Posts Tagged Legislating Morality
Over the years my behavior has gotten me into loads of trouble usually with my parents. Even more my mouth has gotten me into trouble so I usually keep my mouth shut when not invited to speak. Yesterday April had a follow up dentist appointment and I went with her. In the waiting room in a dentist office is most definitely a place to keep to myself. This couple had two very cute children and the kids spoke to me first. I passed the time playing and joking around with them.
Finally April was called in and about ten minutes later the two children were called in simultaneously. The mother took them back and that left just the father, myself and a teenager. I told the man he was lucky to have such a wonderful family. How we got from that to discussing politics and morality, I don’t know but we did. The man made it a point to let me know he was a liberal democrat and that from his perspective on one has the right to tell him how to live his life.
I should have just listened and made it a one sided conversation, but I asked him if he meant there should be no rules, no laws at all? He went further into his beliefs and told me he was a humanist. He believed himself to be the master of his domain and the god of his existence. Believe me, the man said so much more, but what struck me was when he told me he had the right to decide what was moral. He and only he, had the right to determine what was right and what was wrong.
I was half listening to him and half trying to order my thoughts for a question. He was all over the place with his rhetoric. From Christians to Muslims to Republicans to the Tea Party and George Bush. Somehow he even managed to throw Tony Dungy in the mix. Finally when he took a breath, I asked him if I had the same right to think the way he did. “Most certainly!”, was his response.
I thought of something clever to say because I didn’t agree with his thinking even though I agree that he has the right to think what he wants. Before I could respond, the teenage girl interjected herself into the conversation. “So you wouldn’t have a problem if this man decided he had the right to kill your wife and kids when they are finished getting their teeth cleaned”, she asked.
The man turned to the maybe 16 or 17 year old girl and with a look of indignation said in a very course tone, “Of course I would have a problem if this guy (me) touched my family in any way!”
The girl asked, “But you freely admit if he wanted to do it, as the master of his own world, he has the right — and if he had the right lawyer, judge and jury that thought as you do, he might get off without any sort of punishment.” Believe me, what she said was far more eloquent than I worded it.
The man rolled his eyes, crossed his legs and rustled through the stack of magazines and didn’t speak another word. I moved closer to the young lady. I learned her name was Nicole and she was a sophomore at the high school. I shook her hand and thanked her for ending a conversation I didn’t want to be in anyway. She told me she had written a paper on legislating morality. She had been told by her teacher that you cannot legislate morality. She said, “Abortion, rape, theft and murder are all moral issues and were all legislated. Then she left me with a quote. I forgot the exact quote but thanks to the library and the book she used to do some of her research, The Family Under Siege, I found it.
She said our founding fathers built morality into our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. I told her I had a blog and asked if she minded if I blogged about this conversation. Obviously she didn’t mind and obviously I didn’t tell her the name of the blog. What do you think about all this. April just laughed and reminded me to keep my mouth shut next time.
Morality is the only thing you can legislate. That’s what legislation is. It is the codification in law of some particular moral concern — generally so that the immorality of a few is not forcibly inflicted on the rest of us.
~ Dr. D. James Kennedy
Galen Sterling-Smith from KVGess’ Blog will be guest blogging on November 6, 2010. Galen is Jelisa’s husband. She was a guest blogger earlier this year and I thought it would be a great idea, since both had blogs, to have Galen guest post as well. He agreed and we will be able to read his post in one week. In the meantime, stop by Galen’s site and check it out.