Monday, August 11, 2008

President Bush to China: "Don't be afraid of religion"

I'm not above changing my opinion on something. When Rep. Chris Smith, a true Catholic politician, introduced a motion to boycott the Olympics in China, I was incensed that President Bush would be attending the games in a country with such an abominable record on human rights.
Now I see that perhaps his gentle but persistent efforts towards encouraging greater freedom of religion in China may be more effective when spoken directly versus through a boycott.
We'll know by the fruits if this approach was effective. There's such a long way to go.
"Sunday morning in Beijing, President Bush attended the Beijing Kuanjie Protestant Christian Church. After the government-established church service, the U.S. president gently encouraged the Chinese government to consider granting religious freedom to its citizens, telling them not to fear Christianity.
The president expressed that he and his wife experienced “great joy and privilege of worshiping here in Beijing, China.” Bush explained that the service showed “that God is universal, and God is love, and no state, man or woman should fear the influence of loving religion.”

Read the entire story here.


cg said...

I admire Pres. Bush, but my understanding of the 'great joy and privilege of Beijing, China," or anywhere else in China, is that the experience is generally only joyful for visitors. For the Chinese, worship toward any other God but Budda is not at all joyful or a privilege; you can lose your life over it.

Leticia said...

You're right, CG, and the normal congregation was held back from the service because the President was there. Why do I still think that his presence is positive? Think back to our beloved Holy Father John Paul II's visit to Poland in the 1980's and the upsurge in Solidarity right after. Maybe Bush is trying to ignite a grassroots revolution. I'll certainly be praying for that.