Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.

Commie Cash

10-20-2019Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

“U.S. officials recently announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials accused of being involved in "detention and abuse" of its Muslim minority population. The visa restrictions are targeting those complicit in China's "highly repressive campaign" against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim minority groups in the northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.” (UPI Oct.8) But why should we care how China treats its Muslims?

Recently 22 Western nations sent a letter to the UN Council on Human Rights complaining about the mistreatment of the Uighur Muslims in China. But missing from the signatures were any Muslim majority nations. In turn, China produced a letter signed by 37 countries, including: Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, and Kuwait. Pakistan, (the world’s second largest Muslim country) which stated “China's remarkable achievements in the field of human rights.” Instead of condemning China for its detention and re-education camps, these majority Muslim nations praised China’s efforts for “de-radicalizing” the Uighurs.

These same nations that criticize Western nations treatment of Muslims and our counter-terrorism efforts could find nothing but praise for China’s treatment of Muslims, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Why cave so easily or at all? These countries caved for the same reason that the NBA and other Western Corporations refuse to criticize China or support the Hong Kong Protesters: they all want the Commie Cash. China uses its economic clout to reward and punish. Criticize China’s treatment of Muslims and you are treated brutally. Criticize the US treatment of Muslims and you are given more financial aid.

When it came to the NBA, the former NBA player Charles Barkley, bluntly stated: For the NBA this was a business decision (not to tick off the PRC). He is right. China represents a huge market and therefore huge profits. That’s fine if you want to operate in a free market that has no ethics other than maximize profits. But don’t, out of the other side of your mouth claim that your business has a moral conscience that guides its practices.

So many of these same companies that refuse to criticize China’s human rights abuses are quick to criticize the US for its “systematic oppression”. The NBA pulled its All-Star Game out of North Carolina because the state wanted to transition to single use bathrooms as a compromise over the Transgender Bathroom Apocalypse. Disney said it would no longer do business in the state of Georgia over its restrictions on abortion. Apple and others threatened to pull its businesses out of Indiana after that state tried to pass a Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The NFL already threatened not to hold another Super Bowl in AZ unless we all dance to the social justice warrior tune of the month.

After “Nixon went to China” and China was admitted to the WTO we were told that economic cooperation would liberalize China and help democratize it. Nice sentiment but it didn't happen. What did happen was that many US businesses moved to China, knowing full well that after 10- or 20-years China would seize their technology and innovations. But what did they care, they knew by then they would be billionaires? No social concern for the unemployed Americans or communities devastated by factory closings, just avarice for Commie Cash.

One of the constant refrains we hear from the people like Sen. Warren and Sen. Sanders, is how corporations have “social responsibility” to its stakeholders not shareholders. Yet, we hear little or nothing from them when corporations like the NBA profit handsomely off of a country that tramples basic human rights. With over a billion people in China, there is a lot of Commie Cash for Western corporations to get their hands on. One problem, when they do so they have to dirty their social justice consciences. Or to put it more simply: be hypocrites.

I am glad the US is standing up for religious freedom around the world. But it is a diplomatic embarrassment that Western countries can’t find any Muslim countries to stand with them over the issue of China’s treatment of Muslims. It’s equally embarrassing when US “socially woke” corporations go to sleep when it comes to China’s human rights abuses.

The sad irony is that these Corporations have little regard for religious liberty, in fact many of them see it as a roadblock on the way to full social justice, but it is religious liberty that gives these same corporations and NBA players the right and protections necessary to stand against abuses to human dignity in the US. In countries with no Religious Freedom, like China, you cannot make a claim to conscience or morality but you can turn a profit.

If these Corporations and sports professionals would stand up for the rights of the Uighurs Muslims or the Hong Kong Protesters, they would be affirming their own freedom of conscience that comes from Religious Liberty. Sadly, they are trampling upon their very own most basic freedom and at the same time putting profit above principle.


Fr. John B.