In this week’s quick takes, we take a look at the hypocrisy of the NBA (and other celebrities) and other news of note.
China Ain’t So Bad
The NBA showed its hypocrisy this week. The General Manager of the Houston Rockets tweeted sympathy for protests in Hong Kong against increasing totalitarianism by the Chinese government. As with any dictatorship, China did not approve of criticism of its authority and cancelled the broadcast of an NBA pre-season game.
The NBA, seeing the potential to lose money, quickly backtracked and tried to downplay any criticism of the Chinese government.
As of today, the NBA still hasn’t figured out the ‘balancing act’ between its quick backtrack and the criticism it’s received for putting money aheada of human rights.
One can’t help but go back a year ago when the North Carolina state government passed a law requiring that public restrooms be used only by those who were born of that particular gender. The NBA stepped into the political fray and decided to pull events in the state until the law, which it viewed as discriminatory, was changed.
So the point is not about the North Carolina law or what you think of it. The point is that the NBA made a political statement against what it viewed as morally wrong. Yet no one could conceivably argue that China is better, no matter how bad the North Carolina law was. The Chinese regime is internationally criticized for imprisoning Muslim minorities because…well, because they are Muslim and minorities. They imprison and kill political opponents, and literally give citizens a ‘social score’ that gives everyone privileges or penalizes them on how the government thinks they act.
But the NBA won’t pull out of China like it did North Carolina. It seems the NBA’s supposed principles can be bought, just not cheaply.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Speaking of hypocrisy, one more example from celebrity environmentalists. Leonardo DiCaprio, one of Hollywood’s most prolific environmentalists, spoke recently in New York at the Global Citizen Festival about climate change. DiCaprio has become very active in advocating against climate change, reducing the use of fossil fuels and reducing the carbon footprint.
Funny thing though. DiCaprio flew to the meeting in New York in his own personal jet. So his advocacy applies, apparently to everyone but him. Reduce the carbon footprint, except in flying…by yourself….on a jet that uses more fossil fuel in a trip to New York than most people use in months. Why? Well, because saying we should be concerned applies only to poor people. That whole concern about the environment he didn’t mean for people to apply to him-don’t be so silly.
Anti-Religious Bias Of Beto O’Rourke
Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, speaking at an LGBT rally this week, came out in favor of abolishing all tax breaks for churches and religious organizations. By doing so, he said that churches are not like other charities and don’t provide a benefit and so should not have tax exempt status.
Aside from the moral social benefits of religion and its efforts to instill moral behavior in society, we can see very tangible benefits of religious organizations to the country and its people.
In most cities, list off the names of the hospitals. A large number, if not the majority, were formed by churches and faith-based organizations. The homeless shelters in your city—odds are high that they were formed and run by churches. Education—how many schools, from primary schools to colleges and universities-are run by churches? In the history of our country, the first colleges were formed by churches, colleges like Harvard and Yale, for example.
Even if you aren’t religious or a person of faith, there are a lot of non-religious reasons to be glad for churches and faith-based people and organizations. O’Rourke’s proposal is not only evidence of his anti-religious bias, but just downright bad policy for the country.