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There’s a movie scene I’ve been thinking about this week in which a pastor and a journalist sit down to talk about their home city. The pastor offers his help to the newly appointed editor and says, “I find that the city flourishes when its great institutions work together.” The editor replies, “Thank you. But I’m of the opinion that for a paper to best perform its function it needs to stand alone.”
If you’re a communitarian sort of Christian, you may well find yourself sympathizing with the pastor’s comments. The underlying assumption of the young post-liberal Christians is that society exists as an organic whole and the various institutions and communities that exist alongside each other all contribute to the common life of the place.
Contrast - Vision - Society - Force - State
This is set as a stark contrast to a more Hobbesian vision of society where the only force keeping us from slaughtering each other indiscriminately is the state or a Lockean vision where self-interest and property rights serve the same function. Laid out in those terms, give me the post-liberal Christian world.
Unfortunately, the pastor in the above story is Cardinal Bernard Law, former archbishop of the archdiocese of Boston. The line is from the movie Spotlight, the Oscar-winning film that told the story of the Boston Globe‘s investigation into child abuse in Catholic churches in the city of Boston which, in turn, sparked global investigations into similar abuses happening all over the world. The rejoinder to Law is, of course, from Globe editor Marty Baron.
Scene - Diner - Mitch - Garabedian - Lawyer
There is another scene at a diner where Mitch Garabedian, the lawyer representing many of the plaintiffs in multiple suits against the church, says to Mike Rezendes, a reporter at the Globe, that the reason the abuse continues is because the city doesn’t really want to know. It is easier to look...
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