Good for Google

Good for Google.

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic Charter

For more.

first, the olympics; next, healthcare? thoughts on rejection

Barack Obama reacts to Chicagos elimination from contention as host of the 2016 Olympics

Barack Obama reacts to Chicago's elimination from contention as host of the 2016 Olympics.

the city of chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting from hosting the 2016 olympics. president barack obama, first lady michelle obama, and tv mega-personality oprah winfrey invested much time and effort in the campaign to bring the olympics to chicago, but to no avail.

my choice, rio de janeiro, seems to be inching closer to being named as the host city. symbolically, it would be a significant choice because:

Rio de Janeiro would be the first South American country to host an Olympics, and only the second country in the Southern Hemisphere to host (Australia, which has hosted two, is the other).

given rio’s reputation as a entertainment and vacation paradise, brazil’s love of sport, and the fact that the olympics would bring instant prestige and economic value to this burgeoning city, rio is the best choice. besides, a south american host for the western-dominated olympics is long overdue.

the president invested much political capital in the bid for the olympics, and diverted at least some of his attention away from the present healthcare debate. with the rejection of chicago in the first round of voting, some are interpreting chicago’s rejection as a rejection of obama’s use of his waning personal celebrity status to influence debates and votes, both nationally and worldwide.

the fear, of course, was that by asserting himself as ‘lobbyist-in-chief’ for the chicago olympics, president obama was placing himself in the precarious position of potentially (and unnecessarily) being rejected personally. some felt that any rejection on the international stage harms the president’s credibility in domestic battles in congress.

i am curious to see whether this translates into further falling poll numbers for president obama in the healthcare debate.

question for the ‘yes on prop 8’ supporters: who can caster semenya marry?

South African gold-medallist Caster Semenya

South African gold-medallist Caster Semenya

i have a question for all of the california ‘yes on proposition 8’ supporters and others who support bans on gay marriage:

who can caster semenya marry?

it was revealed that south african olympic runner caster semenya is an intersexual individual (traditionally called hermaphrodites).

South African gold-medallist Semenya, 18, has both male and female organs, it was claimed…Semenya is claimed to have NO womb or ovaries — and has internal testes, the male sexual organs which produce testosterone.

first, i want to say that i can’t possibly comprehend what it must be like growing up as an intersexual individual in a society that sees issues of gender in such a markedly binary manner. gender issues are confusing enough if you are merely male or female, but to grow up in a sex-obsessed world arguing about issues of same-sex marriage as a hermaphrodite? this seems incredibly difficult.

i want to lend my support and sympathy to caster semenya, not for her physical makeup – she should be proud of who she is. but, i want to encourage her to stay strong in her life as an olympian and a woman (the gender she has chosen).

however, i cannot help but ask a few questions to those that oppose same sex marriage and to those that oppose women’s full inclusion, participation, and leadership in the church.

who can caster semenya marry? can she marry a man? would you let her marry a woman?

can she preach in a church? can she lead singing? can she serve as an elder? a pastor?

while these questions are answered quite simply by those of us that support gender equity and same-sex marriage, the answers are a little more difficult for those wishing to impose traditional (and quite physiologically ignorant) opinions on the matter. the bible speaks of male and female, but does not consider asexual, hermaphroditic, or other intersexual individuals. quite frankly, hermaphrodites do not fit the ‘biblical’ paradigm that many wish to enforce.

hermaphrodite_symbolhow can we continue to impose male/female gender regulations from a book that fails to address intersexual individuals upon a modern society. studies show that about 1% of all children born express some degree of sexual ambiguity, and 1 in every 2,000 newborns is born in a pronounced intersexual state. sure, these individuals are in the extreme minority, but if christians truly believe that every individual person is loved – and most say uniquely created (some might say intelligently designed) – by god, how can we impose gender restrictions upon individuals that possess both genders? it is no longer acceptable for fundamentalists simply to argue that the only acceptable christian lifestyle for intersexual individuals is lifelong abstinence. it is no sin, and they (nor their parents) did nothing wrong.

it is time for christians (and jews, and muslims, and peoples of all faiths) to recognize that some social institutions mentioned in the bible are no longer valid in modern society. the bible allows for slavery, but modern society has condemned this practice. the bible not only allows for, but at times commands genocide, but modern society has condemned this practice. likewise, the bible promotes the continued subjugation of women and homosexuals based upon antiquated and scientifically ignorant understandings of what it means to be a human with gender. it is time we once and for all did away with calls by christians to continue to ban same-sex marriage and women’s participation in church worship and leadership. it is time to accept that not all people in christ are ‘male and female’ (gal. 3:28) and realize that like its endorsement of slavery, the subjugation of women, homosexuals, and intersexual individuals is no longer acceptable.

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