By Alan Bean
My inbox doesn’t always give me anything worth reading, but today was an exception.
First, you will want to read this interview with David Oyelowo, the British actor who plays Martin Luther King Jr. in the new film Selma. I haven’t seen the film, but I have kept abreast of all the criticism from LBJ fans, and I listened yesterday to a delightful conversation between Terry Gross (Fresh Air) and director Ava DuVernay that explains why it has taken half a century for Hollywood to tackle MLK. The interview with Oyelowo explains why, perhaps for the first time, a major film portrays authentic spirituality. All of the major actors were either professing Christians or they had grown up in the Black Church and understood the context. In other words, this isn’t a film made by secular white people who don’t understand genuine Christianity.
Secondly, there is this disturbing post from Fred Clark, the Slacktivist, inspired by the surprising discovery that the more financially secure Americans become, the more they despise and “envy” poor people. The study shows, Clark believes, that rich people have come what they pretended to be:
So the wealthy didn’t start out as genuinely ignorant, dumb and dull. They started out just pretending that’s what they were. Alas, though, as Kurt Vonnegut warned us, “we must be careful about what we pretend to be,” because we become what we pretend to be. And after decades of pretending to be stupid, it seems that a majority of the wealthiest Americans are no longer merely pretending.
Finally, there is this post from The Boekstool asking why we don’t call misguided Christians who perform violent acts “Christian terrorists”. An excellent question. What is it like to grow up Muslim in America? It ain’t easy, that’s for sure.