The following posting by George Weigel appeared July 28 on National Review Online.
Watching as much as I could stand of the opening “ceremonies’ of the XXX Olympics on the evening of July 27, the thought occurred that the International Olympic Committee does perform one useful public service every biennium: It reminds the world that you can’t invent liturgy.
For that’s what these multi-hour theatrical extravaganzas have become: a kind of ersatz liturgy of the in vitro World Community, in which film directors (such as Britain’s Danny Boyle) take the role once played by the monks and canons who designed public worship centuries ago. And as such things go, London’s secularized Olympic liturgy on the night of July 27 was perhaps slightly less offensive than others in the same genre.
Boyle unabashedly anchored the show/liturgy in history, meaning British history, rather than in the Gnostic and pagan fantasies that have become the Olympic norm. But it does tell you something about what Evelyn Waugh would have called “decline and fall” when the British National Health Service is proposed for global worship as a kind of sacrament, when Paul McCartney (sorry, Sir Paul McCartney) replaces Ralph Vaughan Williams as liturgical hymnwriter, and when H.M. the Queen, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, is reduced to a bit player in a knock-off of the Bond movies.
This is not what Thomas Cranmer, let alone Pope Gregory the Great, had in mind by “liturgy.”
Amidst Boyle’s histrionics, a moment of silence in honor of the Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, which was urged on the [Olympics Committee] by several national legislatures, would likely have dishonored the dead rather than remembering them with the dignity and honor they were denied by Black September 40 years ago. Yet one hopes that the Committee does find the spine to fit a commemoration of the victims of the Munich massacre into the ceremonies closing the current London Games….
As the Games of the XXX Olympiad unfold over the next fortnight, and the likeliest moral arguments will have to do with doping and other forms of cheating, it will be well hold in our memories Munich 1972 and the names of the murdered Israelis: Moshe Weinberg; Yossef Romano; Ze’ev Friedman; David Berger; Yakov Springer; Eliezer Halfin; Yossef Gutfreund; Kehat Shorr; Mark Slavin; Andre Spitzer; Amitzur Shapira.
The international fellowship and comity the Olympic movement claims to represent may never be much more than a charade celebrated in ersatz liturgy. Still, it would be a small and welcome step toward a more dignified conception of these biennial global gatherings if the Olympic Committee would recognize that remembering the victims of the Munich Massacre, and condemning their murderers, is not “politicizing” the Games….
To read the entire Weigel post, click here.
The Brits like t he rest of Europe , is terrified of offending muslims.. Histrionics indeed! I am going to use the word ‘smaltzy’ yet again! That a nation with such a history of derring do and a passionate embrace of Christianity allows itself to be defined with tawdry theatrics and inane silliness just to wow the crowds is such a public humiliation to all those who fought and served this once great nation. I wish they’d left the queen in all her regal dignity and moral integrity out of it! People in the entertainment industry infect everything they put their mediocre corrupt little hands to…mental midgets cutting down their superiors to their own size and understanding.
Dana, Did you see the priceless Internet photo of Queen Elizabeth picking her fingernails as Great Britain entered for the opening ceremonies? So much for the royal illusions about royal dignity. Yes, even the Queen of England was quite bored with the Olympic ceremony taking place right in front of her own eyes. Queen Elizabeth’s boredom ends up winning her a Gold Medal for the event known as the embarrassing humiliation of Public Plebian Picking.
ha. Thanks Catherine. That’s my point I guess…that by presenting Queen Eliizabeth in such a tawdry affair, they deliberately make her appear ‘just like the rest of us’ and I’m sure they were delighted to catch her doing something mundane like that. At least she wasn’t picking her nose. I have to confess I’ve not watched any of the olympics. I used to love them, but since they have professional atheletes, and all is so political and dare I say it, HOKEY, with all the background sobstories to touch people’s heartsrtings, The press has become positively ghoulish in sucking every last drop of sentimentality from their victims, don’t you think?
Is it true? That where all the Olympic contestants are staying they had to deliver tons of condoms? I am just flabbergasted, I don’t know if that is true but that is gross!
I hadn’t heard that, Abeca…but not surprising. I wonder what they do with all those condoms!? I suppose they wear them over their ears when they take showers or in lieu of platex gloves when picking lice from one another’s back hairs they can put them on their fingers. I’ve noticed when I pick up a Sunday paper that they’re making them in all sorts of colors, etc. so maybe on the last day of the olympics they’re all planning to blow them up and let them soar into the air all at once in tribute to obama and his important contribution to world peace and free condoms. Good thing they’ve already given him his noble Nobel peace prize before he actually did anything so that when he actually does do something for peace they can then make him king. Gee, I can just see his crown made from gold plated condoms studded with birth control pills to look like faux diamonds. Hmmm. maybe not. (I’m trying to see some humor in all this, but it’s impossible, Abeca Christian)
Dana you gave me a good laugh. Although I was very athletic when I was in my teens, I have always found watching any kind of sports on televion very boring and only know what the news reports about it. There was a report that a married heterosexual couple who were both contestants, were complaining that they were not allowed to sleep in the same room together while all the lesbians and homosexual contestants were. That is enough not to want to see any of it again and even hear about
Thanks Anne! I think that’s where we’re going amiss with emir sahib comrade obama. I remember how Charlie Chaplin mocked hitler and I think it helped Americans see hitler as the ignorant little buffoon he really was. On one level little o is just a comedy of errors just waiting for a satire to happen…his constant lies tripping him up, his confusion of events, places and history are a whole reservoir of monologues . Plus he rides a bike like a girl.
Nevertheless, some of the athletes have worked very hard and are good people. I will let God make the decision on which is which. Congratulations to those who have truly earned it.
Tonja Reeves, an African-American woman just bled to death in a Temple of Moloch (Planned Parenhood Facility) in Illinois. May she and her child rest in peace, and may the Good God take into consideration the circumstances that cause this mother to make such a decision.The staff did not even call an ambulance for her as she lay bleeding to death, probably because it would not look so good for the facility since it was not up to code for a medical facility, and there have been others complaints about it in the past. This happens in other such facilities quite often, too. I wonder what the abortions pushers, including President Barak Obama and the “good Catholic” Sebelius, think about this situation if they even care at all since the so-called right to abortion is so “precious” to them, and it seems more important to them than human life. You will probably not even hear about this on the major pro-abortion press unless they are forced to do so by outrage. Now maybe some of you will realize why we made fun of President Obama in the messages above. We use any legal way to get this stopped, including ridicule. Whatever works to wake Americans up to what is going on here, and contraceptives are not the real answer either because they are sometimes abortifacients, and they cause all kinds of medical problems for women and pollute some of our waterways.
For married couples who need to space their children, or for married women who have serious medical problems or are taking medication that can cause birth defects, the Couple to Couple League has a very good website on Natural Family Planning. Also, the American Life League, St. Gianna Molla Physicians’s Guild and other Catholic websites have access to good pro-life physicians who can advise women with such problems. Celebrate life, give them a try.
I want you to appreciate the fact that ts discourse is being typed so slowly. With 2 fingers on an iPad! Sch devotion merits wild applause. I never said anything about the contestants…the amateurs are much deserving of praise. Like you, I’ll let God decide who is good and bad, and the judges as well. ;0). That was a very good post you wrote about that poor woman. Ufortunately there are many just like it around the world! Our country has become unrecognizable in its embrace of abortion and contraception, sexual immorality and addiction to violence and drugs. Even my online scrabble doesn’t recognize common religious terms but you can use swear words, etc all you want! It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say we’re becoming something else entirely, wouldn’t you say, Anne? Either we’ll reach a point where the pendulum swings back the other way, or we just keep going down to chaos and barbarity. It’s unthinkable to have four more years of this administration. Don’t forget there’s the Ruth Institute/One Man One Woman that is a wonderful resource for all things relating to Catholic families!
Yes, Dana, from the time of my childhood and the childhood of my children, we have become something entirely different — no safe schools, few intact marriages, people gender confused totally (men acting like women and vice versa), mass killings in movie theaters that most often show unfit films and mass shootings on colleges, M and M candy commercials that are unfit to show to children who use the product most often, and on and on including the above killing (actualy murder) of the woman mentioned above and her child. One little boy was recently dismissed from school for dancing twice inappropriately in front of a little girl after he had been warned the first time. He got it from an M and M commercial where the cartoon candies use sexual inuendo — which is totally inappropriate for showing to families. I blame the company who puts out and allows such commercials and the parents for allowing the child to see such commercials. Our youngest daughter and her husband have gotten rid of their television channels and use their television only for the showing of DVs they have chosen, especially tutoring ones, for their three children. More parents need to do that. Then maybe, just maybe, the producers will wake up.
Add to this Dana, Abeca and Catherine the fact that every jar, bottle and package is sealed now. When I was a child and our oldest daughter was a child you just opened a jar, bottle or package. One did not have to use pliers (hyperbole, at least for some things) to do so. No one had yet tried to put poison, drugs, needles or any of that into products being sold, used or given out. Thievery, evidently, was not as bad either. My grandparents did not have to check my Halloween candy for poison or razor blades, and we trusted our neighbors even though I often went to other areas to trick or treat. My oldest daughter got candy apples and other treats from college students on Halloween without my having to worry about it. Only a few years later needles (around the the late 60s, early 70s) razor blades and drugs were being put into such treats. It has only gone down hill since. One cannot simply open anything now. It has made people’s lives far more complicatied and unpleasant, especially for those who have arithritis. Luckily, my husband and I are fortunate not to have it too badly at this stage of our lives, but it is still unpleasant and timely to have to open seals on everything and to have to practically use pliers to open other things. Some downright evil people have made everyone’s lives miserable.
Anne,Catherine& Abeca..I’ll bet we all share similar frustration! We only use the tv for videos but my husband likes those violent guy flicks…so much killing. I did get him to watch Random Harvest and it’s become his favorite film. Are you familiar with one million moms? It helps send a message to advertisers and that is something .i think parents should take back the schools! That is the spawning ground of evil. When I was teaching, the abuses I saw! The teachers union & principals , but most especially the textbooks need to be held accountable. Text books are dumbing down everyone deliberately, don’t you think?
I don’t know why there is such glorification of violence in our movies. When I was a young person I never liked violent movies. I don’t think I even ever say an R rated movie until I was over 21. I never was in a fight in all my school years. I remember that I liked to watch over the younger kids as I was somewhat nurturing.
Its funny that my husband hates guns and violence. He likes a fast paced film & I suppose he’s willing to put up with the violence. I can’t even watch movies anymore…not even my favorites. I haven’t watched anything but Fr Barron’s Catholocism series…is that even a movie, though? I guess I mean fiction. Did you get to see For Greater Glory?
My husband is watching a World War II flick now with Gregory Peck about fighter pilots. Of course he was in the airforce but was not in any war. I think I have the John Wayne movie lines all memorized because he has watched them so much. I watch mainly EWTN, the news and sometimes “Murder She wrote” or other detective stories. but not very often. I like English murder mysteries because they kill them so civilly and you do not see it — such as in a parlor — if that is possible to do, kill civilly. I do not like violence just for the sake of violence, though, such as movies like “Bonny and Clyde” or the “Godfather”, just too violent. Yes, Dana, they have “dumbed down” textbooks since I went to school, and they certainly “dumbed down” the Mass since the English interpretation of the Latin Mass. Many, many a parent do not have a clue as to what is taught to their children in public schools, espeically many immigrants. I was somewhat naive about that when I was younger until I voluteered in schools. That is a good way to see what is actually going on. Mark from PA, I still do not like to see R rated films. We watch a lot of the old sticoms and movies because the language is much better and the morals too. I like romance not porn.
Make that “many a parent does” or many parents do” and capitalize “Airforce” lest I sound as if I took “dumbed down” English. Actually my English is not as good as it once was because I have been around so many small children that often I find myself talking like them. Also, my vocabulary has decreased although I do crossword puzzles, Sudoku and logic puzzles to keep my brain going. Sudoku was actually started my some European or Europeans, but the Japanese “ran” with it.
Actually, I guess some of the movies I like such as “Lord of the Rings” probably were rated R for some violence. Nevertheless, the language was good, the violence was not too graphic, the dresses very absolutely lovely but modest and there was real romance without all the “bed hopping”.
Dana, actually I have not had the chance to see “For Greater Glory Yet” because of helping family members I have not had time. I wanted to get it for my husband’s birthday, which has passed, but it will not be out on DVD until about October from what Kenneth or others posted. I might just wait and buy it then.
Anne, you don’t need to correct yourself or apologize in any way. You express yourself beautifully. My husband was a Lt in the Navy in Vietnam…took a light boat up the makiong delta to deliver coke and beer to the poor marines. Terrible war, really. Johnson was not unlike Obama but without the superiority complex…he was devious and scheming, and I was a democrat back then, like my whole family was and I still never trusted him.Back to my husband… He’s always watching war movies…I’m sure he’s seen them all, but he does not like the ones about Nam because they’re such downers. I love GKCherston on Sun. Nights on EWTN and Journey Home. I used to like Raymond Arroyo The wWorld Over but he’s gotten so into social justice and having people like sgt shriver’s son on and it makes me feel so guilty because here was this man (shriver’s dad)attending mass everyday of his life and devoting himself to peace, but to me all the things he was so devoted to shouldn’t have been done at all…like the peace corps. I was in it at the very beginning and all it was was a liberal subversive bunch of spoiled rich kids who had the audacity to think they could help these poor but not stupid cultures. Most of my group were from ivy league schools and on dope and we were to be sent to Chili and they went to help Allende in the socialist revolution. That was what dogooders like shriver did..i think of them as misguided saints that would be better off in a monastery and leave the big things to the militant saints like st Catherine.