Reader stands on principles after opening ceremonies

Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2006

While all I have heard is applauding for the opening ceremonies of the Arctic Winter Games, I must say, I was totally offended. I happened to turn on the broadcast just as the flag bearers were coming on stage. At that point a Reader’s Digest version of each anthem was played, I have never heard such a disgrace in my life.

Whether it was due to TV time constraints or the fact that there were nine states, countries or territories represented, made no difference. It was outright blasphemy.

Now, I have not been to a U.S.-Canada MLB or NHL game in quite a while, but I know that never used to be the norm at those games. I realize there are only two countries represented, but I can not imagine the outrage that would be heard, if such a policy were instituted.

If you don’t have time to play the whole anthem, then do without.

But I don’t believe this was the case, because right after this abomination, two Christian prayers were delivered. One spoken and one sung, so obviously time constraint was not an issue.

And why were the prayers Christian in nature? Were all of the athletes and coaches Christian? I really doubt this. Why couldn’t there have been generic prayers, maybe a Native prayer would have been a better choice. Just because you say the Lord’s prayer in other than English, does not count. And do not tell me that prayer is universal, nature, along with the psalm.

With the world as it is and religious zealots running wild, you would have thought this might have been an issue, unless this is the policy of the international committee. Has anyone been to (their Web site)? I see nothing that represents such a policy, so was this the host society’s idea?

I’ve heard it said, “The Games are for kids.” What a great way to show our younger generation how you want them to think. Let’s give them an MTV version of anthems and only one religion will be represented with prayers.

I was going to volunteer for such an organization. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. After watching that travesty, there was no way I was going to commit to such an organization. I’m sorry for those I let down, especially the athletes, but this is a much bigger principle that I must stand for.

Ed Lindquist


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