19 August 2008

Commies vs Christians

I have a lot of problems with China. Their pollution, they're human rights violations, the fact that they hold our purse strings. Overall, China hasn't been doing a whole lot lately to thrill me, and no amount of Olympic Games is going to change that. I can't suddenly respect the host when I come over for dinner and I can clearly see the pancake make-up his wife is wearing to cover up the abuse.

I am also not thrilled with their censorship. It's bad. It's bad in any decent, functioning free society. I would say that in 99.9% of cases, I will always come down on the side of free speech and our lovely First Amendment. That being said, though, I would be a stinking liar if I said the following didn't give me a jolt of joy:
A group of American Christians who had more than 300 Bibles confiscated by Chinese customs officials left the airport Monday after a 26-hour standoff, saying they realized officials would not change their stance.
Idiots. Can't you just go to China and watch the flippin' games like everyone else? No.
"We're very disappointed, for a country saying they're opening up and things are getting better, it sure doesn't seem like it," a representative of the group, Pat Klein, told the AP by telephone. The Sheridan, Wyoming-based group distributes Bibles and Christian teaching materials around the world.
Yes, it is sad that China isn't really opening up to the world, but, really? I can guess the Christian standpoint as vividly illustrated here, but really? Is there some god-given (sic) right for Christians to ignore a nation's protocol and inundate the world with their friggin' bibles?
"The Chinese Christians have been asking us for Bibles, saying they are desperate for Bibles," he said.
Yes, because this is what the Chinese really need. Bibles. Books. Flaps of faux-leather with reams of toilet tissue in between. Not food, clothing, medical supplies. Not safe working conditions, humane hours, and a decent quality of life. Not clean air. They need...desperately, mind you...bibles.
In China, Bibles are printed at just one plant, run by a government-backed Christian association for use in officially sanctioned churches. Though they can be purchased in some bookstores, they're hard to find.
Oh noes! They're getting the wrong kind of bibles! They're getting bibles that might have been censored, or re-written, or (god forbid) illustrated with funny little Chinese illustrations! Not at all like our fancy-shmancy American bibles, which are true to the last word and inherently right at all times.

Like I said, it would be nice if China cleaned up their act in many areas. It seems to me, though, that almost any practice that keeps Christianity from getting so strong a toe-hold you end up with your political parties having special services for them at their conventions, or when you're Presidential candidates meet for the first time under religious auspices...can't be that bad.


  1. This is one of those cases where I'm not sure which side to boo or cheer, or even to boo both sides. >:-)

  2. It's of my general opinion that the government approved books just have all the fairy tales and lies cut out.

    This makes them easy to read and economical to print being only 15 pages long! :P

    They knowingly did something against the governments rules and have payed the price, this is how rules work, even when we don't like them. I don't agree with censorship myself but I don't go trying to sneak contraband into foreign countries either.

    I agree that the Chinese government doesn't have the best track record but I've never seen a copy of the 'approved' Chinese bible so I won't be so quick to judge on this one.

    Though I can honestly say if it were a different piece of literature (novel, etc) I'd feel a bit differently so color me biased.

    At least these people didn't get arrested and start some sort of international incident over the matter.