Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

November 8, 2013

When do we call an exorcist?

It was irresistible.

On Halloween, The Drudge Report highlighted a Washington Post interview with the author of “The Exorcist.” William Peter Blatty had used the word “demonic,” and now there atop Drudge was a photo of Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

It had been another week of the Obama administration having to answer for the political house of horrors that has become of its signature Obamacare law, the misnamed Affordable Care Act.

Blatty never called Sebelius demonic. But he did reflect on the American soul in ways deeper than most political analyses ever tend to, deeper than many public prayers about politics.

Sebelius came into the interview as Blatty talked with the reporter about his decades-long concern for the integrity of his alma mater, Georgetown University, as a Catholic institution. As religious leaders, including U.S. Catholic bishops, were protesting the White House insistence that an HHS mandated assault on conscience stand as a new health care regulation, Georgetown hosted Sebelius as a commencement speaker in 2012.

But this runs deeper than a cabinet secretary, a political debacle, or even one influential school. If people clicked on the Drudge link, they were issued an invitation into a contemplative life.

The Post piece notes that Blatty wore “a silver medal etched with the three crosses of Calvary, where Jesus was crucified in the Gospels. The medal belonged to his son Peter, who died seven years ago. One reason ‘The Exorcist’ has endured, Blatty thinks, is because it shows that the grave does not mean oblivion. That there is something after death.”

But even more interesting than what was printed in the interview piece was what it did not say.

The Washington Post tells us about Blatty’s choice of sweetener over lunch at the Georgetown-area Tombs restaurant, along with his mashing of meatballs, carving of polenta, and his swirling “them together with blood-red sauce.” And yet there is a ceiling on details in the piece. “He describes, his voice trembling, a particular abortion procedure in graphic detail,” the reporter writes. End of details.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Teachers unions' destructive behavior You can always count on the national teachers unions to behave badly at their annual conventions, and they certainly didn’t let us down this month. In doing so, however, they let down many of their members, along with students who are working hard to

    July 26, 2014

  • Workers of the world, curb your ambitions A group of Democrats introduced legislation this week to protect low-paid shift workers from last-minute changes in their schedules. The idea fits into an intriguing category of economic activism: Not trying to lift low-paid workers out of poverty, n

    July 26, 2014

  • State of the reunion ‘Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 26, 2014

  • Fear indifference ‘Perhaps the Catholic church would volunteer to pony up some cash for the illegals’ care then? Hmm?”“Pope should stay out of it. Matter of civil laws, not church laws.”“Thinking that the pope should want the illegals to go to Argentina to get better

    July 25, 2014

  • A push for felon voting rights If advocates have their way, voting rights could be a new reality for the nation’s incarcerated.Full voting rights for felons is as hot a topic in Washington as voting rights in reverse pushed by voter-ID-tickled Republicans. But with new legislation

    July 25, 2014

  • Big insurers need better oversight Could Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. threaten the stability of the financial system? The U.S.’s top regulators are asking themselves this question as they consider whether Berkshire and other large insurers should come under Federal Reserve

    July 25, 2014

  • Questions for Obamacare after the ruling Tuesday, I outlined what we knew about Halbig v. Burwell, the case in which a federal appellate court ruled that subsidies for purchasing insurance under Obamacare can only be made available on marketplaces established by states. Now I propose to out

    July 24, 2014

  • Pensions not the problem I see in last night’s Register-News paper that James Rippy has attempted to enlighten us on pensions in Illinois. I also notice he has written so often he no longer has the title “guest columnist.” It is obvious he has the time and energy to work on

    July 24, 2014

  • Impasse threatens border solution After more than a year of contentious debate, could Congress be any more divided over the issue of immigration? The answer is yes.In the House, positions are hardening over what to do about the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied young im

    July 24, 2014

  • Take a lesson from Texas I like to eat at blue-collar diners and cafes, particularly when I’m on vacation.It’s a chance to step beyond the homogenized national chains and experience a bit of local flavor.And being a reporter, I like to chat up local folks to find out a bit a

    July 23, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks