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Non sequitur

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | May 02, 2003

Anyone looking for sequential logic in the editorials of the Boston Globe is bound to be disappointed, but the Globe's (curiously belated) editorial response to the Santorum ruckus is curious:

For one thing, Santorum blamed declining moral standards for the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. He said acceptance of ''deviant'' behavior in society was bound to lead to the same in the church. But sexual abuse is neither an indulgence nor accepted; it is a crime.

Excuse me? In what sense does the third sentence contradict the first and/or second?

Did Santorum say that sexual abuse is an indulgence, or that it is accepted? Or that it is not a crime? No. He said that the acceptance of some deviant behavior may result in more or greater deviant behavior. The Globe counters by opening the next sentence with the word "But"-- thus suggesting to the reader that he is about to see a rebuttal. That rebuttal never arrives.

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