Thursday, August 07, 2008

Jingo Games

The Jingo Games start tomorrow.

I find it rather bizarre that a competition between individual athletes is turned into a competition between nations. I suppose that it is better than fighting wars to decide who is best, but why to we need to prove that we are better than other nations.

I also feel sorry for the athletes. They do all the hard training, but their nation takes much of the credit.

The concept of an individual athlete representing their country is quite odd. An elected politician cannot represent me, so how can an unelected athlete be my representative. If they knew how unathletic I am, they would not want to represent me.

I am sure that many Christian will be really stirred up about their nations performance. I just wish they would be as stirred up about the Kingdom of God.

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek… for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:26-28).
If this is true, why would I want to claim that I am an American, or a Canadian, or a New Zealander? If I am passionate about the Kingdom of God, how can I be passionate about my nation?

I am very wary about cheering my national team. I do not feel comfortable about saying "We won" when all I did was sit on a couch, and perhaps cheered.

National pride is the thin end of the wedge of nationalism. Nationalism dominated the twentieth century and terrible evils were done in the name of nationalism. I suspect that people who get wrapped up in a national team, will be more susceptible to the militaristic adventures of their nationalist governments.

Nationalism also buttresses state power. When a government politician says, "We have prevented people from foreclosure", he is using the word "“We"” in the same way as the person sitting on the couch who says, "We won a Gold Medal". Both are taking credit for something to which they contributed nothing.

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