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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. LouAZ

    There are in fact four very significant stumbling blocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear ti_tle to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, longstanding custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge. – Roger Bacon (1219-1294)

    August 12, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  2. Reality

    Then there are gods of doping from believe it or not strycnine (Smithsonian's review of Olympic doping) to the latest, gene manipulation. Gods indeed!!!

    August 12, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  3. MagicPanties

    All the various religions cannot all be right (and yes, they all think they are the 'one, true religion'), but they can all be wrong.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Georgeofthejungle

      And so can you...

      August 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  4. sn0wb0arder

    one thing is certain with the innumerable deities, religions and doctrines today and throughout history. man is very adept at creating god.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  5. cybercmdr

    The Greeks had their gods, and believed in them just as deeply as Christians believe in their god today. Today, nobody believes in the Greek gods. Why? Time and culture. Christians believe in their god is because of where and when they were born; it has nothing to do with the validity of the stuff they believe in.

    You believe in the religious stories fed to you as a child, back when you were naive enough to believe in Santa Claus because the grownups said it was true. Drummed into your head enough times, and the stories become unquestioned fact. Hercules or Samson, virgin birth or Athena springing fully formed from Zeus' head, they are all stories, each reflecting centuries of retelling, refining and elaboration. If you take a step back from being immersed in the faith you were raised in, you can see all religions are essentially the same. Stories that uplift or have a moral, stories that promise that if you are good and do what your rulers/religious leaders tell you to do, you will have a happy afterlife.

    Religions support a priest class, that receive special status in their societies. For those important donations (send in your money now!), they intercede between the average person and the mysterious deity (or deities) on our behalf. Religions support the rulers, who vie with each other to show how devout they are to the god(s) in order to transfer some of the people's religious loyalty to themselves. As the Roman Seneca the Younger stated long ago, "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."

    Believe in the religion of your culture if you must. People have been handing their money and loyalty to various religions since early shamans realized the power it provided. If you are going to be a fool, be assured you have lots of company.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  6. steama

    Do the Olympics make us god like? Hell no god is make-believe. God is a myth. The Olympics are by humans for humans. God is dead and never was.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Well, maybe not god-like, but they can make you think you are hallucinating. Especially with the time difference between the US and London. If you haven't even had coffee yet, and you turn on the tv and find something called synchronized swimming going on, you might think you're on a bad trip for a few seconds. Seems like that activity belongs at some theme park for the aged in Florida or similar. Maybe they already have it there.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    Moreover today we focus too much on what is outward.

    It is actually more important to have a healthy soul than a strong body.

    In daily life I don't want to meet people with big muscles, but people which are somewhat mentally balanced, and able to have a kind talk. It can be so nice to talk, and to share experiences, to give advices, to comfort, to encourage, ... . This is legitimate "doping", if we encourage each other by kind words.

    But, before we can deliver pastoral care, we need to seek, and to find the arch-pastor Jesus. Stop running and jumping around, but seek the invisible God who can cure your poor soul, and give you power to take care of your neighbours soul.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      i can agree with paragraph 3, but the rest is plain garbage.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Observer

      Good morning Rainer. What a job you have as pastor to these people.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  8. oralisM

    "We are cut off from the grace and beauty and love of God. We may view his city from afar, but we cannot enter." Let's celebrate imagination without which, at least for us, the grace, beauty and love of God would be unknown and unknowable. Physical perfection is more artificial still, and is defined to neatly fit what we hope we might achieve if we could be "perfect". Instead of looking for God's nature in ourselves, or contriving it from whole cloth, we should expect him to show it to us in some incontrovertible way. I've no doubt that a few of our non-theist friends are waiting.

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

      Of course you must have a vivid imagination to construct your god. Once you hvae this belief, you view the entire world through this prism. Your delusion is complete.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • LouAZ

      Long-haired preachers come out every night
      To tell you what's wrong and what's right
      But when asked about something to eat
      They will answer in voices so sweet
      You will eat bye and bye,
      In that glorious land above the sky.
      Work and pray, live on hay,
      You'll get pie in the sky when you die.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  9. Rainer Braendlein

    Another problem is that the athletes gradually seem to reach their power limits. Today, if someone wins a medal he is immediately suspected to have been doped, because everybody knowes that the limits of performance are reached.

    So, let us stop that nonsense. The whole Games are about to become a lie, because many athletes are doped. Disgusting!

    August 12, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • MalcomR - No Ph.D

      I suspect you of being doped because you are clearly reaching the pinnacle and outer bounds of stupidity.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      how can we possibly know if the limits of performance have been reached if we don't compete and test those limits?

      August 12, 2012 at 10:48 am |
  10. Nilkinggary

    Crap.

    August 12, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    No contest of the bodies, but let each other care for our souls.

    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 10:32 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      that is a bunch of long winded crazy.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • MalcomR - No Ph.D

      Please note: Good Olympic Games = Naked females swimming, Sword-wielding Naked Females against Tigers, Naked females against Naked females in any form, etc.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:41 am |
  12. jj

    If anything science and knowledge bring us closer to god.
    Traveling beyond the Earth, healing the sick, understanding the universe is far more god-like than playing a sport really well.
    Doctors, pilots, and scientists do this everyday and not for the glory of a medallion.

    August 12, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • Colin

      Oh bullsh.it. Science destroys religion like a light destoying darkness.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • John

      jj did not mention religion, only god.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  13. Colin

    The belief that an infinitely old, all-knowing sky-god, powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, chose a small nomadic group of Jews from the 200 million people then alive to be his "favored people" provided they followed some rural laws laid down in Bronze Age Palestine equals Judaism.

    Judaism PLUS a belief that the same god impregnated a virgin with himself to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to himself to negate a rule he himself made equals Christianity.

    Christianity PLUS a belief that aliens live on Planet Kolob, that humans will one day be gods with their own planet, that post mortem baptisms send people to a heaven, that the Israelis colonized America and that magic underwear will protect you from evil equals Mormonism.

    I guess Mormons take the Olympic gold for utterly stupid beliefs. One can imagine Brigham Young standing on a pedestal, accepting his medal and humbly proclaiming, “If my beliefs are even more ridiculous than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”.

    August 12, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • junior

      Not so. You haven't grasped the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      jumior – the holy trinity is a mystery alright.

      did you know battles were fought, blood was shed and lives were wasted over the inclusion of the "holy trinity" into religious doctrine? what unfathomable BS.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • MagicPanties

      Thank you, Colin, for yet another succinct and humorous description of religious absurdity!

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

      This is a reply to junior. How can you grasp a mystery? when a mystery is somthing that is not understood.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      junior, Colin has grasped the complete bullsh!t of all religion, including your precious holy trinity. You fail to grasp the depth of your mental illness.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Observer

      It's good that you moved on from your fascination with sky-fairies, Colin. I think the next step in improving your straw man might be to move your gods out of the sky.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      @junior: so.

      You haven't used common sense and wisdom that nature has give you to understand or admit to the fallacy of the HT.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  14. Azhar

    Few 100% true Reasons why RELIGION is TERRIBLE and unhealthy for our children and living things:
    MADE A FEW CORRECTION NOW IT MAKES SENSE

    †Religion is a religion that makes you angry, stupid, brainwashed, ignorant & blind.
    †Religion is a disease that needs to be treated.
    † Religion makes you post stupid things
    † Religions are satanic and have gothic lifestyle.
    † Religion are misguided and causes problem in our religious & public society.
    † Religion are mentally ill, that's why they have no faith.
    † Religion won't take you to kingdom of heaven and paradise.( 100% TRUE)
    † Religion making you agree with Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler (denied his faith later), Mao, Pol Pot & other terrible mass murder leaders who killed religious people because of their religious cult!
    † No traditional family lifestyle, no holidays, no culture, boring and feeling 'outsider'
    † religion makes you angry, drug additcted and committ the most crime.
    † Religion try to convert people over internet because they feel "safer" behind closet.
    †Religion do not really exist, they just pretend that they believe in God and argue with religious people.(100% TRUE)
    †Religion have had terrible life experience, bad childhood and not being loved.
    † Most religions are uneducated...
    † Religion brought upon the French Revolution, one of the most evil events of all of history.
    † Religion cannot explain the origins of the universe, therefore God exists.
    † All atheists believe in evolution, which means they don't believe in morality and think we should all act like animals.
    † The Bible says religion is wrong, and the atheist are always right (see: Genesis 1:1, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 19:1, Romans 1:19-20)

    August 12, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Fank

      If you listen to yourself you sound like a religious fanatic.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • junior

      You forgot to include the fact that Faith and Religion change you to a more compassionate and patient person. The living word consoles you and gives you Hope. If you have been treated well, it is more than likely because of the religion that the person treating you well practices..

      August 12, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      junior – that is pure crap. throughout history there have been compassionate people in every religion and none at all.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • tallulah13

      Religion hasn't done much for you, Junior. And to paraphrase Sn0wb0arder, good people are going to be good, bad people are going to be bad, and religion doesn't have much to do with it.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    I think that the Olympic Games should be abolished.

    Why?

    The Olympic Games glorify a demonic or satanic contest between all human beings, resembling the contest for the survival of the fittest according to Darwinism.

    We have very many problems on earth which should be solved immediately. Better the athletes would invest their manpower to solve the urgent problems of the world like strarvation, wars, suppression, etc., than to jump and run around in London.

    Too many people on earth are unhappy. This is not only caused by a lacking spread of the gospel, but also by the idiotic system of the world. The world's establishment pursues always a life of pleasure including Olympic Games, and lets perish the disadvanteged people. It is a crime to celebrate while other people suffer. Don't ignore the need of your neighbour.

    http://confessingchurch.wordpress.com

    August 12, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      demonic and satanic? we are not abolishing the olympics because of your imaginary friends.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:31 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      pro football maybe, but the olympics?? please....lol

      August 12, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • Hypatia

      You need serious medical attention.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • tallulah13

      Well, Rainer, you are certainly welcome to your opinion. Those of us who enjoy this time where the world is brought together by something other than war or anger disagree. Personally, I find the stories of the lesser known athletes to be very inspirational, like that of Turkish gymnast, Goksu Uctas. You probably missed the story.

      This girl's home was destroyed by an earthquake when she was nine. Despite the fact she lived in a tent in a refugee camp for a year, she continued practicing her sport. At age 22, she became the first gymnast from her country to qualify for the Olympics.

      I find such stories to be more inspirational than stories from an ancient book of mythology. Perhaps because I know these stories of very human strength and courage are true.

      August 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  16. Saint Mary, PA

    If everyone was Christian there wouldn't be any issues or problems in America!!

    August 12, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      that is literally the stupidest thing i have ever read.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • Colin

      About 95% of violent felons are Christians.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Timmy

      Would that be Catholic or Protestant? Which of the thousands of denominations should be the chosen one? You Christians would be waring with each other constantly just like Northern Ireland but thousand times worse.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Somehow I don't think you meant it this way, but that's a pretty big insult to a lot of people, Saint Mary. (I wish her monicker was Jude so I could just start off with 'Hey Jude'.) Anyway, amongst other things, your suggestion would not help because of the amount of contradiction just within Christianity. It's one of those religions that accommodates all kinds of behavior and thinking, from the very bad to the very good. Now if you said "if everyone followed Jesus' teachings to a tee", that would mean something completely different and, imo, good, but also as impossible as having all people live in a vacuum. Jesus couldn't even keep his closest followers from wandering away from his simple teachings.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Fank

      And yet so many claim to be; Oh you mean if they practiced what they preach.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Hypatia

      And the Easter Bunny will become a transformer....pardon me, lady but the looney toons in your head are playing so loud the rest of us can hear them. Say hi to Bugs and Daffy for me.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • tallulah13

      So christian nations are utopias? Is this why the pilgrims fled England because their brand of christianity was at odds with the local brand, and why the Founding Fathers made sure that church was separated from state when they wrote the Const.itution?

      August 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, Saint Mary, why don't you explain exactly what 'problems' you are talking about that would all go away if we were all Christian?

      The deficit? The unemployment rate? The drought? Gas prices? How would those problems 'go away'?

      August 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  17. Bob Lewis

    We should aim higher than being "god-like." His record hasn't been too good over the past several centuries. Maybe we can do better if we can escape the irrational, religious nonsense.

    August 12, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  18. fryuujin

    1st and foremost the olympics are a foolish event whose purpose is to see who is the best at doing useless things and to fool ourselves into thinking we are something special. in the animal kingdom we are the beyond the laughing stock when it comes to physical ability. my cat can jump 6 times his height without any effort. lets see the gold medal high jumper do just 1.5 times his height. impossible!

    August 12, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Who me?

      The olympics are the pinnacle of HUMAN athletic endeavour.They are thrilling and an inspiration to millions.If you don't understand that, then perhaps you should train your cat to do some back-flips and ride a bike.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • AndyB

      Actually, in the animal kingdom, humans are physically pretty good at long distance running. I'm trying to remember bits from an interesting article I read once, so I'm no expert, but from what I recall, we have naked skin for temperature regulation, large buttocks (some more than others), very specialised feet, and a bunch of other stuff specifically to make us good at running down much bigger, faster animals over very long distances.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  19. MagicPanties

    Just be a Mormon.
    Romney believes he will become an actual god when he dies and rule his own planet.
    Guess Ryan is ok with that?
    2 funny.

    August 12, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Objective

      Just goes to show your ignorance with Mormons.

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

      Objective, please explain the planet Kolob to all us ignorant non-Mormons.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Bob Lewis

      When he rules his own planet, he doesn't have to show his crooked tax returns.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • Objective

      Kolob is considered a "metaphor" by Mormons. It is talked about in the Book of Mormon as a star/planet but in the sense of a metaphor.

      Shall I define metaphor as well? A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object.

      If you simply chose to research this you might have easily found your answer, however, it's much easier to mock others as you have done than it is to do some work and understand what they are actually all about.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Fank

      I dont think hes waiting to die to rule his own planet.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  20. kateU

    This is a great article, showing us how such a common "secular" thing such as the olympics actually hints at every human's desire for glory– specifically a relationship with his/her Creator.

    August 12, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • MagicPanties

      Olympics has nothing to do with imaginary beings (thank Zeus!)

      August 12, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • sn0wb0arder

      it amazes me the illogical acrobatics people will do to bring religion into everything.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Timmy

      Please remove your lips from the crack pipe. Shouldn't you be in church at this hour taking instruction from your pastor?

      August 12, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • tallulah13

      Or more realistically, most life forms are competi.tive by nature. This has helped us to evolve as we are today. The Olympics are simply an extension of that nature on a much grander scale. Even the opening ceremonies are an exercise in one-upmanship, being bigger and better than the previous games. (Which is why I prefer the closing ceremonies.)

      But the Games also bring the world together in peace, and remind us that despite the banners and the borders and the beliefs, in the end, we are all just human. This is why I watch.

      August 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
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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.