Pack extra rainbow flags


The Ottawa Citizen did its “ask the religion experts” question on the winter Olympics and Russia a couple of days ago. Kevin Smith of CFI Canada spoke for the nones.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is participating in the same race as many third-world countries, where attacking homosexuality is all the rage; people motivated by goodwill for themselves rather than towards others.

American Christian evangelicals, their influence waning at home, have invaded god-fearing Uganda to spread the morals of their homophobic creator, one whose every command must be obeyed if they are to have eternal life. They have been victorious, although the punishment for being gay is merely life in prison and not, as some had prayed for, the death penalty.

Similarly, Putin, whose policies are failing at home, attempts to solidify his base by taking a page from the fundamentalists, cosying up to the corrupt Orthodox Church and finding a minority scapegoat. Instability requires provocation.

Some people have called for a boycott. However, the 1980 boycott did not shame the Russians from leaving Afghanistan, and it’s doubtful a boycott of the 1936 games would have stopped Hitler from slaughtering Jews and other minorities, including homosexuals.

For two weeks, these Olympics will provide an opportunity for a rainbow coalition of people to take a stance against Putin’s abuse of LGBTQ rights. The world will be watching.

Exactly. I’m hoping it’s the gayest rainbowest Olympics ever.

Comments

  1. says

    There’s one major difference that separates the 1980 olympics from the 1936 and 2014 versions.

    The atrocities had already started in Afghanistan, everyone already knew what was going on and that it was continuing. One could compare it to the boycotts and protests of South African rugby teams during the apartheid era. Everyone already knew about SA’s human rights violations, and people wanted to stop the springboks from playing anywhere.

    In Russia today, as in Berlin of the 1930s, the crimes committed before the olympics pale in comparison to what happens (and happened) over the next decade.

  2. zibble says

    Some people have called for a boycott. However, the 1980 boycott did not shame the Russians from leaving Afghanistan, and it’s doubtful a boycott of the 1936 games would have stopped Hitler from slaughtering Jews and other minorities, including homosexuals.

    But the boycott isn’t aimed at Russia, it’s aimed at the IOC. Russia, fair enough, probably doesn’t give a shit what western liberals think of it, but the IOC is a for-profit company that cares very much about making money. This whole well-meaning “let’s make the Olympics really gay!” approach is just funneling money into the pockets of the amoral greedy fuckers working with Russia’s despotic, bigoted, potentially genocidal regime.

    Of course, this is hardly even the first reason to boycott the IOC. But for some inexplicable reason, people have a hard time not caring which country has someone who can jump the highest with a stick. I can’t really relate.

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