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Some Laws Are Only About Personal Discomfort

(Part 1 of "Vice and Morality Laws")

Censorship and Morality Laws Are About Personal Discomfort

I have a confession: I don't eat beef or pork.

It's a personal choice, but apparently, that position alone is enough for some folks to demand that I turn in my Texas resident card. (My typical response to their obviously humorous exclusionary statement is equally humorous, but unprintable.) My wife and children all love steak (usually medium rare, and sometimes with a specific brand of steak sauce), and I am pretty certain that the grandkids would eat an entire slab of bacon at one sitting if it were available and the "responsible" adults would allow it.

It's not that I think that beef or pork are bad for you - all things in moderation, after all - but I have a condition that makes me physically sick if I eat them. Just like anything else, it's something that I have become adapted to living with. The fact that I have this condition only seems to bother me when the number of menu choices are significantly curtailed (e.g., at a steakhouse), or when everyone else wants pepperoni, sausage, and/or Canadian bacon on their pizza. Bleck and double bleck! However, unlike vegans or Crossfit enthusiasts, I don't force my family - or anyone else - to avoid eating beef or pork due to my personal discomfort. And that's what this most recent foray into censorship and morality laws seems to be about: someone's discomfort.

"It's not the heat, it's the inhumanity plugged into the sweat of a summer street. Machine gun images pass like malice through the looking glass."


A Philosophical Debate

All religious faiths on this planet, without exception, invoke the concept of "free will" as a core tenet. This is the idea that we, as human beings, are free to choose for ourselves whether or not to follow the directives and doctrines of whatever faith we choose to practice, if any. This is especially true of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Along with accepting this central tenet of the faith, we are also allowed to accept any reward for following those directives and doctrines, or we are required to accept any consequence of not following them. Simply put, God has granted every one of us the ability to choose for ourselves, and what God has granted, no one has the authority to rescind. (1 Timothy 4:3)

But that's exactly what censorship and vice/morality laws do; remove the ability for someone who may not follow your dogma to choose for themselves.

"The vacant smile of true insanity, dressed up in the mask of Tragedy, programmed for the guts and glands of idle minds and idle hands."


The Point!

Here's my point: we cannot, in good conscience, force other people to think or feel the way that we do about a subject, and we certainly should not be trying to do so through law. Until an actual crime has been committed - one in which someone other than the perpetrator is actually harmed - vice and morality laws and other restrictive rules only serve to empower authoritarians.

Like those of us who keep my grandkids from eating an entire slab of bacon at one sitting, authoritarians think and believe that they are the "responsible adults" in the room who know better than you do how to run your life and the lives of your family, and who (like vegans and Crossfit enthusiasts) insist that everybody would be better off if you just did things their way. After all, if we could just get rid of welfare, pollution, immigration, hydraulic fracking, corporate greed, religious extremists (the ones who don't believe in our religion, anyway), abortion, transgender bathrooms, guns, and Common Core, life would be perfect!

"The slack-jawed gaze of true profanity feels more like surrender than defeat."

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
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