“A Choice Not to Deal with Original Sin”

Jonathan Shaw in Harvard Magazine:

SPEAKING AT HARVARD LAW SCHOOL’S 2022 Class Day ceremonies on Wednesday, May 25, former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch ’81, J.D. ’84, said that justice—the fight for freedom—is something each generation must defend. She reminded the audience that exactly two years ago to the day, George Floyd had “lost his life under the knee of a uniformed Minneapolis police officer. It was a shocking crime,” she said, “a senseless tragedy. It did not have to happen. And for those of us who have worked on police reform over the years it stood as a literal rebuke to all of our efforts.”

…She concluded by sharing the words of one of her favorite philosophers, the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, to underscore the long-term, multi-generational commitment required:

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime. Therefore, we must be saved by hope.

Nothing which is true or beautiful or good, makes complete sense in any immediate context of history. Therefore, we must be saved by faith.

Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone. Therefore, we must be saved by love.

No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe, as it is from our standpoint. Therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.

More here.