Should the United States boycott the Olympics because of China's violent treatment of Tibet - among other things like the persecution of Christians?
Any discussion of boycotting China has to start with the United States' foreign policy toward China since the Nixon administration. In my opinion, 30+ years of economic detente with one of the last bastions of pure communism in the world shows that our true interests are dominated more by greed than by charity. Starting with Nixon and then every Presidential administration since then, to a nation that instituted the damnable one child policy and forced abortions on couples unwilling to comply, we have given Most Favored Nation (MFN) trading status. Since then, we've been attached at the hip to a country that willingly uses slave labor to produce cheap goods for our purely consumerist economy. Boycotting based on their treatment of Tibet does not nearly approach the appropriate level of sanctions that need to be levied were we serious about bringing China to accountability for their human rights abuses.
As it stands, neither country can do without the other. China needs us to keep buying their cheap goods at Wal-Mart while we need China to be first in line at the daily T-Bill auctions to continue propping up our weak dollar. Anything seen to threaten that grotesque symbiotic relationship will not be tolerated. Furthermore, the 1980 boycott of the Summer Olympics in Moscow did little to curb communism in the Soviet Union. It was merely a public notice of what was already going on behind the scenes economically to thwart communist expansion. The boycott was symbolic and only served to hurt our athletes that had prepared their entire lives to peak for that slim window of opportunity for athletic glory.
As Christians, we should be using the Olympics as further opportunity to bolster the underground church in China. The Olympics are an open door to showcase the failures of communist ideologies while contrasting them with the successes of Christian philosophies. I'm convinced that the only thing we can do for communist China is continue to try and win a new People's Cultural Revolution by winning hearts and minds in the underground Christian church. When enough people change their beliefs about God and themselves, they will then be equipped, strengthened, and motivated to change their government.
Sadly, the same could be said about the United States...