Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Darwinism v my daughter
I just had a chat with Cat (my daughter) about some of the differences between America and England. I said that in England, everyone has a right to be baptised, married and buried in the Church of England. That's because it's the Established Church. I'm an antidisestablishmentarianist. The Established Church concept is very good - in theory. But as I've heard many times - and now understand and even affirm: England do things only by halves.
And sadly the half that works tends to favour the 'haves'.
I said to Cat that it would be far better if the Church of England were government-funded, like the National Health Service and all other Parliament-regulated Public Services. Thus, everyone in England would still have the civil right to hatch, match and despatch services by their local vicar in his venue. But if the CofE were also State-funded, even poor, nominal Anglicans could have those basic Christian 'civil rites' at no additional cost. Call it the new National Religion Service (NRS). It works in Germany!
I also explained to Cat that people in America once had to buy fire insurance if they wanted the fire brigade to respond if their house was on fire. Nowadays, fire bridages are part of necessary public services like police and education. Of course in Texas many home owners consider themselves more qualified to protect their property than the local police, and arm themselves and act accordingly. But those are the same sort of people who despise the concept of health care as a basic human right. The unemployed are lazy and deserve to die or else go bankrupt.
I told Catherine frankly that if we moved back to Texas, we could only afford go into hospital if I had a job and thus (possibly) company-provided health insurance. She couldn't quite understand the connection, poor child. Bless her! That's because she lives in a society that considers health care a basic need and hence a basic human right, versus a commodity that is only available to those who can afford it.
So if I am forced to return to America, we might well be unable to go into hospital if one of becomes seriously ill, since many hospitals refuse to admit patients without private health insurance. I'm not worried about me since I've got life insurance. The worst thing that happens to me is that I ignore medical symptoms and die, leaving my family a windfall versus bankruptcy.
But Catherine is only a child - our only child. Surely she deserves better than old-fashioned American dog-eat-dog Darwinism.
On the upside, I did have a job interview yesterday for a post in the parish where some of Charles Darwin's descendants are residents themselves. Very ironic! And the NHS in that part of London is splendid.