Dissident-turned-extra-dissident Chen Guangcheng has been offered a position at the conservative Witherspoon Institute, a lovely American think tank that battles social scourges like gay marriage, stem cell research, pornography, and abortion. It is still unclear, however, why the hell this just happened.
The Institute spoke to Reuters, and didn’t exactly clear anything up:
“We are taking the responsibility for the financial side and a home really where he can do his work,” Tellez [President of the Witherspoon Institute] said, adding that Witherspoon will be responsible for the financial aspect of the arrangement among the three organizations with the help of two donors he declined to identify.
“We’re not asking him to do anything specific,” he said. “The main point is he’s a truth teller, he tries to tell the truth as he sees it.”[Note: That is some seriously sloppy wording] […]
He said Chen, who is not a Christian, would not be expected to espouse or even share Witherspoon’s views on social issues.
“I do not know Mr. Chen’s views on same-sex marriage,” Tellez said. “I never asked him. I don’t intend to ask him.”
The only parallel between the right-wing group’s agenda and Chen’s background seems to be on the abortion issue; Chen fought against forced sterilizations and forced abortions in China which could potentially—but not definitively—indicate that he may have some common ground with American anti-abortion groups. That said, there are surely many people (let’s say most people) who could easily be against forced abortions in China, but still in favor of voluntary abortions in the USA or elsewhere.
If Chen starts appearing on Limbaugh and/or O’Reilly, however, then there may be more ideological overlap than we had originally thought.
Read more about Chen Guangcheng here.
[Image via @SpeakerBoehner]