Thursday, August 21, 2008

127. The Olympics and The Pharisees

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been watching the Olympics like a junkie. I don’t normally care at all about sports, but for some reason I really get into the Olympics. I find it much easier to care about for national teams than for sports franchises, and even easier to care about individual athletes than for teams. I find myself deeply caring about these people I didn’t know existed 2 weeks ago and probably won’t remember in 2 weeks from now. People like Jessica Zelinka, who didn’t make it to the medals, but still was amazing in her field… and I don’t mind saying is kind of a hottie!

Or Carol Huynh who won gold in women’s wrestling (and is a hottie as well… I swear I’m not all about the hottie athletes, it’s just that they tend to be hotties), and totally made me cry by crying at the medal ceremony… I should tell you that I cry at almost every medal ceremony I watch though, no matter what country, and especially if the athletes cry. It just gets to me. It’s just more intense when it’s Canada, you know?

It’s not even all about cheering for Canada, though. I’ve totally gotten into the hype around Usain Bolt, and love the fact that Jamaicans are sweeping the track events (finally!). And one of my favourite moments involved a Russian pole vaulter… I actually jumped out of my seat when Yelena Isinbayeva beat her own world record after already having won the gold medal… it was awesome. They played it over and over again on the Canadian coverage, which led to a question I must ask, but I doubt any of you can answer in a way that will make me feel better. Every time the showed the coverage of that amazing moment I had to watch it because it was just amazing, and on about the sixth time I suddenly noticed what she was wearing. It may seem hard to believe, but I just hadn't seen it until then, and then all of a sudden I was like "hey, why can I see her ass?" So here is my question… why are most of the female athletes naked?

Okay, so they’re not naked, but why are so many of them (who aren’t actually swimming) in basically bathing suits (the swimmers are actually more clothed than the rest of the female athletes). I'd already stopped watching beach volleyball in a sort of boycott (them men wear shorts and tank tops, the women wear bikini's), but up until that moment I had thought that beach volleyball was the only sport doing that, but then I started noticing the rest of the female athletes seemed to be wearing bikinis as well, and it's just weird. And kind of offensive. Well, not kind of… it’s totally offensive.

Anyway... the only sport I actually find I can’t watch is women’s gymnastics, they all just look so young and I get too nervous. Honestly, my stomach does backflips, it’s just too much pressure for anyone so young.

Okay, so that’s all that… and not at all what I intend to blog about right now, but I’ve been watching so much Olympics its just on my mind… I’ve been having Olympic dreams.

What I really wanted to blog about was something that was brought to mind by the sermon on Sunday. My pastor was speaking on Matthew 15, and the pharisees. (I feel I should point out that what I am about to write is not what the sermon was about. It was in fact a very convicting sermon that has stayed with me all week, but it did bring up some blog relevant thoughts so, here they are.) He began with something I’ve heard from many a pastor from many a pulpit. Basically, the idea being that the pharisees were legalists who took God’s laws and took them too far. They were so afraid of breaking any of the commandments that they made their own commandments around God’s commandments. For example (and I have no personal research to back this up, it’s just something my pastor said, but I’ve heard things like this from other pastors too), adultery is against God’s laws, so the Pharisees thought about this and figured that the length of time it would take to commit adultery with a woman was equal to the length of time it would take a man to run around a tree three times (really? That’s kind of… sad) so they made a law saying that no man could be alone with a woman who was not his wife for longer than it would take him to run around a tree three times. This sort of thing is often used by modern Christians as an example of what life is like without grace, how this sort of belief and life actually diminishes who God is and what He has done for us. Of course, this got me thinking about the way many Christians think about gay Christians. The sin that they worry about me committing is having sex with a woman, so they expect me to build wide fences around that sin that include obvious things like not dating a woman, but also some not so obvious things (and honestly damn near impossible things) like not allowing myself to become attracted to woman, or even notice when I find a woman attractive. It has actually been suggested to me that I disengage from pop culture because of all of the images that I should avoid. (Should avoid? Because seeing attractive women is bad for me somehow, I guess.)

There was also discussion in the sermon of the point that Jesus makes about how it is not what goes into the body that makes you unclean, it’s what comes out of the body that makes you unclean… and this got me thinking about some of the weird things that are asked of gay people by those ex-gay groups… how part of their “therapy” often involves gender conditioning (I’m making that term up, I don’t know what to call it), teaching women to wear makeup and men to play sports, basically femming up the dykes and butching up the gays. It’s dumb, and backwards… according to Christ Himself. And it's not like I agree with what these ex-gay groups try and do at all, it's just... it's a backwards idea.

But back to the original point. Now, I’m not saying that Christ then gives us a license to tread the line of sin, I do know that He actually made the standard even higher – the sin of adultery extends to lust and the sin of murder extends to hate – but as I’ve discussed before on this blog on multiple occasions, there is a huge difference between lust and attraction, and while I don’t claim to be completely free from the former, it does frustrate me that so many people assume that any sort of gay attraction must be lust. Asking gay Christians to build these fences around sin (that are much wider than the same ones asked of straight single Christians) is asking us to live like the Pharisees.

In completely seperate news, tomorrow is "crazy hair day" at the preschool where I teach, and seeing as how this coming weekend is Pride here, I decided to make my hair a pride rainbow... and I took a picture of it that I'm going to post here. Oh, don't worry, I'm still an anonymous coward, you won't see my face, but hey, enjoy my hair.


otrolado said...

Haha, I don't think my book will be coming out any time soon either!

Casandra said...

Hi JJ. OK, so, I noticed the same thing about the clothing at the Olympics. Why do the female gymnists have chronic wedgies and the men are covered from neck to ankle? Probably an overly sensitive and hysterical woman if I use the word "objectify."

Great hair, creative and fun. What did you use? 'Cause it doesn't look like Jell-o.

Finally, have you seen the movie "But I'm a Cheerleader?" Send the "confused" teenagers to a camp where lesbians are taught to wear makeup and like pink, and men to lift weights, play sports and like blue. I've always known that my sexuality would magically be less conflicted if I could only let pink be my favorite color. Alas, I remain obstinate....