Last week in Boston, Acton’s Director of Media Michael Miller and Seven Fund co-founder Andreas Widmer joined host Scot Landry on The Good Catholic Life on 1060 AM to talk about enterprise solutions to poverty, the intersection of faith and business, and the PovertyCure initiative. You can hear the interview via the audio player below:
Appearing in the next issue of Religion & Liberty will be my review of Philip F. Lawler’s The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture (Encounter Books, 2008). There is no point in dwelling on how well-written and insightful the book is, as it has already won plaudits from other, more significant reviewers, but I can give my own “Acton spin” to Lawler’s exceptional work. Here is the piece in full, an exclusive preview for PowerBlog readers:
Lord Acton’s quotation concerning the corrupting effect of power is widely known. Less so is the fact that the target of his criticism on that particular occasion was the power possessed not by government but by church officials. Acton’s understanding of ecclesiastical authority (as distinct from power) is debatable, but his insight into human nature is not. A case study—not that we need another to file away in the vast archives of the history of human frailty—is the collapse of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.
Philip Lawler documents the details in this skillfully written account of the triumphs and travails of Boston’s Catholics. The history is episodic rather than thorough, but Lawler chooses his episodes well. The bulk of his attention goes to the last forty years, and much of that is focused on the sexual abuse scandals of the last ten. For anyone who has followed these developments closely, there will be little in the way of new revelations. Yet Lawler’s style, at once sympathetic and bluntly critical, is engrossing. The devout Catholic reader who was dismayed by the character and scale of the abuse scandal will be drawn back to those unpleasant times when it seemed that each new day brought fresh reasons to be ashamed of one’s faith.
Prof. Bainbridge on the hijinks of the Boston duo responsible for the now infamous ad campaign for Adult Swim: “These guys validate my life’s work: They confirm that corporations rule the world and are therefore a worthy subject of study.”
Here’s the rather incredible press conference, where almost every question is answered with, “Sorry, that’s not a hair question.”
The best part is when a reporter actually gets them to address the situation, if even in a somewhat round about manner, by asking the brilliant question: “Are you afraid that if you go to prison you’ll get your hair cut?” A close second is the reaction dumbfounded FOX News anchor.
Don’t cities run first responder drills and similar things all the time? Maybe the city of Boston should chalk it up as a training exercise.
Is all this making anyone else think of this?
Update: Seth Godin, speaking of governments and consumer groups, says “whatever they do isn’t going to change the way marketers do (what they erroneously think is) their jobs. There’s just too much money on the table.”