WHY RACISM IS OUR ORIGINAL SIN—In our first major author interview of 2016, ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm talks to Sojourners‘ Jim Wallis about an urgent new book he is publishing this month—America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America. And, yes, there is hope and practical wisdom within these pages! Order the book now from Amazon and it will arrive on the release date of January 19.
MAKE KING’S DAY MEANINGFUL …
DON’T MISS A HOLIDAY! Just remember this simple Web address www.InterfaithHolidays.com to find all of the upcoming holidays, festivals and anniversaries.
ARE YOU READY TO HONOR DR. KING? Jim Wallis’s new book on racism in America is scheduled to release in conjunction with Dr. King’s birthday this year. Of course, ReadTheSpirit has a rich array of King resources, starting with …
THE HOLIDAY—Stephanie Fenton reports on the national holiday, which was signed into law in 1983 but wasn’t celebrated in all 50 states until 2000. And there’s much more to enjoy here …
- PROFILE—Daniel Buttry writes about Dr. King’s life.
- ‘I HAVE A DREAM’—In 2013, we published this column about the famous 1963 speech.
- THE LEGACY—Also in 2013, sociologist Dr. Wayne Baker published this five-part series assessing how far Americans have come since that famous speech. That 2013 reporting still reflects the disparities we find between races in our nation today. (You’re free to reproduce and share Dr. Baker’s OurValues series to spark discussions with friends.)
- FEED THE SPIRIT—Desiree Cooper writes about one of Dr. King’s favorite foods: sweet potato pie.
- THE MOVIE—Edward McNulty wrote this review of the recent movie, Selma.
HOLIDAYS IN INDIA
GO FLY A KITE! One of India’s oldest holiday traditions unfolds in mid January—welcoming spring! Holidays columnist Stephanie Fenton reports on Makar Sankranti, an ancient custom that looks to the stars for signs that the world is growing lighter again. Customs now vary by regions, including sweets and beautiful traditional symbols, but by far the most popular form of celebration is flying kites.
Stephanie also includes in that column a news item about the Sikh festival of Mela Maghi.
WANT PEACE? HELP BIAS BUSTERS—The Bias Busters program at the Michigan State University School of Journalism is courageously stepping into the nationwide wave of anti-Muslim bigotry by reducing the price of the Bias Busters guidebook on understanding Muslim-Americans to 99 cents. Learn about this effort, spearheaded by MSU’s Joe Grimm and his students. Their guide is recommended nationally by a top editor at The Huffington Post.
IN THE WORLD
One of our guiding principles: Good media builds good community. What does that mean? Enjoy these stories …
3 LIVES LINKED IN LIFE AND DEATH—GodSigns author Suzy Farbman tells readers about the recently published reflections of psychologist Dr. Peter Lichtenberg. He writes about experiencing grief twice in his life after the untimely death of two wives: “Sadly, I am among the unlucky few in modern times who have suffered bereavement not only as a young man, but in middle age as well.” Suzy tells the story of these three, in brief, then links to Peter’s entire memoir—a lengthy column he posted online about life, death and lessons he has learned.
REDISCOVER HOPE—Daniel Buttry’s inspiring new book We Are the Socks is full of true stories about men and women who risked pursuing peace even in the face of enormous challenges around the world. Read about Dan’s adventure in writing this new book. And, in a short video, Dan tells the surprising story behind the title.
& POPULAR CULTURE
GREAT GIFT FOR MOVIE FANS—Do you enjoy making connections between faith and film? Veteran-faith-and-film writer Edward McNulty’s brand new book—”Jesus Christ, Movie Star.”—is a lots of fun and it’s inspiring as well!
ALL THE MOVIES—Looking for great choices? First, www.VisualParables.org is a treasure trove of free movie reviews by Edward McNulty. Also, check out the current issue of his Visual Parables Journal.
- YOUTH—This new film might not be every moviegoer’s cup of tea, but if you like Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and the thoughtful work of Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, then Ed McNulty says: Don’t miss this one! (5 out of 5 stars)
- JOY—Ed also says wonderful performances by this ensemble cast make Joy a feel-good movie you shouldn’t miss, Ed says. (4.5 out of 5 stars)
- THE REVENANT—It’s refreshing, Ed writes, to see so many myths of the “Old West” swept away in this bold new drama. (4.5 stars.)
- THE 33—A thrilling survival story of the miners trapped in Chile—and an indictment of corporate greed. (4 stars)
- SPOTLIGHT—No question: It’s a deeply troubling true story. But, Spotlight—the story of the Boston Globe‘s investigation into abusive priests—is an important movie. (5 stars)
- TRUMBO—Another superbly crafted, true-to-life drama about the struggles of top Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo. (4.5 stars)
- STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS—Yes, there’s new life and creativity in this sequel—plus lots of old friends! (4.5 stars)
- THE DANISH GIRL—Ed gives 5 stars to this remarkable drama about the transgender transformation of an artist a century ago.