Some will charge that it's an example of political correctness run amok, while others will say it's a decision made out of respect for diverse peoples of faith. The Telegraph is reporting that religious symbols were banned from a faith badge that was designed for chaplains to wear at the 2012 London Olympic games. The underlying reason, the outlet reports, centers upon an urge not to offend people who wish only to wear their own faith symbol.
The lapel pin, which is intended to showcase the role that religious leaders will have in the 2012 games, has become the center of moderate controversy after religious symbols were scrapped from the design. The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog) apparently asked an advisory committee of representatives from various faiths to provide ideas for the badge's look and feel.
While there were purportedly plans to include symbols from all nine of the faiths that were present on the representative committee, the design was inevitably rejected. The central notion was that not all individuals wearing the pin would feel comfortable sporting symbols of other faiths.
The Telegraph continues:
The final badge — presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury and eight other faith leaders when they toured the Olympic park — simply features the word "faith" and a globe, alongside the Olympics and Paralympics logos. [...]
The badge will be worn by the 193 faith chaplains — who will look after athletes, officials, staff and members of the media.
Although there was support for a badge bearing the nine symbols — including the cross and Islamic crescent — the organisers say it would have "limited" the "appeal" to religious athletes and spectators.
The group also dismissed other proposals for the design, including images of hands in prayer and a lit candle.
"We discussed lots of ideas -- it is always difficult to get a symbol that is comfortable with everyone," said the Rev. Canon Duncan Green, who serves as an Anglican priest and the head of Locog's multi-faith services. "We wanted something that people of all faiths could wear and feel comfortable with and that showed the world faiths coming together. If we want something that appeals to all faiths it has to be neutral."
(H/T: The Telegraph)