Is the Olympics going to ban Christian crosses and Stars of David?

Unless the International Olympic Committee (IOC) plans to ban Christian crosses and Jewish Stars of David, they’re going to be in a world of hurt if they try to ban rainbows at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Why?  Because the rainbow is the symbol of the Metropolitan Community Church.  And if Olympics athletes want to show their support for the MCC church during the Sochi Olympics, the IOC is going to have one hell of a backlash if they try to ban expressions of support for a Christian faith.

mcc-rockies

Recently, an IOC delegate from Montreal, Dick Pound, expressed the view that rainbow pins should not be tolerated at Sochi.  Pound feels that rainbow pins are “screw[ing] around.”  You see, the Russians have been on a draconian anti-gay crackdown for a few years now, and a recently-passed anti-gay “propaganda” law pretty much bans anything pro-gay, be it a statement or a rainbow. So people like Dick Pound are trying to do all they can to appease the Russian bigots.

From the NYT:

Dick Pound, a longtime I.O.C. delegate from Montreal, said that although he found the Russian law “disgusting,” he believed that even rainbow pins should not be tolerated in Sochi.

Pound said he would give this advice to Olympic officials in various nations: “You say to your kids, ‘If you screw around with this we’ll send you home.’ ”

Such discipline of an American athlete could cause outrage in the United States, where attitudes toward same-sex marriage and discrimination based on sexual orientation have evolved significantly.

Pound said that athletes and officials should realize they will be in Sochi as guests.

“If there have been lots of warnings, there’s no excuse for it,” Pound said of athletes’ wearing rainbow pins. “Then it becomes a provocation.”

One wonders if Mr. Pound thinks Christian crosses are also “screw[ing] around.”

jewish-runners-olympics-1936

Here Glickman (left) and Stoller train aboard the ship Manhattan on their way to Berlin. July 1936. —USHMM #21725/Courtesy of Marty Glickman

And does Mr. Pound think that Jewish athletes at the 1936 Nazi Olympics in Berlin should have hidden their Stars of David?  Oh that’s right, we pulled Jewish athletes from the games in order to not embarrass Hitler, and that’s why Jesse Owens was able to run, because we canned the Jews.  How is Mr. Pound with canning Jews?

You see, in all of its effort to coddle the Russians, and eliminate any vestige of anything “gay” from the Winter Olympics, lest Russia’s official bigots somehow be offended by the notion of human rights and equality – after all, no one would want the Olympics to be about everyone being equal – the Olympics are now talking about possibly banning the rainbow.

The rainbow is a symbol of “gay.”  But it’s also, problematically for the International Olympic Committee, the symbol of a rather large, and everywhere, gay Christian church, the Metropolitan Community Church.  So is the IOC prepared to ban MCC rainbow pins and gear along with Christian crosses and Jewish Stars of David?

Here’s a sampling of MCC rainbow gear that I found just by googling around the Web.  Any of these could get you thrown in jail in  Russia, or thrown out of the Olympics by the IOC.

First, from the Naples News, in a story about the MCC church:

rainbowmcc2 rainbow-mcc

And here’s more from various MCC churches around the world – not the ubiquitous rainbow gear, any of which might soon be banned by the International Olympic Committee.

Rainbow bracelets and keychains from the MCC church in Holy Cross:

holy-cross-gift-shop

All sorts of rainbow accoutrements used during an MCC church service in the Philippines:

mcc-philippines

And even more rainbows:

illiana-mcc-2

Even rainbow crosses:

illiana-mcc-cross

And finally, here’s an MCC minister – his stole would get him thrown in jail in Russia:holy-cross-pastor

If Olympic athletes like Blake Skjellerup say that they’re wearing rainbows in an expression of their support for the Metropolitan Community Church, how can the Olympics stop them?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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