‘boardwalk empire’ talks heaven and hell

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

boardwalk empire

‘boardwalk empire’ talks heaven and hell

boardwalk empire

if you’ve never seen hbo’s boardwalk empire, some have described it as the sopranos set during prohibition. while that might be an overly simple description, it does offer a bit of insight into the nature of the show: gangsters, deceit, betrayal and violence all executed perfectly by a brilliant script, visionary directors and an inspired cast.

while the entire season (the show’s second) has been a good one, this past sunday’s episode was particularly powerful. a lot of major plot twists and character insights were contained in this episode, but it was a simple dialogue that most caught my attention.

after margaret schroeder’s daughter, emily, is diagnosed with polio, as an act of self-imposed penance, she gives a large sum of money to her local church. while in the hospital during her daughter’s first attempt at physical therapy, her priest shares a story with margaret about a man who visits heaven and hell. watch it here:

while it isn’t a new parable (this is a somewhat commonly known parable), it’s a beautiful and eloquent description of the afterlife and one that i can buy into. as an aside, one of the things that struck me most was that this description dovetails extremely well into rob bell’s analysis of the afterlife as presented in love wins. i certainly think bell and this priest are onto something with this description.

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