Religion in Society

Outrage Over Mao Zedong Ornament on White House Christmas Tree

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WASHINGTON -- The Christian Defense Coalition and Generation Life are outraged that an ornament of a man who crushed human and religious rights, trampled on freedom and oversaw the deaths of 50,000,000 of his own people would be honored by a display on the White House Christmas tree during this holy season.

If these reports are true, President Obama has shown a profound disrespect for Christianity and the message of the Christ-child which was heard so loudly on Christmas morning; "Peace on earth, goodwill toward man."

Both organizations are calling for the ornament to be removed and an apology to be issued by the White House to all people of faith, Christians and the Chinese people, many of whom are still in prison because of Mao's policies.

The attorney for Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, contacted the White House and was told that they could neither confirm if the ornament was ever on the tree or if had been removed.

This episode is especially troubling in light of the fact that President Obama covered up a white cross at Georgetown University and a symbol for the name of Jesus. It now appears the President is continuing his disrespect and lack of sensitivity toward symbols and traditions of the Christian faith by insulting the birth of Christ with an image of brutal dictator on the White House Christmas tree.

The faith organizations wonder what next years' ornaments might look like? Perhaps a tribute to Joseph Stalin or Bull Conner.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, was arrested twice and forcefully dragged out of Tiananmen Square at 2008 Summer Olympics in front Mao's tomb. He was there to speak out against the human rights abuses of the Chinese government against their own people and to speak out for free speech and religious liberties.

All these abuses started under Mao.

Rev. Mahoney states;

"I am stunned and profoundly disappointed by reports of an ornament with the image of Mao Zedong hanging on the White House Christmas tree. It is hard to understand during this most holy season that President Obama would display an ornament of a man who brutalized and murdered his own people and his legacy still haunts the Chinese and the world.

"It is a direct slap in the face to Christians who honor the birth of Christ and the Savior of the world during this special time of year. The message of Christ on that Christmas morning was 'peace on earth, goodwill toward man.' Yet the White House tramples that glorious message, with the image of a dictator who only brought tyranny and oppression to millions.

"By displaying this ornament, the White House has shown a profound disrespect and lack of sensitivity to Christianity and all faith traditions. Quite frankly, it is an insult to the Christmas holiday and all those who cherish the timeless and powerful message of Christ.

"Mr. President, please remove this offensive ornament and apologize to the American people. Sir, you are free to hang dictators and tyrants on the Christmas tree in your house. But this is not your house. It belongs to the American people and should symbolize freedom, hope, tolerance and respect. Especially during the Christmas season."

Brandi Swindell, Director of Generation Life, was also part of the group of Christian and human rights leaders that were arrested at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Ms. Swindell adds;

"I went to China last year to speak out against the human rights abuses against the Chinese people that began under the regime of Mao Zedong. Chairman Mao oversaw the deaths of 50,000,000 of his own countrymen under one of the most brutal governments in history. The policies and government he put in place still continue to crush, trample and terrorize the wonderful people of China.

"In light of this fact, it is an outrage that President Obama would put an ornament on the White House Christmas tree with an image of this brutal leader. To display an image of Mao at the White House would be an outrage at any time of the year, but to have it on display during the celebration of Christmas is an absolute disgrace.

"Sadly, these are the actions of a White House that has no respect or regard for the message of Christmas or the feelings of millions of Christians. Our message is clear; Mr. Obama remove the ornament, apologize to the American people and embrace the powerful message of Christmas. That message is one of hope not hate."

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