Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Annapolis Triathlon" - Anne Arundel County Aquathon Canceled, Leopold, Cancer, and the Churches "I have been involved with the sport of triathlon for 21 years and have never seen such nonsense from a jurisdiction."

John Leopold, the Anne Arundel County Executive, is responsible for this.

A few years ago, Leopold didn't hesitate to trample on the property rights of business owners by pushing through a ban on smoking in all bars and restaurants. He justified this egregious act of government intrusion by saying:

"Ultimately I believe it will not only save lives, but it will be a boon to economic development," Leopold said. "I am a melanoma survivor and I represent a high cancer-rate county."

Despite the fact that the dangers of second hand smoke have not been proven, Leopold still jumped on the opportunity to permanently trample on the rights of others.

However, when given the chance to support an event which encourages physical fitness, which has been proven to reduce the risk of cancer, he decided to oppose the event because it would inconvenience a few people for a few hours.

The organizers of the event worked with the community by moving it from downtown Annapolis and by engaging in discussions with local businesses, churches, and community leaders (unlike the anti-smoking Nazis who just force things on us without allowing for any concessions). 80% of the churches were on board. Because of complaints from a minority of the churches, Leopold killed the event.

This is a lost opportunity for the churches. They could have had sunrise services or afternoon services and encouraged the athletes to attend. They could have handed out water in cups that had Bible passages on them. They could have done other things to use this event as a recruitment/ministry tool. Instead the vocal 20% of the churches have just made all of the churches in the area look unreasonable. So much the worse for them.