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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Okay, I goofed- but it turned out to be even worse that I thought

In responding to Christianity Lived Out: A Parable Worth Reading, I figured it was a typical anti-welfare rant and thus submitted the following reply:
The problem with this parable is that is a faulty analogy, at least in the anti-welfare spin you give it.  Pigs, for example, do not employ, much less exploit, workers- George Orwell notwithstanding (one thing that many people fail to realize about "Animal Farm" is that, intentionally or otherwise, capitalism doesn't fare much better than communism.  Indeed, one of the criticisms of the pigs is that they begin to look just like the humans).
Before anyone can accuse me of doing so, let me state clearly I have no love of Communism.  If anything, it represents the exact same top-down morality, we-can-solve-problems-through-legislation simplistic thinking that I abhor in much of the Religious Right, only on a much grander scale.  However, I do believes that no society can truly call itself civilized- much less Christian- that does not recognize a moral obligation to protect its most vulnerable members.  Simply cutting off welfare and casting adrift those who are truly needy through no fault of their own while saying "we hope they survive, but if they don't, too bad, so sad" is tantamount to Social Darwinism and thus, as a solution, would be more repulsive a situation than the present one.  If you want to get rid of welfare, I'm all for it... but only if you replace it with something better first.
However, it was not until afterward that I read the following part of the post:
As school districts dangle more and more corn in front of homeschoolers in the form of vouchers and charter schools, please remember this parable. After all, government schooling is just educational welfare!
Perhaps in an ideal world, universal homeschooling would not only be realistically possible but voluntarily followed.  Then again, in such a world, Adam and Eve never would have tasted of the fruit and employers- assumiong that any existed- would pay their employees enough to make homeschooling for everyone feasible.  I do not want to give anyone the impression that I'm against homeschooling when instead what I'm against is any attempt to make it sound like its some sort of spiritual panacea against worldly influences.
Three more quick points:
  • When Christian parents do send their children to public schools, I believe it's still their duty to co-educate their children, not only in the subjects taught at school, but especially in religious matters as well.
  • Ed Dobson makes an observation that I agree with when he states that it is perhaps the exodus from public schools by Christian students and teachers to private Christian schools that helped worsen the moral decline in the former ([Blinded], pp. 171-172).
  • While I agree with the maxim that "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupt absolutely [or at least that's its tendency in the hands of human beings]", what most people who favorably cite it don't realize is that power is.   Simply taking power away from government and handing it to companies doesn't change its corrupting influence and the latter can misuse it just as easily as the former.

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