The IOC Might Want to Read the Whole Olympic Charter

By: Saturday August 17, 2013 9:00 am

As a pastor, I’m used to reading texts closely, taking them phrase by phrase and parsing out the multiple layers of meaning. I do this with religious texts and also with secular documents, from mortgage forms to SCOTUS opinions to presidential speeches. Words matter, and people who play fast and loose with them, or who don’t treat them with respect, really irritate me.

Like the International Olympic Committee.

Instead of using the Olympic Charter to tell athletes to sit down and shut up, the IOC ought to re-read it. If they tried that, they might notice words and phrases like “promoting a peaceful society” and “human dignity” and “sport is a human right . . . without discrimination” and so on. They might just realize that they have no option but to offer Putin a simple choice: repeal the anti-gay law and prosecute the thugs engaged in gay-bashing, or say goodbye to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

 

Pull Up a Chair

By: Saturday July 28, 2012 5:00 am

Consideration and respect, yes even for strangers, is necessary for a civil society. How can we co-exist, much less work together amicably when the working model is “every man/woman for him/herself”?

Respect for the Reader: Where the Hope Is

By: Sunday July 17, 2011 9:30 am

Somewhere over my computer screen is a modest group of thoughtful, worried, anxious and maybe hopeful folk who happened upon these words by choice or accident. Writers, communicating from a distance, have a moral responsibility to imagine their readers as individual embodied beings with their own histories, victories, challenges and tragedies.

A good writer’s motto: There are stories in readers’ eyes that are more poignant than your own.

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