Tuesday, March 20, 2012

5 reasons why we shouldn't pass legislation to protect people from sinning

These are the top 5 reasons I can think of as to why we should not pass legislation to protect people from sinning:

1) What is "sin" is subjective.  Depending on your religious or cultural background, one person's sin is another person's divine mandate. When trying to legislate against what one group considers a sin, it is very likely that you're interfering with another person's religious and/or civil liberties.
2) People who believe something is a sin still commit those sins. Some say it is a matter of degrees -- of whether something is a mortal, moral, priestly, venial or civil sin -- that determines whether they choose to "sin" or not. When you introduce shades of gray and give yourself permission to determine for yourself what sins you will and will not commit, it is hypocritical to then enforce your interpretations on others.

3) It makes for Big Brother Government. Laws that regulate what people can and cannot do with their bodies because it is "sinful" effectively puts the Government in your homes, your bedrooms, your doctor's office, lawyer's office, and in some cases, in your daughter's / wife's / mother's vagina.  It gives government the power to take subjective grey areas and render them into black-and-white absolutes. It gives the government the authority to interfere with your civil liberties under the grounds of "protecting you from yourself."

4) In what ways is all this anti-sin / anti-sexual / anti-woman legislation put forward by Evangelicals any different from the Taliban and Sharia law? I understand that the Evangelicals and the Taliban are trying to preserve their beliefs and ways of life -- but they're doing so at the cost of women's control over their own lives, bodies, mental health, etc.

5) If God gave Mankind the power to choose to sin or not to sin, who are we to interfere with God's Will?  According to Scripture, God knew that Adam and Eve would misuse their power to choose. Yet God chose to give them that power, creating them "sufficient to have stood, though free to fall." If God is the ultimate authority, then why are Evangelicals undermining that authority by trying to strip others of their God-given right to self-determination?

Years ago, in my High School Civics class, my instructor said something that has stuck with me: "The best measure of a law is the possible abuse of that law." He went on to explain that people propose laws with the best intentions in mind, but rarely consider the possible undesirable outcomes when those laws are used in unintended ways.  

It is with that in mind that I opposed the Patriot Act and the expansion and renewal of that Act. Privacy and civil liberties have been eroded in order to save us from "terrorism." It is also with that in mind that I oppose all of the legislation out there that erodes women's rights to self-determination under the auspices of saving them from the "sin" of abortion.

The trans-vaginal ultrasound bills that have been circulated and passed and the Legislator's "just close your eyes" response fails to address the invasiveness of the ultrasound wand. A woman can't "just close her legs" when a technician tries to put the wand up her vagina -- not if she wants an abortion, anyway.  We're giving government the authority to force women to submit to procedures they don't want under the auspices of preventing her from committing the "sin" of abortion.  Not so long ago government had the authority to sterilize the mentally retarded and people in mental institutions because people thought it was wrong for them to reproduce and because they didn't want to deal with the reality of the sexual abuse that went on in those institutions which the pregnancies were evidence of. In just the same way, elements of our society are trying to prevent abortions from occurring while refusing to address the ugly societal realities of why women are wanting abortions in the first place.

And this legislation that gives doctors immunity from lawsuits if they lie to women about medical conditions that might result in a woman choosing to terminate the pregnancy sets a dangerous precedent. What next?  It's ok for a doctor to lie to a patient's family if it prevents them following through with Grandma's medical directive to pull the plug on life support? It's ok for lawyers to lie to clients about the instructions in a living will or medical directive they just drafted regarding life support? 

This is a slippery slope we really don't want to go down.

1 comment:

  1. I so completely agree!

    Also - I dropped a bloggy award on you at my site. You have absolutely NO obligation to do anything with it :-)


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