Submitted by Digger Cartwright: Americans and the media regularly debate a host of social, moral, and religious issues. It is alarming to see the emotion that many individuals have invested in these issues. Clearly, emotions have clouded the rational judgment and logic of these individuals. It is good to be passionate about what you believe in, but such passion is a detriment when trying to work to solve the problems of America and society and often leads to divisiveness and animosity towards those with opposing views.
The debates seem to intensify during each election cycle when the politicians are grilled on their positions and beliefs on some very divisive social issues. There are many clearly established laws that relate to the issues being debated. While it may be interesting to see how politicians or candidates feel about these issues in helping decide who gets your vote, their positions are largely irrelevant as their ability to change established laws is somewhat limited. Further, these issues are irrelevant when it comes to solving the greater challenges of America and restoring our greatness as a nation.
To me, it seems like there are seven stupid issues that people talk about, particularly in an election year, and to which they attribute too much importance.
•Abortion—Really? Roe v Wade clearly established laws on abortion in 1973 that supports a woman’s right to have an abortion up to the point of viability which is about twenty-eight weeks. Yet nearly forty years later, we’re still talking about this. Why must we as a society still be bombarded with people wanting to make abortion completely illegal? Are these people claiming to be God and know exactly when life begins? Give me a break. These are the same hypocrites that accuse pro-choice supporters of playing God and ending life. Guess what, folks, if you make it illegal it will still happen. We’ll go back to the days of coat hangers in dark alleys or unsafe practices that jeopardize the woman’s life. And I’m willing to bet that those people who are against abortions would be singing a different tune if their daughter or sister got raped or molested and got pregnant. Hmmmm…interesting, isn’t it?
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should be more liberal on abortion. It shouldn’t be a convenient means of birth control which is what would happen if the abortion laws were more liberal. More and more people are broadly favoring a woman’s right to chose within the current legal framework while only a small percentage are abjectly opposed to abortion. Let’s quit debating this on a national level. To those who want to make all abortions illegal, guess what…that isn’t going to happen. It would be political suicide for your elected Congressman or Senator to vote to restrict a woman’s right to choose. And even if by some stretch of the imagination legislation were passed to ban abortions, the Supreme Court would probably strike it down. Roe v Wade isn’t going to be overturned, so let’s quit talking about this issue and move onto more important matter.
•Separation of Church and State—Let me start by saying that America was founded on Christian values. If you don’t like that fact or if you are offended by it, go somewhere else. I’m really tired of people saying we can’t have the word ‘God’ on our money or in our pledge of allegiance or the school kids can’t mention God or we can’t have nativity scenes on public property. If you don’t like that we celebrate Christmas in America you can suck it. Don’t go trying to force your religion on me or tell us that we have to recognize your religion or this or that. This country was founded by peoples seeking religious freedom. The Puritans who came here and settled in New England were Christians; they pretty much formed the basis of democracy in America. Our Founding Fathers were Christians not Muslims or Buddhists or anything else. It is insulting to me as an American to have anyone say we can’t say a prayer before school or before a public meeting. If you don’t want to participate, you don’t have to. No one is forcing you to participate.
Oh, and let’s remember why the Founding Fathers wanted a separation of church and state. They didn’t want to remove the influence of religion or God from our lives or our government. They just didn’t want our government controlled by the church. Only extremists would believe that we should remove ‘In God We Trust’ from our currency or that we should take out ‘Under God’ from the pledge of allegiance. If we spiritually emasculate ourselves and our government, we will forget what has made this nation so great. If we appease the people who favor political correctness when it comes to this, we’ll forget our values and those values that we important to our Founding Fathers—love of country and love, faith, and trust in God. I certainly don’t want public gatherings to turn into worship service or school kids to be forced to pray, but I don’t want God totally removed from our country as some would have it and make our nation completely secularized.
•Pornography—It appears that certain political figures want to have a war on pornography. Well, here again is someone’s personal belief trying to legislate morality for everyone else. If you don’t like pornography, don’t look at it or watch it—just like if you don’t like alcohol. If you’ve got some kind of religious or moral objection to it, that’s all right, but don’t try to shove your views down the throats of everyone else, particularly if it isn’t hurting you. If your neighbor’s unemployed, forty-year-old virgin kid is watching porn in the parent’s basement every day, what should you care? Why should you or anyone try to legislate pornography out of business? How’s it hurting you? I’d say the opponents of pornography are probably just sexually frustrated individuals who want everyone to be as equally miserable as they are.
Porn is a huge industry, and it isn’t going to go away even if politicians legislate against it. It would merely become an underground industry and life would go on. If you outlaw it, are you really going to put someone in prison for porn? Do you see the absurdity of it—putting people in prison for porn but letting murderers go free every day? Get real.
How about this to chew on—you know how we win the global war on terrorism? Let’s drop porn magazines and DVDs in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and anywhere else there may be terrorists. We’ll never hear from them again. That’s how we end the war on terror.
•Gay Marriage—Yes, I think traditional marriage is between a man and a woman, but do I really care if gays and lesbians get married? Hell, no. Am I a little uncomfortable with the whole idea of gay marriage? Absolutely, but who am I or who is anyone to deprive two people of being together? If they’re in love and want to spend their life together, have at it. You know the only people who win here—the divorce attorneys. There’s absolutely nothing to suggest that gays and lesbians will have a lower divorce rate. I suspect they’ll be just like the rest of America when it comes to the success rate of marriages.
I guess there is some mistaken belief that if we outlaw it, people won’t be homosexual anymore. That’s quite a fallacy. It’s still going to go on whether they can get married or not. You mean to tell me that politicians will support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and think it will pass but yet they can’t seem to get a balanced budget amendment put together. Really? Let’s get some priorities straight first.
Let’s make it legal so maybe we don’t have to see the marches and rallies anymore, so it’s not so in your face all the time. Once they get the right to get married, there won’t be any need to be so public about being homosexual. They won’t be waving their flags and all that stuff. They’ll live life just like everyone else, the opponents of it will soon forget about it, and everyone will just move on to bigger and better things.
•War on Drugs—This has been a vast failure for the past fifty years, and drug cartels are bigger and badder now than ever before despite our federal government spending something like $15 billion annually. I think we could have found a better way to use that money. For $15 billion, we could probably nuke the drug producing regions in Colombia and elsewhere. Not a politically good thing to do, but it would effectively reduce part of the problem.
Here again, just because drugs have been illegal hasn’t stopped people from buying them and using them. Instead, it has created an entire underground economy. I don’t support drug use and think it’s a reprehensible activity, but let’s go ahead and legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. The underground economy would virtually disappear, there wouldn’t be any need to be fighting the drug cartels, violence along the border associated with drug cartels should go away, and the governments can make money off the industry and use the funds for police and educating kids about the dangers of drugs.
I’ve said it before if we want to pay for Social Security or Medicare or pay down debt let’s decriminalize drugs and regulate and tax them. Taxes on cigarettes raise about $18 billion per year for local and state government and the fed. In addition to taxes, there would be some revenues generated for the government from the underground economy associated with drugs as those monies filter into the broader, general economy. The tax revenue along with the savings in spending on the war on drugs could help in many ways. Why waste money fighting a losing battle?
•Gambling—Gaming is one of the best industries around and it is highly profitable, generating thousands of jobs and something like $7 billion in tax revenue for the states alone. Yet, there is a whole group of people out there that oppose gambling on religious or moral grounds. As I mentioned before, we can’t legislate morality but people are still trying to force their beliefs upon others and deprive them of the free will to make decisions whether to engage in gaming or not. Let’s get real. After all, this is 2012, not 1912. Gambling isn’t going away anytime soon.
I recall that South Carolina had the video gaming parlors for years back in the 1990s until the Bible-thumpers wanted to put an end to the industry…and they did. Successive attempts to bring gaming back in different forms have failed, and the self righteous morality police even attempted to stop the casino boats from docking in Little River. It’s just absurd. The federal government has even gone after the on-line casinos that are offshore and shut them down here in the U.S. Tens of millions of dollars are wasted in breaking up the gaming parlors or sweepstakes parlors or whatever form they take. How much tax revenue is being lost when the industry is shut down? How many jobs are being lost? How much economic impact is being lost?
Furthermore, isn’t it just plain hypocritical to have a legalized lottery in a state but prohibit other forms of gambling? Let’s consider the lottery. You buy a ticket for a dollar. The numbers are drawn randomly. If you match the numbers you win. If you don’t, you lost your dollar. There’s no limit on the number of tickets you can buy. Now, let’s consider a casino. You take your dollar to the roulette wheel and put it on red or black. Your odds of winning are just about fifty-fifty. If you bet on black and it comes up black, you double your money. If it comes up red, you lose your dollar. What’s the difference between the casino and the lottery again?
•Political Correctness—This one really gets under my skin, as I’m sure it gets under your skin too. We can’t call people fat or short. We can’t use the term midget or dwarf. We can’t say retard. If you’re offended by certain terminology, get thicker skin. It’s not like these terms are a slur or racist. They’ve been perfectly acceptable terminology for decades. You can be politically correct if you want, but don’t look down your nose at me because I’m not.
Oh, and let’s not forget that we have to preface ‘American’ with something else like African, Italian, Chinese, Japanese. If you’re an American, why do you have to preface it with some other nationality. If you’re more proud of that than you are of being an American, go there. They’ll be glad to have you and you can live happily ever after.
Kids can’t lose these days. If you’re on the winning team, you get a medal and a pizza party. And if you’re on the losing team, you also get a medal and a pizza party. There are no losers in today’s society. Guess what kids. The real world doesn’t work that way. There are winners and losers. You’re one or the other. Get used to it—it’s reality.
We can’t talk about Christianity or celebrate Christian holidays because it may offend someone. This country was founded on Christian values. If you’re of another faith, you’re welcome here and we’ll tolerate you, but we’re not going to bend over backwards for you and marginalize Christianity because you don’t like it. Did you hear about the university recently that stopped recognizing Christian holidays because some Muslim or Buddhist complained? Ridiculous. What do you think would happen if we went to Tehran and complained about their taking off Islamic holidays? What do you think they would do to a Christian who complained? Got news for you, you wouldn’t live long enough to find out. There’s an old saying…When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
A friend recently criticized me over my objection to political correctness, saying I was insensitive. I find that quite offensive. I’m not saying we should deprive someone of their ability to worship freely or make them drink from a different water fountain or use a different bathroom or whatever. Political correctness has been taken way too far. If you’re too sensitive or you’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, get over it. The world is tough and can be a lot crueler than getting called fat or being called a midget or having to listen to a Christian prayer at a pep rally or seeing a nativity scene in front of the courthouse at Christmas. We’ve got bigger problems in this world. Channel your energies spent on political correctness to solving some real problems. We would be a lot better off. Otherwise, get a life.
As history has shown (think Prohibition), attempts to legislate morality have generally failed miserably. Legal or illegal, people are going to do what they want. Prohibition made alcohol illegal, but it didn’t stop people from drinking. Ultimately, Prohibition was repealed. Drugs are illegal, but people still choose to use them. We’re not going to stop that. In the larger picture, don’t we as a nation have more important issues than those I’ve outlined? If we’re all dead because the terrorists attack us, does any of this really matter? If our nation is bankrupt and our financial system collapses, does this really matter? If the federal government continues to amass unprecedented powers and our liberties are taken from us, do these issues really matter? These issues only create negative energy that detracts from the real issues. Let’s focus our energies on issues that we can collectively resolve to make America stronger, more secure, and financially stable. Without that, these other issues don’t really matter and only divide us more than they unite us. The enemies of liberty will attempt to exploit the people on these issues, preying upon their emotions, distracting them while their freedom comes under attack and is stealthily snatched away.