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Should the Government Legislate Morality?

A generation ago, the answer would have been. “No, of course not, what kind of a fascist are you?”

These days, the answer from the Democrat Progressive Left is an enthusiastic and obscenity-modified, “F–k, yeah!”

In fact, the Left is now claiming that Big Government is something we should all embrace on the moral principle “because that’s what Jesus would have wanted.”

We see it with cradle-to-grave entitlements, as they demand we must do it because “Jesus was a socialist!” We see it with amnesty, as they demand we must do it because “The pope says so!”

We see it when they insist that we adopt their version of “Who we are as a nation,” which always ends up meaning “Give more!” (Never mind that the phrase “Who we are as a nation” chills free speech and implies that we’re a monolith, thereby negating what we are, which is a nation of free and diverse individuals.)

And it’s mainly because when the Government forces *other people* to conform to the left’s moral choices, it relieves them of the responsibility.

Consider those who insist that health care is a right (it isn’t), but never bothered to ask their own insurers about putting their uninsured friends or neighbors on their own policies. Instead, they just sit around patting each other on the back for insisting that the government force us all to be as charitable as they never have been or will be individually.

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11 Comments »

  1. The essential key question is: Whose morality will the government legislate? We’re long past the point of no return as to the question you asked.

    Comment by Ike — April 21, 2017 @ 2:06 pm - April 21, 2017

  2. The correct answer is “Yes and No. Virtually all criminal legislation is an attempt to legislate morality. Laws against murder, theft, perjury, stem from the Ten Commandments, obviously a list or moral obligations. However, if one things that forcing someone to follow a particular moral code somehow makes them a good person, then one is mistaken. Holding a gun to the head of Ebenezer Scrooge and forcing him to give his money to the poor makes neither you or he good people.”

    Comment by Craig Smith — April 21, 2017 @ 2:11 pm - April 21, 2017

  3. Virtually all criminal legislation is an attempt to legislate morality.

    Slightly disagree. Yes, traditional criminal law has the effect of legislating a certain morality, and was justified with religious appeals. But whether we can say that criminal law today *tries* to legislate morality…I don’t know. I’d say it’s a practical thing…just trying to keep a civil order, so society won’t collapse into chaos.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — April 21, 2017 @ 2:28 pm - April 21, 2017

  4. Hitler erased the fundamental legal principles of the Weimer Constitution. He invalidated basic civil rights, abolished the separation of the powers of the state, decreed laws to be applied retroactively, consolidated the state powers in himself and appointed himself Oberster Gerichtsherr – “Chief Justice” – of the German people. Hitler was the law.

    In order to stamp out the power of the church, Hitler set out to establish the Reich Church. Hitler appointed the former Prussian Minister of Justice Hanns Kerrl as Reich Minister of Church Affairs. There is joke imbedded in that title. He was a minister of the Reich, not a minister of the church.

    The effort to sway people away from religion ran out of steam and the Reich cut to the chase and imprisioned and executed ministers.

    Now that I have led off with Godwin’s Law, I shall make my point: What socialist state includes a vigorous and separate body of choices of religion? In spite of what the bumper sticker claims, statism and free will can not coexist.

    So, of course the state should legislate morality if you are a advocate of statism. To think otherwise would be anti-statist.

    Mollie Hemingway wrote in May, 2016:

    The Little Sisters of the Poor is a large Roman Catholic religious order for women, founded 177 years ago to care for the impoverished elderly as they approach their final rest. The Little Sisters make vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and hospitality. They view their physical care of the elderly as a spiritual calling. They serve in 31 countries and they are awesome.

    They won a major religious battle yesterday. The Obama administration wanted to fine them $70 million per year for their religious objection to taking part in a government scheme to distribute birth control. Nine times the government rewrote regulations that would force the nuns to take part in the plan or be fined out of existence, each time claiming that the present version of regulations was as far as they could go to accommodate religious belief. Each time the sisters remained steadfast. Their story never changed. They didn’t weigh in on the government’s birth control plan except to say they wanted no part in it, due to their long-standing, sincerely held religious beliefs.

    The level of statism represented in this case is palpable. The Little Sisters of the Poor were an acorn that stopped a steam roller. But, if Hillary had won and been able to continue to reshape the Supreme Court, the invalidation of basic civl rights would have been underway. Who knows maybe she would have found a cabinet level post of Minister of Church Affairs to have been useful.

    The three key sources in rearing a child of 100 years ago were the family, the church and the public schools. Two of those are not statist. The state has grown enormously in scope and power. There is much that has changed in the structure of the “traditional” family. And, generally speaking, the influence of the church has waned. Of course it would be the statists who feel obligated to take over.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 21, 2017 @ 2:54 pm - April 21, 2017

  5. Makes me think of a local woman with inherited money who complains that she doesn’t pay enough in taxes, so she has joined a vocal movement to lobby for increased taxes on “the wealthy.” But nothing is stopping her from writing the biggest check she can to the government, and therefore what she’s really trying to do is force other people to pay more in taxes. Huge lack of candor.

    Comment by Conservative guy — April 21, 2017 @ 3:22 pm - April 21, 2017

  6. Has there ever been a genuine conservative dictatorship? Dictatorships of the Left and the Right proclaim their legitimacy through the Powers of God, the State, the Collective, the Proletariat, or the People. …But what about a Dictatorship of the Individual?

    “… Thou shalt not kill.
    Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    Thou shalt not steal.
    Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”

    Note the lack of injunctions against fornication, bathrooms, wedding cakes — or having fun.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — April 21, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - April 21, 2017

  7. Should the Government Legislate Morality?

    ALL legislation is the imposition of someone’s conception of morality; it is logically impossible to avoid legislating morality.

    So, it’s best for all of us to ensure that the morality being legislated is the real morality.

    Comment by Ilíon — April 21, 2017 @ 5:58 pm - April 21, 2017

  8. Didn’t the government legislate morality back in the 20th century?

    Comment by Pawfurbehr — April 21, 2017 @ 6:02 pm - April 21, 2017

  9. Should the Government Legislate Morality?

    A generation ago, the answer would have been. “No, of course not, what kind of a fascist are you?”

    That’s because that response was the first step in a deliberate bait-and-switch.

    Comment by Ilíon — April 21, 2017 @ 6:05 pm - April 21, 2017

  10. I wouldn’t call laws against theft and murder “legislating morality.” To me, that’s “keeping the herd together.” You’re not going to have a society if people are constantly having to wonder if their neighbor is going to break into their house and steal their TV or murder them in their sleep.

    To me, “legislating morality” is attempting to enact some article of personal morality that doesn’t actually have any societal consequence, or goes too far in correcting an issue. Take alcoholism: it’s not technically a problem if a guy gets drunk at home all the time because other people can and will step in to replace him. But if he’s sitting around getting drunk and beating his family all day long, then society’s smallest irreducible unit is being threatened, and the government should step in. But prohibitionists try to say that the alcohol made him do it, so alcohol must be banned.

    Comment by Sean L — April 21, 2017 @ 6:27 pm - April 21, 2017

  11. Murder, bad. …But there’s always open-season on human-form verminoids and parasitic Threats to the Body in their wholesale and retail guises.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — April 22, 2017 @ 8:33 am - April 22, 2017

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