Comments about ‘IOC wants reassurances on Russia anti-gay law’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 9 2013 6:27 a.m. MDT

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Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

I wish that the IOC would take a stronger stand on human rights issues. But the popular view in the world is that everyone has a different morality and we should not push our morals on others (I have paraphrased Jocelyn Elders, Pres. Clinton's surgeon general). This issue is incredibly ironic because it overlaps with gay rights. Many, if not most, gay rights activists argue that morality is relative so I consider this issue to be incredibly ironic.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@tekakaromatagi --

"Many, if not most, gay rights activists argue that morality is relative so I consider this issue to be incredibly ironic."

Moral relativity does not mean that anything goes.

Heck, even the Ten Commandments are relative.

"Thou shalt not kill" -- unless you support the death penalty. Unless you're killing in self defense. Unless you declare war on another country.

"Thou shalt not create graven images." -- unless you're a religious artist.

"Remember the Sabbath" -- even Jesus himself said that this one was relative.

"He said to them, 'If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." (Matthew 12:11-12)

Anyway, you get the picture. Acknowledging the relativity of morals does NOT mean that morality doesn't exist!

As for Russia and gay rights -- I'm very very concerned about this one. It is all too reminiscent of Hitler's treatment of and rhetoric about the Jews. And remember -- thousands of homosexuals died in concentration camps too!

Maudine
SLC, UT

what find ironic is how often hose on the right talk about moral absolutes then engage in moral relativity on such a regular vases.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Let's be clear, Russia is not proposing it is illegal to have certain feelings.

They are only stating it is illegal to corrupt and propagandize in support of immoral behavior.

I support their stand and more countries would do well to take a stronger stance against immoral actions.

Well done Russia.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Where I find the irony is the IOC proudly held games in China, with its history of prison slave labor, forced human organ harvesting, horrific air pollution, poisoned infant formula, under-age gymnast cheating scandals, mass executions, social cleansing, etc, that even went so far as to have scowling, jack-booted thug armed guards marching in its opening ceremonies, but they get all up in arms and have to investigate a Russian law that promotes traditional marriage.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@lost in DC --

"Where I find the irony is the IOC proudly held games in China, with its history of prison slave labor, forced human organ harvesting..."

Yeah, these things are complicated. In part the difference is because China has been improving, while Russia is getting worse. In part it's because Russia is persecuting a *class* of citizens, which brings up images of slavery and/or genocide. In part it's because of the danger to non-Russian citizens when they visit Russia for the games. And of course there are lots of other considerations as well.

"a Russian law that promotes traditional marriage."

Anti-gay laws do not promote traditional marriage. There's nothing about persecuting gays that will increase the success of straight marriages.

Anti-alcohol laws WOULD promote traditional marriage -- but don't expect Russia to outlaw vodka any time soon.

Anti-divorce laws WOULD promote traditional marriage -- but don't expect Russia to outlaw divorce any time soon.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Contrarius,
so you're OK with China and their record on human rights. you can dismiss it with an, "it's complicated" What a great excuse! I wouldn't be surprised if they also had a pogrom against gays either currently underway or in their recent history - but since it did not make the news because they have a tighter control of their media, so what?

Russia is persecuting? I guess we're persecuting tobacco companies because we won't let them advertise on broadcast media, we're persecuting liquor companies because we won't allow them to show people actually consuming their product in adverstising, we're persecuting rappers because we require they put advisories on their labels their lyrics are filth. And we're persecuting ANYONE who - OH NO!!! threatens to make a religious statement in public!

Give me a break. China's fine, but Russia can go pound sand! you liberals will excuse ANYTHING to promote your agenda.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@lost in DC --

"so you're OK with China and their record on human rights"

I never said any such thing. I said they were *improving* -- which they are. It's generally a bad idea to punish someone when they're moving in the right direction.

"you can dismiss it with an, "it's complicated" "

I'm not dismissing anything. I'm simply acknowledging reality. Reality is complicated. Life is only simple in Fantasyland.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they also had a pogrom against gays either currently underway or in their recent history"

Actually, homosexuality was apparently regarded as a normal part of life in China before the impact of Western culture hit them. Homosexual relations are well-represented in historical Chinese art and literature.

"I guess we're persecuting tobacco companies..."

Nope.

Refer back to the harm principle. Tobacco and alcohol cause known, measurable harm. Homosexuals do not. Big difference.

"And we're persecuting ANYONE who - OH NO!!! threatens to make a religious statement in public!"

Don't be ridiculous. We have whole TV shows, whole TV *networks*, whole newspapers and magazines, books, websites -- you name it -- devoted to making public religious statements.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

contrarius,
not dismissing, really? sure looks to me that you are.

bad idea to punish someone when they are headed in the right direction - so if al queda starts ensuring their suicide bombers only kill 1 person at a time rather than mutliple people, we don't need to try and stop them?

just because there are TV networks, etc devoted to making public religious statements does not mean there are not those in our society doing everything they can to shut religion out of the public square. look up a group calling itself freedom from religion, then please don't be ridiculous. THAT group does everything they can to persecute reilgion

look at Obamacare and tell me there is NO state-sponsored religious persecution. you cannot honestly do so.

I did not ask WHY we discriminate, I just said that we did; your only denial was why. And there are plenty who beleive a homosexual lifestyle is harmful. Obviously the Russian parliment is among them.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@lost in DC --

"not dismissing, really? sure looks to me that you are."

Fortunately, i'm not responsible for your perceptions.

"so if al queda starts ensuring their suicide bombers only kill 1 person at a time rather than mutliple people, we don't need to try and stop them?"

That's a complete non sequitur. Many people **are** working to stop China's continuing human rights abuses.

"does not mean there are not those in our society doing everything they can to shut religion out of the public square. "

There are also those in our society doing everything they can to prove that the world is flat.

That's a far, far different claim than "And we're persecuting ANYONE who - OH NO!!! threatens to make a religious statement in public!" -- which is quite obviously false.

"look at Obamacare and tell me there is NO state-sponsored religious persecution. you cannot honestly do so."

Lost, there is no state-sponsored religious persecution.

There. I said it honestly. :-)

"And there are plenty who beleive a homosexual lifestyle is harmful."

There are plenty who believe that the moon is made of green cheese. That doesn't make it a fact.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

I applaud Russia for accepting how people are, yet not allowing certain groups to propagandize immoral behavior.

People who have chosen to be gay are welcome in Russia

Just don't flaunt it in everyone's face and try and encourage other to be gay.

Its a fair plan

Contrariuser
mid-state, TN

@Chris B --

"People who have chosen to be gay are welcome in Russia"

Take off your rose-colored glasses, Chris.

One example from a gay-rights demonstration in June:

"During the melee, an unidentified Duma official from the Communist Party approached and shook hands with a policeman, and reportedly said: 'So are you guys ramping up the pressure on these ****? Beat them up well! Cut their **** off!' The anti-gay crowd also threw bottles and rotten eggs at the activists, who were surrounded by an antagonistic crowd of about 200 people."

Note that it was the gay demonstrators who got arrested -- NOT the people who were violently attacking them.

Here's part of an interview after a gay man was beaten to death in May -- this murderer thought it was perfectly acceptable to kill this guy, because he was gay:

"Univosti News: 'Why did you [violate] him?' (I can't post the actual words used)

Suspect: 'Because he said he was gay.'

[....]

U News: 'What did you do after?'

Suspect: 'I started stomping on his ribs.'

U News: 'And after?'

Suspect: 'I took a brick and dropped it on his head 5 or 6 times.'

Does that sound "welcoming" to you??

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

@Maudine:

"what find ironic is how often hose on the right talk about moral absolutes then engage in moral relativity on such a regular vases."

That is kind of random. Do you really think so? I would have always thought that if someone is talking about moral absolutes then they have a basis for taking a lot of liberal positions that relate to improving society. If there are no moral absolutes, then what is the point of saying that slavery is bad, or taking over weaker neighbors and plundering their resources and environment to make a yen (or buck) is bad?

Contrariuser
mid-state, TN

@Tekakaromatagi --

"If there are no moral absolutes, then what is the point of saying that slavery is bad, or taking over weaker neighbors and plundering their resources and environment to make a yen (or buck) is bad?"

As I said before -- acknowledging moral relativism does NOT mean that anything goes. It is perfectly reasonable to have moral values without insisting on moral absolutism.

I challenge you to show me a single moral value that is truly absolute. Even one. And I mean one that doesn't already have lots of preconditions (relativity escape clauses) attached.

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