My last post seemed to spark a game of “Catch the Blogger in an Inconsistent Ideology” in the comments field. I thought it would be easier to address all of the issues in a new post, rather than in the comments.
First, I have to point out, you will not likely find me with an inconsistent ideology. I am nothing if not consistent. Thanks, JD Ryan for at least backing me up on that, even if you did take a dig at said ideology.
Speaking if JD, he said that seat belt laws (and other safety related laws) for children are okay. I would tread lightly here. I think what anonymous @ 3/28/2007 08:54:00 AM said is right on. Parents are the ones who have the primary role in deciding what is good for their children, not the government.
Does that mean that children will be the victims of their parents’ stupidity? Oh, yes, it does. But you know what? Children are the victims of their parents’ stupidity. Aren’t we?
God love her, there are at least a dozen things that I do (and will do) differently than my mother did because of how it affected me. That does not mean that the government should have been telling her how to parent.
For Pete’s sake, according to Richard Dawkins and his ilk, I am abusive to my children because I am raising them with a religion. The way I look at it, I am exposing them to a great sense of security and value that a mighty, all-powerful God loves them even when they think or do bad things, as we all do.
Should the government decide which one of us is right? (The answer is no.)
I really stand by my simple rule of thumb that the government should not make laws to protect us from ourselves – even when I think the action in question is morally wrong. (I will address Ivan Jacobs’ comments about such simplicity in another post.) I will get into detail about the other specific comments, though.
Right out of the gate, comes the classic association fallacy that because I am conservative, I must support the use of government to deny rights to homosexuals.
As any longtime She’s Righter can tell you, unlike the usual suspects, I fully understand that my freedom to worship the Spirit in the sky is only as secure as your right to worship mother earth, the tree faeries, money, your favorite Hollywood celebrity, or your same sex life partner.
Setting aside the fact for the moment that I do not think the government has the jurisdiction to regulate marriage contracts at all, under our current system, I do not think that it is the right of government to define what is a morally acceptable marriage union.
However, I do not believe that anyone has the right to be liked or to have their lifestyle accepted; that goes for any lifestyle. The government is not there to make anyone feel comfortable and loved. And the government is definitely not there to force religious organizations to deny certain tenants of their faith in order to make someone else feel okay. There are already plenty of religious groups that accept homosexuality. And last I checked, freedom of religion is actually written in the Constitution, not just inferred or made up.
Moving on, legalization of marijuana. I am not a big fan of the stuff myself, but hey, if it’s legal, we can tax it and sell it in stores. A wider tax base for my perfect small-government society means the tax rate will be even smaller; real entrepreneurs can get into the marijuana industry, including hemp production, which will bring down the price of hemp clothing; and the low-level street thugs will be forced to go out and get real jobs, instead of preying on innocent children. Can you say win-win-win?
Next, we have the if we have no laws, everyone will drink, gamble, and sleep with prostitutes defense of freedom-limiting laws.
Actually, I think there should be no drinking age, gambling should be legal, and I can come up with no reason that prostitution should not be a legally permissible business venture.
Let me uncouple these and take them one at a time.
Drinking: The countries that have no drinking age, and where families typically practice drinking in moderation as a regular practice, have fewer problems with binge drinking teens/young adults.
Anecdotally, anyone can tell you a story about that girl or boy in college who had never had a drink in high school, went totally crazy once they tasted freedom, and failed out of freshman year because they were too drunk to go to class – ever.
Gambling: I totally don’t see the problem with gambling. I never got why people think it should be illegal. Is it a stupid thing to spend money on? Yes. Can I name 100 other things that are stupid to spend money on (and don’t even present that tiny chance of making that money back)? You betcha. (And yes, I saw the Free Press story about the poor gambling addict that embezzled over $73,000 from his employer to fund his addiction.)
Prostitution: Do you frequent prostitutes? Are you a prostitute? Would that change if it was legal?
I do not foresee a huge uptick in the amount of prostitution going on, if it is ever made legal. It is still going to be morally wrong regardless of the law, so I doubt that people are going to flock to brothels just because it is legal.
That brings me to another point, the government does not have to pass laws in order to model decency. I see nothing wrong with leaders having values and expressing the dangers of certain lifestyles, such as gambling and prostitution. We can be a decent society without having the government baby sit its citizenry by legislating right personal behavior.
Besides, we will always have outspoken religious leaders to tell us when our actions will send us to Hell.