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check your morals at my door

[insert full-on rant warning here] Iíve been writing about the ďvocal minorityĒ the past few days; they would be the group of Americans who have suddenly crowned themselves the morality police. This is not a slam on Christians because this group is made of up of much more than Christians and they have less to say about religion than they do about how you and I should live our lives. Perhaps the reelection of a conservative president has emboldened them. They see the perceived red state/blue state divide as a chance to rush in and push their mandate on everyone. Iíve seen it in media interviews, Iíve seen it in OpEds, Iíve seen it here in comments and oh, have I seen it in email. Interesting to note that the people with the most inflammatory things to say often do it in a rather private venue (email) then a public one (comments). One person in the comments on my Simpsons post wrote: bq. I wonder if the producers of the Simpsons and a lot of other so-called entertainment vehicles are sorry they have these installment in the can already. There's a new clean wind sweeping the land and vulgarity and violence are out. Really? If that's true then I'd like to know who gets to be the arbiter of what is too vulgar or too violent for my own good. I have a big problem with people who think they know what is best for my and my family, who think that they have a moral superiority that enables them to determine what I should and should not be seeing/hearing/reading.
Morality should not be legislated. And it's not just ultra conservatives who want to shove their values down your throat. It comes from both sides. The PC left wants to obliterate passages from textbooks; the fringe right wants to obliterate entire songs from playing on the radio. Someone please explain to me why I need to live according to your ideals? I'm glad there are movies out there with violence, vulgarity and sex. You know why? Because I like them. I curse like a drunken sailor (oops, is that offensive to sailors? Should I take that passage out?). I like to talk about sex. I watch tv shows with lots of graphic violence. Who are you to take try to take that all away from me? What exactly is your agenda? Would you like television to consist of nothing but Little House on the Prairie reruns interspersed with Davey and Goliath clips? Do you want to ban everything you donít like or that doesnít fit your moral ideals? What about radio? Letís just get all the disc jockeys off the air and let muzak fill the airwaves! Movies? Iím not sure what you want there. You donít like Disney movies because the Disney company likes them gay folk too much. And if we discount anything rated PG13 and up, that doesnít leave us with a whole lot of options, does it? Perhaps thatís what you want, for our only entertainment options to be the ones you would choose. Are you worried about your children being subjected to filth in the media? Do your think your children are becoming desensitized by what they see and hear? Then maybe you should be more vigilant about what youíre letting them see and hear. You have a right to teach your children your own morals, but you do not have a right to try to teach my children the same. Iíve gotten lecturing emails on the definition of family. Not just the definition of marriage, but of a family as whole. Donít you dare lecture me on divorce. My life is not yours and for you to think that you have some sovereign right to set forth the guidelines for how much I must take before I leave a marriage, you need to get the hell down off your high values horse. I suppose a woman who gets abused by her husband should just consider herself damn lucky she has a husband at all? Hereís a news flash: Most people do not get married for the sole purpose of procreating. Are people who choose to remain childless or people who canít conceive really that much of a wrench in your cog that you feel the need to make them feel less than human for not bringing another being into this world? Where do you get your nerve from? Does your imagined righteousness get in the way of critical thinking? Your ďnew wind of moralityĒ will always be just that; a wind. You will never gain the full force hurricane blasts you want to sweep us up with because you keep forgetting one thing: America is about freedom. We have the freedom of choice, the freedom to listen to crappy satanic music, the freedom to watch movies where people get stomped on by alien monsters, freedom to watch tv shows that ooze sexuality, freedom to underline all the smutty parts in a good novel. You may think you have the right to take that all away from us, but you donít and you never will. The people holding fast to the idea that they will cover the nation in their moral blanket do not realize how much they have in common with the people on the other side of the political/moral chasm. Whether it be the PC police knocking on your door or the morality marauders, their end goal is the same thing: To force you to live within their personal idea of utopia. Iíll make my own utopia, thank you. If I want to lock myself in my house and watch every vulgar, violent movie imaginable while I reminisce happily about my divorce and commiserate with my childless friends, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop me. You can look down on me through your holier-than-thou glasses, but the only time Iím ever going to give you any notice after this is when Iím throwing rocks at your glass house. Shorter version of this post: Shut the fuck up, Donny.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference check your morals at my door:

» Morals and the Right Wing from Mark Time
I've been meaning to write a post on morals, and the right-wing's attempt to control them since Bush's re-election. [Read More]

» Viva La Third Party from Game the World
Michele Catalano once again takes on a commenter who claims that Bush's victory is a mandate for moral righteousness and that those who produced vulgarity shall feel their wrath. What gets me about that point of view is that the commenter, in using Bus... [Read More]

» Gilligan's Island and the Seven Deadly Sins from Rox Populi
I've been reading with great interest the ASV tete-a-tete regarding "morality" and some of the other religion/ morality discussions we've all been having this past week. Of course, many of the men, including the liberal men, are quick to give [Read More]

» It's wind, all righty, but I'm not sure it's clean from margilowry.com
Michele posts a really good rant and, I agree with her new slogan: Shut the fuck up, Donny. P.S. New ASV logo, too. Compelling, disturbing, interesting -- whatever you call it, it's good. Additionally, there is a HELLATIOUSLY satisfying scree... [Read More]


You know, I haven't agreed with you much lately.

However, this time I agree with EVERY SINGLE WORD YOU WROTE.

Well spoken.

(BTW - things with Nat OK?)

I second. But you know you're going to incur the WRATH OF YOU-KNOW-WHAT.

Good luck with that. ;-0

"There's a new clean wind sweeping the land..."

The first thing we do: shoot all the Yankee fans.

"interspersed with Davey and Goliath clips?"

Ever see the Davey and Goliath commercial- I think it was for Mountain Dew- that ends with Davey saying "We got hosed, Billy. We got hosed."

Might be a good phrase should "STFU Donny" get tiresome.

Totally agree with your post BTW. I'll watch what I want and keep the 'liluns from watching what I don't think they should all by my very own self, thank you very much.

It's in the footnotes of the King James Version for Genesis 2:2 "On the seventh day he rested". These are the footnotes:

It is generally accepted that God did not, in fact, rest on the seventh day. In all probability he spent the morning and early afternoon snuggling in bed with someone. By roughly the 2nd hour of the afternoon he was watching the NASCAR race and calling Kurt Busch a 'pencil-necked panty waist', and after dinner he snoozed while watching his favorite Samuel L role in the movie Pulp Fiction.

Stick a needle in my eye, I swear those were the footnotes. Go ahead, look 'em up.

Hmm... I'd hate to have the same email as Michele must get.

I guess it's good to be a small blog.

Michele obviously hasn't seen the movie Equilibrium or she'd have made about ten references to it just now.

People like that are the reason why I fire up GTA and bust a cap in people's asses, and then run them over when I'm done.

What exactly is your agenda? Would you like television to consist of nothing but Little House on the Prairie reruns interspersed with Davey and Goliath clips?

This reminds me of an old SNL sketch (one from one of the "dark seasons" that Lorne Michaels won't allow to be shown in reruns). It was a "Bizzaro world" thing where Bizzaro Jerry Falwell was ranting about sex on television:

"Look at Little House on the Prarie! It am boring! Let's see Laura's boobs!"

I have a big problem with people who think they know what is best for my and my family

You have a problem with a LOT of people, then. :)

Don't get me wrong, I sympathize. But thinking you know what is best for everybody else is what politics... and most political writing... is about.

I'm inclined to partially agree with Ewin.

We all write our opinions because we think we're right. I think the distinction between sanctimonious bullshit and reasoned opinion is in the application.

We post on a public forum. The asshats that Michele is referring to are sending her email detailing why she is wrong.

Here, here! Right on!

No, the difference is in people forming groups that they think will help pass legislation based on what morals they think my family should have.

That's a world away from a blog post in which I talk about my reasons for voting for Bush.

But they should be able to form those groups and attempt whatever the hell they please, right?

Sure, moral legislation is wrong. But people have tried to incorporate it into the law since America has been a nation and, reliably, they have been fairly unable to do so.

Bush can't nominate Pickering to the bench and you're worried that people are going to pass new morality laws?

Like I was emailing someone the other day, "The shittiest presidents in history have been unable to completely ruin a country despite their massive shortcomings. America bends, swings and moves as a group, not as a single man or group of men dictate."

That's a world away

On a very small planet, yes.

You've given me some food for thought, and I think I'll probably write about it later, so thanks... I'd like to keep my smutty books and television as well, but on the other hand, I don't see anything morally offensive about people who want to impose their morals upon me (highly unpleasant if they succeed, absolutely, but not offensive if they try). I've met an incredibly small number of people in this world who didn't want to do that. I think it's just instinctive.

I don't have anything intelligent to offer beyond I LOVE THIS POST. I am framing it and hanging it in the hall.

Now commencing countdown to Hurricane "All Law is Based on Morality, And Mine's Better'n Yours:" Five, four, three . . . .

Because I like them. I curse like a drunken sailor (oops, is that offensive to sailors? Should I take that passage out?).

As an ex-sailor I am duly offended. We cuss like that when we're sober too!

You're missing the point of the post, Gabe. I'm just pissed that these people think they have some superiority over me that makes them think they know what I should be watching or reading.

Whether or not they form groups or pass legislation or pass around petitions or whatever they want to do, the point remains that it pisses me off that they even think it's ok to want to ban tv shows and books and movies that they don't like.

I don't let my 11-year-old play video games that are rated "M", much to his chagrin.

Now, do I believe that "M" video games shouldn't exist? That the companies that produce them don't have the "right" to make them? Boy, it would make it easier, wouldn't it? I wouldn't have to have fights with my son because I'm unreasonable in thinking he's too young to learn how to smack his bitch up.

But you know what? That's MY. JOB. It's MY job to "censor" what my son sees, not the government's job. Or Pat Robertson's job. Or Tipper Gore's job.

My job.


Should I just go ahead and mention Hitler and kill the thread?

Nah, I won't go there.


Agreed. I think people should be able to say whatever the hell they feel like whether I agree with it or not.

Uh, I'm not saying they don't have the right to say whatever the hell they want. But if they direct it at me, this is what they're going to get in return.

I see Michele, I think.

Sorry that folks are giving you a hard time. I'm not sure which collection of angry fools bothers me more, those on the far left or those on the far right.

To distract you, colored maps in different shapes and colors: http://www.research.att.com/~suresh/cartogram/ I especially like the Cindy Brewer ColorBrewer colored one.


I agree with you completely, but this comes from both the right and the left. The left tends to litigate their agenda - whereas the right tries to legislate. Litigation examples: That lawyer/doctor guy in CA who wanted to litigate "Under God" out of the Pledge of Allegience (he said it was easier than getting "In God We Trust" off the money). ACLU trying to litigate the Seal of the County of Los Angeles. Any change a school district makes based on the complaint from ONE parent. I don't like being told by either side what is best for my family and me, but at least with trying to legislate it there are Houses of Representatives, Senates, Governors and Presidents to inject a little common sense. Gosh, did I really say that last line?

Holy crap I agree too.

Unfortunately you're setting yourself up for a rude awakening. The bible thumpers and 'won't somebody think of the children' crew (LOL) don't give 2 shits about you, and will definately try to fuck with your shit (hell ass balls boobs).

Remember the PRMC (headed by Tipper Gore)? Uggh. Just for that, I'm heading out to buy "Songs To Make To" (again).

"Songs to Make Love To". And mabe a trip to the zoo. To throw Viagra at the rhinos.

I agree with you completely, but this comes from both the right and the left

Yea, I believe I said as much.

I try to avoid even imposing morality on myself.

I certainly agree that people should be left alone to form their own opinions and mores. I am sorry that some people can't seem to understand that a person's opinion is inviolate, and cannot be changed from the outside. I am sorry that so many of your readers feel the need to lecture you.

All law is based on morality, there, I said it. Where people disagree is, on whose morality will it be based? We all agree that murder is immoral, and therefore wrong, and therefore people should be compelled not to commit murder. We can disagree on whether abortion is murder, and therefore disagree on whether to compel people not to do it.

BTW, I believe you are correct in your thinking, Michele, that what constitutes entertainment must be freely chosen, and if people want gratuitous sex and violence, they will get it. Hell, I like it too. And I am an evangelical Christian to boot.


Looking back I see that. Sorry. It was at "the fold" I think I missed it the first time around.


I think Michele sits around thinking up posts that cause trolls to come tumbling out of the wood work and will cause normal comments to become trollish.

It's fun.

I like it.

"I want to lock myself in my house and watch every vulgar, violent movie imaginable while I reminisce happily about my divorce and commiserate with my childless friends, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop me."

That's why we're going to have to put you in a morality camp for your own good dear. Once you're in there, we'll have you watching Davey and Goliath and listening to the uplifting music of John Denver and the Osmonds until you get so filled to the brim with happiness that you'll never want to watch anymore filthy cartoons featuring pantless ducks (thank you Mr. Walt Disney for that perversion) or whatever it is you crazy kids like to watch on the smutivision these days.

Also dear, remember when we take you away, we'll be doing it out of love. If only your heathen idols like Brittany Aguilera loved people so much they'd stop getting naked on the MTV and would sing songs about wearing how girls who wear make-up will end up being prostitutes. Now that -- and putting people in camps for their own good -- is what love is really all about...


I have heard these complaints before, and I'm sure we'll always hear them ... but specifically, what is so threatening? What movement is so powerful? I mean, the Simpsons has been crappy for years -I don't know if it's the sex and violence on the show, but lately it appears those are the only two ideas the writers have LEFT.

I'm not a morality policeman, but I have to say I don't care to see overly suggestive commercials while I'm watching a family friendly TV show (as they did when pimping for the yet-unreleased-at-the time show "Desperate Housewives"). I avoid certain shows, games, etc ... and screen what my kids watch, but is it so wrong to ask a few things from networks? Is it -repressive to ask them not to show women in lingerie at 8 p.m. at night? I understand your frustration at some sort of uber-values pushed by fundamentalist, but are family-friendly requests also an infringement? They can show all crap they want later in the evening, or on pay-channels ... but it seems those of us looking for PG entertainment (for their young children) have fewer and fewer options. It doesn't appear to me that we have returned a Puritan society ... I see violence and sex just about everywhere I turn.

I think Hubris wins this thread.

As for your rant, I enjoyed it. Well played.

PMRC, Newt Gingrich, the televangelists... this stuff comes around and goes away. Eventually.

I never cease to be amazed at how much the far left and the far right have in common, with the most prominent aspect being their craven desire to control and regulate the lives of everyone else on the planet. The big difference at the moment is that the moral fundamentalists on the right are feeling altogether giddy from Republican success in the election.

It's true that the moral police brigade are ONE of the constituencies that contributed to Republican success, but what they and many on the left are failing to recognize is that the majority of Americans - even a majority of those who voted for Bush - do not share or support their extreme agenda. Bush can legitimately claim a mandate regarding the war on terror, but in no way is there any mandate for any extreme action on these social issues that went virtually unmentioned during the course of the campaign.

I've been seeing numerous voices on the left castigating and ridiculing anyone and everyone who voted for Bush - I'm sorry, but that's just idiotic and wrong. While I supported Kerry, I can easily understand why some moderates on both sides might have been uncomfortable with him. Democrats need to be trying to come together with moderate Bush voters and finding common ground, rather than hurling insults.

The truth is that even though I voted for Kerry and she voted for Bush, I have a great deal more in common with Michele than I do with someone like Michael Moore. And she has a lot more in common with me than with a guy like Don Wildmon.

Taken as a group, non-extremists still constitute a healthy majority in this country. It's very much in our interest to NOT focus on the relatively small differences among us, but rather on the very large differences between us and those on the extremes.

Beautiful post, Michele.


I totally agree with this post. I'm often amazed at how the far left and far right can be exactly the same in their crusades to save us from ourselves. Of course if you look at the people who call for this crap, invariably you can see that their lives are more fucked up than ours ... they cheat on their wives, their children need therapy, they have insatiable addictions and, of course, it's never their fault. The whole attitude that you should enforce "moral values" on others tends to be part of an "I'm screwed up because society didn't save me from myself" rationalization to escape responsibility.


Bush can't nominate Pickering to the bench

Sorry, but you're wrong. President Bush appointed Pickering to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on January 16th this year. On February 20th he appointed Bill Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court. As far as I know, of the hundreds of bench nominations President Bush has made, Estrada is the only one who isn't currently sitting. Pickering and Pryor still need to be confirmed, that's all.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Man, and the lefties think they're depressed. Apparently, the only valid responses to, say, Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" are:

1) hooting and jumping up and down while screaming, "Take it off! Take it all off! Come on, Justin! Knock her down and fuck her, right there on stage!"

2) fainting when Jackson walks out on stage in the beginning, then killing your TV with an ax and walling up your children in a closet.

The only possible alternative response is an enormous satisfaction that the Neanderthals in the second group found themselves offended.

Apparently there is no one like me, who would rather not see a symbolic rape up there at halftime, thank you very much. "Do we gotta???" I whine. "Yes!" thunders half the country. "You must see Janet Jackson's boob or you're one of the racist Nazi KKKristian oppressors! And you don't want that, do you?"

"Well, I--"

"What would the world be like if all episodes of Ally McBeal were replaced by Petticoat Junction?"

"Er, better?"

"Blasphemer! Nazi! You must be re-educated. Sit in the Clockwork Orange chair while I turn on the TV. We'll begin with 24 hours of Sex in the City."

"Noooooo! Help, Mr. Wizaaaard! I don't want to be tolerant any mooooooore!"

Morality should not be legislated.

What about anti-discrimination laws?


What about anti-discrimination laws?

Anti-discrimination laws are typically aimed at preventing actual harm (ie there is a large difference between being prevented from obtaining housing for your family and knowing that other people can choose to watch television shows that present concepts you object too). If there are anti-discrimination laws based only on the idea that "discrimination is wrong," but without other merit (like if they passed a law saying that 5% of your friends must be hispanic) then that would be wrong on the level we are talking about.

Morality should not be legislated.

I hate to burst your bubble, but what the heck do you think law is? Someone's ALWAYS going to be legislating their morals. It's only a question of whose.

"...There's a new clean wind sweeping the land and vulgarity and violence are out."

Ha!! Tell that to the "Southpark Republicans," myself included (and who is also a Bible-believin' Christian conservative libertarian).

Anti-discrimination laws are typically aimed at preventing actual harm (ie there is a large difference between being prevented from obtaining housing for your family and knowing that other people can choose to watch television shows that present concepts you object too).

Fair point, Soli, but I think you're conflating speech and conduct. Michele's evangelical readers can blow as much smoke as they like about "cleaning up" Hollywood but ultimately the First Amendment will protect the industry. It's a speech issue, which makes the prospect of legislation (moral or otherwise) a red herring. But how about something that isn't a speech issue, like, say, abortion? Surely a case can be made that there's an "actual harm" there, no? I mention this only because, if ever Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, I imagine there'll be much yelping from the abortion crowd and I want to try to understand in advance why legislating anti-discrimination morality is proper but legislating anti-abortion morality isn't.

If there are anti-discrimination laws based only on the idea that "discrimination is wrong," but without other merit (like if they passed a law saying that 5% of your friends must be hispanic) then that would be wrong on the level we are talking about.

Don't we already have laws like that, though? Affirmative action policies at public universities seem to fit your description almost perfectly. (I say "almost" because the Supreme Court has ruled that schools aren't allowed to set fixed numerical quotas.) Note that the justification given by the schools for their policies typically has to do with creating "campus diversity," not with addressing racial discrimination toward the individual minority applicant. That's important because it moves away from your model of anti-discrimination laws as curing "actual harm" done to individuals and towards the "discrimination is wrong/5% of your friends must be Hispanic" model. Doesn't this undermine the legitimacy of affirmative action as a type of moral legislation?

Well said, Michele.

I haven't watched an R movie before 10pm since I was 19 years old & I didn't need some self righteous windbag to tell me to do that.

Damn, you write a good rant -- a most enjoyable read this morning, but I didn't know you were such a reprobate (LOL).


Doesn't this undermine the legitimacy of affirmative action as a type of moral legislation?

What legitimacy? Affirmative action is crap. If anyone can point to a single piece of evidence showing that it's done more good than harm I might change my mind, but so far I've never seen any. Last I heard, minorities are doing worse under affirmative action than they were before it. In my opinion, that's the perfect example of why morality legislation is horribly flawed ... morality legislation is prone to being continued even if you can show that it is not accomplishing it's purpose, or even actively undermining its stated goals!

Even though I'm a knuckle-dragging Evangelical Christian (gasp!) and a Southern Baptist on top of that (double gasp!), I agree heartily. Screw the morality police.

For the record, Davey and Goliath is hella creepy.

And maybe "Christian entertainment" would be a viable alternative if it didn't SUCK so badly. "Holy" crap, indeed. Proponents of only family-friendly religious entertainment should start by apologizing for the entire "Left Behind" franchise.

Other than that, I have nothing useful to add. Carry on.

I always want to ask the would-be censors who it is that makes it necessary to limit what is on television. Did the Federal Government put the teevee in your children's room or was it your own stupid decision? If I buy my son a pet grizzly, is it the government's responsibility to provide a fucking muzzle so he has a throat each morning?


I haven't read through all of the 40-some comments, so forgive me if this ground has been covered. I'm a non-denominational Christian who takes faith seriously, but I CANNOT STAND the type of "Christian" who thinks telling people how wrong they are will somehow make a difference. You don't convince people to become Christian. If someone is interested in what you believe, they'll ask about it! If you want to invite someone you know to your church (which I wouldn't do unless someone already seemed interested), go for it. They'll come or they won't. And if they don't, banging them over the head with a Bible and self-righteous superiority will only ruin your friendship. Insults don't "convert" anyone. What's next, conversion by force? Yeah, that works (see: History, Inquisition).

Just for the record, I'm a Democrat who has never approved of affirmative action. I think it does benefit society as a whole to provide things like economic assistance and additional instruction for lower-income students who wish to attend college, and I support those sorts of programs. However, allowing one group to play under a different, more lenient set of academic rules is just plain wrong. Giving preference to a rich minority kid over a poor caucasian kid goes beyond wrong into the realm of the perverse. And as has already been pointed out, it doesn't really even advance its stated goal. When you set the bar lower, lower achievement is what you're going to get.

Affirmative action is hardly an exclusively governmental program. It's been fully enveloped by corporations as a way to avoid costly lawsuits that they often lost, and it's the admission that it's a good business practice to have diversity. The federal, state, and local governments could all get rid of affirmative action, but it will never go away.

I do wish economic diversity would be an additional hiring consideration for more institutions. But then I find the idea somewhat loathesome at a certain level. Of course the rich do fine anyway, so any cracks in nepotism and the old-boy networks aren't exactly going to keep me up at night.

I agree with everything you said. It's things like this that make me wonder if we're going to witness a fair amount of Republican infighting over the next couple of years, wherein the morality cops will try to convert their more libertarian brethren and the more libertarian brethren will resist. Somehow, I don't think they will be assimilated.

Uh, I only read the part you quoted, but what I got from this part:

"There's a new clean wind sweeping the land and vulgarity and violence are out."

...was that "Donny" was saying these things are "out of fashion", not banned.

Just sayin'.

OK, I read the whole comment. I still think you misunderstood erp, and overreacted. "Out", as in "out of fashion".

I get the "donny" reference now, too.

Other than that, I'm 100% behind your rant.

"...tv shows that ooze sexuality..."

One word: "antibiotics." That will take care of that oozing problem.

Satan made me post this! I swear!

Morality should not be legislated...

Don't know if anyone will read this far down (Lord knowns, I never got past this sentence) but this is unadulterated HORSESHIT.

ALL legislation is an expression of someone's morality, and after all the money I've been forced to fork over to pay for the morality liberals prefer to express (like, "feed the poor" and "house thy neighbor") I sure as hell expect the right to start expressing MY morality now that my party is strongly in control.

And the first piece of legislation I want to see is.... abolition.


Why am I not particularly concerned by the thought of "morality police" outside of it doesn't work and never has. I lean towards the agnostic mindset, but since proving a negative is very highly improbable what can I say? I'm also inclined to believe in Chaos Theory since I've seen that in actual operation. Just for fun open your dictionary sometime and look up some of the "buzz words" people employ.
The definition of "faith" is unquestioning belief. That drove the dagger through the heart of organized religion for me. This is not to say that people don't have faith in many many of the things that surround them daily, but most of that is based on experience. Now if you really want to have fun look into General Semantics. Then you can learn to speak in e-prime which will make "name calling" rather difficult. ROFL!

Good article on who is REALLY the bigger Morality Police (hint, hint, they ain't in Jeebusland):


Regarding the argument that all law is morality:

Yes indeed, but the concept of limited government implies the enforcement of a limited morality, to wit: the securing of the individual rights to life, liberty, and property.

All other moral questions are to be referred to individual preference.

Such a politics is simple, free, and anathema to social reformers of all stripes.

New to your site. Damn near the perfect rant - thank you. So rare - a voice of sensible moderation.

For those of you who are arguing that "all law is based on morality," I believe we are really having a pointless argument on the definition of morality, so I will go ahead and restate my point using different words.

No laws should be made which attempt to restrict human behavior based solely on the principle of forcing us to exhibit a "virtue" or preventing us from having a "vice" (scare quotes do to the amazing ability of lawmakers to define those v's in totally fucked up ways.)

That was sort of clunky, so let me list a few examples:

  • Virtually every form of censorship falls under this definition (including any law preventing Christians or other religious people, students or teachers, from praying in school).
  • A law defining marriage as "between a man and a woman" falls under this definition.
  • Affirmative action is an indirect, screwed up version based on its implementation and actual effect not its stated reasons (it could be justified if you can prove it's making things better).
  • Most federal means-tested programs do not fall under this definition (although I would be happy to see a law by law analysis of these programs to get rid of any that do). Helping poor people eat has concrete benefits beyond just being a "virtue."
  • Laws banning things like murder and assault are the exact opposite of what I'm talking about. They definitely do not fall under this definition.

In summary: if you are offended that you saw Janet Jackson's blurry black breast for 2 seconds, then you should go ahead and take action as a private citizen. Boycott, speak out, organized community groups to protest ... that's all fine and dandy. It's a free country and it's none of the government's business.

What amazes yet offends me is that the Superbowl entertainment booker thought that Janet Jackson and Justin Timberspooge were considered entertainment.


For reasons that are not quite clear to me, libertarians (large and small 'l') appear to be over-represented on the web. In similar fashion, theonomic neo-postmillenialists (the theological term for Christian Reconstructionists) are also over-represented on the web. They aren't new, however, they've been around since the middle of the 1980s.

I have no idea why both of these seem to be so widely published beyond their percentage of the population.

It is curious to me that people who are skeptical of the media in its presentation of George Bush, and who are skeptical of the media in its presentation of John Kerry, somehow now believe the media when it comes to their presentation of conservative Christians.

Surprise, the media doesn't like them any better than they like Bush, particularly since they are being held responsible for electing him in the first place.

The left also has its "morals police" and political correctness nannies. But it's bad if the "morals police" are conservative Christians.

David R. Block,

All "morals police" are bad.

It sounds like you're more pissed at people feeling morally superior to you, rather than imposing their morals on you. You'd like to do whatever it is you do with a clear conscious - without people looking down their noses at your depravity. Personally, I don't give a damn if you're a moral person or not. But I'd sure as hell like a president who is. At best, I'd like one who isn't ambiguous about what his morals are.

However, I think most Americans who voted for Bush on moral grounds aren't trying to impose their morality on anyone. No one is saying you can't watch your porno or listen to Howard Stern. People are simply looking for a little moral stability in a culture where the lines between right and wrong are becoming more blurred every day.

Authoritarian right-wing groups didn't show up overnight, but coverage of them did.

Have you considered, Michele, that perhaps this tripe dose of media coverage - much of it from the msm - is simply liberals putting the spotlight where they think it should be?

It dovetails nicely with their 'Jesusland' meme, and its ovbiously something they are already thinking about.

Pre-emption of inanely obvious rebuttal: Certainly there are also conservative media that are spotlighting the authoritarians. Do you seriously expect them to sit there and get scooped?