Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My "Place"

An anecdote - I am in a fast-food restaurant this afternoon, getting dinner. There is only one group eating in the restaurant, a (by all appearances) family - one older woman with four children, ranging from maybe four up to teenagers. The four-year-old refuses to eat her sandwich ("It has the yucky cheese!") The (again presumably) mother replies, rather sweetly, "no honey, it's swiss, don't worry. I thought it was the yucky cheese too." Child expresses vocal disbelief, and continues to refuse to eat. Mother's next response? "Stop being such a a*%#$@% and eat your g$#&@#$ sandwich!" A distinct lack of eating continues. "Eat your sandwich, d#$%@! I didn't buy that for you to stare at!" ... "G#$*@$@# you little s#$@ if you don't eat your f#$@@$ sandwich I am going to smack the s#%@ out of you!" Presumably, at this point child begins eating, because the profanity ceases to be sandwich-related. Teenage girl: "Why are you always such an a#$@@%#?" (Unkown who this is directed at.) Mother: "Shut your snippy f#@#&$ mouth you little b#$#@, who the f#$@ do you think you're talking to?"

So, what to do? Answer in the World According to Cory: nothing. This provides an excellent analogy of my take on government intervention. I can feel reasonably confident these children do not live in what I would term a healthy family environment. I believe the damage being caused to them is probably nothing short of tragic. But I also don't believe I have any right to take away the agency of the mother in raising her children. If the aformentioned threat had been carried out in my presence, I may have called the police. But I wouldn't call CPS, because I'm not reporting bad parenting, I'm reporting assault. Just so, the fact that I oppose a kind of behavior does not mean I support using the government to prevent it. My vote of "yes" on 102 was decided almost entirely by the counsel of the Prophet, whose counsel I have agreed to heed. And even then, it was a close decision. (At some point, I may focus a post on all the arguments for and against 102 that I considered, but not today.) Do I think drugs are bad? Yes. Do I think alcohol destroys families and inidivual lives, and that tobacco is at best noxious and at worst lethal? Yes. Do I think the government should be telling people you can't do drugs, alcohol, or tobacco? Absolutely not. Just like getting my nose in that family's business, it wouldn't actually stop the behavior, like as not, and *would* make me obnoxious, and *would*, eventually, infringe on the rights of someone who wasn't doing something wrong, because nothing is black and white.

Thank you, that is all. /soapbox.

No comments:

Post a Comment