If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ?
If you are poor and go without food and clothes, don't hope for wealth in paradise, you are already forsaken
If we agree that God did not create poverty then, in my opinion, it came in to being as a consequence of human rights violations.
If we agree that God did not create poverty, then in my opinion, poverty came in to being as a consequence of human rights violations.
As for my own answers to any of this? I have none. I'm far more confused than before I first went. I've had no great epiphanies, no profound realisations, but since returning home I've resigned myself to this one thing: that, putting the economics and politics of it all aside - naive as that may be - what it all boils down to is individuals. It's a simple interaction between just two people: one, a person with opportunities and choices, and who could get a flight out tomorrow should they choose; the other, a person with few options - if any. If nothing else, it's a gesture. An attempt. Food and a tent for Toto. Burns dressing for Jose. A little operating theatre with car batteries and boiled instruments, where Roberto can ply his trade. Free HIV treatment for Elizabeth, who'll never be cured and will always live in a hut anyway, but who'll have a longer, healthier life because of it. And sometimes it's little more than a bed in which to die peacefully, attended to by family and health workers... but hey, that's no small thing in some parts. My head says it's futile. My heart knows differently.
Right now I'm thinking a good deal about emancipation. One of our sins was slavery, another was emancipation. It's a paradox. In theory, emancipation was one of the glories of our democracy - and it was. But the way it was done led to tragedy, turning four million people loose with no jobs or trades or learning. And then in 1877 for a few electoral votes, just abandoning them entirely. A huge amount of pain and trouble resulted. Everybody in America is still paying for it.
Christie: “Even if he is – aren’t you the one who’s always saying we shouldn’t trust the wealthy, that they became that way by walking on the backs of the poor?