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The Dirty Little Secret

The Dirty Little Secret

What do companies like Nike, Gap, Apple, and Samsung have in common? (And there are many others that could be added to this list.) What they have in common is that they manufacture many of their products in China using slave labor.

Perhaps you did not know that fact. There are, of course, many prison camps in China that house people that the Chinese political leadership considers a danger. In fact, it is estimated that there are as many as one million Uyghur (pronounced Weeger) Muslims alone in these “reeducation camps.” In fact, there are an untold number of Christians imprisoned in these kinds of camps, as well. Basically, that’s what China does, or worse, to people they consider subversive.

But what, you might ask, does that have to do with those various American and multinational companies? Well, when the thousands of workers walk through the gates of the factories they work in, many of them actually come from these camps. These workers enter a place enclosed with barbed wire, facial-recognition cameras (along with other high-tech surveillance), and a heavy police presence with police stations actually on the factory grounds. Many of these factories are, in fact, forced labor camps manned by persecuted religious minorities who are bought and sold by local governments to work in the factories. It is, in fact, a part of the modern slave trade – and many American companies participate in it.

The companies, of course, try to deny their involvement, and many have gone on a PR blitz to explain away the fact that they get their products from these factories. The fact remains, however, that they buy many of their products from suppliers that are engaged in this process.

To make matters even worse, some of the companies, Nike, for instance, have made a big show of supporting social justice causes in America. They support causes that are supposed to show that they care about injustice and inequality, while at the same time railing against religious liberty by pulling factories and jobs from states that don’t support homosexual marriage or abortion.

Political correctness and social justice represent Naturalism’s approach to morality. Since Naturalists don’t believe in God, or in any kind of absolute basis for morality and values, they are reduced to arbitrarily selecting moral beliefs based on the personal preferences of those who have the power and influence to impose their will on others.

For instance, since these companies are businesses, it is necessary for them to make money in order to stay in business. Of course, this is, by definition, not a problem since that is what a business does. So it is not the fact of making money that is at issue, but how they do it. The ones mentioned above have seen an opportunity to partner with China to enhance their bottom lines. Cheap labor means less expenses for the company, which allows them to pocket more of the sales revenue for themselves. Again, this is not a problem in and of itself. However, they have made a big display of pushing for “justice and equality” in America, where those values are considered important, while at the same time feeling free to use forced labor in China in a way that provides financial support for the communist Chinese government. And it is not only the slave labor that is a problem. The money and technology China receives also helps them suppress their own people. And because of the relativistic moral foundation of the people who lead these companies, they don’t see any problem with that kind of hypocrisy.

As Christians, we do have an absolute basis for our moral beliefs – the morality that has been revealed in the Bible. We certainly believe it is fine for a company to make money, but we do not believe that it is okay to do it in a way that allows or promotes what that Bible teaches to be immoral. Perhaps it is time for Christians who are serious about their faith to take notice of the companies that ignore the evil they are participating in. Then, they should do what they can to exert what influence they have to push back against it – and there are ways for every Christian to do just that.

Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah. 

You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.

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Freddy Davis


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