Yesterday the commentary below landed in my inbox as part of a newsletter to which I subscribe. Because it so clearly articulated how I personally feel, I am re-posting it with permission from the author….
I want to first make this very clear: I am not calling for a boycott or protest. I am not telling you that you are wrong if you decide to watch the Olympics. I simply want to express why I cannot sit down and enjoy the Olympics this year.
While many countries allow abortion, China takes it a step further with forced abortion. China has a one child policy and forces women who get pregnant again to have abortions. It really amazes me that the “so called” pro-choice movement does not speak up against this. Wouldn’t a forced abortion be going against the idea of choice?
China is also a staunch supporter of Sudan’s government who are committing mass genocide in Darfur. Hundreds of thousands of people have been slaughtered in Darfur and millions have been displaced. Sudan’s government is killing, raping and torturing black Africans in Darfur and China is helping them by supplying weapons.
With issues like forced abortion, the support of Sudan’s government, the atrocities in Tibet and so much more it saddens me to see China looked at in such a great light during the Olympics. I know that there are many other countries including our own who are guilty of human rights violations. I know that China is not the only country to disregard human life, but they are one of the worst.
I tried to sit down, give the Olympics a chance and watch the opening ceremonies. NBC showed a few minutes of footage about why people are angry about the Olympics being in China before they went into the celebration of the opening ceremonies. As I sat there my heart saddened as I thought about what was more important for me. I could not help but think about all the people who were displaced in Beijing for Olympic facilities to be built. I thought about the billions of dollars spent for things like swimming pools and race tracks as so many people in china are starving and suffering. I thought about every second child conceived in China and the pain his or her mother went through as they were forced to kill their child simply for not being the first born.
As much as I like watching the Olympics, was this worth it? Is seeing someone jump higher that someone else more important than taking a stand? For me it’s not worth it. I have decided that I will not watch the Olympics this year. I know my not watching them will not change what is going on right now. I made this decision as a matter of principle for myself and to stand in solidarity with those who are suffering. I have decided to take some of the time I would spend watching the Olympics and use that to research more ways I can be a voice for those who have none.
I want to reemphasize that I’m not telling you not to watch the Olympics or asking you to boycott them. I am simply asking you to think about some of these issues and look into how you might be a voice also.
For Christ I stand,