The China Desk
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Uncle Sam, Persecutor of Christians
February 03, 1997
The China News
My jaw dropped when I read that that Assistant Secretary of State John Shattuck had condemned Saudi Arabia for repression of religious freedom, charging that the government "commits and tolerates human rights abuses" citing a case where -- quoting the Reuters report -- "a Christian service was broken up by police... and the man who hosted the service was lashed."
It dropped even further when I read that newly appointed Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had declared that religious freedom around the world would be a new priority of US human rights policy.
Four years ago in 1993, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh did considerably more than "break up" a Christian service and "lash the host." They surrounded a wooden church annex in Mount Carmel, Texas belonging to a tiny sect of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. With the help of US Army tanks and helicopters and the full legal weight of the Federal law enforcement Leviathan behind them, they terrorized and starved the parishioners within, gassed them with potentially lethal CS gas, and finally in a fit of frustration set fire to the wooden structure and burned 75 church members to death, including 25 children.
May I suggest that before the US State Department and Human Rights Watch preach their (by now all too familiar) Human Rights Sermon to foreign nations such as Saudi Arabia and China, that they first have a "heart to heart" with the US Justice Department, the BATF and the FBI? And while we're on the subject of religion, perhaps the Bibilical injunction to "look not for the mote in someone else's eye, but attend first to the beam in one's own" would not be out of order?
Taipei, Taiwan, China