The faithful soul of Jackie Robinson

Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey knew that the first black player in major league baseball was going to go through hell.That's why the cigar-chomping, Bible-thumping Rickey set out to find a man who would keep believing -- when facing bitter, scathing racial hatred -- that the powers of heaven were on his side. As baseball writers have often noted, Rickey needed someone who could turn the other cheek, as well as turn a double play.In writer-director Brian Helgeland's new … [Read more...]

Preaching to a tempting choir

The YouTube era has produced a few Catholic stars, priests whose performances have inspired scores of web surfers to pass along emails full of grief or glee.Who can forget "The Barney Blessing," with the priest who traded his vestments for a purple dinosaur suit before the final prayer of a Halloween Mass? Then there was the trendy priest whose loopy dance to the altar, accompanied by trumpets and drums, inspired comparisons to Prince Ali's arrival in the Disney classic "Aladdin."But these were … [Read more...]

The roots of King’s dream

The telephone rang after midnight and sleep was not an option for the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., after he answered it.It was late 1956. Years later, King quoted that hellish voice: "Nigger, we are tired of you and your mess now. And if you aren't out of this town in three days, we are going to blow your brains out and blow up your house."King ended up in the kitchen, meditating on the mystery of evil and worrying about his family. He began praying out loud, voicing his feelings of weak … [Read more...]


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