My cousin Mycroft walked into the bookshop.
She saw a copy of The Exorcist.
She picked it up.
She felt a constricting pressure on her chest and experienced a feeling of the presence of evil.
She put down the book and left.
I was very struck by her account of this experience.
Why should she be given a spiritual perception like this when I, at the age of thirteen, picked up The Exorcist without a qualm, without so much as the tinkle of an ethereal alarm bell, without so much as a nudge from my guardian angel, read it from cover to cover, and then spent the next twenty five years sleeping with the light on?!
I was struck by Mycroft's anecdote for another reason.
Some years ago I came across a book about the supposedly real events on which The Exorcist had been based.
The book was written by a competent liberal leftwing American journalist who had worked for some of the biggest names in news reporting.
I would not be a fan but I would recognise that sometimes these sort of atheistic guys are better at digging for the truth than those of us who pretend to be Christian.
In the book he put a pseudo scientific slant on his version of the facts behind The Exorcist.
He still managed to leave the door open for supernatural explanations.
He offered an intriguing insight.
At the time of the alleged events, the American city in which the events occurred, was rocked by racial tensions.
The journalist speculated that the race hate generated by the situation, the sheer spite people felt towards each other, had opened the door for evil spirits.
This speculation came back to me when I heard Mycroft's story.
It came back to me because I was thinking of my own writings on the war on terror.
Did I, in hating Arab Islamic terrorism, did I start to hate Arabs and Muslims generally?
Spite is a name for satan.
I reject spite.
Long live Jesus Christ the king.