Descent Into Hell

On Monday, March 24, 2008, at the altar of Hestia in Olympia, Greece, the Olympic Torch was lit – amid peaceful protests – for the 2008 Beijing Games. Eleven women, representing the roles of priestesses, performed the ceremony in which the torch is kindled by the light of the Sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror.

The Olympic Flame will now be carried by runners during a 85,000-mile, 136-day relay across five continents and 20 countries, ultimately culminating with its descent into Hell as it is plunged into the Cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Games. To add insult to decades of injury, the Olympic Torch will be carried through Tibet to further show Chinese control of the occupied territory.

So, after decades of being a beacon of hope for mankind, the Olympic Torch returns to the darkness as it is used once again for the glorification of a totalitarian and genocidal regime. It should now be remembered that the modern torch relay was introduced by Carl Diem, president of the Organization Committee for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, as part of an effort to turn the games into a glorification of the Third Reich.

Related Reading:

Beijing: From Imperial Capital to Olympic City
Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World
The New Human Rights Movement: Reinventing the Economy to End Oppression
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
The Human Right: To Know Jesus Christ and to Make Him Known

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9 Responses to “Descent Into Hell”

  1. in2thefray Says:

    Hopefully the torch will light up that which hides in the shadows. Nice post

  2. jonolan Says:

    It’s a worthwhile hope, but I doubt the evils in China will wither under that light.

  3. expatbrian Says:

    I didn’t agree when Carter cancelled US participation in the games and have always had the hope that the Olympics would exist on a completely different level than politics. But this is a modern world and it ain’t gonna happen.
    It is a travesty that China was allowed to host the games and they will use it to enhance their agenda and propoganda. Personally, I hope the games are marred by highly visible and noisy protests, if not in China than around the world. I feel bad for the athletes who have worked hard to be there. They should not have to put up with this crap.

  4. Mitch Abrams Says:

    Very nice post. I wonder if any athletes will speak up, toss their medals, or raise their fists. I wait tables and regularly wait on swimmer Michael Phelps in Ann Arbor. Any message I should give him?

  5. Aafke Says:

    I hope the torch gets extinguised in Tibet!
    At least their plight is on the media again.

    I hope all the athletes get asthma from all the pollution in Beijing.

  6. jonolan Says:

    Brian,

    I too would have hoped that the Olympics could be kept separate from politics. Sadly, the whole point of China hosting these games was political from the outset so they can’t be kept separate this time.

    Mitch,

    Thank you for stopping by – and even more for commenting! The only thing I would tell any athlete is that they look inside themselves and follow their conscience.

    Aafke,

    Welcome back! I can’t brring myself to wish harm on the athletes, but I do completely understand your outrage and sentiment.

  7. Aafke Says:

    Jonolan: I’ve been here all the time!
    But I’m befuddled by politics and don’t really have anything interesting to say about them. I found the post on Obama’s speach very interesting and read the whole thing.

    Yes, it’s bad to wish evil things: I take it back.

    but I feel deeply for the Tibetans.

  8. jonolan Says:

    Aafke, wonderful – I just hadn’t heard from you in while. I’m heartened that you’ve been checking in here.

    I live here and I’m befuddled by US politics! That part of why I keep trying to post about it and make some little sense out of what’s happening.

  9. Aafke Says:

    I like reading the posts; It really helps me get a bit a grip on it!

    We follow the elections closely in the Netherlands.

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