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Monday, June 7, 2021

Summer (Re-education) Camps

The summer season is here. Well, as far as the meteorologists are concerned. June 1st marked the first “unofficial” day of summer.

Perhaps this season will be different from last year. Covid-19 shut down most summer activities including trips to the beach, sports stadiums, travel, and a host of other popular warm weather fun. Including…camping.

For a couple of years now, our church leadership team has “retreated” in late fall or early spring to a Salvation Army Camp in Wisconsin. It’s been wonderful. But not for the camp. Their busiest season is summer when hundreds upon hundreds of kids spend a week away from home for “fun in the sun.” But not last year. Many campgrounds and resorts felt incredible pain from the loss of revenue in 2020.

I did some camping growing up, including a week-long Boy Scout camp. It was not my finest moment. Later in life, my best friend in Pittsburgh and I launched what we termed, The Manly Campout. It was a weekend at a remote campground in Maryland with our sons. The first one included about 5 families. It became an annual tradition.

But there’s another kind of camp that is memorable—but not in a good way. These are called, “re-education camps.”

Within the last few years, we’ve learned what these consist of among the Chinese people. It isn’t pretty. And nobody signs up willingly for this camp.

Accurate statistics are hard to come by, but it was estimated that as of 2019, Chinese authorities may have detained up to 1.5 million people for “re-education” purposes. A significant number of these detainees are women. The roundup of these re-trainees includes Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other ethnic Turkic Muslims. And, of course, Christians.

Your stomach might well turn in reading an article like, “China’s ‘Re-Education’ Camps Rape, Abuse, and Torture Women from Religious Minorities.” It’s reported that one woman who spent nine months inside the so-called "re-education" camps recounted how women were raped “every night” by masked Chinese men. The woman herself shared how the Chinese tortured her with electric shocks before being gang-raped by two to three men. Bottom line, it’s abuse of the worst kind.

Reeducation of another kind came to light this year in the good ol’ USA. Back in January, a story surfaced about a mid-level attorney for PBS named Michael Beller. Investigative reporting is of value until conservatives unmask some form of improprieties among liberals. And so it was when Project Veritas caught attorney Beller on tape “describing President Donald Trump as ‘close to Hitler.’” Moreover, he appeared to advocate for forcefully placing the children of Republican voters in “re-education camps.” Heavens to Murgatroyd!!

It was, to say the least, embarrassing. PBS was forced to fire Beller. No doubt he considered it an “innocent” mistake.

If you’re at all paying attention to what’s happening in public education, and all the way through our universities, “re-education” is happening daily. It occurs all throughout the “cancel culture.” It occurs as masses of Americans are indoctrinated into accepting the outrageous requirements of the LGBTQ community to influence both children and adults. We’re witnessing this happening within the church as well.

It is that segment of our society that I am most concerned about. Government shutdowns of church activity were occurring as the coronavirus seeped throughout our nation. Government threats were commonly uncovered. In Canada, they actually closed a church. In our country, some home Bible studies and small groups were told they could not meet.

The view of morality today looks vastly different than it did 70 years ago. We have found ourselves reeducated as cultural values decline. People of faith must be on alert.

We must challenge the “re-education” strategies and tactics in place. Step into the future before it happens. Resist where we can.

In 1 Corinthians 16:13, the apostle Paul tells us, “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.”  (NLT)

That was almost 2000 years ago! It seems biblical reeducation is what we need most!

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