05 October 2009

espiritu rio?

Not surprisingly, the move made by the IOC to hold the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro has many people within the United States lamenting the 'loss' of Chicago as a candidate city. This is somewhat understandable(although roughly half of Chicagoans did not want their city to host the games - with the enormous stress that accompanies them), and I appreciate the support for the home team.

But the story continues to be about the President, rather than Chicago or the United States . . . or even the Olympics. And here is where I grow quite weary (already!) of the discussion regarding Rio 2016. It may be that a Chicago Olympics would have been spectacular, but now it is time to say something almost entirely missing from the headlines . . . Congratulations, Rio! This is the first time South America has the honor of hosting the world for the Olympic games. And this means it is the first time that South American culture will be showcased for the rest of the world, and that is a big deal.

Yet, I continue to be disappointed with the many supposed 'global Christians' who are sad for Chicago without expressing any excitement for Rio. In actuality, it is not so much that they are sad for Chicago or the USA that they are sad for the failure of our current President to deliver on his bid for the games. What this means is that the issue of the 2016 games is more about one person's leadership than it is a celebration of diversity.

In my lifetime there have been two summer games and two winter games held in the United States. And we are sad because a continent which has never hosted the games 'won out' over El Presidente's failed attempt at Olympic Kum Ba Yah? We were even forced to celebrate the 2008 games under human-rights-violating-anti-freedom-state-only-religion-Communist China more than we have expressed happiness for Rio.

My point? Please do not push for global Christianity and then act like this. For it is neither global nor Christianity. First, Christianity is a worldview which does not bend to the desires of culture, politics, media or Presidents. Such entities do not define the Christian faith. Second, global assumes that we suffer with those who suffer (e.g., China) and celebrate with those who celebrate (e.g., Rio). What I have been witnessing in the last few days is nothing short of hot air originating from pathetic attempts to mix faith and country.

Again . . . Congratulations Rio!

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