Friday, October 02, 2009

Rio de Janeiro

While everyone is focusing on the presidential politics regarding the selection of Rio de Janeiro as the cite of the 2016 Olympics, there is a bigger story: the shameless iconography of our Blessed Lord being used as a symbol of the city - and the fact that this did not dissuade the committee from selecting Rio!

Chicago wouldn't have dared to embrace any symbol of the Christian faith - nor would any American city.

Two years before I moved there, the City of Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics. While other past Olympic mascots from other countries reflected symbols of cultural, national or civic identity, Atlanta became a laughingstock for their Olympic symbol "Izzy" - which was short for "What is it?" - a blue cartoonish figure purposely designed to be devoid of meaning, to recall no history, nor to conjure up any civic or national devotion. Atlanta, Georgia had become so beaten down by the forces of political correctness, that while tourists routinely flock to the city quoting lines from Gone With the Wind and wanting to see Confederate reenactors and ladies in hoop-skirts, the Olympic planners wanted nothing to do with anything remotely historical. Hence: "What is it?"

Needless to say, "Izzy" was a total flop.

By contrast, how refreshing to see politically incorrect Christian imagery unapologetically displayed without handwringing, threats of lawsuits, or businessmen running scared of boycotts and protest marches.

The 130 foot statue of Christ the Redeemer is so physically imposing and identified with Rio de Janeiro (which becomes the first South American city to host the Olympics) that it is going to be difficult for TV coverage of the games, t-shirts, postcards, souvenirs, and news pictures to censor out this vast artistic rendering of our Blessed Lord that has been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

I've never been to Rio de Janeiro, but it looks like a stunningly beautiful place with a culture, climate, and people to match.


solarblogger said...

Sounds like 'Izzy' was as popular as 'manna', which has the same derivation.

Paul said...

Great minds think alike:) I began my mesage yesterday by using this as an illustration of the fulfillment of Isaiah 52:10, "all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God." Christ the Redeemer, Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!