A Modern View on Lent

Lent has been a continuous debate among Catholics, Christians, and even families for years. My own family has multiple views on the traditions of not eating meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent. My Catholic grandmother always followed the rule. It was a rule I was taught in Sunday School and was heavily enforced in the church and by my grandmother. For my mother, a Protestant, the only day not to eat meat on was Good Friday. But, because of my father’s Catholic background, she still tried to help my brothers and I abide by the Catholic rule. In recent years, fewer Catholics are following this rule, my family included. I’ve heard people say things like, “They only invented the rule because the fish market was down,” or “Poultry isn’t meat.” Whatever you’ve heard, make your own decision. There are other ways to acknowledge your faith during this time of the year.

Not eating meat on Fridays is just one tradition for Lent for Catholics. Many will “give up” something for Lent, like sweets or chocolate. Others will choose to “be a better Catholic/Christian” for Lent, whether this means helping others or attending mass more often. For those of you who have no idea what you want to do (or not do) for Lent this year, I will share ideas with you that I, myself, am going to do for Lent or ones that I have heard others are doing for Lent. Continue reading

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Intolerance – Do you think before you speak?

Despite America’s reputation for being a “melting pot” of cultures, not every American — or college student — lives up to this reputation. Intolerance is a recurring theme in America. Historically, we have “overcome” intolerances based on race, religion, and gender. Laws were created to make racism and sexism illegal. And yet, these intolerances, among many others, continue to remain prevalent in American society.

Being intolerant is hard to define. Intolerance is shown through racist, sexist, or homophobic comments. It can be treating others of a different race, ethnicity, or religion differently. It can be as simple as joking about someone being “retarded” or saying “that’s so gay.” An intolerant comment does not necessarily make someone intolerant to another group, but perhaps ignorant or misinformed. Being intolerant or ignorant is common. Many of us don’t consider these types of comments or jokes to cause harm, and we say them without even thinking of their meaning or consequences.

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