow developed a conscience overnight and immediately stopped buying China's shit, while making it known that the boycott was due to human rights abuses, THEN! - THEN! - you would see some changes made, and quickly.

    Or else China would just call in her U.S. loans and destroy us. But in either case, justice would have been served. And I'm a big fan of justice!

    I'm not saying that what I'm about to write applies to you personally, because I don't wish to offend you and because I CAN'T KNOW IF IT DOES - only you know your own heart. But I'm afraid that your comment strikes me a bit like the sort of thing a person might say in an attempt to "rationalize" their own behavior which they subconsciously have some issues with.

    It reminds me of the sort of answer I got years ago from some Family Christian Store manager, responding to my written complaint about them selling all sorts of Christian-themed merchandise made in China. ("If we didn't purchase their goods, a lot of Christians in China might not have jobs.") Well, I reminded him that someday he would have to stand before God and try to run that bit past Him. And I told the man, good luck with THAT!

    ~ Stephen
    <"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11>

    ReplyDelete
  5. Stephen,

    I agree with your post. However, I understand where most americans minds are at. Now if you could show by video what conditions they were working in most americans would say, "no way." The problem is most people have the out of sight out of mind mentality. I know I've purchased Made In China items. I'm not proud of it, and much of these items were purchased in ignorance at the time. I have a challenge for people. Instead of purchasing Chinese crap because it's easy. Try to buy something from the USA first. IF we could get people to at least try to purchase from Non Chinese markets we would be in much better shape.

    ReplyDelete
  6. BR'ER MARC ~
    WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?!

    You think you're just going to waltz in here now and leave a comment and act as if everything's cool 'n' cozy? You, sir, are in serious danger of losing your Br'ership! And once a person has been de-Br'ered, do you have ANY IDEA how difficult it is to get re-Br'ered?! Watch yer step, Paco!

    OK, on a more serious note now . . .

    Yes, "Out of sight, out of mind" is perhaps part of it, but I think it's only a very minor aspect of the problem. Most Americans know damn good and well - at least in a general sense - what is going down in China. The real problem is that the majority of Americans just want convenience, and they want it cheap! It's ALL about them, don'tcha know!

    And, by the way, what you may have done in true ignorance isn't held against ya. I myself haven't always been 100% faithful, but I make a genuine effort, and I think that must count for something. At least I hope it does.

    Now, go and sin no more, Br'er. (It's not just Santa who's watchin' yer steps carefully these days.)
    ;o)

    ~ "Lonesome, Friendless Dogg" McMe

    ReplyDelete
  7. So, what would you think of someone who places a bet that China will win the world economic war? Someone who knows that China is evil, buys American whenever possible, but who places a wager that America/Obama/Bush/The Fed/Joe SixPack will ultimately lose/screw up/sell out?

    Is that person smart? Bad for betting on the bad guy?

    ReplyDelete
  8. MR. PAULBOY PRODIGALMAN VI ~
    The really "smart person" converts all available resources into gold, buys a secluded cabin, an AK-47, lots of ammo, and then does a lot of praying from his knees.

    Not exactly sure what you mean by "places a bet", so that depends on the details. But the bottom line is: Anything that consciously helps advance the goal of evil is evil.

    ~ Sboy
    <"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11>

    ReplyDelete

--> NOTE: COMMENT MODERATION IS ACTIVATED. <--
All submitted comments that do not transgress "Ye Olde Comment Policy" will be posted and responded to as soon as possible. Thanks for taking the time to comment.