From whence comes this compulsion of religious or philosophical mandates on how all others shall live? I know my friend Gary Coursey would know the answer but I don’t. It boggles my mind that so many religions dictate what is not just good, but what is empirically good for all persons in all situations. See, I do not encourage abortion. But I never had an inclination to tell anyone else how to treat their body in reference to this. I mean with or without reference to religious dogma, I never thought for a second it was my place to impose rules on how you treat your body. Now I get that right to lifers believe it isn’t about your body but about the unborn, but who is really already born because they believe it.
I do not tell others what to smoke, drink, sex or otherwise conduct themselves in private. I do believe there should be rules for public behavior but I have little use for rules governing your private affairs. I have some suggestions. Don’t drink, don’t drug, don’t smoke, don’t overeat, recycle, etc. But that is a far cry from mandating legislation to impose my value system. If everyone could have their way and establish laws which comported to their beliefs, we couldn’t do shit!
The gun folks want their guns, someone else wants to ban them. Druggies wanna get high, others want to prohibit it. And the list goes on ad nauseam. There is no unassailable position. There is no high-ground which can be staked out so as to prevent disagreement.
I was taught by Mrs Levenson in the 7th grade that the right to pursue happiness meant to do what you want as long as you did not harm others. I didn’t like Mrs Levenson, she was mean. But I paid attention in class, perhaps out of fear, I am not sure.
I once was arrested for the possession of $10 worth of marijuana. I was charged with felony possession and went to court. The judge told me that I was facing 6-15 years in prison. I was 17 years old. I realized then and there that Mrs Levenson was wrong. I believed her but she was wrong, and that fact has been driven home over and over through the years.
I owned a nightclub in Texas. A man got drunk and passed out in my place. In my ignorance, I told the manager to let him rest until he got sober. NOPE! That is against the law. You cannot have a drunk in your bar. It is illegal. You have to wake them up and throw them out.
It is against the law for consenting adults to have sex for money. Mrs Levenson did not teach me these things. She left me a bright-eyed though sleepy youth, who thought that the constitution of the US would allow me the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as long as I did not infringe on the rights of others.
In honor of my Monty Python day I will end as follows.
“If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?