|By Hayden J. Sparks|
The environment, economic welfare, convenience, careers, equality, and tolerance may all sound like plausible goals. If we are honest with ourselves, however, we will acknowledge that all of these goals have one thing in common: we can't hang our hats on any of them. There is one absolute standard that we can use and it will always work: morality.
It would protect the environment to enact a one-child policy in the United States, as China has done. Would that be moral? No, it would not. It would enhance economic welfare if the United States government simply invaded other countries to provide the material needs of our citizens. It would not be moral. I could go on.
Our libertarian friends have proposed the "non-aggression" principle. In other words, "you can do what you want as long as you don't encroach upon someone else or his property." Even this standard has holes - big ones. It would justify assisting someone commit suicide. Under the non-aggression principle, there is no justification for an immigration system with a secure border. In fact, the non-aggression principle, taxation to fund the protection of life, liberty, and property is not justified. A person can't simply hold anything under the scrutiny of an idea that says you cannot make anyone do anything for any reason. There is a list as long as a snake with exceptions to that rule.
So, you may be thinking, what do you we legislate? If we cannot legislate environmental protection, because that standard is not absolute, what do we legislate? If we can't legislate convenience or economic welfare, what can we legislate? The answer is clear: morality. There is no exception to the rule that if what is right is legislated, there will be a positive outcome. "This begs the question, Hayden," you contend, eyebrows furrowed with your worn-out copy of the Constitution turned to the First Amendment, "Besides, the government can't legislate religion." First, to those who say I am begging the question by arguing our lawmakers should simply legislate what is morally right: most of the time I hear: "Well, personally I am against the following, but I don't think it's my place to tell everyone what to do." So, personally you are against rape, but you think it should be allowed for people who believe it is okay? You may say, "But that violates the non-aggression principle." Well, so does imprisoning rapists or electrocuting Ted Bundy. The only firm standard, the only absolute, is morality, which is derived from the character of God Almighty. If it is pleasing to God, it is immoral. If it is not pleasing to Him, it is immoral. Second, the First Amendment actually prohibits the federal government from declaring a state religion, and furthermore prohibits the government from abridging the free exercise of religion, which means I am perfectly free to take my right-wing Bible-thumping extremist views into my statehouse - as a citizen or a lawmaker.
My solution to the woes of our society is to give morality a chance. A standard that cannot make a wrong turn. If we do not, it becomes a matter of choosing which fallible standard to legislate.
Someone please legislate morality.