Citizen Wausau

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Legalizing Morality

by on December 8th, 2007

(Editors Notes: We received several suggestions that the comment created by Jim Carlson was significant enough in its thought provoking nature, that it should be its own post. So we agreed with the masses, and here it is. A little context that Jim has asked us to provide, this post was in direct response to the one created by Tom Neal. So, you should bear that in mind when reading. We also want to encourage this sort of serious thoughtful discussion. Thank you Jim.)

Debate on the subject of abortion is always interesting. Unless you are a woman dealing with an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy, the debate usually boils down to two camps that will never see eye to eye. We can go back and forth over the morality of abortion, but in general, I take issue with the politicians who fuel public policy on ‘moral issues’.

This is nothing new, in fact, one could argue that this mentality finds roots in the ‘colonial contradiction’: The same people who felt prosecuted for their religious beliefs decided that witch’s should drown. Ironic. Passion on mortality runs deep, and there are those who feel it is the government’s job to protect us from what we can do, see, hear and write.

In New York, Rudy Giuliani and New York’s Catholic hierarchy attempted to shut down an exhibit that they felt was offensive to the Virgin Mary (many would argue the exhibit was in poor taste). That’s right, a mayor and a church worked together. Where is the separation of Church and State? When is it a mayor’s job to censor ‘art’? I sincerely hope he tries to censor my next CD, sales would skyrocket.

We talk about our freedoms, but how free are we? Spend an afternoon in London or Paris:

* The Janet Jackson ‘nipple-gate’ fiasco was laughed at. Nudity, even during prime time is prevalent on European television. Their attitude: If you don’t want to see it, turn the channel. Our mantra: Protect us from nudity on TV. This also pertains to violence. Don’t like it? Turn it off. It is your choice, not the government’s.

* Go to a newspaper stand. You can buy a paper, hard core porn, a health magazine along with a coloring book and crayons for the children. All in one spot. Our policy, keep porn to certain shops in governed areas of the city. Oh and ‘Real Men Don’t Use Porn’ (but it is ok for politicians to solicit prostitutes).

* When Michael Richards uttered the “N” word, the American press reacted with horror. In London, they were asking why Michael was being singled out, after all the black (they don’t say African American or African European over there) audience members called him a ‘honky’ and a ‘cracker’. Isn’t a racial slur a racial slur?

* In Paris, protests are common. And they run over into large thoroughfares. With out a permit. The police interaction is to ‘protect the protesters’. Silly, in America we tear gas the protesters to restore ‘order’.

Where am I going with this? I admit I was off on a rant. My point is that we are a nation of legislation based on personal moral beliefs and protecting people from what one group feels is offensive at the expense of everyone else’s liberty. I can see both sides of the abortion issue. Is it moral, or is it a crime?

As a man, I have no choice. If my partner wants an abortion, I can not stop it. If she would like to have the child, I will legally be responsible for support (whether I wanted the child or not).

Currently it is legal for a female to terminate a pregnancy, yet a man is facing murder charges for giving his partner the abortion pill without her consent. Trust me, I am not in any defending this guy, just presenting facts. Sure, statistically someone will use abortion as birth control, but the average person will not.

The same argument lead to prohibition; to stop abuse, we have to stop consumption. The same argument is applied to marijuana. (Funny how alcohol makes some people violent, but most people on marijuana either build stuff or get the munchies…).

The passion involved with abortion creates great debate. At the end of the day, is it the government’s job to decide, or is it a moral decision of the woman who is dealing with an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy?

It is safe to say, we will never reach consensus.”

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