Yes, you CAN legislate morality!
Monday, November 7, 2016
One of the greatest fallacies in American politics is the faulty argument that you cannot (and probably should not) legislate morality.
To which I say... Hogwash! We legislate morality every day in the United States and have done so for the past 240 years.
Naysayers usually point to the failed social experiment called Prohibition, which I agree was a bad idea to begin with. But just because a total ban on alcohol proved futile doesn't mean that we don't regulate its use today.
Drink to excess outside of your home and you are charged with public intoxication. Drive while under the influence and you are slapped with a DUI. Down a beer before you're 21 and you are guilty of under-aged drinking.
That folks, is legislating morality.
So is outlawing the theft of someone else's property or the taking of someone else's life - unless, ironically, it is the life of an unborn child in its mother's womb, in which case the mother is legally permitted to commit murder.
To say we don't legislate morality in the United States is as untrue as saying that the separation of church and state is a founding principle.
Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or the succeeding 17 amendments is that phrase found. Instead, it was first used by President Thomas Jefferson in 1801 in a letter he wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association assuring its members that "a wall of separation" existed between government and religion... PROTECTING THE CHURCH from the federal government, not the other way around.
Going back to my original argument, let's get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle to further illustrate my point.
First, it had better be your car, not one stolen from someone else, or you are guilty of grand theft auto. Drive it too fast and you get a speeding ticket. Operate it carelessly and you are charged with reckless driving. Strike someone or something and hightail it out of there... well, that's hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident.
And if the the person that you hit dies, you're looking at manslaughter, vehicular homicide or possibly murder. As in "Thou shalt not kill", the sixth commandment.
Truth be told, if we don't legislate morality, we create a moral vacuum that is filled by anarchy. And no one that I know of wants to live - or raise a family - in such an amoral environment.
Let me be perfectly clear. I am not advocating for a Puritan-style society, but rather for an end to the misguided logic that says we cannot enact laws based on a strong sense of shared values. And yes, most of those shared values are biblical in nature, based on the 10 Commandments, and steeped in America's rich Judeo-Christian heritage.
Ultimately, it will take a spiritual revival across America to ensure proper - and voluntary - moral conduct on a grand scale. Until then, laws governing human behavior are a necessary component of any civilized society.