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When you can only see evil
by Thanos Kalamidas
2015-12-25 11:08:06
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I feel that every Christmas I live a déjà vu. It always starts with me explaining that even though an atheist, I can see the love in the Christmas message and in the end I wish that everybody can also see it and act accordingly. Every single year the last eleven.

But this year, me the atheist, I can see something else very clear. Evil. Of course Christmas is here, December 25th today but there is evil as well. And evil there is all the time … all around us. And misery, and tragedy and pain. A lot of pain. And death. This year how many kids died in the Mediterranean Sea? Ironically how many kids died in or from the land of Palestine. Nobody really knows. We know about 3-year-old Alyan. We saw the pictures. But how many Alyan really died and we don’t even know their name. And there is no resurrection for them.

tha01_400Wherever you turn your head there is evil. Evil in governments who see people as a weight for their national debt, evil in politicians who see people as an instrument to serve their personal absolutely corrupted ambitions, we see people hate.  We saw in France hate winning elections with a lot of help coming from their supposedly target, we saw in Finland hate wearing capes, we saw in Germany hate burning refugee settlers and we saw Hungary unveiling hate walls. What we saw coming from USA – a deep apology to my American friends – but it terrifies me. I don’t want to imagine any place in the world with a Donald Trump in power and this minute Donald Trump has power in USA.

In the meantime more waves of refugees land in Europe through the Greek island, unemployment constantly increases all around Europe and the numbers of homeless is devastating. 30,000 kids continue to die every single day more than 40% victims of different forms of violence, more than 6,000 of them in our civilized and democratic west.

Thankfully I have a good and personal relationship with most Ovi contributors. There is a high percentage among us, among the Ovi family who is unemployed or victims of deferent kind of prejudice even racism where they live. I actually felt all of it during my resent years in Finland; a Finland that has nothing to do with the country I fell in love two decades ago. Today there is a fascist party in the government seeking for national purity. The messages from Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic are not any better. Evil rules in Europe in front or behind the curtains.

Getting closer to Christmas one of the most outspoken and recognizable Greek bishops, after spending months cursing immigrants, damning refugees, calling for violence against gays, expressing disgust against communists, liberals, socialists, wishing death for atheist,  he talked about …love and the Christmas message. How can you defend youself from that?

And now I’m going to write about the Christmas message? With all this hate around? I’m sorry but for this year I cannot see any Christmas message, what I can see is evil.

I'm sorry but when I see these refugee kids recieving presents as part of the Christmas spirit I feel no joy and I doubt if any of them feel any message when the face behind the one who gives them the present is Timo Soini, Marine Le Pen or Donald Trump. Look at the picture in the cover. This little girl got a present accordingly to the Christmas spirit, she got a lot of wishes ...hope? I doubt if there is any left for her in the land of Soinis, Le Pens and Trumps. 

And I’m scared in what world I brought a kid.


However and not because I don’t believe all the above it is a good chance to wish to all of you, Ovi friends, Ovi family to be well, be healthy and most of all act. Even if that act is limited to write, please do it. Fascism, prejudice, radicalism fear one thing and they have shown it the last few year. They are scared of our pens. Please don’t stop using them, it is our last stand.

Season Greetings Everyone!



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Gordana Mudri2015-12-25 14:40:35
My dear friend, what bothers me most that all those people who declare themselves as believers, in many cases they have less compassion and goodness than we have. As the Christmas will pass, they will forget all this Christmas messages and they will continue with wires, hatred and bigotry. Goodness is not about be religious or not, it's about your inner feeling and your own cognition, about acting every day. We will act with the only weapon we admit and have - our pens. If not for us, then for our children and the better world they deserve.
I wish a better new year for all of us, for our friends, for contributors and for all the people with good will. And for Ovi - a lot of strong articles who will shake the world of others.

Emanuel Paparella2015-12-25 14:53:29
Well put Thanos. We may have only our puny pens to fight evil but it is our duty as public intellectuals, so to speak, to bravely carry on such a fight, as inconvenient as it may be turn out to be at times, even if quite often the struggle appears futile and inconsequential and thus running the risk of losing confidence. As has been wisely said: for evil to triumph in the world, it is enough that good persons do nothing. A good person is not necessarily one who goes to church for Christmas but one who refuses to remain callous and indifferent toward evil and injustice and stays hopeful that evil will eventually be vanquished.

The appeal of a movie like Star Wars is that its narrative speaks about the fight of good against evil, the oldest myth in the world beyond religions and cults galore; albeit I tend to agree with the Vatican’s reservations about the movie, in the sense that it makes the struggle look a bit too easy and deterministic thus violating human freedom vis a vis its destiny, a bit too dependent on the power of one’s technological prowess. I am afraid that indeed we, within the human condition, cannot afford the luxury of being so complacent toward the struggle or run the risk of appearing hypocritical. The struggle is much more terrifying than it is portrayed in the movie and there are no iron-clad guarantees that it will end with the ultimate triumph of good. All the more why it remains our ethical duty as human beings to carry on the struggle and never even contemplate giving up in despair.

The angel of Christmas did not say “peace to those who believe and go to church” but rather “peace to men of good will” and that includes all men of good will who are offended by the ugliness and the destructive power of evil. Which is to say: no justice, no peace, independent of one’s religious affiliation or no affiliation or no belief, for that matter. So, for this Christmas, I wish you and all persons of good will that “may the force be with us!”

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