I don’t follow the news too closely anymore because it is too depressing and I’d prefer to simply deny it. That said, I do check the headlines a couple of times a day so that I am not completely out of the loop, and I have been following what’s been going on with the Olympic torch and the related protests.
While I am sympathetic to the notion of global bonding, brotherhood and sisterhood, in the interest of sportsmanship, I’ve got to take the position that the U.S. should boycott the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, like other nations have threatened to do. In my mind, I don’t see how one can encourage good sportsmanship and brotherhood, when the hosting nation is notorious for its human rights violations. I’m not saying that all nations should be like the United States (we are far too flawed a nation for me to suggest that), but surely there is a set of humane standards that we can all agree on–indeed that we have to agree on if we seek to become a truly global community. Setting all nationalism aside, as a humanist, I think we owe it to people all over the world to demonstrate that there exists a set of basic human rights and violation of these rights won’t be tolerated.