Better to be Poor in Finances or in Freedoms?
Updated: Jan 2
Fighting for the less fortunate is our God-given duty:
“Open your mouth for the mute—for the rights of all the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy (Proverbs 31:8-9 NASB).”
Many countries do not incorporate this mandate as part of their mission. Venezuela is one, and China is another. In fact, China currently has 4 million of the 40 million slaves in the world and is consistently among the worst nations for violent persecution of Christians.
It is an oppressive and tyrannical nation, yet presidential candidate Bernie Sanders praised it:
“What we have to say about China, in fairness to China and its leadership is, if I’m not mistaken, they have made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization. So they’ve done a lot of things for their people."
How has China lifted millions of its citizens out of poverty? China’s famous “Great Leap Forward” initiative (to move the nation into socialism that would provide for all its citizens) involved “mass murder, religious persecution, forced abortion and famine.” As one commentator summarized:
“Dead people aren't poor. Just dead.”
Does Senator Sanders really believe their current attempt to “obliterate poverty” justifies the horrors of communism? Just ask the protesters in Hong Kong if they want China’s version of its pledge “to lift all of China's 1.4 billion people out of poverty by 2020.” There’s a reason Hong Kongers are waving American flags and not Chinese ones.
The fruits of communism (in counties such as China) and socialism (in countries such a Venezuela) are evident, and they are consistently bad. (Ironically, Sanders once praised Venezuela “as a place where the ‘American dream is more apt to be realized.”) Sanders should start studying the effects of communism and socialism—especially if he intends to implement similar measures if elected the next President of the United States.
Liberty is always to be preferred to oppression. In the famous words of Patrick Henry:
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
We should always be “gracious to the needy” (Proverbs 14:31), and one way of doing that is not to enable or praise countries that consistently violate human rights, as China and Venezuela do.
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 “China,” Global Slavery Index (accessed September 13, 2019), https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/2018/findings/country-studies/china/
 “2019 World Watch List,” Open Doors (accessed September 13, 2019), https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/
 Crookston, P. (2019, August 27). Sanders: China Has Done More to Solve Poverty Than ‘Any Country in the History of Civilization’. Retrieved from https://freebeacon.com/politics/sanders-china-has-done-more-to-solve-poverty-than-any-country-in-the-history-of-civilization/
 Gutfeld, G (2019, August 28). Gutfeld on Bernie's comments about China. Retrieved from https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/gutfeld-bernie-china
 Westcott, B. & Wang, S. (2019, April 20). Xi Jinping is determined to end all poverty in China by 2020. Can he do it? Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/asia/poverty-alleviation-2020-xi-jinping-intl/index.html
 Kakutani, Y. (2019, July 30). Why Hong Kong protesters wave the American flag. Retrieved from https://townhall.com/tipsheet/yuichirokakutani/2019/07/30/why-hong-kong-protesters-wave-the-american-flag-and-raise-the-union-jack-n2550918
 Rosas, J. (2019, May 1). Sanders distances himself from 2011 editorial on his Senate website praising the American dream in Venezuela. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/sanders-distances-himself-from-2011-editorial-on-his-senate-website-praising-the-american-dream-in-venezuela
 Henry, P. (1775, March 23). Retrieved from https://www.history.org/almanack/life/politics/giveme.cfm