My thoughts on the subject. Sorry it’s a bit long, but it’s a big subject.
It’s never the place of government to tell anyone how to live, only to maintain minimum guidelines needed to allow residents to live in long-term close contact. Exact moral codes are the province of religion.
Basic morality is critical for the long-term function of a republic.
The government is the agent to enforce only the most basic earthly morality, IE, Don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t bear false witness, don’t betray your spouse, and don’t break your word, the rest is between you, your family, your neighbors, and if you’re a person of faith, your god, but those five things concern all the world around you, and are thus under the authority of government.
When governments try to do anything more, it grows tyranny and kills freedom faster than any force known to man. On a side note: almost every religion in existence agrees on these five “earthly” morals. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Government must be slow and deliberate, never fast and efficient. Efficient government if far too powerful. Citizens should worry when the process isn’t gridlocked. That sluggish pace stops the wheels of tyranny from running over freedom.
So my advice to those who wish to push an agenda is best summarized by two quotes of great wisdom.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7: 1) And: “If it neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg, mind your own damn business!” (paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson)
Some call the Constitution a “charter of negative liberties,” and they’re absolutely correct! Negative liberties for the Politicians! There’s little beyond what’s listed in the Constitution that any government should ever do for or to you.
People must take care of themselves as far as possible, and where not, it’s the duty of their neighbors to help. Either alone or in groups, but it’s never the government’s job.
While a necessary evil, politics is the most corrupting activity in the known universe, so the necessary evil of government must be kept to a bare minimum!
Remember, man’s laws can define the nature and punishment of crime, but no law ever devised can be proved to have prevented anything. Beware those who claim “prevention” or “safety” is their goal because it’s impossible! The quest for prevention is a disguise for seeking control.
The Constitution is not a “living” document. It is an “eternal” one, enumerating primary and permanent limits on the power of the republic. Historically there’s never been an example of a bigger government making a better, or more individually free, nation. If someone claims otherwise, make them prove it!
Never forget that when some politician tells you “something-or-other” is a right, you should ask one question: “At whose expense?” (Ayn Rand) because one truth never changes: “There is no such thing as a free lunch!” Or, if you prefer, TINSTAAFL. Disregard, or allow others to disregard that at your own peril.
Once the genie of expanding government is out of the bottle, it is nearly impossible to put back.
Law must be clear and simple. Undue complexity only creates a space for lawyers to twist and confuse issues, thereby justifying their existence. Lawyers are translators of the law and required extensive training to serve this function. But if legalese had never been allowed to muck up the process, we would have much less actual need of them, and they would require much less training. This is why laws should be written in plain English.
Then If any law confused you, simply ask: “what evil was it written to correct?”
Thanks for reading.
Thoughts and comments are welcome.