Victimless Crime

This is another installment of the differences between Conservative thought and Libertarian thought. One of the big weak points that libertarians have is their stance on drugs and sex and various other vices. Libertarians have been too vocal about those issues for political expediency, and opponents have capitalized on this quite frequently, throwing in a question about drug laws or decency laws and grabbing the sound bite version of the answer. The answer always spells doom for any garnering of support from the conservative camp.

I certainly understand the reaction of the conservative crowd. On the surface, supporting the right of someone to do harmful drugs or engage in lewd behavior is counter-intuitive to a conservative culture, where such things are considered wrong and are, at the very least, taboo subjects, things to keep hidden. So, an in-your-face philosophical stance of legalization of drugs and other vices creates a negative reaction.

I understand the reasoning as well. Bad behavior is bad for a whole society and culture. I do not argue with the fact that good family structure and loving relationships are better than unloving or uncaring environments or even caring, but limited environments where a single parent does their best but is spread too thin. I do not argue with the fact that rampant drug use or alcohol abuse or gambling or any of a host of other vices is not a good culture, not a good lifestyle. It is bad for the individual, and groups of such individuals can be a real problem. The problem is, just because something is bad does not mean it should be illegal. Here is why:

“For the Greater Good” is a poor argument:
At least for a conservative to use. Trying to do what is best for “society” is the primary argument used to support socialism and various other wealth redistribution schemes. If the individual has the right to do with his or her property as he or she sees fit without regard for society as a whole (or at least, without legally mandated regard) then how is it that they cannot do what they wish with, or to, themselves? My body is my own, my choices of lifestyle are my own. These things are individual choice, their effect on society is not my responsibility. If I have such a duty, if societal impact should be legally managed, if laws can be made to affect behavior because of how that behavior impacts society, then they can certainly be made concerning redistribution of wealth. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot have your property free from legal interference, yet have your behavior subject to laws. Laws to prevent you from harming another are fine, but laws preventing you from self harm? No, that is a contradiction.

Dependency is bad, mkay?
The primary reason for conservatives turning to the law to improve society is that they have become dependent on government. Dependency is generally due to laziness (not wanting to do the work or take responsibility yourself) or due to hopelessness (believing you have no power as an individual) or fear (believing that a problem is so extreme that it is overwhelming and must be fixed, and fixed quickly, and in widespread fashion) or ignorance (not knowing how to deal with an issue themselves). It does not really matter the cause, dependency like that is a problem. It reinforces the idea that the individual is weak, and it always leads to handing over what power you do have as an individual to those who already wield too much power as it is. Furthermore, it causes society to look to the government to be their moral guide, obviously that is a bad idea. Turning to others to fix your problems, especially turning to the government for such things, is far worse for society than the vices that caused the concerns to start with.

Government stinks at fixing things.
Even if you still think morality cannot be handled through influence and individual action, you should at least recognize that government is not an effective means to accomplish your goal. The most famous example showing this to be true is the epic failure that was prohibition. Prohibition did not have the intended results. Its goal was to stop people from drinking alcohol, for the good of society and the individuals in it. It resulted in very little reduction of drinking, criminalizing hundreds of thousands of people who continued drinking, driving alcohol underground where it became more dangerous and unhealthy than before, and more easily abused, essentially founding organized crime, creating huge gangs and illegal empires, taking freedom away from people, and removing a huge amount of money from the open economy into the black market. There was not a single good effect and a host of bad ones. Even if you do not agree that government is incompetent in general with most things, you should at least see that, regardless of how it is done, making immoral things illegal will not have the desired effect. The war on drugs is a similar story, millions wasted, lives destroyed, crime created and fostered, and very little real success. It is a farce at best, yet it continues.

Theocracy is bad too.
As we have already discussed in the Separation of Church and State article, theocracy is a bad thing. The effects on society, the effects on freedom, and the consolidation of power are just too atrocious to support any sort of legal code based solely on morality. Some level of decency laws on a local level might have to be in place as the society weans itself off of governmental dependency, but in the end morality and its prevalence in society is the responsibility of the individuals that make up that society.

Outside-in fails
Hearts do not change from legal pressure. People do not change from the outside. You can drive things underground, make the hidden, but they are still there. The path to change is through education and communication. It is through influence and leading by example. It is through showing the benefits and success and positive results of a moral life. It is by reaching out to help those hurt by their choices, show love, but show tough love when it is needed. It is by compassion, not judgement, that bad behavior can be driven out of society. Control of others, use of force, legal or otherwise, to make them do as you wish is evil. Evil does not do well as a means to get rid of evil. It is at best a contradiction, and at worst a demonstration of greater evil than that which the controller is trying to stop.

In other words, if it harms no one else, if all involved are consenting adults, then there is no real victim. There are only people making bad choices. There should be no law against this. No legal consequence. If the thing is so bad, consequences will already exist. Freedom is too important to throw away in the name of morality or greater good, especially since the goals sought in removing that freedom will never be accomplished. This is the reason for social freedom and the legalization of vices. It is not a disagreement that these things are bad. It is not a welcoming of these things. In fact, in cases like prohibition where the restriction was removed, very little increase was seen in drinking. Removal of drug laws would very likely have similar effect. Where things are getting bad is in our culture. We need to be the change we want to see, we need to reach out rather than lash out. Teach good choices, show how and why those choices are better. That is the path to reach the goal you seek. It is a harder, slower road, but nothing worth doing is easy, and nothing with lasting effect is done quickly.

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Comments

  1. 8) for comments.

  2. A Puritan Descendant says:

    One thing that irks me has been the topic of Gay marriage. People in support of gay marriage say it hurts no-one. People vote to make it illegal, (me). How did I ever get in position to be voting for or against gay marriage in the first place? There never was any such thing as ‘gay’ marriage. Gay *marriage* to my way of thinking is as bizzare as Man/Goat marriage. Ther is no such thing. Is night day? People are free to call it whatever they want, but don’t try to force me to recognize it as ‘marriage’. Civil unions, Fine with me, but not ‘marriage’, ain’t no such thing. Sorry, I just can’t seem to enlighten myself.

    I don’t comment to much but would like to say all the articles have been great. Nice work to all.

    Busy day here with much to get done with a foot of snow on the way.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      So who does gay marriage hurt?

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        Ray,

        Society, my opinion only.

        It devalues an institution which most consider not only a legal contract but a sacred contract. Those who agree with me will always agree with me, those who don’t, won’t. It is one of those areas where we just have to agree to disagree.

        Going a bit further though, anyone who finds any merit at all in rules promulgated through religion should at least see my point. I have always felt that even if there is no God, even if I were an atheist, I would at least acknowledge that the basis for successful human society even with all its flaws, past and present was rooted in religious tradition. Can we do better using our intellect alone? I doubt it. I would not want to live in Mr. Spock’s society and what we have seen of it in “Star Trek” probably does not even scratch the surface. I would assume that babies born on Vulcan that were not perfect would, like the ancient Greeks did, be put out to die. The idea of religion, that we are more than animal exclusively, that we do have a soul, makes this, in a developed society less likely.

        Interesting areas to explore, no?

        • USWeapon says:

          Just some questions for you SK, and I mean them realistically as I am not trying to be a jerk…

          How does two men or two women getting married “devalue” the institution? In what way is your marriage impacted by what two other people in another house do or don’t do? I am guessing that you believe the “legal contract” part is fine, but don’t like the “sacred” part being devalued. So I am interested in understanding how it devalues the sacred contract that you and your wife have. Do you think that God thinks less of your marriage because of what someone else in another place does?

          • A Puritan Descendant says:

            As for me, I think it devalues it in the eyes of our children. This leads to a lowered moral standard. Feel free to disagree.

            • Mathius says:

              Disagree.

              There is a level of arrogance in that statement that I find stunning coming from you, PD.

              “Lowered moral standard” suggests that being gay is “morally lower,” or inferior. What makes you superior to a gay person? Why is your way “better”?

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                Don’t put words in my mouth! I am saying children will have less respect for traditional family. Traditional family is a foundation for moral behavior. Now take a walk u twit!

              • Mathius says:

                Why does it cause “less respect for traditional family”?

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                Sri I called u a Twit, 🙂
                If marriage can be anything anyone wants it to be, then it loses it’s traditional definition.

              • Mathius says:

                Sure, but traditional definitions change all the time. What justifies your decision to use government to lock in the current definition, just because it’s the one you happen to agree with?

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                I have no choice but to use government, when it is government in the first place that is attacking traditional marriage. (Maine legislates Gay Marriage, I vote it undone).

              • Mathius says:

                Maine legislates Gay Marriage Maine doesn’t legislate that you get married to another man. Maine legislates that other men have the Freedom to marry each other.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                No such thing as 2 male *marriage*. Read first post of the day by me.

              • Sorry, I have to agree with SK. I too believe that Gay marriage lowers the moral standards for our children to have.
                This is not arrogance Mat. We simply believe that Gay is wrong to begin with. Thus Gay “marriage” is wrong as well. Now as far as what people do with their own life, to me, that is up to them. As long as it isn’t thrown in my face, I could care less.

                I feel this way about more than just Gays too. I am a WHITE, STRAIGHT, MALE. But I don’t throw it in people’s faces like it makes me special (not that THAT would work anyway). And it chaps my ass for ANYONE to throw their lifestyle or culture up in my face like they should have special rights because of their “condition ;-)”.

                But, let me be clear. I also do not believe ANYONE should be discriminated against either. My motto is, you do your thing, and I’ll do mine. You don’t bother me. I don’t bother you.

              • Mathius says:

                I think the many male-male couples who want to get “married” would disagree with you.

                But I don’t understand what gives you the right to make this choice for them.

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                When two males call it *marriage* they are calling it something that does not exist. They are free to call it that, but by doing it through our government it ends up being impressed onto our children. This is not what creates a family, a foundation of Mankind if I may be so bold.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                I have to scoff at this whole idea of gays somehow interfering with the moral development of our children. The kids learn what you teach them – they don’t pop into the world thinking gay is bad or gay is good.

                Folks on this board often point to the worst of the worst and use that to color an entire demographic of people. Sure is easy to find pictures of a gay pride parade gone too far and say “see there – I don’t my kid exposed to this shit”.

                I spend a lot of time in downtown Philly – “gayborhood” and its surrounding areas have some the best restaurants in Philly. I am more likely to see the Dad of a traditional family of four drinking a little too much and then hopping in the car to drive the family home than I am going to see two guys tongue kissing each other or blowing each other on the sidewalk.

                For some weird reason I’d find it easier to explain to my kids how morally repugnant it is for the drunk Dad to drive versus why two guys sitting at a table holding hands sharing a bottle of wine is completely harmless to them.

                At the end of the day we own what our own moral standard is or standards are – and hopefully they can co-exist with whatever the community we live in thinks is okay as well.

                Allowing gays to marry or have all the same legal rights and privileges afforded you because of marriage is not going to result in your child living a morally bankrupt life. What is lost on so many is that by checking gays down to some second class citizen status – you’re robbing fellow citizens of freedom and liberty – that which you so voraciously defend.

                And one quick follow-up to Puritan – does traditional family exclude families that include one or more divorcees? Adopted children? Step children? Single parent families?

                What the hell is a traditional family and since when did they own the monopoly on foundations for moral behavior?

              • A Puritan Descendant says:

                Later Ray, First game for the official Red Sox 2011 season is about to begin in 5 minutes. Glad they are in Texas and not trying to play in the snowstorm we are getting here.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @Puritan – So I see SI picked the Sox to go all the way this year. While I will root passionately for my Phillies – the gaping holes we have on defense and offense concern me greatly. Great pitching is only part of the puzzle!

                😦

          • SK Trynosky Sr says:

            My first sentence says it all. I believe that it harms the institution. You don’t. I could spend days, weeks, months trying to convince you otherwise unsuccessfully. As far as I am concerned a very complicated plot has been successfully orchestrated over lets say the past sixty years to change peoples thinking about basic truths and this would be a good thing.

            The term “Gay marriage”. When exactly did it become something other than a laugh line? How did it? To my rather well read knowledge this was not an issue until sometime in the ’70’s when some small minority started talking about it.

            You want to make it a civil rights issue. I cannot accept that. I see marriage and the family devalued in western culture to the point that Europe will cease to exist in another few generations because of their non-existent
            birth rate. Of course with the immigrant birth rate, it will become part of the new caliphate. We are merrily following in their path.

            We westerners are so smart, we are so sensible, so imbued with the notion of freedom without cost. So full of ourselves, so full of hubris, so sure that we are right regardless of the damage it does so reluctant to admit our mistakes. Yet, our opposition, the one no one wants to talk about, they are firmly stuck in the seventh century. Gay marriage, not hardly, Adultery, not really, questioning of authority, never, birth control, what? Who I ask you will win in the long run? They will use western institutions against the west and then they will end them.

            Back in the ’60’s I was very lucky to have some darn good non-PC professors. They actually called it quite right in the Manhattan College Psychology Department. They predicted that by the ’70, Homosexuality would be classified as acceptable and no longer a deviation. They predicted the damage that birth control on demand would do to the culture, family and institution of marriage. They thought that abortion was just around the corner. How did the society change its values so drastically from 1950 to 1970? Ask yourself that question. Did it really suddenly grow up and mature? Was it missing something for the past 5,000 years or so that was suddenly revealed during this 20 year period?

            We are living through times that frankly no one thought possible when I entered college as a fairly liberal young man. Another question, related to the gestalt. Is the ridiculously high out of wedlock birth rate good, bad or neutral? Are families without fathers a good thing?

            In the conclusion of my rant I would like to point out that from a scientific point of view the hypothesis that Gay marriage is a good thing, that Mary having two Mommies is a good thing is untested. After we manage in another 40 years to see that it wasn’t, where do we go then? The only close analogy was that it was ok to be an unwed Mom, this was in the late ’60’s said to be neutral, neither good nor bad. Well, the jury is no longer out on that. I daresay that from a societal point of view that is one hell of a lot better analogy than interracial marriage.

          • SK Trynosky Sr says:

            Another point if you would. Back when I was a callow youth my Dad (a very liberal man in the true sense of the word) told me that I could marry anyone I wanted. Of course, he was talking about a woman. The idea of gay marriage, even in our really open exchanges never would have broached either of our minds. Anyway what he meant was I could marry outside of my race. If I loved a black woman then I could marry her with his approval. What he did say though was that if we married and had a chilkd he would beat the crap out of me.

            If you don’t get it, his point was that if I had the guts and my bride had the guts to overcome others prejudices, then fine. I did however not, repeat not, have the right to bring an innocent child into that situation. I always remembered that and feel that it has created terrible hardships for children born at that time into that type of relationship. Fortunately, society has by and large gotten beyond that point and sees nothing wrong with a man marrying outside his race. I still feel that children of such marriages have problems but we as a people are looking beyond race these days.

            Now, flash forward to today, Phil and Bill wed, Amy and Ann wed or they become life partners because I don’t see how they fit the definition of marriage. The discrimination against the child will be horrific unless they all live in Greenwich village, the Upper West Side of Manhattan or some similar place. Put whatever kind of smiley face you want on it but you know and I know the relationship will never achieve the broad cultural acceptance that male/female marriages, regardless of race do. That’s just the way we are. That is the way we are wired. Pass another hate crime law if you have to but the mere fact you feel you have to pass it shows that the underlying premise is false.

        • SK!

          Home run! Well said! For thousands of years, marriage has meant the union of a man and a woman. Allowing them to change the meaning to appease people who want an alternate lifestyle is simply wrong. I could go with civil unions, but the term marriage should stay unchanged.

          • Mathius says:

            So you think it makes sense to use the government to forcibly prevent a group of people who believe differently than you from engaging in a private religious activity which does not harm you?

            • First of all, government did not make marriage, God did. Government did not make it. Government should not legislate it.

              Do you not understand THAT?

              • Mathius says:

                Let’s say you’re right and God made marriage.

                Do you think that the government should be in the business of determining what God intended and then enforcing it?

              • No Mat. I think I said that the Government should not be involved AT ALL. It should not be a issue for the govt at all.

              • Mathius says:

                Oh, that’s fine then. You’re wrong, but it doesn’t matter.

                OK, let’s move along. Nothing to see here..

            • Matt,

              So you think it makes sense to use the government to redefine the meaning of a word to appease a group of people who want force society to accept their abnormal behavior as normal.

              What they do in private has no interest or bearing on my thoughts. I am OK with them being given the same rights under any law, just call it something else.

              I think a healthy society discourages what it considers bad behavior. The woman with six kids from four different babydaddies can demand you treat her with respect. Calling her a tramp is hateful. Protesting in public to having to support her and her kids is emotionally damaging. self-esteme

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            LOI – for thousands of years the woman was to be subservient to the man. Should “that” still be the case today as well?

            • Mathius says:

              Yes, and failure to keep the Sabbath holy should result in being stoned to death.

              (NOTE: Being stoned is not a euphemism for what Bottom Line likes to do occasionally)

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Ray and Matt, I will not even make the religious argument merely that the damage to the society, the break down in the importance and meaning of marriage will spell the end of this culture. We matured to the point where we finally acknowledged that women were equal to men. We matured to the point that we did not stone people to death or mandate attendance at religious services. We matured to the point where we abolished Sunday Blue laws and allowed stores to open and workers to work on the Sabbath (except in Bergen Co. NJ). Wait a minute, maybe those last ones were not that great, maybe people should have a day off to relax and think instead of shop. One wonders.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @SK – but we haven’t matured to a point where we can acknowledge that allowing gays to marry has little to nothing to do with whether a society will collapse or survive? It isn’t a religious argument – heck – there is no argument whatsoever because there is nothing to bolster such a claim. There has been far more damage done by bad/dysfunctional marriages than has ever been done by two guys or two gals becoming married.

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        Pretty much what Sk said.

        Another thought, with separation of Church and State, will traditional family of Ma, Dad, children, be able to be mentioned in a Public School without including a ‘gay marriage family’? I guess what I am asking here is can a person of religion promote his/her ideas of right/wrong/moral derived from a Church in a public school while advocates of Gay marriage will be able to promote their idea of family because it is not of religion? Get my drift?

        • That is the reason for opposing public schools. Why should central indoctrination be acceptable? Why is fairness of “representation of lifestyles” even relevant? These are not a symptom of a problem with seperation of church and state. They are a symptom of the tragedy of the commons. We cannot allow our education system to be a common area, else it becomes subject to every issue that arises from common ownership.

          Free market education would resolve this, conflating church and state would only “solve” the problem if you happened to like the state religion, in every way and every detail.

      • Me and mine! Gay marriage is the quintessential notion of everything just presented in J. Smith’s wonderful piece. I know that gays do not like to be remotely affiliated with HIV- AIDS but hey, let look real.

        Marriage, as a word and concept, has it very foundation in religious accumen. When one or many begin to change rules and norms within a society well most cultures that have made changes are not around anymore to discuss the rubbish associated with it.

        For arguments sake, have you seen the film “Splice”? Interesting notions abound vis-a-vie cloning, harvesting, and playing God. Cheers!

        JPS

        • Mathius says:

          So gay marriage leads inexorably to being attached by a psychotic winged monster?

          • Don’t be a clown! Who really knows what gay and/or same sex marriage will lead too? If we start altering our societal norms (the cloning example 😉 ) what is the inevitable outcome? One thing we do know: AIDS is pretty exclusive to homo’s and bad needles. Cheers!

        • AIDS is affiliated with promiscuity, which it way outside the bounds of homosexuality. Marriage was not always a religious concept. Pagan cultures had marriage completely seperately from Christianity or Judaism, and it was around long before Roman Conquest brought monotheism to the shores of northern Europe. That said, the corruption of the idea is a result of conflation with legal issues and government licensing. Without that, the entire debate would be moot. As for your below post that AIDS is for homos and bad needles, I call BS. I do IT support for a local clinic, I see what comes through there. AIDS expanded rapidly in those circles early on because of the comparatively low number of people involved. A dozen infected homosexuals is a far higher percentage in that community than a dozen infected heterosexuals. As a result, the promiscuous persons in that culture were at higher risk than the promiscuous heteros, but the numbers are changing. Its about having unprotected sex with whoever is willing when you are horny, regardless of your sexual preference.

    • The prevelance of the topic can be annoying, because it should not be such a big deal. Why is it a big deal? Because the government got involved in the most intimately private transaction/interaction/relationship that exists in humanity. You should not have to recognize any marriage you do not wish to, nor should you be able to force anyone else to recognize your marriage.

      If, for instance, you believe that marriage is between a man and a woman before God, then you should not have to recognize even a heterosexual marriage if it is an atheist marriage. On the other hand, if you believe that marriage is based simply on committed love and is no one else’s business, then you should be able to respect any such marriage. The government does not have a darn thing to do with any of it.

      Once again, here arises an issue that would not exist without government intrusion. Civil unions should be the only givernment recognizes, and that would be for the purposes of helping with disputes when a breach of agreement occurs or the union is otherwise dissolved. Disputes might arise from custody battles or property ownership. Such a civil union could be between any number or gender of consenting adults regardless of relationship. Marriage is a seperate thing altogether.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        I have a proposed solution to the gay marriage issue. All governments should change the name from “Marriage License” to “Civil Union License”. Marriage can then be disconnected from the government and the churches can provide a marriage ceremony. This would put marriage back in the hands of the various religions, to preform as their religion dictates.

        • Damn. Too simple. Works for me, they can name the law after you! You might become famous.LOL

        • Ah G, why should government even be in the business to license marriage or civil unions? What benefit does government licensing marriages or unions bring to society? Where do they derive the right to tell any adults they may, or may not, “join together?”

          There is no need for government to be involved. It can be handled in a manner that still legally protects each participant.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            I would love to see govt completely out of our business. As far as unions go, they seem to be involved, not for the coming together part, but rather the breaking up part. Damn lawyers have to stick their noses in everything 🙂

            • True – lawyers should be outlawed since we know that the one “good” lawyer is the one representing you. 🙂

              (wait….do I hear Buck groaning and dashing for his keyboard?)

              As to the dissolutions of civil unions, they would be no worse, nor better, than marital divorces.

          • Bamadad says:

            Government is involved to collect a fee for a “Marriage License”.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @G-Man

          Um – ok

          How would you handle tax filing?

          Child care credit programs?

          Health care credit programs?

          Health insurance (use any example – change of status due to life changing event)?

          Do you simply change from “marriage” to “civil union” wherever there is a hinging determination or discrimination made based on legal relationship status?

          • gmanfortruth says:

            RAY, The name change is the only aspect of the change. A Civil Union License, would simply be the exact same thing a today’s marriage license. Taking the religious term marriage out of it, would likely end the debate.

  3. I have to say, I was not very informed about the libertarian position until I started coming to this site. Thank you for this post, it is very clear and concise.

    I must say, your points are very powerful. It is clear to me that using the government to enforce morality is a dangerous road. After all, what will we decide is immoral in the future? Christianity? At the same time, I understand the motives for people to vote on morality laws as they do. I think drug use is a terrible thing. It destroys lives not only of those who use, but also of those around them. If I see such devastation from this, it compels me to want to end it. I guess I want to get to some middle path, upon which we are cautious of government intrusion, but not simply giving free reign to human passions.

    Quite a brain teaser!

    • Displaced Okie says:

      In reference to drug laws.
      With the Libertarian position generally comes much lower taxes and much less entitlements. It is my belief that alot of the negatives with drug abuse would be reduced through “Social Darwinism” if the safety nets were removed. It might seem a little cold, but we have been doing the opposite for years and it hasn’t fixed anything just cost us loads of money.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      What we really need are polls conducted by honest pollsters that ask questions in such a way as to solicit honest answers. My Dad, a bartender, was not a believer in drinking ages. He was a believer in forbidden fruit. Make it illegal and you become “gangsta” as they say today by breaking the law. If not only alcohol but drugs were no longer a way for kids to show contempt for adult society, I wonder if the problem would shrink?

      I have unfortunately known too many who were going to “control” their use of drugs as well as alcohol. Many started because it was the “thing to do” to show how grown-up and independent you were.

  4. gmanfortruth says:

    Graet work Jon 🙂

    Government needs to be scaled back to as little as possible (maybe end the Federal Govt and let the States handle things). The govt is in our lives way tto much, and legislating morallity is just a part of it. If I would like to smoke some weed in the privacy of my home, why should it be a crime? Why is it anyone’s business to begin with? This should be a good debate. Impeach Obama I say! 🙂

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @G-Man – hope all is well up your way – not much snow down this way.

      Am not picking on you specifically – but your posting raises the same point heard time and time again here – I’ll grossly oversimplify this…..

      We are better off somehow by removing all this power accumulated by the Federal government and moving it back where it belongs – the States.

      Now – why do we think we’d be any better off? Is a State politician somehow a better politician than a Federal politician? Is there less abuse, corruption, etc at the State level than the National level? Why would a resident of Pennsylvania feel more “connected” or feel as though they have more say at the State level than the Federal-level?

      I’m not justifying anything in asking – I’m merely wondering why we think we’d be better off? There is nothing to suggest we would imho.

      • Displaced Okie says:

        Morning Ray,
        I don’t want to answer for Gman, but this is one the areas I have given a lot of thought to.While I don’t think one politician is any better than another, there is something to be said for laws being passed by people who live a little closer(geography and most likely lifestyle) to where you live. I have always been a believer of the government being stronger where my voice(vote) is loudest and weighs more. Not to mention it is much easier to relocate to a place where the local government is more to your liking, than to relocate to another country.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Agreed some what – I feel very connected at my Township level. That connection feeling diminishes rapidly beyond that. For example, our County Commissioners generally meet only during the day and they rarely publish meeting notes or news to the public website. We have to rely on a local newspaper journalist to share their perception of things.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Ray,, Good morning 🙂

        All is going very well here, we’re covered in white, but not that much and it should melt quickly.

        I think all governments stink, but it seems we’re stuck with them. It is much easier to have a say in politics at a smaller level. It’s much easier to get rid of a bad governor than it is the get rid of a bad president. Our Federal government passes laws that affect everyone in every state, and the people have no say in it at all. Personally, I’d like to see governments be limited to infrastructure upkeep and any and all laws should be voted on by the people, cuz politicians are to easily influenced by outside sources. The Feds could hand off the military to the states, who would keep them home and for defensive purposes only. If the Feds were gone, the state governors would rotate as the voice of the states on a annual basis. The voice would have no powers, his job would be the ears and voice to the rest of the world. Just some thoughts.

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        I think that “all politics is local”. It is a lot easier to rouse the populace to toss out a City Alderman than a US Senator. If you lose the alderman who is an ally of the Senator, eventually you will be able to affect change.

        It is, for better or worse one of the reasons traditional pols are so frightened of the Tea Party. Down deep those people realize that if they can be distracted, everything can return to normal (SNAFU). Many tea party folks are making noise in township elections. To win a local election, from experience, you just gotta meet enough people who vote and remember your name and that you cared enough to meet them.

      • Distribution of power is better whenever there is risk of corruption, which there is if there is power. If a State government screws up the whole economy of his state, for instance, it is far less damaging and easier to recover from or escape from than a whole nation doing this.

    • Ray, SK, Okie, Jon:

      Coming “Part Tres:” will offer my thoughts here.

  5. Bottom Line says:

    I have always been annoyed by the term “victimless crime”.

    If there is no victim, it is no crime.

    Calling something a crime when there is no victim, and enforcing it through coercion, is the REAL crime. If there is a victim, it is the one being coerced into living as another dictates.

  6. SK Trynosky Sr says:

    Thank you for the Prohibition analogy. For years I thought that I was the only one who realized that it created what became “organized crime”. The war then raged on organized crime, certainly since the ’60’s, then created the drug cartels and if you will, the much more lethal disorganized crime.

    Back in my youth I was pretty firmly in the camp of libertarian conservatives maybe not 100 percent but certainly over 80. I always had a problem with so called traditional conservatives whom I thought were close minded. For the last ten years or so I have really started to wonder, perhaps because my religious beliefs have come more into focus. There was a time when I would have always fallen on the side of education, rationalism and logic as taking care of bad behavior. That apparently cannot happen. That weakness in man, that ability to go for the short term pleasure over the long term gain seems too firmly entrenched in our DNA. The religious folks might very well call it a result of Original Sin, the bite of that damned apple. It was the same thing that drove those who built the Tower of Babel.

    You know, I know and we know here, especially at SUFA, that there are those who are quite capable of thinking it all out. This is one of the reasons I love this site. However, we also know, just by our comments, that there are those who cannot or will not. Unfortunately they seem to be in the majority.

    I have argued in the past that behavior cannot be divorced from morality and when I say that I mean the morality we have arrived at through religion. There needs to be an operating manual, a book of rules. This gets folks crazy and not just here. My wife and I discuss it frequently. She is much more old school religious than I am. Last night it came up again. We argued over the “Thou shall nots”. My point was that if you stress the religious over the logical you lose so many in the argument. Her’s was we have already lost, long before that argument was framed because the society has divorced itself from the moral. I would call this “separation of church from everything, including common sense”. My solution, which I think works best is the old “shunning”. Flag has been an advocate of this in the past I believe. Don’t associate with idiots. Unfortunately, as the little woman pointed out, we are so in the minority these days that in effect, we wind up being the ones shunned.

    In my own family, we are going through a very painful period where one of my children, the least likely I thought has cast off her upbringing, and charted a disastrous new route. It has driven a wedge between us, that despite the love we maintain for her will result in a forced estrangement. We cannot agree nor support her for religious, moral and logical reasons and she won’t give an inch because, contrary to what even the blindest can see, she is “happy”. “Happiness”, the momentary kind I fear, these days trumps all. What has added to our bewilderment is the reaction of some of our friends who we always thought were by their talk anyway were firmly screwed together. When we tell them what’s going on, they suddenly turn to mush. If I hear one more time, “Well she is your daughter” as if that means I have to throw out every thing I have ever believed in, I will scream. There are certain things that are just not negotiable.

    Therein lies the rub. We are in the land of situation ethics. Nothing is off the table. Everything is negotiable. While I want to be true to my libertarian leanings I cannot but help think of some of the God awful choices being made out there which, because of the break down of the ability to say no, are being made. The old psych major in me sees rise of this cult behavior in almost any aspect of our lives. As long as you can find a few other nut cases who agree with you, you suddenly have a “viable” alternative choice, lifestyle or whatever. The Rev. Jim Jones is alive and well.

    I posit, is there any way to restrict behavior in society where we can “ban” in the loosest sense the most odious changes that have occurred in the past 50 years that does not ultimately cause the pendulum effect to what we see in Western culture now. Can we just, as Puritan Descendant says above, just knock off making the ridiculously impossible (gay marriage for example) a topic of important, earth shattering discussion in our daily lives? All those things do is tear down the fabric of society. While I am busy “respecting” the rights of the minority, I seem to have no rights left as a member of the majority. I do not think that this was the way it was intended and, frankly, it has not worked out terribly well.

    • As some know, my daddy is a preacher. A Southern Baptist minister. But he is also well educated. So my parents and my thoughts are not as primitive as some might think.

      For instance My mother and I were dicussing womens rights because of something I saw in the news about prostitution.

      Now you might think she and I would think that prostitution is wrong and you would be correct. You would also think then that we think it should be illegal. YOU WOULD BE WRONG!

      WHY? Well look at this our way. Abortion is legal. Some agree and some don’t (we don’t). But it still is. This is said to be because a woman should have the final say over waht happens to her body or reproductive organs. REALLY? Then why should it be legal for her to murder her “inconvenient” children, but illegal for her to sell her ass on the street if she so wants?

      Can anyone answer this?

  7. So tell me why this greater good fella believes in removing all laws having to do with drugs, vice, etc.? I told yous I took the Libertarian test and was borderline libertarian (it was health care that tipped the scales for me). So, explain why a red through and through agrees with the removal of drug and vice laws?

    • Different strokes for different folks…no explanation needed. It is natural for folks to land on one side or the other of an issue for a myriad of reasons. I took the Libertarian test myself, and was somewhat surprized to find that I was solidly a Libertarian. Perhaps you see the removal of these laws a good thing for the greater good…

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Charlie, Maybe your claim of being “red through and through” is a great exageration. Having contradictive views can confuse a person 😆

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Charlie, You should be happy to know that I wrote an article that doesn’t attack the lefties!
        http://gmanfortruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/fukushima-coverup/

      • USWeapon says:

        That was my thought G. I don’t believe that Charlie is really red through and through. I think he wants to be. I think he likes the way it sticks in people’s craw when he says it is. And I think that he believes certain parts of that mindset are preferable.

        But the “red” mindset is also full of contradictions and the expected outcome is often not a logical expectation from the actual actions taken. And that is confusing.

        And Charlie…. I red through and through would never allow the people to use drugs unless the government was supplying them. Just proof that you aren’t as red as you think 🙂

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Despite Charlie’s epic contradictions, he has a great sense of humor 🙂

        • USW, it was black flag who gave me that label (he always resorts to pointed attacks when he’s frustrated and let’s face it, I frustrate the hell out of him at times).

          I also do like to stir the shit (so to speak).

          I don’t see a governmentless world (impossible) and I know government (as it currently exists here) is corrupted beyond redemption (execution “might” solve the problem—but certainly very real penalties for being corrupt). I’m not for mass welfare (contrary to BF’s occasional instigations) … but I don’t see how (especially in the current world) how removing restraints on business would do anything but further exploit the American worker. There I am a red …

      • It was BF who labelled me “red through and through” … not I (said he).

        • You’re more medium rare through and through me thinks. 😉

          • PS, is that you under that Robe in the pic?

            • Esom, sadly in ways – no it isn’t. I figure that person is much more handsome than this fat old man!

              It’s symbolic for me of the monk-like journey I feel I’ve taken in life through the years to reach the point I am now at socially, politically, realistically, and as a human.

              Besides – I don’t think they let monks have wives?? 🙂

    • Displaced Okie says:

      Many times your frame of mind at the time can alter those tests. I like to take them while thinking of different levels of government…Federal level I’m a big “L” libertarian, state level more of a small “l”, then kinda conservative on the local level…Then I just claim federalism to cover the contradictions…lol

    • Because it may not really be for the greater good. Greater good arguments require omnipotence. Wealth redistribution you might think is a greater good, but not drug laws. Another person holds to the opposite. Myself, I think that freedom and right to property are for the greater good AND the best for the individual. Greater good arguments vary based on your perception and vision of the future.

    • USWep, Charlie,

      Being a communist does not automatically mean that he believes drugs are bad or good or irrelevant.

      Charlie is “red, thru and thru”

  8. gmanfortruth says:

    Some humor for today 🙂

    BOB & THE BLONDE

    Bob walked into a sports bar around 9:58 PM.
    He sat down next to a blonde at the bar and stared up at the TV.

    The 10 PM news was coming on.
    The news crew was covering the story of a man on the ledge of a large building preparing to jump.

    The blonde looked at Bob and said, “Do you think he’ll jump?”

    Bob said, “You know, I bet he’ll jump.”

    The blonde replied, “Well, I bet he won’t.”

    Bob placed a $20 bill on the bar and said, “You’re on!”

    Just as the blonde placed her money on the bar, the guy on the ledge did a swan dive off the building, falling to his death.

    The blonde was very upset, but willingly handed her $20 to Bob. “Fair’s fair. Here’s your money.”

    Bob replied, “I can’t take your money. I saw this earlier on the 5 PM news, so I knew he would jump.”

    The blonde replied, “I did, too, but I didn’t think he’d do it again.”
    Bob took the money.

  9. 😐 for comments

  10. Good thought provoking article Jon. Government has should have no roll in legislating morals. Something I heard long ago goes something like this:

    When moral people legislate morality on immoral people it gives immoral people the right to legislate immorality on moral people.

  11. Isn’t if interesting that a woman can choose to remove life from her body for any, or no reason, yet society will tell you what you may place, or not place, into your body?

    Where’s the equality? It seems the whole pro-choice movement should be behind the right on an individual to do with their body as they personally wish.

    Just saying……

    • Mathius says:

      Most of us are, I would think, in favor of your right to put anything into your body that you wish. I haven’t seen a correlational study (though I’d be very interested if you happen to know of one).

      You’re absolutely right though, about the logic. If we support the right to remove a fetus from an unwilling host’s womb, we should certainly support the right of that host to smoke/snort/inject whatever they want into their bodies.

  12. gmanfortruth says:

    I can’t pass on this one 🙂

    THE VIBRATOR

    As a woman passed her daughter’s closed bedroom door, she heard a strange buzzing noise coming from within. Opening the door, she observed her daughter with a vibrator.

    Shocked, she asked: ‘what in the world are you doing?’

    The daughter replied: ‘Mum, I’m thirty-five years old, unmarried, and this thing is about as close as I’ll ever get to a husband. Please, go away and leave me alone.’

    The next day, the girl’s father heard the same buzz coming from the other side of the closed bedroom door. Upon entering the room, he observed his daughter making passionate love to her vibrator.

    To his query as to what she was doing, the daughter said: ‘dad I’m thirty-five, unmarried, and this thing is about as close as I’ll ever get to a husband.. Please, go away and leave me alone.’

    A couple days later, the wife came home from a shopping trip, placed the groceries on the kitchen counter, and heard that buzzing noise coming from, of all places, the living room. She entered that area and observed her husband sitting on the couch, downing a cold beer, and staring at the TV..
    The vibrator was next to him on the couch, buzzing like crazy.

    The wife asked: ‘What the hell are you doing?’

    The husband replied: ‘I’m watching football with my son-in-law.’

  13. Judy Sabatini says:

    When the government starts having morals, maybe people will listen, until then, they need to just butt out.

    • Judy- Government will never have morals. At least not the ones that each individual would like them to have. Therein lies the rub- everyone wants the government to have morals- but they don’t have any unless there the same morals they profess to! Who gives anyone the right to choose MY morals! My walk is my walk- not anyone else’s to decide for me!

      This is what gets me stuck with the father-in-law all the time. He doesn’t want his gun rights messed with(he’s 200% correct there), but has no problem taking away a woman’s choice of what to do with her body! He can’t grasp the concept that while the Founding Fathers might have started this country with Biblical values governing, it’s impossible today to legislate for 300million people vs the tens or few hundreds of thousands we started out with!

  14. Mathius says:

    All,

    I’ve had a lot of fun on SUFA for the last year and change, but I have to say I’m tired. I never make any headway and, more and more, I seem to be getting shouted down.

    When I started here, the novelty of an intelligent discussion was great, but the intransigence – and increasing levels of hostility – of many people here and finally pushed me to regard SUFA as little different than other conservative echo chambers. No new arguments are being put forth, just rehashings of ones which I’ve heard time and again.

    It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good argument, but I just don’t see the point in having the exact same argument over and over if there’s no chance of concluding it. With my ever-increasing workload, I just don’t see how I can justify my continued participation here.

    So I’ll check in from time to time to see how you’re all doing, but I’m going to have to sign off now. Good luck to all.

    Regards,
    Matthew

    PS: April Fools 🙂

    • lol, you actually got me on that one Matt, I was upset reading it till I saw your P.S. 🙂

      • Mathius says:

        Who are you kidding? You wouldn’t miss me. You might miss the Dread Pirate though..

    • Judy Sabatini says:

      Matt, you shouldn’t have put the PS down, should have made everybody guess if you were serious or not.. Have to admit, I thought you were too until I got to the bottom there. Glad you weren’t.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      I would have felt worse than anyone! It would have been my fault! 😦

  15. Mathius says:

    Puritan Descendant,

    Time for a history lesson. I’m sorry to have to break out the big club for this one.

    Let’s take a look at Loving v Virginia.

    Specifically, let’s look at the period right before Loving v. Virginia.

    There was a law on the books in Virginia called the Racial Integrity Act. This law declared that it was illegal, among other things, for a white and black individual to marry.

    Tell me if these arguments, which were used in favor of the act, sound familiar:

    1) First, judges claimed that marriage belonged under the control of the states rather than the federal government.

    2) Second, they began to define and label all interracial relationships (even longstanding, deeply committed ones) as illicit sex rather than marriage.

    3) Third, they insisted that interracial marriage was contrary to God’s will

    4) Fourth, they claimed that the traditional definition of marriage was limited to marriages within one’s own race, and

    5) Fifth, they declared, over and over again, that interracial marriage was somehow “unnatural.”

    From a court ruling under the statute:

    connections and alliances [inter-racial marriages] so unnatural that God and nature seem to forbid them, should be prohibited by positive law, and be subject to no evasion.

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      I am not taking that bait 🙂

    • I don’t know about bait, but I will say this. The Government should have no say over marrige whatsoever. Of any kind.

      IF ANYONE can find someone to “marry” them. Then who’s business is it?

      The point I made at the top was that God created marriage, the only foks that should be “married” should be a man and a woman because that is what God made.

      Now if Gays want to get married, and can find someone to perform the ceremony, and consider themselves “married”, regardless of what anyone including me calls it, then that is their biz.

      But I also don’t have to consider them married because I don’t believe they can be married except under God.

      And he doesn’t approve.

      • Mathius says:

        Well, as I said, that pretty much solves the issue as far as I’m concerned.

        But I’m curious about something (I can see you rolling your eyes – stop it).. How do you know God doesn’t approve? Chapter and verse, if you please.

        • Mat.

          Romans, Chapter 1, in particular verse 20 – 30, but you really just need to read the whole Chapter.

          Leviticus 18, V22.

          I Corinthians 6 V9

          There are more but this should be enough. You caught me at my pappy’s house, so you are just unfortunate today.

          But that is MY belief and my belief in God and that the bible is his word Mat. You can feel free to believe what you want.

          By the way, is that your personal comment below, or is that written somewhere?

          • Mathius says:

            Will work on your bible sources. I’ll put it in a new thread.

            As for “is that my personal comment below,” I assume you’re talking about the one about mixed races. That was Judge Leon M. Bazile, sentencing an inter-racial couple to a year in prison for an illegal marriage under the Racial Integrity Act of Virginia (a felony).

            I was pointing out that many of the arguments against gay marriage are the exact same ones used against inter-racial marriage back in ye olden tymes.

            • Well I know that judge needed to go back to bible school.

              ‘Cause God didn’t separate the races on different continents. He gave them different languages so they couldn’t comunicate and build a tower to reach God.
              (tower of Babel)

      • Mathius says:

        Food for thought..

        “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he
        placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his
        arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he
        separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

        (Source: Virginia trial judge upholding conviction of Mildred and Richard
        Loving for interracial marriage, quoted in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 3
        (1967))

      • Bamadad says:

        Esom old buddy are you working on that garden yet?

        • Started, but just barely. I have to get my sons to do it for me because I am too busted up to do it.

          That’s why I am so worried about the coming economic collapse Bama.

          Oh yeah, I am a big Georgia fan but I am also a Alabama fan too. Better them than Ga Tech or Auburn. My oldest is an Auburn fan.

          • Bamadad says:

            Sorry to hear of your problems. Have you observed that some seeds are hard to find this year?

            • I wonder why?

              What seeds are you having trouble finding?

              • Bamadad says:

                Different varieties of sweet corn, peas and green beans are hard to find. There has been a very limited quantity of Sweet G-90 sweet corn in this area. No 1 pound bags just ½ pound bags, went on line and found one place selling 10 pounds for $375, thanks but no thanks. There are not many different varieties of Crowder peas available either, had to order what I could get from Texas; one variety was nowhere to be found. Rattlesnake pole beans finally came in last week at the Farmers Co-op and the manager told me to get what I wanted because he was not getting any more in. This worries me, if you can’t get seed and can’t afford groceries you SOL.

              • I’ll have to go and check that out. You’re right. If you can’t grow a garden OR buy groceries, you’ve had it.

  16. Immoral behavior ultimately is self-destructive.

    There are those who believe they must save others from themselves even if their action is unwelcome.

    The Problem: it is not a debate about immoral behavior.

    The debate is whether the means to correct immoral behavior creates far worse consequences then the original immoral behavior

    If the People trade immoral behavior for evil behavior, society will begin to unravel and eventually collapse.

    • Mathius says:

      You are free to be as immoral as you want – as long as it doesn’t hurt me, you have my blessing.

      Not that you need my blessing, but you have it anyway.

  17. Mathius says:

    Is anyone else dropping their posts? This seems to happen to me at least once a day that SUFA will fail to post a comment of mine, and then it will show up several hours later.

    Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

  18. Canine Weapon says:

    Now this sounds like a great plan.. I’m signing USW up!

    http://www.yelp.com/html/puppy_deal/#

  19. PD and others:
    You are missing the point. The problem is not that the gays are forcing to be changed through government. The problem is that government was involved to start with. When government was allowed a say, when they started licensing marriage (and this started centuries ago, mind you), THAT is when the true nature and meaning of marriage was corrupted. The fact that they agreed with your definition up till recently is just luck. You are blaming the wrong faction. It was not the gays, its not even the government since we know they will always seek power. It was the ones who allowed government to be involved in a holy and sacred thing. To be involved in a personal relationship. Those who allowed it and those who continue to allow it, or worse, support it, are the ones to blame.

    You turned on a firehose. The guy holding it doesnt let it soak any of your stuff, but it soaks some other people’s stuff. A new guy comes and holds the hose and soaks everyone’s stuff equally. Is it his fault your stuff got soaked? NO! It is yours for turning the dang hose on.

    • That’s what I say also. That’s what I have been telling Mat. The Government should not legislate morality of any kind.

      But then, They should not do a lot of things they do.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        Talk about a contradiction, an immoral group of people telling other people what is moral.

    • Then again, if it wasn’t for intervention, a lot more gays would be victims to imbeciles without the ability to think without their bibles (or to see what they want to see in their bibles). Similarly, intervention was necessary to end slavery, abuse at the workplace (oh, no, unions again!), etc. You take away government and you have choas. That doesn’t mean government should be run the way it is today (completely corrupt and pretty much useless). It means you can’t permit the kind of inequity in society capitalism encourages (because it is money that corrupts the process, after all).

      Okay, your turn, BF … fire away …

      • intervention was necessary to protect slavery too. Slavery was already failing as an efficeint means of production and being maintained by government intervention in trade agreements.

        You have an alternate lifestyle that people around you do not like, you should be protected from violence against you. You should not, however, be protected from other kinds of persecution. I am sorry, but if a society does not care for a certain lifestyle, how is that different from society deciding how much is too much to earn as you support? If society wants to shun super-rich people because they take advantage of a system that is fine with me too. I just do not want the government involved. If someone is beating up gays they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and get their butts kicked if they law wont do anything. If someone refuses service to gays because they are bigoted, that is thier right, but I will refuse service to them. If society pushes certain lifestyles underground, that is fine, so long as there are no laws or force used, then those lifestyles can still exist. You have a right to free speech and your belief systems. You do not have a right to have your views respected.

        Pull government on a large and sudded scale and yes, you have chaos. Phase it out and you might be suprised how well people do.

        • I am sure certain people will do very well with a phased out government … the haves. That will still leave you with many more unhappy and needy folk than you’ll want to deal with, but deal with them you’ll have to.

          They aren’t just going to go off and die and leave the John Galts of the world around to party.

  20. Canine Weapon says:

    Esom.. alright, here we go:

    Romans 1 20-30. Salient part:

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    Well that does seem pretty clear. men inflamed with lust for one another = shameful. Yes, that does seem clear… oh, but wait for it.

    Lust is clearly shameful whether with a man or a woman. The book of Matthew clarifies that lusting is tantamount to adultery. So while it says that the lusting of man for man is shameful, this really clarifies very little since lusting, period, is shameful.

    The next sentence is: “Men committed shameful acts with other men,” but this does not clarify what the shameful acts actually were. We have already seen that lusting is inherently shameful, regardless of the gender pairing. Physical relations outside the covenant of marriage are viewed as inherently shameful, such that what you may do with your wife (which is a sacrament) is sodomy outside the covenant. As the lusting men can be safely assumed to be unmarried (at least to each other), lustful acts are definitionally shameful according to the bible. However, this section makes no assertion as to whether the men would or should or may be permitted to be joined in holy union, and if they were so joined whether those same “acts” would still be considered shameful.

    Boy this is fun. Next.

    Leviticus 18:22: ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Well there doesn’t seem to be much wiggle room here. Let’s go out on a limb and assume the intended reader is male. (because if the reader is female then it’s telling them they must practice homosexuality – hmm.. perhaps it is saying that lesbians are the only ones allowed to have sex..). Ok, moving on.

    I like Leviticus. Here’s why. It’s full of all kinds of crazy stuff that you don’t believe. Planting different crops side by side? Death. Failure to keep the sabbath? Death. Selling your daughter into slaver? That’s cool. Do you know a wizard? You’ve to kill stone him to death. Give you ‘seed’ to Molech (a competing deity)? Well that’s death too. But wait! There’s more? Did you fail to enforce any of these edicts? Well that’s also death.

    Alright, so why am I going on about this? Because if you accept that the bible is the word of god, absolute, incontrovertible, uninterpretable, finite, perfect, and complete, then you must accept it in its entirety. You cannot thump the book and proclaim that “homosexuality is an abomination” while failing to simultaneously proclaim all the other abominations in the book. So, for the sake of consistency, do you think we should stone anyone working on the Sabbath (and, for good measure, what impact do you think this mass-stoning would have on the economy)?

    .. moving right along…

    1Corinthians 6 9-10 (you don’t mind that I went ahead and included 10 as well, do you? I know you only said 9, but the more the merrier, right?): 9Or (A)do you not know that the unrighteous will not (B)inherit the kingdom of God? (C)Do not be deceived; (D)neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [a]effeminate, nor homosexuals,

    10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will (E)inherit the kingdom of God.

    Well, seems pretty clear that the homosexuals aren’t inheriting the kingdom of god. Alas.

    But neither will fornicators. I’ll go out on a limb and assume that it means fornicators outside of marriage, because within a marriage God’s ok with it (actually, he demands it elsewhere in the bible).

    Neither will idolaters, nor adulterers, nor coveters, nor drunkards, nor swindlers. So basically, bad people are out. No inheritance for them. No revelers either.

    By juxtaposition, we can infer that god is saying that this is a general list of bad people. Well this does look iron clad. Hmm.. OK, thinking, thinking.. Corinthians, Corinthians…

    1 Corinthians 13: “13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” So what if you don’t inherent the kingdom of God? God has spoken clearly that to have love and be loved is the greatest of things. So if you have to lose the kingdom of God, so be it.

    ———————————————-

    The bible can be read for hate, for disdain, disapproval, restriction, recriminations, and judgment, but Corinthians is really the heart, so to speak of the bible. If there is a God, and if the bible is his, the truest part- the most essential part – of it is in this chapter. God is love, and if two people love each other, God could never be against that.

    • Why would I take a dog’s word at anything?

      And I said that God did not approve, I didn’t say Gay’s should be stoned. (that was for the Jews anyway, not us Gentiles)

      The reason Leviticus does not mention women is because women in that time were not important enough to mention. They were little more than property. Not in God’s eyes, but in Men’s.

      As far as most of your comment goes USC, you really should know more about the bible before you try this.

      Also Mat ASKED for references. I gave them to him. Ihave more but this conversation has pulled us away from the real topic already. Must we continue on? We’re not going to agree anyway. I have my belief. You and Mat have yours.

      P.S. Beastiality is an abomination also.

      • Canine Weapon says:

        The problem, Esom, is that if you accept that God (absolute, infallible, not-open-to-interpretation) says that homosexuality is an abomination, then you must also accept that God (absolute, infallible, not-open-to-interpretation) tells you to stone a lot of people to death.

        If you are picking and choosing parts to believe, then how can you be sure you’ve picked the right parts to believe and the right parts to disregard? At that point, how do you know what God thinks versus what you think?

        I’m not trying to beat up on your religion, but He (big “H”) says two things right next to each other and one is the Gospel-Truth and the other is.. what? obsolete? Why can’t the first part be obsolete as well? Whatever justification you’re using to exempt yourself from the obligation to stone people to death – can’t it also be used to exempt homosexuals from being considered an abomination?

        Isn’t “greatest of these is love” – greater than faith, even – isn’t that a better lens for interpreting the bible?

        • Bamadad says:

          I do believe the lord is saying love the person, not the sin. If I remember correctly he said:
          Thy sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.

          • Canine Weapon says:

            That’s from John.. we’re in Corinthians.. you’re three books behind, try to keep up.

            It seems to me that if God declares that love is the greatest of things, and then there’s a conflict between love and something that might be considered sinful, you should err on the side of the one God specifically told you is more important.

            So gay sex is an abomination.. unless you’re in love.

            There is actually plenty of precedent that there’s a hierarchy in God’s commandments. He commands that life must be preserved above all else, and then demands that you fast on certain days, whereupon he carves out an exception that you don’t have to fast if doing so endangers our life. I could name a dozen other examples, but the point stands: he says that love is more important than even faith (explicitly says so), so who are we to choose faith over love in direct defiance of God’s written word?

            • Which simply goes to show that we each follow our understandings of God and that what we come to believe, rightly or wrongly, is between that individual and God.

              Everyone can, or does, have their own twists to what they believe a bible passage may or may not mean.

        • I am not picking and choosing parts to believe. I did not say they should be stoned because it’s not my place, and it’s not my soul, and it’s not my sin. Everyone must atone for their own sin.

          And God gives you a time to ask that your sins be forgiven. You damn yourself, God doesn’t.

          Look, I’m not trying to preach. I ain’t good at it, and I have my own stuff to deal with God over.

          But don’t try to glaze over it like there shouldn’t be anything wrong with it. If you believe it’s OK, that’s fine with me.

          Like I have said at least three times. My point is that I do not believe the GOVERNMENT should legislate morality issues anymore than you or your master does. I just believe homosexuality is wrong. I have family that is Gay. I have a friend who is gay. But I STILL believe it is wrong and they know I do. They also know I don’t judge them for it. That’s not my place.

      • Beastiality is not between consenting free persons, and therefore is not a protected right. I consider it cruelty to animals at best.

  21. I would be a Libertarian . . . Really and honestly, I would . . . EXCEPT for a few wrinkles in their armor, I would.

    Wrinkle #1. Drugs. You all know where I stand on drugs and why so it does no good to beat a dead horse into the ground.

    Wrinkle #2. Abortion. See #1 above.

    Wrinkle #3. Open borders. Again, see #1 above.

    Other than that, I would be a Libertarian.

    Hookers? I don’t care if some idiot wants to travel six inches on a million mile road, I just don’t. Okay, so I’m a different kind of Conservative.

    Homosexuals and Lesbians getting married? I don’t care about that, either. Just don’t put them in my country’s uniforms to go out and fight a war . . . It is rumored that the wikileaks kid who committed treason by putting out all those highly classified documents was a homosexual and he did that because he knew he had been caught so he did that to get even.

    Yes, I could be a Libertarian. Except for those few wrinkles in their armor.

    • Wrinkle 1: So you will take a man’s freedom to save him from himself?

      Wrinkle 2: This is not a fixed libertarian position. The point where life, human life, and human rights begin is not a decided issue among libertarians.

      Wrinkle 3: So you only believe in freedom and all of its associated benefits and rights if a person is born on the soil of a free nation or go through a citzenship process (which is limited to a certain number of persons per immigrant nationality). Sounds like it is a government that grants freedom, not being human and certainly not granted by God that all men are created equal.

      • #1. It is NOT a victimless crime. Stupid is as stupid does. Do you know why it is called DOPE?

        #2. it is with me and my ilk. Life begins at inception.

        #3. No borders = no nation = NO sovereignty = NO FREEDOM OF ANY KIND = CHAOS (this is the absolute definition of anarchy).

        End of argument. You lose . . . EVERYTHING! Why? Because you just can’t fix stupid.

        • 1) It is victimless unless you buy the gun control arguments that guns themselves are evil. Guns dont kill people, evil or stupid people with guns do. Drugs dont kill people, stupid people use drugs to kill themselves. You cant fix stupid, they would just find some other idiocy to use to destroy themselves. There is no victim if you do it to yourself.

          2) Good for you. But how do you prove such a thing?

          3) I never said no borders, I said open immigration. There is a difference. If you do not see the difference, then you do not know what a border is.

          I cannot fix stupid. True. Which means making stupid illegal is pointless at best, and an invasion of freedom for sure. Drug laws are just a lame attempt at fixing stupid.

          • Drug users are stupid. Those who enable drug users are even more stupid.
            1. “There is no victim if you do it to yourself.” Really? What about your future generations? Can you explain the more than ten-fold increase in birth defects since the mid 1960’s? Here is a hint; Chemically bleached bread flour was introduced in the year 1900 to give store-bought bread that so desirable white look, and by the mid 1930’s deaths by heart attacks were up drastically. The bleaching process wasn’t changed until 1970 when a scientific study was completed identifying the culprit as the bleaching chemical for white flour.

            2. *sigh* You have a computer, look it up. I am not going to try and educate you, you need to educate yourself.

            3. Open immigration with rules and regulations? Just curious – what is it about the currant immigration laws that do not have open immigration with rules and regulations?

            “Drug laws are just a lame attempt at fixing stupid.” I would suggest that you watch a season of a television program entitled “The First 48” . . . It is a reality based program that follows Homicide Investigators from the time they get assigned a case until it is resolved or goes into the cold file. You just might learn something about drug users and sellers.

            • 1) A rant against chemicals is not a rant against drug use. Some drugs are natural, others are chemical but are not “worse than the disease”. All of life is a chemical reaction, stop being paranoid. I agree we are overmedicated and have introduced harmful substances in our lives without really knowing what we were doing.
              As for future generations, I have a problem with child neglects, etc. I see that as a crime, regardless of the reason. And, by the way, there are a lot of cases of child neglect and abuse that have nothing to do with drugs. What do you propose, outlaw “badness” among parents?

              2) I have a computer, I have educated myself. I see a wide variety of arguments with merit. I, personally, am not a fan of abortion, but I am not close minded about the arguments. education is worthless if your mind is closed.

              3) Current laws are too strict, and they limit the number of immigrants from a given country. If you seek freedom then you should be welcomed. Once in the free country, however, you are on your own. You take risks like the rest of us, and if you have no assets, it is that much harder. You get no assistance. That is the other problem with current laws. We spend too much helping people. Freedom is risk. If that risk is worth it to you, you deserve to be free.

              I know how much crime is committed by drug sellers and users. I know a lot of that is BECAUSE OF DRUG LAWS. See prohibition.

    • It is rumored that the wikileaks kid who committed treason by putting out all those highly classified documents was a homosexual and he did that because he knew he had been caught so he did that to get even.

      And this makes the cases of Walker, Ames, Pollard, Pelton, and others any different how? It’s a crime regardless of the motivation, making using it in your statement as a way to justify not having homosexuals in the US military ridiculous. But like you said – you can’t fix stupid.

      • You are so right – stupid is as stupid does . . . using the U.S. Military as a social experimental model and platform is just incredibly stupid. I can see it now, the headlines will read “Military commander court-martialed for putting gay soldier on the front line during combat because the gay community thinks the commander is a homophobe.”

        Would the wikileaks kid not have done it if he had been allowed to serve openly? That is as unknown as when we will land people on Mars . . . .

        Homosexuals have always been in the military, and they have always been untrusted and unreliable. Having a law that says they can serve openly will not change that.

        • You have proof that homosexuals in the military have always been unreliable?

        • That’s your opinion or, as Jon asks, do you have factual evidence of your declaration?

          It would seem not all veterans would be in agreement with you.

          ‘Admiral Mullen was honest enough to say that he’d served with homosexuals since 1968,’ Kelley said. ‘It was the same for me, when I was commanding a ship more than 25 years ago. There was no secret about who was gay . . . and it didn’t matter. What mattered was that they were good sailors, trustworthy and reliable people you could depend upon.’

          Thomas G. Kelley, recipient of the Medal of Honor. (http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/02/07/medal-of-honor-recipient-gays-should-serve/)

  22. Okay, we’re tackling the tea party at TK … and we’re now available on B&N’s nook (so support your local red thru and thru parasite(s)) … because remember, we (word processors, secretaries, writers) tap keyboards all day too (just like hedge fund managers) … show us the fazools! Then redistribute them so everybody gets to play!

    http://temporaryknucksline.blogspot.com/2011/04/24-million-hour-175000-year-aint-enough.html

    Johnny Porno was nominated for some award but we reds thru and thru don’t take any of that nonsense seriously (it’s all fugazy, no matter how well intentioned).

  23. Jon,

    Sorry it’s so late a comment, work has been a bastard. Great article, I like the direction you are coming from.

    “Furthermore, it causes society to look to the government to be their moral guide, obviously that is a bad idea. ”

    Since Johnson’s “Greater Society”, we have seen an increase in attacks on our values that fits exactly the strategy the USSR advocated, of destroying us from within.
    Liberals have used government to force changes, some good, some very bad. By making a single mom a hero,
    making that normal, acceptable behavior, child poverty has increased and can be linked to the drop in education.

    The ACLU seems bent on eradicating religion from any public arena. They have banned prayer in school. And what have they replaced it with? Mmmnn, mmmn, mmn?
    Don’t wear a cross to school or an American flag?

    “Control of others, use of force, legal or otherwise, to make them do as you wish is evil.”

    Agree, but we have a problem before doing away with say, drug and immigration laws. The government forces hospitals to treat that drug addict every time he O.D.’s.
    That cost is passed on to me through taxes and higher medical costs. Government forces me to support immigrants with various entitlement programs. They have children who hate us(avg Americans) and trash the schools
    government requires us to provide them. Government will not allow us to protect ourselves by not supporting bad behavior. Government forcing on these issues has to be stopped with or before repeal of anti-drug or immigration laws.

    • The government forces hospitals to treat that drug addict every time he O.D.’s.
      That cost is passed on to me through taxes and higher medical costs. Government forces me to support immigrants with various entitlement programs. They have children who hate us(avg Americans) and trash the schools
      government requires us to provide them.

      LOI, we see these same kinds of costs from alcohol too, yet we do not respond by – again – making alcohol illegal, so what is that saying to us?

      There are going to be associated costs to society as a result of drug and alcohol use/abuse, there’s no way to get around it. But, some of the direct enforcement/prosecution/corrections costs for drug crimes of (possession, use, manufacture, sales, transportation) would be reduced and those monies could be funneled into rehabilitation/recovery programs or into other areas of need in society (since we know we’d never get the taxes back into our pockets).

      As to immigration, while society has determined that we want to know who is crossing into and out of the United States. Okay, but tell me how we are going to accomplish that in any realistic way that doesn’t continue to costs billions of dollars for a useless fence that isn’t even pretty to look at, or removes illegals already here who are using the system at the expense of taxpayers? I spoke to this in a piece I wrote for gman’s blog (http://gmanfortruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/mother-may-i-immigration-reform/). I’d be interested in your thoughts on it as it pertains to reforming our immigration boondoggle.

      As it stands now we have a complete failure in the War on Drugs and almost a complete failure on our immigration practices and policies. We’ve been battling both for decades. How long are we going to continue throwing away money on unporoductive policies and programs?

      • “we see these same kinds of costs from alcohol too, yet we do not respond by – again – making alcohol illegal, so what is that saying to us?”
        And we see even higher costs from obesity. And the government is looking to declare war on that as well, with the same results all too likely. Massive fail and ever increasing costs for programs that do not work.

        “How long are we going to continue throwing away money on unproductive policies and programs?”
        As long as we have big government trying to do and be everything to everyone in “need”. I think the only place where we differ is what first. I think entitlement reform needs to be a high priority. Consider it one of many government created problems.

        I responded to your article, nice job but was put in moderation, treated like any undocumented poster.LOL

        • Important stuff first LOI. I saw your comment and approved it (legalizing you 😉 ), thanks for commenting. I think Gman has it set to moderate the first time one comments, then after than you don’t go to moderation (unless maybe you have too many links n your comment).

          Government has decided that parenting is it’s rightful role – while we know it is not.

          Now, I am willing to go with entitlement reform first if we must. At least something will be getting done instead of the continual idling at the curb we live with now. Though, is there any way we can work on multiple areas at the same time?

    • Again, however, it is unwise to support a law that removes freedom that is in place to lessen the effect of other laws that affect freedom. That is slippery slope 101 stuff at best. I agree that some of those other regulations might have to be removed first, but that does not justify the laws we are addressing. It does not really matter which we start with, because if one is justified by the other, then the removal of either will lead to the removal of the other.

      • I think in some cases it matters which we remove first. End the drug war and see ER’s overrun? No, I don’t think that will happen. I would favor a gradual repeal of drug laws, rather than an across the board approach to allow society adjustment time.

        On Immigration, I strongly think entitlements have to be addressed first, before going to open borders. Remember Cuba flushing it’s prisons? What if China and Russia did the same? A one way ticket for every rapist, murder and political offender? Open borders only works if they are required to earn their own keep.

  24. test post, wordpress is being difficult.

  25. Redistribute that wealth tomorrow, please …

    http://www.greenbayprogressive.com/progressive/story.asp?storyid=3540

    • A couple comments –

      1. If the figures in the this article are correct, the plumber was living way beyond his means. Doesn’t take much to see that. No sympathy for him when things went south.

      2. Governor Walker is not calling the public employees the “haves”. That is what the union is saying he is calling them. Governor Walker is saying our state is broke and the tax payers can no longer foot the bill for the generous and unsustainable benefits of the public employees. It sounds like this guy might have contributed to his; many have not.

      3. These one on one comparison stories mean absolutely nothing except somewhere you can find situation A and somewhere you can find situation B.

      • I agree the one-on-one stories prove little, except to show that not everyone is in agreement with Walker and his side of the story.

        My point is “always” that what is going on (while top earners/2%’s get to call the shots and reward themselves) is the little guys are pitted against one another to the point that an average teacher salary of $48K is regarded as the villain. Add his benefits and he’s suddenly a millionaire?

        Did you see 60 Minutes last night? Interesting how banks (bailed out, some of them) get to skirt the rules to the point of fraudulent paperwork on foreclosures but it’s public unions that are bankrupting our country. Sweet Jesus …

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