MacLaren should stay home from the Olympics
Ian MacLaren (“An Olympic Stand: Boycott Sochi Games,” Aug. 13) writes with little, if any, understanding of the Russian mindset. He is calling for a boycott of the Olympics in Russia because they intend to enforce their laws in regard to homosexuality. Nothing would make the Russians happier than for the Americans to stay home. In Russia, homosexuality is not a human rights issue but a moral issue which the people, as a whole, see as a perversion. Therefore, it is not an issue of discrimination to them. They are well pleased that their leaders, unlike ours, stand against it. In my 29 visits to Russia in the past 10 years, the number one question I get asked is “How can Americans tolerate such evil?” In Russia this question does not come from the so-called religious right or conservative Christianity.
After all, the historical purpose of the Olympics is a competition of the world’s greatest athletes, not a place for the demonstration of sexual preference. If the Russians wanted to preserve the original intent, good for them; however, the Russians are not all that virtuous. The bottom line is that from President Putin on down, they do not care what the international community thinks, and especially what Americans think. Therefore, all desires expressed by MacLaren are in vain. If MacLaren wants to be “an outspoken advocate of gay rights,” I would advise him to stay home.