Mitt Romney and the Morality Tale of Impoverished Education

Mitt Romney: it’s not my job to worry about the poor – Americas – World – The Independent.

“There are 47 per cent who are with him, who are dependant upon government, who believe that they are victimes, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

Since you’ve so cordially invited me to, Romney, I will name it. It’s education. Education, that thing that encourages understanding, critical analysis and discussion, that thing that lifts people out of the blind belief in religion, and that your nation is the specialest snowflake, and that anything not Christian, American, or your own political views is wrong, evil, and scary. Because, let’s face it, there may be 2.2 billion Christians, but they aren’t all the same kinds of Christian, are there? There’s Western Christianity, which means all those fiddly little branches of Protestantism and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, but oops! That’s also what the Eastern Orthodox Church claims to be, and that’s not even including the Oriental Orthodox Church or the Assyrian Church of the East which, ah, isn’t quite so unified as it sounds. I haven’t even got to non-Trinitarian churches, or to all those little esoteric ones that sprang up in the last two centuries (which, my children, if your religion wasn’t born in the misty dawns of time, I rather think that reveals the whole organised thing as a little bit suspiciously socially-motivated – and that the only reason the old ones get away with it is that it’s hard to prove anything that happened two thousand years ago). So what have we established? That there’s no real consensus among Christianity, so I’m not sure why American politicians are so keen on it. Or why they’re so keen on America. They’re like the noisy teenagers of the world, desperate to prove that they have their own identity and they’re the most special and the best and dammit, Mommy always said she loved me!

Well, have a little liberating cynicism: people are just people, and identities are created by geography. That’s all, folks. The location of the time of your birth – something over which you have absolutely no control – shapes who you are, your first language, and probably your religious beliefs as well. Oh, those are reasons, sure, but they’re also things that can be contended with. America’s just a bunch of rocks sticking out of the ocean with some distinctly noisy people on it, who find it easy to believe the Earth was created five minutes ago (and my cynical head is tempted to suggest that it’s because they have no history of their own). Europe is an ancient argument, in which everyone has to keep an eye on the influences and influxes of everyone else. These are things that reveal that there are multiple little arguable truths, not one great big unified truth that means Romney can hate poor people with a smile on his face (which, incidentally, countermands everything that I’ve always understood Christianity as standing for).

So here you are, Romney, I’ll name what you need: another braincell, a pair of eyes and a little while to enjoy some unbiased education. Because I’d really like to live in a world where the poor had a chance to be free, and money didn’t entitle people to being (and I quote the current President of Ireland) ‘ignorant, fear-mongering wankers‘.

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