Saturday 10 December 2016

At some point, Christianity here became more about punishment than forgiveness

Published 06/06/2014 | 02:30

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway
The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, Galway

Other countries are able to be nostalgic about their past. Britain can have the 'Darling Buds of May', which romanticises rural life in England in the 1950s. 'Call the Midwife' is also set in the 1950s, this time in east London, but it is still fairly nostalgic about the past.

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America has lot of films and TV shows that romanticise the 1950s. I don't think we have any. Instead we have lots of films that do the opposite and I think a huge part of the reason is that we are still haunted by the fact that we put so many people into mostly church-run institutions that were often inhuman and dehumanising.

Britain also had its institutions and they were also terrible places. But we seemed to have more of them, we put proportionately more people into them and we kept them open until closer to the present day.

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