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My Take: With Olympics, we yearn to be like gods
August 11th, 2012
11:00 PM ET

My Take: With Olympics, we yearn to be like gods

Editor's Note: Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history at the King’s College in New York City and the author of The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt.

By Joseph Loconte, Special to CNN

(CNN) The ancient Greeks, especially the frugal Spartans, would probably balk at the commercialism that saturates our modern Olympic Games. And it’s doubtful that either badminton or beach volleyball would satisfy their appetite for blood-and-guts competition.

Yet we share something with the Greeks every time we assemble for this great athletic contest: a desire to transcend the politics of the moment and reach beyond the ordinary limits of human achievement. That desire has been on full display during the London Summer Games.

Begun in 776 BC, the Olympic Games soon became so important to Greek life that conflicts between participating Greek city-states, which were constantly squabbling with one another, would be suspended until after the games. The great historian Thucydides described one such scene in his classic history of the Peloponnesian War.

“The whole gathering at the festival was terrified that the Spartans might arrive under arms…and it was thought that there would be a crisis,” he wrote. “The Spartans, though, fell quiet and let the festival pass without incident.”

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So, too, today, as nations put aside their political differences to compete in London. Why? And what makes us interrupt our daily routines to join this provocative world of triumph and tragedy?

Surely it’s not merely to see records shattered, which happened plenty this year, including Michael Phelps’ record for the most number of medals won by a single athlete.

The competitors who capture our hearts are those who achieve greatness because of their sacrifice, humility, and what the Greeks called arête, or heroic courage. No Greek Olympian achieved honor either by shrinking from adversity or by feeding his personal vanity. Then and now, glory seems the proper reward for the Olympian who embodies the classical virtues.

Think of the triumph of American sprinter Jesse Owens at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Nazi Germany, deep in the grip of racist ideology, directed its hatreds not only at Jews, but at all non-Aryans. Imagine the shock to Nazi Party elites when a black American, the son of a sharecropper and grandson of slaves, stared down fascist propaganda, bested his rivals and took home four gold medals.

Hitler was furious, but tens of thousands of ordinary Germans at the stadium that day cheered him on.

Although just a boy at the time, I remember how a 17-year-old Russian gymnast named Olga Korbut captured the world’s affections at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Cold War tensions were simmering, but the “sparrow from Minsk” enthralled the West not only with raw talent, but with charisma, innocence and contagious joy.

Olga Korbut almost singlehandedly shattered the Western stereotype of the Soviets as stoic, unfeeling automatons.

Or think of Manteo Mitchell, the American sprinter in London last week who said he was just “doing my job” when he completed a 400-meter relay knowing he had broken his leg long before the finish line. He couldn’t bear the thought of letting his teammates down; he soldiered on. “The only way he would have stopped,” said Coach Danny Williamson, “is if the leg had fallen off.”

This is why the Olympic Games retain such a powerful hold on our moral imagination: We get to see what human nature is capable of in its nobler moments. We witness something so remarkable that it shakes us loose from our preoccupations and prejudices.

Such moments reveal what Christian writer C.S. Lewis called “our inconsolable secret,” our universal longing to bridge a gulf between our ordinary lives and this extraordinary life set before us.

What is this longing, this nostalgia for a world that exists outside of our actual experience?

Recall that the original Olympics were awash in religious imagery. The games were dedicated to Zeus, the chief of the Greek gods. Priests were on hand at every event, offering sacrifices and benedictions. Victory wreaths were made from olive trees, considered sacred.

In the minds of the Greeks, the heights of human achievement were somehow linked to the divine: when athletes won glory, they stood in the presence of the gods.

It is easy for us, as sophisticated and secular people, to dismiss this thinking as the childish projections of a superstitious age. But perhaps the Greeks were onto something.

Perhaps, in all their striving, they revealed a stubborn truth about the human predicament. For there seems to be something common to societies and civilizations everywhere, lodged in our DNA, that reaches anxiously for another world: a community defined by strength, courage, justice, and love.

As Plato described it in The Republic: “The city we have founded, if we have built rightly, will be good in the fullest sense of the word.”

The Olympic Games help awaken in us the desire for this city, what Christian thinkers such as Augustine called “the city of God.” In the Christian story, the tragedy of the human condition is that each of us is forced to live outside of this celestial home.

We are cut off from the grace and beauty and love of God. We may view his city from afar, but we cannot enter. We may think we belong there, but we are treated as strangers.

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This sense of alienation and longing is hinted at in other religious traditions: in Buddhism’s attempt to escape the cycle of suffering, for example, or in Islam’s description of paradise, where the righteous “shall have all that they desire.” Each admits that something has gone terribly wrong in our world.

In the Christian hope, man’s tragic plight is overcome by God himself. We are given a promise that God would take on human frailty and make a way back to his sacred city. “I will bring them back to this land,” God announced through the prophet Jeremiah. “They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”

Is it possible that every time we rise to applaud our Olympic champions, we anticipate this final homecoming?

If so, then Olympic glory is a faint picture of divine glory: to be welcomed back into the heart of God, accepted, approved, honored and blessed.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Joseph Loconte.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: God • Opinion • Sports

soundoff (606 Responses)
  1. Tom

    I don’t think the Olympics really had much to do with religion as much as it did to offer peace in unity between countries. In fact look how much segregation religious beliefs created in the history. Even today we still use the words “Christian Warrior”. In fact in WWII the leaders of London and the US called our armies “Christian Warriors”. If we look @ history, look what the “Christian Warriors” did to the people of the Middle East.

    The Olympics never had a warrior, you were an athlete. When you stood on the field you were no longer a warrior to any cause. You were for that time an athlete to a nation. Not a vessel for a god, belief or cause, you were there for a nation. I think for us to find peace in this world we have to let go of things that separate us from one another. And a common belief like the Olympics is a star of hope that we have the capacity to unite without allowing our beliefs to segregate us. America was created to have that freedom. And it expects its people to have tolerance to except others beliefs. But when our leaders step before the world & state our army is made of “Christian Warriors”, it tests the level of tolerance we are slowly developing. Your beliefs are yours, and they need to stay within your place of worship, home and your own mind alone. A nation and a world need to have freedom to be for all for peace to exist.

    August 12, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    Wikipedia: While there is no scholarly consensus when the Games (the ancient Olympic Games) officially ended, the most commonly held date is 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I decreed that all pagan cults and practices be eliminated.

    Obviously emperor Theodosius decreed the elimination of the ancient Olympic Games, because they were a pagan cult.

    Why are the Olympic Games pagan?

    Hypothesis: There are some morons which assume the whole life would merely be a competi-tion of all human beings, in order to pick out the bests. This resembles the theory of the survival of the fittest. Olympic Games are just a glorification of that way of life, and thus a satanic worship service.

    What is moronic about that or pagan?

    God has not structured the world in the way that all beings should contest with each other. The assumption the whole world would be a place of contest is absolutely moronic.

    What is the real structure of the world as the Lord, the eternal God, has predetermined it?

    The whole world is a big, organic body with very many limbs and organs which depend on each other. This is escpecially valid for the mankind. Would you want that your hands contest with each other? No! You want that your both hands colaborate so that they help you to lift a box for example. Limps and organs shall colaborate, in order to make possible the survival of every single limb and organ and the whole body.

    Everybody has certain gifts, and can contribute to the wealth of the whole mankind. One is a taylor, one is a carpenter, one is a scientist, one is an engineer, one is a cleaner, a gardener, a farmer, a physician, etc.. The more all the individuals get allowed to unfold their specific talents, the more the wealth of the mankind will increase, and every single need will be satisfied.

    St. Paul once refers to an athletic contest. Is this one of the many errors of the Bible? Never! St. Paul meant that Christians should conduct a perpetual struggle against the satanic struggle of the secular world. The evil germ in us always seeks for distinction, separation, being greater, stronger, richer, more honored, more powerful than the neighbour. It is even possible that we always emphasize the superiority of our faith, in order to make us higher than our neighbour.

    The real contest for everybody and especially for Christians is the fight against the evil germ in us. By birth we are inclined to seek for distinction and separation. This we shall overcome by Christ, into whom we are baptized. Day by day we should ask Christ to rule us, so that not our old, selfish man of sin may prevail but the Spirit of Christ which is a Spirit of love, unity and cooperation. Don't let us contest, but cooperate, and we will create a world of peace and wealth for everybody.

    At the latest when Christ returns this system of love and humble cooperation will be forced through. Accept that good system right now, not that you are found as an enemy of Christ at Judgement Day.

    Pleas note: Good Olympic Games = cooperation of all people, but no contest

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    August 12, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • Who me?

      I read this non-sensical crap and I have one thing to say.Thank goodness nuts like you are few and far between.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:46 am |
  3. D Jensen

    kindless, doesn't matter who you are – one day, EVERY knee will bow, EVERY tongue confess, and give an account for their life. Which supper will you be at? The Marriage Supper, or the Supper at the Great White Throne? Reservations being made now.

    August 12, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • truth be told

      Kindless is the former phony "jesus", desperately trying to get attention from anyone anywhere. Its blow up doll deflated so it has no companionship but its keyboard.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • Dd

      I'm pretty sure both of you are going to burn in hell (at your own request, you will judge yourself and demand this be done) lol.

      I'm basing my prediction on the kind of knowledge drops you guys are posting on this thread....

      August 12, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Dd

      Or maybe not who knows.

      So many time cops right now, lol. I can't tell right now.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Dd

      I just made that up but, the whole thing about Jesus being "phony" and so on, I don't know about that. Psychic establishment at zero point or, of saving yourself through Jesus a hence lucifer on the back of the coin.

      So what would be the 'real Jesus'? Not judging is still the correct Jesus from what I Can see

      August 12, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  4. Fred Magyar

    Yeah, I'm sure some Australian Athletes were aspiring to be like the Aboriginal Rainbow-Snake God...

    http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/australian-mythology.php?deity=RAINBOW-SNAKE

    The Great Creator Serpent, in charge of Fertility, Growth and Refreshing Rain.

    The RAINBOW-SNAKE is a bit of a mish-mash, with a kangaroo's head, a crocodile's tail and a python's body, all decorated with water lilies and waving tendrils.

    August 12, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    Wikipedia: While there is no scholarly consensus when the Games (the ancient Olympic Games) officially ended, the most commonly held date is 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I decreed that all pagan cults and practices be eliminated.

    Obviously emperor Theodosius decreed the elimination of the ancient Olympic Games, because they were a pagan cult.

    Why are the Olympic Games pagan?

    Hypothesis: There are some morons which assume the whole life would merely be a competi-tion of all human beings, in order to pick out the bests. This resembles the theory of the survival of the fittest. Olympic Games are just a glorification of that way of life, and thus a satanic worship service.

    What is moronic about that or pagan?

    God has not structured the world in the way that all beings should contest with each other. The assumption the whole world would be a place of contest is absolutely moronic.

    What is the real structure of the world as the Lord, the eternal God, has predetermined it?

    The whole world is a big, organic body with very many limbs and organs which depend on each other. This is escpecially valid for the mankind. Would you want that your hands contest with each other? No! You want that your both hands colaborate so that they help you to lift a box for example. Limps and organs shall colaborate, in order to make possible the survival of every single limb and organ and the whole body.

    Everybody has certain gifts, and can contribute to the wealth of the whole mankind. One is a taylor, one is a carpenter, one is a scientist, one is an engineer, one is a cleaner, a gardener, a farmer, a physician, etc.. The more all the individuals get allowed to unfold their specific talents, the more the wealth of the mankind will increase, and every single need will be satisfied.

    St. Paul once refers to an athletic contest. Is this one of the many errors of the Bible? Never! St. Paul meant that Christians should conduct a perpetual struggle against the satanic struggle of the secular world. The evil germ in us always seeks for distinction, separation, being greater, stronger, richer, more honored, more powerful than the neighbour. It is even possible that we always emphasize the superiority of our faith, in order to make us higher than our neighbour.

    The real contest for everybody and especially for Christians is the fight against the evil germ in us. By birth we are inclined to seek for distinction and separation. This we shall overcome by Christ, into whom we are baptized. Day by day we should ask Christ to rule us, so that not our old, selfish man of sin may prevail but the Spirit of Christ which is a Spirit of love, unity and cooperation. Don't let us contest, but cooperate, and we will create a world of peace and wealth for everybody.

    At the latest when Christ returns this system of love and humble cooperation will be forced through. Accept that good system right now, not that you are found as an enemy of Christ at Judgement Day.

    Pleas note: Good Olympic Games = cooperation of all people, but no contest

    August 12, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Who me?

      You posted this twice?Why?Go to church already..if you're allowed in one.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  6. Sunnylovetts

    If anyone wants to be like a god, that individual won't make it very far when they are dead. A humble heart is the only one that enters the kingdom of Heaven.

    August 12, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Dd

      So true. Only the pennant man shall pass.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Dd

      I'm not going to take it all the wAy and say oh if you are just a humble pie everything is going to be ok, because that would be a complete lie (you can be humble and a scoundrel),

      There is nothing wrong with wanting to be like god, the problem is what that means. The inner projection of perfection, in illusion you have a super ego..that's not the way, so in that sense you are correct.

      But it's all someone's path, just being humble just for the sake of humility if that is not you, you shouldn't be that either,

      Inner self is a very individual thing but there are certain prescepts due to law.

      If you want to be godlike the more you get rid of the lower self and resonate with higher things, then that's a path.

      But there are many paths to reach god, many of them do involve the ego, mainly as a lesson and tool.

      But yea, godliness comes from serving the creation which in turn self actualized you, If you think YOU are god, instead of being god by synchronicity with the universe (being god in infinity by who you are and the totality), then that's just assening.

      In that case not only will the penant man pass make an excellent advice, but be ready to be godlike in facing the judgmental ego of everyone who has a ego standard of perfection and embodying it all the way....shame does most people in this society the first day of high school. If you cant even handle that, lol, please don't pretend to be a mutant or reptilian and go against god law, for your own sake btw.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Dd

      That's not the way*

      Ok, because everyone has their own path, some people may want to go the ego. So I'm not disqualifying it,

      But i said "its not the way * in that it does not bring you closer to god, it creates an illusion which can allow the feeling of a godlike quality, but because it's not self sustaining for the conciousness itself, it will not lead to the path where people really in the inner self want, which is of greater light and truth, which is god,

      But any path is just another way, like a learning path, toward that same end.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • Susan

      ....somebody's been watching a little too much Indiana Jones.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • Dd

      given that there is a self similarity in everything, that's quite irrelevant. The fact is, the SCENE in that movie is identical to what happens as you approach godhood. That IS what happens are you gain the higher wisdom.

      Obviously It was not intentional, it's just the synchronic order. But it is god speaking to The perceiver as you start seeing the patterns and the self similarity.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • Dd

      A novel or plot will always have key features to make it interesting. Psychology also will also have to pass through key experiences to understand what god means, it's your inner minds projection of perfection,, it is the paradigm, what you consider to be the apex of existence. It also happens to co incide with truth, the ism, self similarity, and nature at its basis having to do with information, which then ties to who you are and other peoples way of being. God is an extra dimensional conciousness and as this conciousness permeates all of reality through the Ism, as it is all existence, then we can infer thins about the totality by observing any one system like a fractal or hologram.

      This is what is called synchronistic order In chaos as an order vibrates with similar or higher versions of itself elsewhere in the system or universe, in case of physical systems, because math itself is consistent in order to have a common language then this self similarity exists in math as truth manifests as an order resonates with other higher versions of itself all the same. (irreducible complex systems)

      This means that as the higher meanings cycle through, all perspective equally accurate, then you will see the totality in everything ("god is all, but it is also true that god is in al,"

      This synchronicity not only applies to math or physics but art as Well, as modes of thinking from the ego become common programs in the inner mind or psyche and also abide by this law. You will see it in movies, most often not intentionally, in books, in common phrases....in language....in vocabulary ....

      The essence of the matter.....the informaiton if the matter.....what is the point, ...what is the meaning (point, infinite meaning or computation of the singularity) ....make it matter....if things are Just about information then nothing has any meaning unless the perceiver wants it to.....matter adds gravity to the situation..iy means it is more bounded, more limited, so you must pay attention if it matters.....matter is also more dense and bounded accordingly.

      You can't escape it.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Dd

      I can do it right now with anything,,,look ummm..mars...

      Mars, sterile, if life is more sterile it means there will be less of a need for an immune system because not so many biological agents will be transferred.

      A less powerful immune system will also have effects on the psyche, making people less prone to rejection of others as the immune system will not feel it has to "defend" itself and hence less aggressivity....the mind in these worlds would also reign supreme to unify or arrange society because people would be more open to mental constructs as there will be less of a division based on the self, however, on such colder worlds things would not be felt as much as there would be less purpose, as any world that is more mind centric will necessarily be easier to organize, more logical, but less meaningful for people would not feel strongly about any order one way or the other (after all, it's just the mind, low immune system, who cares). So although it would be easier to organize it would also be easier to disperse and decay as the mind through the tree of knowledge can lower the meaning quotient and lead to another order rapidly, being very fickle, however it would not be a loud thud because there was not a lot of meaning to begin with....hence no "judgment day" due to the loss if meaning like earth...

      So it would be a...colder....more mental....and meaningless world, lacking in emotion.

      We have a stronger immune system so we can fight wars over nationality, economic concerns or territory, because we are nire protectve of our particukar sekf,,,,so although it is more pointless from a mental perspective the same drivers that allow mankind to seperate and not unify also gives meaning to existence because of the strong emotion, or tree of life, meaning that when mankind DOES unify, it will truly mean something, not just be an intellectual fart where everyone agrees like a bunch of robots 2+2=4 yessss. No, it resonates on the level of being, so when it happens not only will it be intellectual but on the level of being, so much longer lasting.

      Obviously you could do that very easily with evolutionary biology and astrobiology, but these connections or metaphors led me to it just the same. This synchrony of metaphysical or infornational contrasts happens at every level. I can find clues to anything using it, and I very likely could beat Sherlock Holmes, not because im this investigative genius but just due to this sight where I see patterns based in the Ism or self similarity across the system.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Dd

      See its like this, the tree if wyrd for you:

      Sterile, colder, more mental....war of the worlds movie...colder, sterile world, more mental, but less of an immune system, hence gets sick dies.

      These things are metaphorical, yet they are also true in evolutionary biology, connections you make in literature or just mental playground watching a movie transfers to anything else using this metaphysics,

      August 12, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Dd

      Web of wyrd* I've affected outside phenomenon doing this. I suspect many are as well now,

      August 12, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  7. atheism is

    a diseased virus that preys on the simple minded and the gullible

    August 12, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Jim

      Interesting idea. As an Atheist, I successfully rejected the religion that was introduced during my formative years. It would appear that my mental immune system is fully functioning, as I am now full of "anti-bodies" like reason and critical thinking. I would argue that I am now disease free.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • JPoet

      Then why do we have hearsay laws. Because the human mind works a certain way, you believe what you were taught, imprinting its called, as a kid. Or did you convert?

      August 12, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • TrueBlue42

      @Jim: Hear hear, my friend. I, too, enjoy and cherish the liberation of mind and soul Atheism brings.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:02 am |
    • MalcomR - No Ph.D

      Hmmm... a diseased virus. Is that a virus with a virus? Anyway, as an Atheist(tm) I agree. I find it childishly simple to be gullible and weak-minded and just accept the universe as it is.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  8. Rob

    Totally ridiculous article... Whatever...

    August 12, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • mitch

      CNN should incorporate a BS alert when posting articles such as this, I wasted a minute or two of my time reading this tripe.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Ephemerus

      I agree. This is a pathetic article.
      Seeing these cheap, worthless articles on CNN's website is like walking down a filthy sidewalk and seeing a drunkard airing out his urine-soaked rags on ragged bits of newspaper.
      The only way I can feel better about wasting my time reading this article is to express my disgust as best I can. C'est la vie.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • maximillion

      This idiotic religious zealot attributes athletic obsession with godliness? HAH! It's bazaar! Just goes to show how religious fanatics are no different from sports fanatics. Plainly put, it's just fanaticism, which is simple psychosis and this writer is clearly psychotic!

      August 12, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  9. smeeker

    The Olympics are great because they transcend such things as religion. People from all over the world from varied political and religious beliefs come together for a time of sportsmanship and fellowship. There are many who have no religious beliefs and they compete right along with the others. Too bad the religions won't learn something from the athletes about living in harmony.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:45 am |
  10. jefe

    Don't know if he wants to be a god, but Usain Bolt definitely competes to be a legend, in his own mind anyway

    August 12, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  11. pop

    Please don't talk about SPORTS and GODS.

    It's FORBIDDEN under jewish law. They forbidden anyone using God and idolatry. you allowed the city to commit greed, lie, cheat, steal, etc...

    August 12, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Dd

      No......the esoteric teachings just say that if you do all that you will go against yourself and truth, and because god is truth and you ultimately want to increase your being, even if you are not aware of it,

      It's not about morality but your own self interest. Greed, and all those wonderful things you mentioned go against your being and when you have a higher awareness it will simply strip you of "bits" in order to advance then and experience that higher bliss YOU WILL DEMAND to go to hell...

      No outside is going to judge you, you are going to judge yourself..,because all beings eventually will want this bliss which only comes from inside and truth. God is your higher self....so when you uplink or connect.....no one outside is going to judge you,

      You will judge yourself and create your own hell,

      That's all the true Hebrews teach. It's not very complex or judgmental at all. It's really your self interest for the whole and the self are one.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Dd

      You don't understand it yet but...,,,evil is not any powerful stance of ooooh how can you be so cruel.

      Sure, there is low awareness and it affects another. Humanity is not in control of its own internal reality.

      But evil is just an error in perception by the perpetrator, because they are gaining meaning by going against themselves. They are hurting themselves but they think they can resolve the internal conflict, of outrage, of self righteousness, by unleashing on someone outside,

      When the higher conciousness comes then comes the hell. Not from outside judgment but because people see THEIR OWN SHAME and conflict whithin themselves. The contradiction, in other words, which THEY ignored and did not accept.

      But that's not to say its bad or should feel that shame because it's the way to evolve. That meaning and good and evil IS VALID but only from a low conciousness..

      At a high conciousness evil just doesn't make any sense, it's not even an option because it's against your goals, not to mention there is no ego, so nobody does it.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Dd

      But more specifically, you CAN'T be evil...not only does it not make sense, like an insane concept the just had no reasonig, but you can't be evil, because everyone is in control of their own reality /semantic construct world, and has faith in their being. And at this level of truth evil is as non existent as thinking a green red blob is somehow antigravity because it's a color.

      Right, it makes no sense. Exactly, that's how evil looks from a high perspective,

      August 12, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Dd

      You see it all springs from the paradox (free will)" you will be yourself but the duality created the illusion that somehow you can choose yourself.....over the outside.,.

      This implies moral reasoning,l.l.you are fighting a naughty outside so you love yourself over the outside, mahahahahaha.

      No, it's just an illusion, loving yourself and the outside is not opposed but goes together. There is no conflict. The conflict starts with the ego and the paradox of free will, have you ever wondered how people in their desperation and self interest often end up going against that very interest by pursuing it in the context of an expense of society? It's
      All the manipulation of others to get to the top is the mental translation of a law that if you are not all self interested but just who you or have a passionate point of view nature rewards you because of your intent, not your sacrifice. If your intent is self interest or some outside societal goal and you sacrifice it will come harder because you are holding errors and not abiding by law.

      So this is the error of luciferianism. That somehow loving yourself at the expense of everything else is somehow your self interest. It is not. The interest of the whole and your interest are one. This may not be the case in short periods of time due to artificially created ethos, ideals, or common enemies, but over time those who bind themselves to outside things for personal gain are fickle and disperse. Those who stand because of their being or a passion may lose and stumble how and again but like gravity they tame and mold nature around them, for they are a law unto themselves.

      Those who simply follow the trends but are empty inside may win short battles, but the war they always lose, for they are fickle and break easy, for their reality is based entirely on the outside, without it they are nothing and don't exist so they follow the law of others,

      And those that make law simply abide by it, for all beings are subject to law, for it is who they are.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • Dd

      Remember that lucifer is an angel of light, as such he follows law quite well. It is but his servants that do not, and convinces them to go astray with materialism, so he may rule over them...for they are fickle....and easy to manipulate and do someone's bidding.

      The true self interest AND totality interest is that of Christ, for Christ does not lie and does sell you lies, he told you the truth.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:25 am |
    • Dd

      And does not sell you lies*

      August 12, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  12. scatheist

    What a bunch of contrived religious nonsense.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  13. scatheist

    What a bunch of contrived nonsense.

    August 12, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • fdsafdsafds

      your statement certainly is nonsense. No reflection or criticism, just bias. You are full of nonsense

      August 12, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      scatheist is very correct .. this was a very contrived desparate attempt at forcing religion into something that is all too human.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  14. akagaga

    My Take: With Olympics, we yearn not "to be like gods." We yearn to actually be gods. When man glorifies man, we think we have no need of the one true God. We have no need for humility, no need to bow our knees. That is the classic rebellion of man, of creation rebelling against the Creator.

    "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?
    (Joh 5:44)

    August 12, 2012 at 7:43 am |
    • Reality

      Actually, some simply yearn to get their pictures on the Wheaties' cereal boxes and make a $100,000 in doing so. And some do it because they simply are good at paddling a canoe and enjoy the outdoors, fresh air and camaraderie of fellow paddlers (and it helps to have a lake or river nearby). No gods needed or desired.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • It all started in Genesis

      Very true akagaga. Regarding mans desire to be "god-like", the first lie was:
      "You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it, your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God..." – Genesis 3:4,5
      Mankind has been following this liar ever since.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    August 12, 2012 at 7:35 am |
    • Rob

      Keep your stupid comments away from the blogs...

      August 12, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • kindless

      Actually, atheism is wonderful for children and all people! Prayer as it turn out, is just a time-sucker-upper. Who would've thought. Meditation is ok for collecting one's thoughts, but it's best to keep all the make-believe characters to one's self.

      Atheists have strong minds and encourage people to take responsibility for their actions within society instead of having their misdeeds excused and often hidden within their religion (comforting their weak minds, but simultaneously disserving society).

      Break the matrix of deception by all religions. Break the fallacy of revelation.

      If the thought leaving your imaginary friends behind is just too much, or makes you want to go p00py, then try Atheism Lite™ (agnosticism) for a period of time to ease your way into a much more rewarding, peaceful life.

      It is written. RIF

      heavenSnot

      August 12, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • atheism is

      The raw diseased sewage of modern society

      August 12, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • drumprof

      Nothing fail so miserably as prayer.....

      August 12, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • truth be told

      @drumprof
      Your post is a petty miserable failure

      August 12, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Dd

      Lol, so true ^

      August 12, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Who me?

      Clenching your hands together and begging to an imaginary friend probably does not work.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!* .

      August 12, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  16. GOD PARTICLE UK Dave

    ON YOUR MARKS! GET SET! OOPS! OOPS! OOPS!

    I JUST FIXED EVERYTHING WITH VERY RAPID http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gNFkz23n50 aka Ready to cooperate yet? 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    August 12, 2012 at 4:10 am |
  17. tallulah13

    For me, the Olympics have always been about the athletes not as gods, but as humans. This is where we get to see how much a human can achieve with hard work, training and luck. It's a break in the regularly scheduled strife, an event so great that for some, participating is as much an honor as a medal. The Games remind us of our common bonds as humans.

    August 12, 2012 at 2:35 am |
  18. Flamespeak

    The over specialization in regards to events really ruins it for me. Genetics come into play more than anything else. Sure, Michael Phelps trains hard to get his speed up and be the best at what he does, but he also has a genetic edge. I am sure others trained just as hard or harder and wanted to win just as bad if not more, however, Phelps had the genetic edge.

    With the games rewarding people genetically superior in their events with the extreme specialization instead of cross-event play being not only encouraged but mandatory and overall victor being declared, it is little more to me than giving a medal to who happens to be the tallest or has the thickest beard and acting shocked at the result.

    August 12, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Damocles

      Huh? So... what... you want people who have no idea what they are doing playing in the olympics? The guy who can't lift 50 lbs should compete as a weightlifter? The woman who can't dribble should be the starting point guard? I guess it would have some small entertainment value to see what would happen.

      August 12, 2012 at 12:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, I take it you also object to the successes of singers who win Grammys? Do you think their ability is solely due to learning and practicing vocal technique and has nothing to do with innate gifts? Writers who win Pulitzers? Football players who win the Heisman?

      Innate and genetically inherited traits are a fact of life. Pretending that Ryan Lochte is as great a swimmer as Michael Phelps simply because he worked as hard or harder is idiotic. Phelps didn't have to work as hard because he has inborn talent and ability. You want to han dicap races and competi ions to account for that?

      You go right ahead and propose such an nonsensical idea.

      You'll be laughed out of the room, and rightly so.

      August 12, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Flamespeak,

      what are you really complaining about here? That white people have a harder time winning gold medals in running events?

      August 12, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Flamespeak

      You miss the point of my post, Damocles. I want well-rounded athletes to compete in a multi-tude of events to determine the best overall athlete instead of extreme specialization resulting in people having similar training routines and leaving genetics as the deciding factor.

      Why not have those who are strong and flexible enough to be a wrestler also compete in weight lifting and gymnastics, for example?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Flamespeak

      Tom, Tom

      I do not really care about awards in the arts in the slightest. I was stating that since the olympics are simply a way to reward those of genetic advantage over others and a big deal is made over kind of baffles me. As I said, it is no different (to me) than giving someone a medal for being the tallest person in the room.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So we could do what, Flame? Crown one person "King of all Sports"? Why? What would that prove? Nothing, because that athlete would never be as good at each sport as he would be if he focused on just one instead of attempting to perform all of them.

      Do we demand that all musicians compete in composition, vocal performance, keyboard performance, all wind, string, and percussion instruments, conducting, and arranging? Of course not. Demanding that an athlete or musician or any other sort of performer or athlete be preparing for a multi tude of activities simultaneously would only dilute every one of those activities.

      What purpose would your proposal serve?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Flame, the principle is the same. A great singer is great not only because he/she has studied and practiced and learned technique but because he/she has innate gifts that allow that practice and study to result in superior performance.

      I sing; I practiced, I studied. I never had the innate gifts that make a great singer great.

      What about that do you not get?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Flamespeak,

      Don't they have the biathlon, triathlon and decathlon to cover your request?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Damocles

      @Flamespeak

      Mmmmm yes I can see what you are saying, you want the games to be more like they were during the Greek days. Still though, people who have a genetic disposistion towards multiple events would lead you right back to your complaint. You want equality across the board and I understand that, but to choose the 'best of the best' means someone has to lose.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good point, Frayed. In addition, sports in general all require abilities in multiple modes-being born with great flexibility might give one a predisposition to perform well in gymnastics, but that sport also requires tremendous strength, balance, grace, and myriad other abilities that one might not be naturally inclined to have, but which one can work to gain over time.

      Why would anyone think that being excellent in one sport or event only involves one innate gift?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Flamespeak

      Damocles,

      Yes, that would be a more preferable instance to me (the old greek way of doing it), but this wasn't really a cry to change the olympics from a lone internet poster, just me saying that I fail to see why it is considered such a great event and a unifier of nations.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Damocles

      @Flamespeak

      Yeah I don't think it really unifies nations per se. I do like to think that the athletes put aside national differences in the spirit of competi-tion.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm not sure I see how having athletes compete in multiple events would make the Olympics more of a unifying experience. No matter what, it's still competi tion and there will always be athletes that will have a genetic edge.

      I'm not really convinced the Olympics are the "Kumbaya" sort of get-together NBC pretends they are, anyway.

      /off-topic: I am so royally sick of having to comb through every post i write for the stupid trip-up words that will kick my post out! Jesus, T I T in competit ion? REALLY? Come on, CNN.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      I remember one night it took me forever to find out that they block "Ja'panese" and "Ja'pan".

      I wish they have a website that you could cut and paste your response and it would point out the blocked words.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Mark,
      "I wish they have a website that you could cut and paste your response and it would point out the blocked words."

      Someone who posts often on here has a program like that added to their Word or Notepad... I can't recall who it is though?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Was it Hawaii Guest? I can't remember.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:46 am |
  19. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    The Olympics as a Jeremiad? This is wackadoodle.

    I'd rather the associate professor of history speak about history instead.

    August 12, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  20. Damocles

    *sigh* Can't the Olympics simply be about athletic competi-tion without this striving to put everything in some kind of religious perspective?

    August 12, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Damocles, I think the striving is only in CNN editors giving any hack a chance to post an article. I do not think that any Athlete yearns to be like God. I think that some yearn for the gifts that winning such goals will bring to them and their families but I do believe that some do compete just to say that they are the best on the planet.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:30 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.