By dismissing the Chinese regime’s atrocities against the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority who live in Xinjiang in northwest China, as part of “different norms,” Biden could be plunging the world into an international crisis sooner than any of us could have imagined.
In 1968, the historian Will Durant wrote in his “Lessons of History,” that “War is one of the constants of history, and has not diminished with civilization or democracy. In the last 3,421 years of recorded history, only 268 have seen no war.” Sadly, there has been a war somewhere in the world every year since.
Regardless of the luxuries in which Americans live, it remains true that, in every era, there are regimes that are barbaric or seek domination of their people and often the regions around them, if not more.
China is one such country. Recently, it was reported by the New York Post that “The State Department said it was ‘deeply disturbed’ by a report that claims Muslim women being held in Chinese re-education camps detaining millions of Uyghurs are being systematically raped, sexually abused and tortured.”
While not every atrocity can be remedied by the United States, none of them should be tolerated. All of them should be met by statements from our Commander in Chief that America aspires for freedom for everyone and that no atrocity can be justified or tolerated.
Beyond that, an administration should use diplomacy and economic sanctions at a minimum to confront the atrocities. Military intervention, while a last resort, should never be taken off the table.
With respect to China, a country that permits live organ harvesting, military intervention is not an option for those atrocities. Clear-eyed resolve, diplomacy, and sanctions, however, are a must.
All of which brings us to Joe Biden’s statement related to China and the Uyghurs. In a rambling response on national television, Biden first justified China’s abuses by saying:
“If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home . . . So the central—well, vastly overstated—the central principle of [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”
He also said, “Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”
Atrocities are not justifiable norms and prior wrongs don’t justify current atrocities.
Not long after, the world was plunged into the Korean War after North Korea invaded South Korea in June of 1950. Many reasonably believe that Acheson’s statement that the United States’ sphere of concern, i.e. its defense perimeter, didn’t include what is South Korea today was a green light for North Korea, with the support of China and Russia, to invade South Korea.
Joe Biden’s comments just gave comfort to China that the United States won’t interfere in its domestic atrocities. The same words shall give comfort to Iran, Russia, and every dictator around the world—regardless of whether clarifying statements are made by the Administration in the days and weeks ahead.
God only knows what they will do with Biden’s green light.
The world, on the other hand, now knows just how weak Joe Biden is.
One lesson of history is that wars are started based on an adversary’s weakness and that is why the world will be living dangerously under Joe Biden.
Thomas Del Beccaro is an acclaimed author, speaker, Fox News, Fox Business, and Epoch Times opinion writer, and former chairman of the California Republican Party. He is the author of the historical perspectives “The Divided Era” and “The New Conservative Paradigm
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Birdpuk.com
Years ago, the horrors of the holocaust paved the way for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; however, our basic right to freedom of religion or belief is still being trampled in societies ruled by totalitarian regimes.
In communist China, practicing a certain faith, printing, or even reading religious books could result in prison terms and abuse. Spiritual believers in China—be it Christians, Buddhists, Uyghur Muslims, or Falun Gong practitioners—are faced not only with brutal suppression or forced-labor terms but also have their religious books burned or trashed at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The coercive policies are aimed at forcing these religious followers to renounce their faith and follow the communist ideologies based on atheism and Marxism.
It is the work of the devil. The situation is becoming increasingly dire; the government [the CCP] is increasing pressure step by step. In the end, they want to eliminate religious beliefs completely.
According to Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights in China, a Three-Self Church venue in one of the villages under the jurisdiction of Lanling County was demolished in July 2020.
A county government official told the congregation that “all churches too close to government institutions must be destroyed” and the same goes for “those that look better than government buildings.”
“Belief in the Communist Party is the only religion allowed,” the official said, according to the report.
In another report, the magazine stated that in the same month, 26 people in Jiangsu Province, China, were sentenced under the charges of “illegal business operations” for being involved in printing religious publications meant for internal circulation for the South Korean Good News Mission.
The director and two members of the mission were fined heavily and handed prison terms of 3 years and 10 months and 3 years and 6 months, respectively, while some printing house managers were fined as high as US$15,000 and sentenced to 3 years, with a probation period of 3 to 5 years.
Even postal and courier services are being strictly monitored. In another recent report, a courier company staff member from the city of Luoyang, Henan Province, told Bitter Winter that the CCP exerted “strict control over mailed goods” in the year 2020.
“Only the mailing of government-approved books is allowed. All books with ‘bad information,’ including religion, are not allowed to be dispatched. If public security authorities discover violations of these regulations, the company will be fined and closed down,” the staff member said.
Citing yet another incident, the report said a mother of Christian faith from Jiyuan City, Henan Province, visited a post office in June 2020 to mail gospel texts to her daughter living abroad. But authorities told her that her publications were “illegal objects,” the report said.
“I knew that it was illegal to send combustible objects, drugs, guns, and ammunition, but even religious materials are now illegal,” she said.
As the communist regime is escalating its restrictions on religious publications, those in the printing industry are left in distress. A sales department manager in Luoyang City, Henan Province, told Bitter Winter in September 2020 that printing of religious materials, “especially Christian,” is not allowed.
“Anyone who takes on such orders breaks the law and might be put into prison. This is the line that we absolutely can’t cross,” the manager said, according to the report.
The authorities also conduct thorough checks to make sure that the businesses are adhering to the rules.
“They checked my storehouse, scrutinized all records, and even looked at paper sheets on the floor, to see if they have prohibited content,” said a printing house manager in the same city.
“If any such content is found, I’ll be fined, or worse, my business will be closed. Any religious content makes the issue political, not religious. Although banners on the streets say people are allowed religious beliefs, the only faith they can practice freely is that in the Communist Party,” he added.
The magazine reported in 2019 that the communist regime is also attempting to “sinicize” the Bible by forcing clergymen to interpret the teachings based on the Marxist and socialist ideologies.
“This is a distortion of the Christian faith. It is the work of the devil,” a Three-Self preacher told Bitter Winter. “The situation is becoming increasingly dire; the government [the CCP] is increasing pressure step by step. In the end, they want to eliminate religious belief completely.”
Trashing and Burning Religious Books
Apart from banning the spiritual publications, the Chinese authorities spare no efforts in confiscating religious books that aren’t officially approved by the CCP.
In March last year, the local authorities demolished a Three-Self church in Jining City’s Yutai County after deeming it an “illegal construction.”
“Officials stormed into our church before we even finished collecting our belongings,” a congregation member told Bitter Winter. “They tore up all Bibles and images of the Lord Jesus.”
Chen Yu, the owner of a Christian online bookstore in Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, was sentenced to seven years and fined 200,000 yuan (US$31,000) for “selling unapproved religious publications imported from Taiwan, the United States, and other countries,” according to an October 2020 report by International Christian Concern. The authorities also planned to destroy the 12,864 Christian books from his bookstore.
Dictating full control over spiritual followers by destroying religious books and demolishing places of worship is nothing new for the CCP in order to advance its authoritarian reign. As a regime rooted in atheism and materialism, the communist party has been cracking down on religious and spiritual groups constantly since it came to power in 1949.
A few decades later in July 1999, the then-leader of the CCP, Jiang Zemin, ordered the eradication of the spiritual practice of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), an ancient meditation system based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.
The Public Security Bureau then issued official documents prohibiting the display of any symbols or images associated with the Falun Gong practice and possessing or distributing its books, according to Falun Dafa Information Center.
Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website dedicated to documenting the persecution of Falun Gong, compiled a report, which includes several news reports documenting the CCP’s “nationwide unified destruction” of millions of Falun Gong publications, namely books and videotapes, by throwing them into a pulping machine or burning them.
Since then, countless Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested, imprisoned, and tortured, with some even having their organs harvested. Many of them were arrested for refusing to renounce their faith or for possessing the books.
In its full report on the “Public Destruction of Books and Tapes,” Minghui cited several cases reported by foreign journalists, state-run newspapers in China, eyewitnesses, and adherents of Falun Gong confirming that millions of publications were trashed, burned, and torn apart during the mass-destruction activities.
Although Buddhism is one of the recognized religions in China, the Buddhist temples and their followers are still being targeted by the authorities.
Bitter Winter reported that the government officials in Shanxi Province confiscated nearly 882 pounds (approx. 400 kg) of religious books and CDs from Fengci Temple in October 2020. In the same month, some impoverished households in Ganzhou City, Jiangxi Province, were ordered to burn the Buddhist books in the Foguang Temple or else risk having their minimum subsistence allowance revoked.
In the 2020 springtime, the religious books and CDs were burned in the Reclining Buddha Mountain Temple in Ulanqab City in China’s Inner Mongolia, according to the report.
“Those books and CDs were burned in the incense burner for three to four days,” a Buddhist from Ulanqab City said.
“The rest of religious books and CDs were taken away in a fully loaded truck. The CDs alone weighed three to four hundred kilograms.”
Let’s get this straight, according to a 5-4 one-sentence U.S. Supreme Court ruling Friday, if a Nevada church were to hold a bingo night in its 500-seat auditorium, under Gov. Steve Sisolak’s diktat, 250 people could attend, since the governor’s orders allow 50 percent capacity for casinos, but, if someone were to say a prayer, 200 would have to leave, since the governor says only 50 people may attend church services.
This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers — no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all. In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.
Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, was equally incensed at the disparate treatment, writing:
The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about the freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine, or to engage in any other game of chance. But the Governor of Nevada apparently has different priorities. Claiming virtually unbounded power to restrict constitutional rights during the COVID–19 pandemic, he has issued a directive that severely limits attendance at religious services. A church, synagogue, or mosque, regardless of its size, may not admit more than 50 persons, but casinos and certain other favored facilities may admit 50% of their maximum occupancy — and in the case of gigantic Las Vegas casinos, this means that thousands of patrons are allowed.
That Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees may not come as a surprise, but this Court’s willingness to allow such discrimination is disappointing. We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility.
The suit was brought by Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, a church in Lyon County east of Reno. It wanted to conduct services for 90 congregants, about 50 percent of its fire-code capacity. According to Alito, it planned to ask attendees to adhere to proper social distancing of six feet separation, would cut the length of services in half, prohibit items being passed among the congregation, guide congregants to designated doorways along one-way paths, and to leave time between services so the church could be sanitized.
Do casinos require as much?
Justice Kavanaugh wrote in a separate dissent:
But COVID–19 is not a blank check for a State to discriminate against religious people, religious organizations, and religious services. There are certain constitutional red lines that a State may not cross even in a crisis. Those red lines include racial discrimination, religious discrimination, and content-based suppression of speech. This Court’s history is littered with unfortunate examples of overly broad judicial deference to the government when the government has invoked emergency powers and asserted crisis circumstances to override equal-treatment and free-speech principles. The court of history has rejected those jurisprudential mistakes and cautions us against an unduly deferential judicial approach, especially when questions of racial discrimination, religious discrimination, or free speech are at stake.
But Chief Justice John Roberts — joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — denied the church’s appeal without deigning to comment on such a significant constitutional matter.