Should I Wish Flannery O’Connor Was Protestant?

This is a tough question. For I cannot imagine she would have written what she has and done so with such effect, if she were. Her being Catholic seems to be the place she writes from as much as her being Southern. And yet there is this voice in myself which despises so much dogma of the Catholic church, a tension is there.

I actually do not think she would have written what she did if she had been Protestant in the South. I assume she would have been tempted and told to write something far more devotional, saccharine and sentimental. And here is the irony, she wrote about the Grace and Redemption we have in Christ better than any Protestant fiction writer. Being Catholic made her fiction what it is – Genius. So here is the irony I am stuck with; she, as a Catholic got at the truth better than she would have, if she had been a Protestant. And she got it “out there” more than 99% of Protestant writers.
This is no reason to leave and join the Catholic church. But it certainly should cause us to stop and ask, “What was she believing about God and his creation and Christ’s work of redemption that made such a wonderful body of work possible? And are we believing it? Do we need to? Are we missing out on something”
There are some who will think this is a ridiculous question. “Of course you should want her to be Protestant, her soul is what matters the most and as a Catholic, her soul was at risk.” I assume these folks are the same ones who would have told her to write something different. I prefer to wrestle with this question a little more, all the while, thankful for her gifts.

4 thoughts on “Should I Wish Flannery O’Connor Was Protestant?

  1. Alxsteele July 26, 2010 / 3:37 pm

    Wrestling…wrestling…wrestling. Okay, done restling. I vote no.

  2. brianmetz July 27, 2010 / 1:26 am

    I hear ya. Not sure if she would have written what she did. Let's hope she truly was a Christian over a Catholic.

  3. AFD July 28, 2010 / 5:16 am

    Catholicism breeds great artists and great saints. It's not the dogma, it's the Mysteries, and the Virgin Mary (her Rosary) and, in Flannery's day, the Latin language.

  4. angie5804 January 30, 2016 / 6:53 pm

    My brother is a Flannery addict to the point I sometimes think he’s crazy. Well, he’s my brother,so… Anyway, I need to look into this further

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