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Our National Holiday

Yesterday I heard Freedom Fighter Ruby Sales speak about social justice activism, including her time with SNCC and her interactions with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Movements are not cozy,” she said. “The FBI targets you in movements. You are jailed in movements. You take bullets in movements. You do it because you are part of something bigger than yourself. You do it because you feel and see and know something worth saving that came before you and will outlive you.” This is the legacy she shares with Dr. King, who left us with his words, his love, his spirituality, and his profound model of resistance. We in America are mere shells without this legacy.

The Church of Ruby Sales’ Radical Love

Today I had the great honor of witnessing legendary freedom fighter Ruby Sales talk with Middle Collegiate Church Reverend Dr. Jacqui Lewis in a Q&A entitled “Redeem the Soul of America.” On the docket: Martin Luther King Jr., the SNCC, #blacklivesmatter, the spiritual void of racist capitalism, the colonization of African-American music, and the history of patriarchal white supremacy in the GOP. Miss Ruby took us on such a profound 90-minute journey that it’s impossible to enumerate all her points—she’s against social media-sized reductions, anyway (read books! she said)— but one statement rings in my ears. “I’m not about breaking glass ceilings. I’m about building a new roof.” Listen to this clip of her revolutionary love here.

Why ‘The Exorcist’ Haunts Us Still

I first saw “The Exorcist” when I was 13 and home alone. This, of course, was a mistake; by the time the iconic bars of Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” were running over the credits, I knew I’d never sleep that night, or possibly ever again. But it was not the circumstances of my viewing that made this film so abjectly terrifying. Forty-five years after its release, the adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s 1971 eponymous novel remains the most frightening movie ever made, and not just because it features a tween whose head spins backward.

At the time of the book’s publication, it seemed unlikely to ever achieve a mass audience, let alone be adapted into the ninth highest grossing film of all time when adjusted for inflation. Until then, Blatty, who also authored the screenplay, had been best known as the comedy screenwriter who’d given us the Inspector Clouseau mystery, “A Shot in the Dark.” A devout Catholic, he’d fictionalized an account of a 1949 exorcism by a Jesuit priest, but even his fancy Hollywood credentials couldn’t save it from being sent back to the publisher in droves. Only when a mysterious set of flukes landed him on the Dick Cavett Show for a full 45 minutes did the “The Exorcist” catapult to the New York Times best-seller list, where it remained for 57 weeks. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy