Interesting party going on over at my pal e.f. bartlam’s post here
Have a read through those comments. That sweet Southern
US of A Dixie boy has triggered a veritable tsunami of PINKO Brit political wetness… and mostly because he indicated a bit of resentment that his tax authorities were taking money from he and his partner – and then using it, for instance, to fund a public school system that he and his wife did not use for their son.
I was struggling with the basis for resentment, but I presume it is founded on the fact that neither e.f. nor Martha were deriving personal benefit from the tax take. (e.f. you are better placed to advise – forgive me the assumption if I am wrong).
I don’t blame e.f. And he doesn’t need my head-shaking bemusement and patronising lefty smiles either. I suspect that what he and I both need is to walk in the other’s shoes for a while.
We are all products of our environments. Our worldviews shaped by the underlying assumptions and prejudices and taken-for-granted “givens” that litter the societies and cultures which we inhabit. We are not even aware of them. These are the culturally relative “facts” which we never question. That in Scotland, Sabbath is a Sunday. The vast majority of education (schools, further and Higher Education) is provided by the State – and that that is a GOOD THING. That the NHS is free at source. That in Scotland all medicines are free. And blah, blah.
e.f. is a product of a different world. With very different underlying assumptions and different “givens”.
One last question for the theologically minded amongst you….
Was Christ (the historical figure, the real man – because he was a real human, honest, that much we can establish) a RED or a BLUE? Was he left-wing or right wing? Was he communist or fascist? A Democrat or a Republican? A Labourite or a Conservative…
(Just by way of a hint….go read:
Leviticus 25:35-38: “If one … becomes poor … help him … so he can continue to live among you. Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God … You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at a profit. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.”
Acts 4:32-35: “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had … there were no needy persons among them … the money … was distributed to anyone as he had need.”
As well as
Acts 2:42-47: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching … to the breaking of bread … everyone was filled with awe … all the believers were together and had everything in common … they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they … ate together with glad and sincere hearts … ”
And remember, this was a man who overturned the tables in the Temple. Who repudiated the economic system operating via the Levites which resulted in oppression and exploitation and poverty and dispossession…)
Anyway, peeps, I’m off to Yorkshire this weekend. For a few days in the freezing rain and the driving snow. If I don’t get bumped off the road in Cumbria (the infamous A66) I will be back Tuesday…