his head / Crested aloft, and carbuncle his eyes; With burnished neck of verdant gold
There’s been a lot of talk lately about how much Colin Craig misses pretty much every good point that Jesus ever made. This makes for good humour (I’m always happy to mock nasty little bigots like Colin Craig), but it ignores the extent to which Craig’s (henceforth CC) rhetoric and approach aligns itself with a religious tradition stretching back to . . . well, Genesis.
When CC says something like this:
Where a child is regularly sent to school without a lunch, the parent is being delinquent. Proposed solutions such as state funding of school lunches, which Bill English says the Government is open to, will only encourage this delinquent behaviour. . . We recognise that it is entirely inappropriate to encourage other bad behaviours. We don’t encourage people to take illegal drugs, or to drink too much.
What he really means is this:
The right, and the religious right in particular, is notorious for this. Think of the pedophile Catholic priests who’ve blamed their victims for their own molestations, Rachel Corrie being blamed for her own death, Todd Akin in particular but practically the entire Republican party of America for implying that if a woman gets raped it’s her fault, the list could go on. It’s not at all surprising that CC has joined in, though, when you consider that this attitude that the victim should be blamed (and, especially, oh so especially, punished) for the evil deeds perpetrated against them has a pedigree (in the Western tradition) dating back to the Fall. Eve gets suckered by the arch-betrayer himself: ooh, time to leave the Garden of Eden, kids. And by the way, women? childbirth is going to suck from now on. And then there’s the doctrine of Original Sin, a later development, to be sure, but one that ensures that even if you bought the lie that Eve was responsible for the Fall, the victims will continue to be blamed (and punished) for eternity. I don’t need to remind anyone of what happened to Jesus, do I?
Combine all of this with The Bible’s appalling record on child abuse, and you start to get some inkling of where CC’s evil ideas stem from: straight from the big guy in the sky himself. We shouldn’t be surprised that this policy, which comes down to letting children starve so that their parents stop letting them starve*, has been proposed by this religious nutjob then–he’s just doing what religious nutjobs have been doing since God created the universe 6000-odd years ago.
Finally, the title of CC’s press release puts another spin on things, and suggests an altogether different provenance for his recent policy:
Delinquent Parents Shouldn’t Get Lunch
“Delinquent Parents.” Yeah, you read that right. Not so much weasel words here as an outright lie designed to make anyone stupid enough to fall for it believe that it’ll actually be the “delinquent” parents who are suffering, not their children. In Paradise Lost, Milton writes, with another famous liar in mind:
neither man nor angel can discern hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible, except to God alone.
Milton was referring to the world before the Fall though, and we’ve come a long way since then, what with rationalism and science and technology and medicine and all, so we can call this for the evil, lying bullshit that it is. Colin Craig thinks children should suffer.
*Actually, parents don’t tend to let their children starve. Poverty is something the existence of which societies decide to allow. But that’s another post.