Watching the Olympic coverage tonight I was impressed that NBC started it coverage with a Turkish contestant in the female figure skating finals. This child had no chance of winning she entered the evening in 21rst place and yet NBC thought we should all watch her skate. She fell once and she pulled out of a couple of triple, double spin things. Yet her performance was inspiring.
Her parents gave up a very good life in Turkey to allow their daughter chase her dreams; they spent all their money and took menial hourly jobs in Canada just so their daughter could follow her dream. She competed 4 years ago but her parents could not afford to watch her in person so they watched their lovely daughter on TV. This year an anonymous donor provided her parents with tickets. They were really bad seats but there they were waving the Turkish flag and so proud of their daughter, the Olympic athlete. I am working under the assumption that her parents are Muslim.
I am not as religious as I used to be, I believe that there are many paths to G-D. Do I believe in G-D? Do I think G-D created humanity or did humanity create G-D? Let’s just say I have a few questions.
The Catholic and Baptists churches of my great grandparent led my parents to find a church that would not be so oppressive and not say no to everything. So my parents and their children jumped head first into the United Church of Christ. I am not sure there is another more affirming and accepting main stream religious denomination around.
My first reaction to the Turkish skater was what a great message she sends to the Islamic world. She is an example of the best of modernity. She is loved by her parents and encouraged to pursue her dreams. She is not forced to hide herself and allowed to achieve something. If there ever was a religion in need of a Martin Luther moment it is Islam. There appears to be a culture war within the faith. There is the Islam that we interact with every day and then there is the Islam that we observe every night on the evening news. Which will end up as the dominate strain depends on how much the west embraces its intellect and resources into it.
After all it was only a few hundred years ago my Catholic ancestors were burning the heretics at the stake in Europe and my Protestant ones were dunking them into wells in New England