Wednesday, December 25, 2013

God Bless Us Everyone

Nothing goes on in a vacuum:

If you enjoyed, in the last few days or hours, one of the many fine versions of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, then you should know something of its meaning, and how it relates to this day, when we celebrate the birth of a child that wasn't murdered in the womb by Planned Parenthood, or killed in its crib by Planned Parenthood's moral ancestor, King Herod.

Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol after the long, tedious, and pietistic era of the English Puritans had, THANKFULLY, ended.  The celebration of Christmas, suppressed during the English Commonwealth as undisguised papistry, had returned.  It was blooming in the land again.  But there were other equally noxious things afoot.  The teachings of Thomas Malthus, for example, were widely known and debated.  His erroneous and miscreantical teaching included that God had designed the world so that it was incapable to provide for its growing population, thereby guaranteeing the rise of calamities that disciplined man for his fallen condition.  Under the Malthusian view, the population increase among the poor was the object of scorn, derision, and a rail on the track to calamity.

Dickens embodied Malthusian ideas in Ebenezer Scrooge.  His disdain for humanity reeks Malthusian.  And it is from Malthusianism that Scrooge is converted after the visits of the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come.

One of my favorite scenes in the story finds Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present at the home of Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's humble clerk.  Despite evident poverty that grinds, the family joyed to be together, eating their christmas goose, and rejoicing in life.  Tiny Tim, of course, figures mightily in the melting of Scrooge's malthusian mien.  After the dinner, and just before Bob Cratchit induces his family to drink Scrooge's health as the founder of the feast, there is an exchange between Scrooge and the Spirit:
At last the dinner was all done, the cloth was cleared, the hearth swept, and the fire made up. The compound in the jug being tasted, and considered perfect, apples and oranges were put upon the table, and a shovel-full of chestnuts on the fire. Then all the Cratchit family drew round the hearth, in what Bob Cratchit called a circle, meaning half a one; and at Bob Cratchit's elbow stood the family display of glass. Two tumblers, and a custard-cup without a handle.

These held the hot stuff from the jug, however, as well as golden goblets would have done; and Bob served it out with beaming looks, while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. Then Bob proposed:

`A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.'

Which all the family re-echoed.

`God bless us every one.' said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

He sat very close to his father's side upon his little stool.

Bob held his withered little hand in his, as if he loved the child, and wished to keep him by his side, and dreaded that he might be taken from him.

`Spirit,' said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, `tell me if Tiny Tim will live.'

`I see a vacant seat,' replied the Ghost, `in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.'

`No, no,' said Scrooge. `Oh, no, kind Spirit. say he will be spared.'

`If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,' returned the Ghost, `will find him here. What then. If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.'

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief. `Man,' said the Ghost, `if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die. It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child. Oh God. to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust.'

Scrooge bent before the Ghost's rebuke, and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground. 
Oh God.  To hear the insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust.

Oh God.

To hear the Malthusians eating beef pronouncing on the too many children of Appalachia. That jab is for the moron, Pat Robertson, who referred to the children of Appalachia as ragamuffins, while he bemoaned the NOT ENOUGH birth control among the population of Appalachia

Dickens clearly gets the better on Malthus, and his cranky TV contemporary, Pat Robertson, just as Cratchit, though living in low estate, got the better on his employer, Scrooge, because he lived in love, and surrounded himself with family.