Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy U.S. Thanksgiving! This weekend, as usual, we'll be attending Chessiecon (formerly Darkover Grand Council). My husband and I will each appear on a couple of panels. I'll report next week. This year Thanksgiving falls very early, nice for driving weather, but it feels sort of strange to have the date sneak up on me so fast.

Yesterday, of course, was the anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. If you're old enough to remember 1963, where were you when you heard the news? I was in class (history, I think) when the announcement of the shooting came over the school loudspeaker. The first thing I thought of was the alleged "curse" of death in office on Presidents elected in years divisible by twenty. For the next three days or so, television stations broadcast continuous coverage of the assassination, its aftermath, and the funeral observances. My stepmother, who idolized Jackie, ran the TV constantly.

Two other distinguished men also died on November 22, 1963—C. S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley (author of many works of fiction and nonfiction in addition to his classic BRAVE NEW WORLD). There's a fascinating little book by Peter Kreeft, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL, that depicts a meeting of Kennedy, Lewis, and Huxley immediately after death in a kind of celestial anteroom. As they wait for whatever comes next, they debate philosophy and theology. Lewis, naturally, represents mainline "mere Christianity," Huxley the eastern pantheism that dominated his thought in his later years. Since the real-life private religious views of Kennedy, who in this book speaks for modernist Christian humanism, aren't well known, he serves more as a foil for the other two positions. Highly recommended!

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

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