.- Congressman Thaddeus McCotter(R-MI), Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, denounced a reported Chinese ban on Bibles during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He introduced a Congressional Resolution condemning such government restrictions on Christianity and all religions.
"As the world stumbles toward the communist propaganda extravaganza labeled the Beijing Olympics, somewhere Chairman Mao is looking up at us and laughing," he said.
In a Wednesday speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives the Congressman cited a Catholic News Agency report.
"According the Catholic News Agency Bibles and all other religious symbols are among Communist China’s list [of] athletes’ prohibited objects due to security concerns."
CNA initially reported that Bibles would not be allowed into the Olympic Village. A later report revealed contradictory policies in place. The Chinese Olympic Committee made a slight change to its total ban on religious items. It declared that "devotional objects” will be allowed in compliance with Chinese "freedom of religion" laws, but “religious objects meant to propagate a cult” would not be permitted.
The official website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games also recommends travelers to take no more than one Bible into China.
This recommendation was a specific target of Congressman McCotter's critical remarks, in which he also admonished President George W. Bush.
"Since the leader of the free world, President Bush has articulated his eagerness to attend the Communist China’s Olympics; I am compelled to ask three questions," the congressman said.
"Mr. President how many Bibles will you be taking to Beijing? Will you visit the 5 bishops and 15 priests imprisoned for opposing the Communist regime’s official church? And will you tell China’s Communist tyrants this fundamental truth, 'No good government denies God’s presences'," he continued.
Congressman McCotter also called upon the Chinese government to allow the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom or other international human rights organizations unrestricted access to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to “ensure the protection of Christians and other religious persons.”
In September 2007 Congressman McCotter, joined by several colleagues, authored a letter to President Bush urging him to reconsider his attendance at the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The Congressman’s floor speech is viewable on-line at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3sR6WZVPKs