The Folly of Legislating Morality

"How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?" If you don't know the punch line to this old joke, it's at the end of this post.

Once again, a minority on a sacred mission is attempting to legislate morality. We seem to be doomed to repeat the failures of human history. The Roundheads attempted it in the English Civil War in the 1640s. The French church violently suppressed the Cathar minority. Most recently, we amended the Constitution to ban alcohol in this country, only to have to repeal it by another amendment when it was an obvious failure. What a waste. Now, it appears, a minority on another mission, wants to legislate away freedom of choice on any number of subjects.

Warning – By now, it should be apparent that you cannot legislate the way someone else leads their life just because you find it different or distasteful to yours. I'll put it graphically by flipping the example. Instead of banning same-sex marriage, let's ban man-woman marriage. It is demeaning to the woman. After all, historically, the woman was subordinated to the man. She couldn't hold property in her own name and what was hers became his – by law. She became his property. it's in the Bible! Hey! You can't do that!

Of course, that makes no sense. But does banning a legal and consensual relationship between any two people make sense either? It's none of my business if they both use the same toilet in the restaurant and it's none of yours. Get over yourself.

Let's list a few of the places where uninvited noses are being inserted into someone else's business:

  • LGBTQ+ issues in general
  • Premarital sex
  • Religious preference (including no preference, at all)
  • Abortion and the related contraception and women's productive rights
  • Marriage – same-sex, male-female, necessary, at all?

These should do for a start. I'm not going to discuss, at least not in this forum, my own opinions about these issues. I'll be glad to have a calm discussion in person on any subject with anyone, on either side of the subject. Of course, I also expect that a number or my readers will rise up in righteous indignation, accuse me of heresy, and demand my immediate burning at the stake. It might be a bit excessive, but that's their right.

What I am suggesting is that you think about whether our nation should establish laws based upon one group's sense of a specific set of moral views, at the expense of every other group's views. It hasn't worked before. What makes you think it will work this time?

Oh, and the answer to the question that I posed at the beginning of this post, it takes only one psychiatrist … but the light bulb has got to want to change.

Think about it.

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Friday, 23 February 2024