Prohibition 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 tell me that I am no longer worthy to be a Texan. (My typical response to their obviously humorous exclusionary statement is equally humorous, and unprintable.) My wife and children all love steak (usually medium rare, sometimes with a specific brand of steak sauce), and I am pretty certain that the grandkids would each eat an entire slab of bacon at one sitting (if it were available and if 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 ill 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 restaurant 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 because of my discomfort. And that's what this most recent foray into "prohibition rules" and "censorship" appears 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 required to accept any reward for following them or consequence of not following them. Put simply, 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.
But that's exactly what prohibitions (and prohibition laws) do; remove the ability for someone else 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."
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 is harmed other than the perpetrator - prohibition 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.
"The slack-jawed gaze of true profanity feels more like surrender than defeat."
As Texans, we should be setting an example for the rest of the country. As long as they don't harm anyone else, we should allow everyone to pursue life, liberty, and happiness as they see fit without interference from the government. We should state unequivocally that authoritarianism has no place in Texas.
We need to be better.
Prohibition Laws Never Work
"Prohibition laws" are crafted pieces of legislation designed to perform one singular task: turn ordinary people into criminals. We refer to the people who have run afoul of these laws has having committed a "victimless crime", or a crime in which no one other than the individual (and sometimes not even them) was harmed, threatened, or even inconvenienced. (Read More)
Abortion Elimination Is Prohibition
If we, as Texans, seek to eliminate abortion in our state, then we must make its alternatives more easily available. (Read More)
Decriminalizing Cannabis (and Other Drugs)
Legalization of drugs is typically a provocative topic, but decriminalizing drugs should be considered more of a "happy medium" that many people can support. (Read More)