Saturday, May 7, 2011

Peter Vidmar Browbeaten Into Resigning As U.S. Olympic Chief Of Mission By Gay Extremists Due To Previous Support Of California Proposition 8

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was appointed to serve the U.S. Olympic team as a chef de mission in the 2012 London Olympics has resigned under pressure after gay extremists targeted him over his support for California Proposition 8 in 2008. Peter Vidmar announced his decision to resign on May 6th, 2011.

It started on Thursday April 28th, when the U.S. Olympic Committee named Peter Vidmar, a two-time Olympic gold medalist gymnast, as one of two chef de missions (chiefs of mission) to act as liaisons during the Olympics and Paralympics in London in 2012. His job would have been to represent the U.S. delegations if issues arise between the USOC and the London Organizing Committee, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and other Olympic entities. On the surface, it looked like a good call; upon appointment, Vidmar said "I'll give my very best efforts to ensure that every athlete selected to represent the U.S. in London has the experience that they've prepared for...For many of these athletes, this could be their first and only Olympic Games, and each deserves to have their best experience."

However, it turns out that Vidmar had actively supported California Proposition 8, which defined marriage as only between one man and one woman, and which passed in 2008. He even donated $2,000 to the campaign. The LDS Church encouraged its members to work for Prop 8's passage. And openly gay figure skater Johnny Weir jumped all over it, condemning the choice of Vidmar and saying that he wouldn’t want to be represented by someone who is anti-gay marriage. In response, Vidmar explained that his views on gay marriage would not influence how he treats any gay Olympian, saying “I fully respect the rights of everyone to have the relationships they want to have...I respect the rights of all our athletes, regardless of their race, their religion or their sexual orientation. I will cheer and do all I can, passionately, for every athlete on the U.S. Olympic team.”

Even though the U.S. Olympic Committee was unaware of Vidmar's position before it named him chief of mission, they stood behind him, saying “Peter is a tireless advocate for sport in this country and someone who has inspired many with his successes in the world of sport. That is why we chose him as our chef for the London Games. We respect Peter’s right to religious freedom, and we understand and respect he fact that many Americans do not share his views.”

Yet despite Vidmar's reassurances that he would treat every team member fairly and despite the Olympic Committee's continuing support, the gay rights lobby continued to attack Vidmar, to include Box Turtle Bulletin and Just Out. This shows that the gay rights lobby, which is by no means representative of the views of all gays, will not settle for mere tolerance; they demand affirmation and celebration of homosexuality. As a result, on May 6th, Vidmar threw in the towel and resigned from the position. Vidmar explained:

"I have dedicated my life to the Olympic movement and the ideals of excellence, friendship and respect. I wish that my personal religious beliefs would not have become a distraction from the amazing things that are happening in the Olympic movement in the United States. I simply cannot have my presence become a detriment to the U.S. Olympic family. I hope that by stepping aside, the athletes and their stories will rightly take center stage."

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun expressed respect for Vidmar's decision and indicated they will find a replacement. Another unofficial LDS blog discussing this story is Times And Seasons, where Kent Larsen asks if this is persecution or freedom. Larsen wrote "What disappoints me about the activists in this case is that this mixes two unrelated things: Vidmar’s personal beliefs, public as he made them in the campaign, and his ability to perform the duties of chef de mission. Perhaps I don’t understand the position very well, but I have a hard time understanding how the beliefs could adversely affect the position". But in the end, he doesn't characterize it as persecution. Mormon Chronicles also weighs in, documenting reaction from other Olympic figures.

I will take a different tack. While the gay rights activists who chose to interject politics into the Olympics are contemptible, I can't let Peter Vidmar off the hook. Despite enjoying the continued support of the Olympic Committee, Vidmar chose to throw in the towel and resign. Resigning out of political correctness merely empowers those who use pressure tactics; it further enshrines political correctness. When the Prophet Joseph Smith came under attack for his beliefs, did he resign as President of the LDS Church? Absolutely not, although unlike Vidmar, Joseph Smith faced tarring and feathering, false imprisonment, and ultimately assassination.

Peter Vidmar would have done well to follow the example of Joseph Smith.


Scott said...

Awwww. The Mormons want the gays to forgive and forget for Prop. 8.

In a word, no. You made your beds three years ago and now you can lie in it.

Anonymous said...

Gays just prove that they are hypocrites. They cry equality for everyone and yet at the first chance they deny that right for others. Proving that they could have shown a better side to them and yet didn't. This is the reason as to why they are hypocritical.

The old adage about wining more flies with sugar than vinegar still applies.

The fact still remains that Gays got their marriage rights because they had a friendly judge in Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who happened to be gay himself, doesn't bode well with champions of Prop 8 to begin with.

Homosexuals would have been up in arms if the judge had been Mormon and had kept 8 on the law books.

I've found that politics in the past 8 to 10 years has gotten more vindictive. I suppose this is just another sign of the times that people are just not allowed to take a position that others don't like.

Jack Mormon said...

Scott - I'll give your credit for one thing -- you don't pretend. It's obvious there's nothing the Church can do on this issue that would make you happy, so it's pointless for the Church to reach out to reprobates like you.

You promote vengeance rather than justice. It's obvious which spirit has a claim over you.

Scott said...

Pretty much. When you step into the political arena to legislate your religious beliefs, you get what you get.

Reprobate, cute term.

Personally I prefer "mean S.O.B."

I think Vidmar got exactly the justice he deserved. He's tarnished his own name by donating money to a bigoted, lying campaign and now he's reaping the rewards.

He didn't seem to worry about it three years ago, now he's learning that actions have consequences.

Personally when I research people for background information, one of the first things I check is the Prop. 8 donor database. If they gave to Prop. 8, I don't do business with them, period.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious to people like scott that perversion and beating up old people who carry a cross is a way to solve problems. Good for you scott, I am sure you feel like a real man or woman. In the end you will sadly die in your sin and foolishness because giving in to your inflamed sickness is more important then truth and any sense of morality.

Anonymous said...

I am both gay and Mormon. I am not a traitor to what's been in my head since I was 6, nor am I a bigoted, religous freak. The proof is in the "pudding". I am happier and more successful now in my life as I try to follow the teachings of Christ, and the advice of a living prophet, than I was when I was completly involved in the gay culture. All of you that are one, or the other, or neither ABSOLUTELY CANNOT know the "right" and "wrong" of these VERY COMPLEX emotional, biological, environmental, and spiritual issues. I support and love my gay friends, and I understand completely the family culture of the Church. All groups in America, truly the promised land, are entitled to their opinons. By all means, cherish them, protect them, try (in an appropriate manner) to convince, or persuade others to think the way you do...... but if they don't.......let it and them be.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with Peter. He is a man with courage and talent and integrity. Johnny, if I disagree with the DEFINITION of good skaking and have a strong opinion of bad skaters.....I do not hate the total person and everything they stand for. Likewise, if you disagree with the 6,000 year old DEFINITION of marriage, it seems unwise (and hypocritical) to unjustly target those that believe in that definition. Really.....the backlash is unnecessary, and undignified. I don't attack the families, the character, and profession of all stockbrokers just because one lost 60K of my money.