Sunday, March 14, 2010
In a few hours I will be on a plane to Italy. I am both excited and nervous! I've been to other countries on my own before, but this is the first time I'll be alone in a non-English speaking country. Yay!!!
I'll try to keep my blog updated. Please be patient with me though if I'm a little late with some of the posts...
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Normally going into the Olympics I'm never excited about them. I could care less who wins what. It's much like any sport for me. The last Olympics happened while I was up at Rough Acres Bible Camp with our youth group. Everyone there was watching it every chance they got. I don't think I watched more than a minute.
When the Olympics came here I wasn't excited. I've known some of the behind the scenes things that aren't very favourable. The treatment of people living on the street, the bills getting larger and larger while essential services are being cut elsewhere in BC, the sex industry, etc, etc. The Olympics are not what they should be. Even as the torch came through Ladner I chose to not bother and go see it pass by.
So I was surprised when the Olympics began and I was instantly addicted. I watched more Olympics this year than my whole life combined. I couldn't get enough of it! I regret not getting downtown more and not getting tickets to any of the events. How did this happen? Where did this come from?
I blame it on the Olympic spirit. I think at its heart, the Olympics are excellent. The world joining together to play together! Where else do you see this happening? As a community and as a nation, we gathered together and had fun. I love the unifying aspect of the games and the buzz it created here in the city. It was absolutely electric!
So what do we do with all the negatives of the game? That's where I'm left worried. So much happened as a result of the Games that was unjust and selfish. It wasn't right. As I was reading the history of the Olympics I could see the passion the originators had for it. They wanted what I experienced, an event that draws the world together centered around sport. The difference is, they didn't want anyone making money off it. And that's where things got dicey.
Without any money involved, what's the incentive for the games? It's purely to represent your country and bring countries together. Now that the Olympics have become commercialized, along with the torch passing by we also get bombarded with Coca-Cola and RBC ads. Because people need to make money, there's more pressure for things to happen that are contrary to the Olympic spirit.
So the solution is to remove commercialization from the Olympics. Do that and it returns to its roots. However, that is no longer possible. The one big hitch is television. Without commercialization the games would not be televised. People around the world would not be able to follow their countries. The other hitches are of course things like modern excellent facilities, breakthroughs in technology for judging equpiment and sports equipment, training for the athletes, and so on. A lot of money is needed to run the Games today.
Well, where do we go from here? Do we continue to support this monster even though it leaves a trail of filth in its wake? I don't know the answer.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
As a kid, somewhere along the way, I caught the belief that Catholics were not true Christians. They weren't really part of a cult, but their church had gone off the rails hundreds of years ago. I didn't think Catholics were "saved" and I thought they would end up in hell.
After all, they believed in purgatory. I thought purgatory meant that if a person worked hard enough they could get out of hell and join the Christians in heaven. However, this is not the actual definition of purgatory, but my misunderstood one.
They also worshiped Mary, saw the Pope as perfect and sinless, and needed a priest to forgive their sins (whereas I only needed to confess to God).
Somewhere in high school my beliefs lightened a little. I came to believe that some Catholics actually were "saved". They were just ignorant to the fact that their church was an abomination, but thankfully God would show them grace as they did not know what they were doing.
Poor stupid Catholics! Only a handful were saved, but most were still going straight to hell. The one issue that mattered most to me at this time was - Do they have a relationship with Jesus? I came to believe most Catholics had a relationship with the church, but not with Jesus personally.
I'm not sure where I got these ideas from. Obviously they were held by at least some people in my church. We were never taught these things, but passing comments and jokes stuck in my brain. It wasn't until Bible school that things started to change drastically.
End of Part Two.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Two prostitutes claim a baby as their own. One of them is lying. King Solomon is the judge and he declares, "Cut the living child in two." The one woman cries out, "No! Give the baby to her. Don't kill him!" The second woman replies, "Neither of us will have him. Cut him in two." Solomon realizes the mother would not want to see harm come upon her baby, so he rightfully determines who the mother is and everyone marvels at Solomon's wisdom.
I always thought it was kind of a silly story. Would people really react this way? I think I can't fully understand it because I am not from that time period. But in talking with someone the other day, it made me think of an issue I've addressed previously.
Could this story apply to our current situation of child custody? Two separated parents want sole custody of their child. Instead, the child is shuffled back and forth between two homes. One week he is at his Dad's house. The next week he is at his Mom's. I wish we had a better system of determining who gets sole custody. This is no way to raise a child. So conflicting, so damaging, so irresponsible. It is as if the child is cut in two.
I wrestle with the solution. I'm not educated enough on this issue, but if we were to take the Solomon story as parallel, maybe the solution is there. Let's say Mom is the better parent and should raise the child, but Dad had some good lawyers and despite being a crappy parent he has 50% custody. If the obvious solution can't be determined (let the best parent raise the child) then what solutions are left. Cut the child in two (raise him in separate homes each week) or give the child to the worse parent (the toughest pill to swallow).
Of the two evils, separate homes or bad parent raising, which is the lesser? I don't know. I think the good parent isn't willing to give up their custody for a number of reasons (that are completely valid): they want their child to have some positive influence to counter the bad, they deserve to have the child and they'll take what they can get, if they give up the child there's a chance they'll never have a strong relationship with them, etc.
I could go on, but I'll stop there for now. What do you think?