The reader and the writer. Two sides of the same coin. Pardon, the same page. Relationship status: It’s complicated since only one gets to state what’s on their mind. Thus, it’s only fair to talk back via text. Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964) may be long gone from this world, but her literature endures as an eternal message. And so does the question how an atheist-by-conviction connects to Catholic O’Connor’s Southern Gothic religious themes.
If you live in the United States or in many other places in the world, it’s impossible not to know anything about Christmas. However, the same cannot necessarily be said about the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which begins tonight, on December 18, and runs until Monday, December 26. In honor of the Feast of Dedication, sometimes referred to as the Festival of Lights, I’d like to invite you to watch this short, informative video:
Last fall, I had the privilege of spending a semester abroad. What better place to go for a North American Studies Profile graduate than across the pond?
Even if said pond happens to be the Baltic Sea rather than the Atlantic Ocean, my journey did take me to the “North American University in the Heart of Europe”, i.e., the Republic of Lithuania. And if you’re asking yourself: “What is it doing there?” or perhaps even: “What were you doing there?” let me introduce you to this one-of-a-kind place called LCC International University.
Let’s just stop for a minute and reflect on a political, philosophical, or moral issue you’re wrong about. It ain’t that easy, right? But why not? The chance that you’re right on every topic you think and argue about is basically zero. Of course, if you knew you were wrong about something you wouldn’t hold that belief or even preach it. Whenever somebody utters an opinion we don’t agree with, our minds go: How dare you believe that? Of course, you can shield yourself from such thoughts by avoiding opinions that differ from yours. However, that’s a bad idea. It’s important to talk to people, so let me give you some practical advice on how to do it. Especially since the holidays are upon us, you’ll likely meet family members you haven’t seen in a while. So here comes an instruction manual on how to deal with that crazy aunt of yours who worships conspiracy theories.
Have you ever wondered, between decorating your Christmas tree and looking for presents, what for God’s sake you’re doing? Theoretically, you’re supposed to be preparing for Jesus’s birthday, but do you actually do it? Maybe you’re not even a Christian.
I don’t know why, but I have this strong feeling that most Christians have forgotten ‘the reason for the season’. Of course, we still celebrate the birth of Christ, maybe even louder than before. Definitely earlier than before. Shop owners so much love to celebrate Jesus’s birthday that they start their marketing campaigns and promote Christmas products at the beginning of September already. I think God would be proud. There are, however, more inconsistencies.
It is ironic that, as the world’s first secular democracy having scorned all state religion, we soon became and have remained, socially and politically, preoccupied with god. Campaign speeches end with “God bless you.” The song, “God Bless America,” which Irving Berlin wrote as a parody sung by a comically chauvinistic character, is now performed as a patriotic hymn.