Denison Forum on Truth and Culture logo

Cultural Commentary

American earns Olympic award only 17 have received

The Washington Post reports that last night's 6.2-magnitude earthquake has killed at least thirty-eight people in central Italy. Today's New York Times has a heartbreaking story on the effects of Zika on the brains of Brazilian babies.

In the midst of all the bad news, I was excited to read some amazingly good news today.

American runner Abbey D'Agostino became famous for helping fellow runner Nikki Hamblin after both were tripped during a race at the Rio Olympics. Abbey was severely injured but finished the race. Now she and Hamblin are the eighteenth and nineteenth recipients of the Pierre de Coubertin medal. It is not awarded at every Olympic Games. Rather, it is reserved for the most exceptional displays of sportsmanship and the Olympic spirit.

Abbey explained her behavior during the race as an expression of her faith, and the world took note. There's something in us that responds to the God who made us.

Hits: 75

Read more: American earns Olympic award only 17 have received

Fake ISIS attack causes widespread panic

Credit: Horesovska Marketa via APToday's news takes us from the momentous to the mundane.

This morning's New York Times reports that a fake ISIS attack in Prague, intended to protest the threat of Islam, caused widespread panic in the streets instead. The suicide attack in Turkey has now claimed fifty-four lives, twenty-two of whom were under fourteen years of age. Students beginning school in Miami yesterday were coated in bug spray to prevent the Zika virus. And Speedo USA has dropped Ryan Lochte's sponsorship after the Rio scandal.

Meanwhile, the highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge in the world has just opened. It stretches 1,410 feet (nearly five football fields) over a valley that is nearly 1,000 feet deep. It will feature the world's highest bungee jump (count me out).

Closer to home, St. Dominic's Catholic Church in San Francisco has been the custodian of a fragment believed to be part of the True Cross of Jesus Christ. According to its priest, "The True Cross is a relic that goes back 2,000 years to the very cross of Christ himself." The fragment was stolen from the church last week. A sign has been placed on the case asking for the thief to return the relic, no questions asked.

Hits: 500

Read more: Fake ISIS attack causes widespread panic

Why you should see 'Ben-Hur'

Credit: YoutubeBen-Hur opened in theaters last Friday. You probably know that the plot involves a chariot race and may wonder why you need to know more. You likely have not heard of any of the actors apart from Morgan Freeman. The film has generally not received positive reviews from critics.

So, why do you need to see the movie?

Let's begin with some cultural snapshots. Only 35 percent of Americans believe that absolute moral truth even exists. As a result, we're told that we should tolerate all behaviors that do not harm us personally. Of course, such tolerance does not extend to those who do believe in moral truth.

For instance, this morning's Wall Street Journal reports that the Zika virus is renewing the debate over late-term abortions. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said earlier this month that he opposed abortion for pregnant women infected with the virus. Pro-abortion advocates rebuked and ridiculed him, calling his position "outrageous."

Maj. Steve Lewis is an officer at Colorado's Peterson Air Force Base. He was recently forced to remove an open Bible on his desk after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation protested against his "around-the-clock Christian Bible Shrine."

Hits: 2631

Read more: Why you should see 'Ben-Hur'

USOC apologizes for Ryan Lochte's false claims

Credit: Mauro Pimentel via AP Two American Olympic swimmers are on their way home this morning from Rio de Janeiro. The lawyer for a third US swimmer says he will make a $10,800 payment and leave Brazil later in the day. Authorities have determined that Ryan Lochte and the group were not robbed as he had claimed. The US Olympic Committee apologized last night for this "distracting ordeal."

This is not the only distraction marring the Games. A member of the British team says he was robbed at gunpoint earlier this week. Before the Olympics began, a New Zealand athlete says he was kidnapped by Brazilian police and forced to withdraw $800 from his bank account.

Some 450,000 condoms were allocated for the 10,000 Olympic athletes, more than three times as many as for the 2012 London Games. It seems that Olympic officials expected the athletes to have an average of forty-five sexual encounters during the sixteen days of the Games, or three per day.

In the midst of such bad news, Abbey D'Agostino continues to share good news. The best news, in fact.

Hits: 944

Read more: USOC apologizes for Ryan Lochte's false claims

'We have to finish! This is the Olympic Games'

Credit: Mike Egerton via AP Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi noted, "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up."

When New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin fell in the women's 5,000-meter run Tuesday morning, American runner Abbey D'Agostino tripped over her and fell to the ground as well. Hamblin lay on the ground until she felt D'Agostino's hand on her shoulder. "Get up, get up! We have to finish!" Agostino said to her. "This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this."

The two finished last and next to last, but both will advance to Friday's final because they were tripped. Hamblin told reporters, "I am so grateful to Abbey for helping me. That girl was the Olympic spirit right there. I am so impressed and inspired by that."

Christians need more of the "Olympic spirit" these days.

The Washington Post reports that abortion advocates are becoming more proactive than ever. As Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Richards says, "We need to challenge or repeal every single restriction that's out there."

Hits: 2364

Read more: 'We have to finish! This is the Olympic Games'

Latest News

17304 Preston Rd | Suite 1060 | Dallas | TX | 75252-5618 | 214-705-3710
© 2009-2016 Copyright, Denison Forum. All rights reserved.