Thursday, March 29, 2012

On Legislating Morality

With election season inching ever closer, the national interest in politics seems to have reached an all-time high since four years ago. It's one of the funny things about politics, most people don't even notice it's there until it comes time to dodge their one responsibility towards it. Indeed, this past election broke records when over 130 million people voted. News agencies made this into an astounding amount, claiming that a 68% voter turnout means "the people have spoken and they want Obama!" That's all well and good, except the math doesn't add up. How does 130 million equal 68% of a country with 313 million people?

I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way: I don’t like Obama. No, I’m not familiar with the Three R’s (Rich, Religious, Republican). I seem to be part of the new American average…meaning I live below the poverty line, of course. I don’t dislike Obama for any racial reasons, seeing that I’m Gypsy and that puts me right between Mexicans and Eskimos in the social hierarchy. Plus, I’m still not exactly clear what ethnicity Obama fits into. He’s kinda like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

I know, Rock, it makes me sad too. Source

No, my disdain for our commander in chief comes from my dislike of tools. There is the long-standing debate over whether or not Obama is Christian or Muslim. Despite his claims of otherwise, people still argue over it. The man is a politician that goes to a Christian church, this means he is a... politician. Everyone seems to forget the one important thing about politics: It doesn't matter who you are, it's what everyone wants that counts. In the entire world of elected officials, there are exactly five open atheists and half of those are interns. It's very likely that Obama, like most of his coworkers, doesn’t have any creed or philosophy that he actually serves. But as long as it empowers the government, he has a presidential boner. Presidential boners are much like regular boners, only they have alot more flags and fireworks and- well, here I'll just show you.

Turns out I'm not allowed to share the presidential boner, but trust me. It's pretty messed up.

I’ll use the recent controversy over birth control as an example. The government wants to include birth control in health insurance packages. That's actually not that bad of an idea. People are in an uproar about it, but not for reasons that pertain to this article. People throw around the words slut and prostitute like Ecstacy at a rave, without even thinking about what they're talking about. Birth control is kind of an essential part of life for me, seeing as I'm broke and married. Last time I checked, the Bible didn't have it in for marital sex, but hey, it's been awhile. But the source of the controversy has nothing to do with the ethics of birth control. It's that the Catholic Church is being shoehorned into this bill. For those not down with the Pope Policy, the Church isn't exactly cool with birth control. Or condoms. Or pulling out. Pretty much any time you pound the genitals and don't make a baby, you're slapping Catholic Jesus in the face.

How could you slap a face like that?    Source

Now, everyone is all in an uproar and flinging great handfuls of poo at each other in debate. These people are arguing over whether or not the Catholic Church is one big He Man Woman Hater's Club, but once again, that's not the point. We're talking about a religion that makes a very big deal about birth control and we're removing every choice they have in whether they provide sinful products to people. It's an irraional choice of sin, but who are we to decide? For perspective, mandate that Synagogues must provide bacon to all who want it and see how that flies. It's just a given: You don't force condoms on Catholics, you don't force bacon onto Jews and Muslims, and you don't force drugs out the hands of American Indians.

In all of this, we have the ancient argument rearing it's ugly head: The Legislation of Morality. It's almost become a given that it's not allowed, but nobody takes the time to ask why. What is legislating morality and how is it any different than legislating...legislation? Why are some things illegal and others legal? This debate comes up fairly often, whether it concerns gay marraige or abortion rights or gambling laws. The whole point is that we're not allowed to impose Judeo-Christian beliefs on people who don't believe, whether they be atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, or Jedi.

England is a funny place. Source
This is a double standard, but I'm not going to get into that. I could go on for hours and still not even scratch the surface on the topic of secular animosity towards Christianity. The paradox of legislating morality is that all laws stem from morality. If one were to read the Jewish Law set down in Pentateuch, there is alot that anyone can see God wouldn't care about but seems to. There's even a passage dictating how to cut your hair (Seriously). The problem comes from a misinterpretation of what you're reading. If you look up the Hammurabi Code, you'll see that the Babylonians had a very similar legal system. In the past, it was believed that the gods or God ordained the kings and priests to lead the uneducated masses. Therefore, their legal system was also their moral system. We're just looking at these laws several millenia and thousands of miles removed.

A legal system is a society's moral system. They are one and the same. The statement that "justice is blind" has been used by several judges and lawmakers to excuse when the law harms the innocent and protects the guilty. When you hear someone say a verdict wasn't fair or right, that they were justified by the law, that person doesn't know what they're talking about. The very nature of the law is to provide fairness and rightness in a world that has a surplus crop of the opposite. Justice is, indeed, blind, but she is blind to station or power. Justice is the will of the societal gods, even when there are no gods to speak of.

Pictured: Justice Source

A nation's legal system is corrupt if it protects the wrongdoings of the rich and powerful. The point of Law, of society in general, is to provide an equalizer. The weak cannot defend themselves, it is the task of the strong to protect them. Justice protects the abused and provides retribution to the wronged. Justice is the Great Balance, the lynchpin of society. Without it, we would have anarchy and not the good kind. Anarchy is freedom, but it often reveals the dark side of freedom. With nobody to stop them, mad dogs are given free reign to hurt those who are powerless to stop them. When we live in a society where people are protesting Wall Street for fair wages and the cops are spraying them down with mace and beating them with riot batons, something is very wrong. These are the very people the police are supposed to protect. These are the people who need the law on their side more than anyone. Of course, it doesn't help that these people call the cops names and spit at them, but that's because this is what society has come to. If some asshole were heckling a soldier and said soldier pistol whipped him, this would be seen for what it is: An abuse of power.

Yes, they are mere men, but they are also part of something bigger. I'm not talking about the NYPD or the Army. They are the harbingers of justice and valor, respectively, and should act as such. When you put on the uniform, you become more than just a man, you represent an elemental force of human nature. Do not let aybody drag you down and tell you that you're anything less. A police officer who gets goaded into fights with innocent people or abuses their power, a soldier that opens fire on a crowd of civillians, these are people who either can't handle or don't deserve that responsibility.


Yes, it is a heavy cross to bear, but that is why not everyone can do it. When you put the wrong people in power, you get priests that abuse innocent children, judges that send innocent men to prison, and politicians that take advantage of the System to push their own spiteful agendas.

This has just been some random thoughts by a casual observer. If you agree or disagree, that's your prerogative. These observations are casual and so I wouldn't be surprised to find them inaccurate and in the end, grossly off-topic. But they're my thoughts and it's boring to keep them to myself.

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