Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sarah Vowell on the MLK Holiday

Sarah Vowell is one of my favorite authors. I first grew to love her work on the public radio program This American Life. Her quirky sense of humor and unabashed love for the history of this country of ours combined with her strangely compelling voice (she was the voice of Violet Incredible in the film The Incredibles) has always made me smile, laugh, cry and love my country--often at the same time.

If you haven't read any of her collections of essays, I recommend Take the Cannoli along with Assassination Vacation.

She describes herself as a "culturally Christian atheist" in the same way her non-practicing Jewish friends are "culturally Jewish atheists." Yet, as is often the case, her understanding of the heart of the Gospel of Christ exceeds that of so many who claim to follow Christ. Her essay in Monday's NY Times proves that unlike many Christians she actually has read the Sermon on the Mount and does her best to live by it.

In the essay, she speaks about the MLK holiday and what MLK meant and still means for our country. If nothing else, Vowell provides a service to us by getting people to read King's words from a 1957 sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama:

“So this morning, as I look into your eyes and into the eyes of all of my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you: ‘I love you. I would rather die than hate you.’

Grace and Peace,


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