Crosses Sold in US Made in Chinese Sweatshops
Ed Brayton printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 12:50:59 AM EST
The National Labor Committee (NLC) has released a shocking report showing that Christian crosses marketed in the United States by the Association for Christian Retail (ACR, founded as the Christian Booksellers Association) are being made in a Chinese sweatshop with working conditions that are appalling even by Chinese legal standards. The report is titled, Today Workers Bear the Cross: Crucifixes Made Under Horrific Sweatshop Conditions in China.

The ACR supplies nearly all of the nation's Christian specialty stores with a wide range of items including Bibles, Christian books, curriculum, apparel, music, videos, gifts, greeting cards. Perhaps their largest client is Family Christian Stores, a Grand Rapids based compeny that is the largest Christian retailer in the nation with over 300 stores. ACR did $4.63 billion in business in 2006, at least a portion of it apparently profiting from the suffering of workers at the Junxingye factory in Dongguan, China. The facts in this report are stunning even by Chinese standards:

Crucifixes are being made at the Junxingye Factory in Dongguan, China, by mostly young women-- several just 15 and 16 years old--forced to work routine 14 to 15 ½-hour shifts, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 or 11:30 p.m., seven days a week. There are also frequent 17 to 18 hour shifts ending at 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. and even monthly all-night 22 ½ to 25-hour shifts before shipments must leave for the U.S. All overtime is mandatory, and anyone missing even a single overtime shift will be docked a full day's wages. It is common for the workers to be at the factory at least 100 hours a week. Workers are paid just 26 ½ cents an hour, which is half of China's legal minimum wage (already set at a below-subsistence level) of 55 cents an hour. After fees deducted for room and board, the workers take-home wage can drop to just nine cents an hour. Workers are housed in primitive dorm rooms sleeping on narrow double-level metal bunk beds that line the walls. There is no other furniture, and the rooms reek of perspiration. The walls are filthy, smudged with black, while spider webs cling to the ceiling. The bathrooms are so damp and dirty that moss grows on the floor...Anyone missing a day due to sickness will, as punishment, be docked two-and-a-half day's wages. Workers fear that they may be handling toxic chemicals, but they are not told the names of the chemicals and paints, let alone their potential health hazards.

The National Labor Council held a press conference outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York last week to publicize the report. Prior to that point, St. Patrick's sold the crucifixes on site, but they have since pulled them from shelves. Trinity Church in New York City did the same. The ACR, on the other hand, has only issued this brief statement:

While we occasionally hear this issue raised, and believe there are factories in China where human rights are violated, we believe claims that products sold through CBA member stores are made in these shops are irresponsible and unfounded."

The ACR's media relations person sent me a generic statement that said there were "inaccuracies" in the NLC report, but she refused to give specifics when I asked. The statement only said that their supplier had gotten "assurances" from the owners of the factory in China that the allegations were false. The media relations person at Family Christian Stores in Grand Rapids was unaware of the report and said they would return the call with any statement they wished to make. They never called back.

Christian merchandising is a lucrative and growing segment of the retail market, a multi-billion dollar a year industry that markets everything from Bibles to keychains to the ubiquitous What Would Jesus Do stickers. It seems unlikely that the Jesus who told his followers "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me also" would countenance the use of virtual slave labor to produce the symbols of his life.




Display:
Is what it boils down to for present day American christianity. Look at the huge churches, the huge houses the mega-pastors live in, their Lear jets, cars, just basic lavish life styles.

Then look at the shameless way they distrtt history and science, and have sold off their spiritual legacy to the extent that Rick Scarborough's current "evenagelical" crusade is completely political in nature.

The "War on Christmas" rakes in hundreds of millions every year, they certainly won't let that go despite their hypocritical position on the subject.

Our dollar bill is the god that christians now trust, and it even says so. It's the most logical way to explain their horrific, unchristian, anti-Jesus like behavior.

by Leckey on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 08:37:57 AM EST

Christians started the "War On Christmas".

Specifically, the Puritans.

by Bruce Wilson on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 01:05:58 PM EST
Parent

Thank you for the reminder.

by nogodsnomasters on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 10:58:06 AM EST
Parent



Ed Brayton ends his post with this (unintentional, I presume) irony: "It seems unlikely that the Jesus who told his followers "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me also" would countenance the use of virtual slave labor to produce the symbols of his life." Except that a CRUCIFIX is symbolic of Christ's horrifically agonizing, tortured, prolonged DEATH upon the cross. A story, by the way, very much suspect in fact. Christianity, in general, is a death-worship religion. Yuch.

by Forrest Prince on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 12:13:08 PM EST
refrain from violationg TTA's guidelines.  The people who run this site are Christians.  Please avoid needlessly offending them.

-------------
"I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair" - JFK, Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
by hardindr on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 05:35:19 PM EST
Parent
One point of clarification, however. I have never stated anything about my religious views, nor do I intend to.

On this site, we welcome believers and nonbelievers; Christians and non-Christians. We have always had considerable diversity in the featured writers, and will continue to do so.  We expect everyone who participates to treat one another with respect. We also think in the interests of that respect, as well as intellectual competance, it is wise to avoid making vast generalizations about whole classes of people. When we criticize prominent Southern Baptists for example (and boy have we!) we do not make vast generalizations about Southern Baptists, let alone all Baptists.

As for those who willfully violate the site policies and exhibit themselves to be trolls, we do not hesitate to delete comments and ban the perps. We don't usually make a show of it. But anyone who does not take these words seriously is very mistaken.

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 07:40:14 PM EST
Parent

my bad.  Sorry.

-------------
"I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair" - JFK, Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association
by hardindr on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 09:13:22 PM EST
Parent





WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (317 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (116 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (69 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (70 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (69 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (108 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (85 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (62 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (199 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (48 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (65 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (145 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (29 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (40 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (146 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (161 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (63 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (91 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (97 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (110 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (104 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (111 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (70 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (82 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (86 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (59 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (98 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (63 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (81 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (66 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.