DON'T BUY THE OLYMPIC HYPE.

Author:Rundles, Jeff
Position:RUNDLESWRAPUP

Did you see the recent news stories about two mega-church pastors asking their followers for $54 million to $65 million to buy luxury jet airplanes to enhance their abilities to spread the gospel worldwide? These people preach the "gospel of prosperity," in which "financial blessing" comes from worshipping God, and of course, from donations to ministries that will increase one's material wealth. I suppose these preachers are flying high by Providence. This all came down at the same time the annual "best paying majors for college students" came out. I saw no mention of "theology."

It all came to my attention at the very same time that many Colorado political, business and civic leaders preached their own "gospel of prosperity" in announcing an intent to pursue a bid for the state to host the 2030 Winter Olympic Games. That the Denver and Colorado Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Exploratory Committee, after months of study, came out with the recommendation to go for the gold, as it were, was no surprise; heck, I could have written their report before they ever deliberated. Good for the economy, all private funds, no taxpayer dollars, solidify Colorado as a worldwide leader in winter sports, huge and positive economic impact, anything built can be repurposed for the benefit of communities, the games will pay for much-needed 1-70 upgrades, yada yada yada. The committee's conclusions were so predictable, it's a wonder they bothered with the process at all.

The committee did one thing that was surprising: They called for a public vote on whether this state should make a bid for the games, a non-binding vote that could come as soon as 2020. They feel confident about the support, bolstered by a poll issued in January that revealed voters statewide, by a wide margin, favor making a bid. We'll see about that; polling, particularly these days, has a tendency to be agonizingly partisan.

Count me as a skeptic, for a variety of reasons. First, it always amazes me how the heavyweights in politics, business and civic ventures can come out full throttle for anything having to do with sports, while these same people--with vested interests--say little about things like funding education or homelessness or affordable housing. Second, - and...

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