The Beijing Olympics: Legitimizing the Illegitimate

There is an episode of the West Wing that deals with North Korea, and talks to disarm nuclear bombs. This is juxtaposed to a North Korean music prodigy who tells President Bartlett he wants to defect by pretending to sign a copy of his CD. The show centers around how fickle North Korea is, and if they let this man defect, they could lose all progress in nuclear talk. At the end President Bartlett encourages this man to do what is best for both countries. He declines to defect. The next day the President is informed that trade talks were suspended due to North Korea being offended at the size of the flags for Security Council countries.

What am I getting at: attempting to play to the bully or crazy country and give them what they want (or prevent justice to appease them) doesn’t help them assimilate, it only legitimizes an illegitimate regime.

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That is what we have done in giving China the next summer Olympics.

China’s human rights, and oppressive regime have been very well known by the IOC, and well, everyone for that matter. Granted there are great steps China has made to allow for forms of religious freedom. But let’s not kid ourselves here, China also allowed for various forms of private property to be held for the first time in early 2004. Anyone who assumes that China’s human rights advancements have been produced by anything other than fiscal greed and hegemonic aspirations needs to read Hobbes’ Leviathan. China is turning capitalistic, but it has nothing to do with the value of human life, it has to do with the value of the Chinese Yuan.

Think about capitalism and the United States. From a Judeo/Christian perspective, it sucks that God’s values have been egregiously married to capitalism (note to my right wing readers: capitalism tends to spit in the face of Jesus saying it is impossible to love both God and Mammon). From a Machiavellian perspective, capitalism would succeed the best when starting from a worldview that devalues the worth of humanity. Like say, China. As a Christian, I am thankful that becuase our capitalism is mixed with Christianity. It is becuase of this that there are processes and programs that still value humanity. One example of this is tax write-offs for charitable donations, or say the Bill of Rights. China’s capitalism does not have these processes and programs. China’s capitalistic movement is best described as such: Capitalism without a conscience.

Now the IOC on behalf of the “free-world” has begun the mainstream effort to assimilate this country; legitimizing the illegitimate.

Why this rant? This morning Justin Taylor pointed me to another attempt by the Chinese government to control religious freedom, not of its citizens, but rather of all Olympic participants. Now I know the argument for this. In preventing Bibles, they are preventing evangelism efforts from Olympic participants. Right, people that train their whole life for one event are going to be preoccupied with evangelizing. Not to say they won’t be evangelizing, but not at a rate that would prove detrimental.

This is ridiculous. Yet it proves that in allowing Beijing to host the summer Olympics, we are legitimizes an illegitimate government. I heard they are thinking of Sudan for the next bid.

matt

Update:

Apparently the writer of that story didn’t do his homework (what a surprise). Here is the official policy: One Bible. This being the case, I still stand behind the post.

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2 Responses

  1. Matt I think your point still stands. Why should the Chinese care if Olympians want to bring a whole suitcase of Bibles? What does this have to do with hosting the games or the participant’s performance? The answer is nothing.

    Also TIME magazine had an interesting article about how the economic success of China, or its new Capitalistic tendencies have actually further entrenched communism. So while many of us have long speculated that if we could just import our economic model upon the nation of China then the communists would come to their senses. This has proven to be foolish. As many of the young professionals and college students were asked if they wanted to see democracy take root in China they were quite apathetic and said it had nothing to do with their life. Because most of them have tasted the pleasureful fruit of materialism, and believe that communism has delivered on its promises there impetus for change. As one student put it, “I have a new snowboard, I go to Starbucks everyday, and new iPod, why do I care about politics?” I guess we have given China a core American value afterall; apathy in indulgence.

  2. Isn’t “The West Wing” great?

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