Friday, August 15, 2008

Romero's Daughter Explains the Gadfly Project

Pastor Romero's daughter, Sarah Yetter, made this video as a response to the criticisms of the Gadfly protest in Beijing.

I've read a lot of the criticisms regarding Pastor Romero's (Gadfly) protest in China. I respect other people's opinions, but I also respectfully disagree. I'm sure Pastor Romero didn't do everything perfectly. The fact of the matter, though, is that every move he made was meticulously planned over the course of 7 years. His advisors were and are people who live or have lived in China and have been persecuted. These are all people who live the issues, and are a part of the Chinese people. Those of us in other parts of the world must not pretend that we know what's best for the Chinese people. In a lot of ways, this protest is how they advised Pastor Romero to act. Don't forget Romero's numerous trips to China over the years, and his relationships with the Chinese in other countries such as the U.S. I believe he is well aware of the culture and the details of what's going on in China.

Many people have voiced their concern for the vandalism of the hotel rooms. I've heard one person state that making a hotel employee clean up an American's protest will damage their view of Christians in the U.S.

First of all, think about the countless lives lost and the friends and families broken apart for no wrong doing of their own. Think of all the blood shed, abuses of all kinds, and the churches or homes demolished by the Chinese government. You can't compare all of that loss to the clean up of water based paint in two hotel rooms.

Secondly, I believe this protest will show the people of China that Americans do care. If around 107 million people are being persecuted and silenced in China for their beliefs, don't you think all of those people appreciated someone speaking out for them? If you were being tortured in a prison camp somewhere, I bet you'd want someone on the outside to speak up for you. What if even one of the staff members who cleaned up those rooms had a family member who was killed or imprisoned for their faith. (Wouldn't that be a likely if there are 7 million Christians and 100 million practitioners of Falun Gong in China?) That person might have a little more hope now.

Lastly, due to the severity of this injustice- because of the widespread apathy in people over this issue- and since the Chinese government continually sweeps all of this under the rug to keep appearances- the Gadfly project had to be a graphic protest. Something had to be done that would wake us up and bring attention to what's going on. The fact that there are arguments over this protest all over the internet is a testament that it worked. I think we need to transition from "Was the protest right or wrong?" to "What can we do about this?"

Regardless of whether a protest is right or wrong, we know that the problem is there now. It would be a crime against humanity to spend our time arguing while doing nothing about it. This is my last defense for the protest. I'd rather spend my time in action.


Kay Bratt said...

I'm with you. I am feeling the sting-- but I will not stop speaking out.


Digi D said...

Rock on kay bratt. Maybe I should clarify- I won't stop speaking out about what's happening in China, but I'm not going to waste my time defending Pastor Romero's specific actions. People are going to disagree no matter what I say. I believe the Gadfly Project was of the Lord, and will therefore yield it's own crop. I'll be right there to help.


Anonymous said...

You might want to reconsider using "The Gadfly" as the name of your religious project. Read the book by that title (by Ethel Voynich) - you can find it online for free. The book was read by every educated Chinese until recently and was even credited with being an inspiration for the Cultural Revolution. If you read the book all the way through it will be apparent why the name doesn't fit your project.