Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

The Wars on Gays, Guns, Drugs, Speech, and Everything Else Not Politically Correct

 

If you are easily offended, you are in the wrong place.

This has not much to do with EMS, except that there is the contrast between those who try to avoid responsibility for their actions (and try to make sure anyone who acts differently is punished) and those who try to do what is right (because it is about taking care of the patient, regardless of what the rules state). The Supreme Court will soon be deciding if anti-gay marriage laws violate any civil protections from discrimination. Since the Justices are known for decisions based on their ability to find precedents for their ideological political preferences, this is not necessarily just a secular legal decision, but it should be. In that vein –

What is the definition of marriage and when did a bunch of politically correct whiners start caring about the poor defenseless dictionary?

The dictionary is not really of interest to the opponents of gay marriage. A Gallup poll shows what reasons were given by people. Maybe being a dictionary Nazi was not a choice.
 


Image credit. Click on images to make them larger.
 

What does the Bible state?
 

21 And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly:

22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?

23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?

24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.

25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.[1]

 

There is God’s law and there is government law and they are different and should not be confused.

Is Jesus the source of our wall of separation between Church & State?[2]

If gay marriage required priests, ministers, rabbis, imams, or other religious leaders to perform gay marriages, then that would be a problem, according to what Jesus said.

Only people who take exaggeration to sinful levels make that ridiculous claim. Where is there any suggestion that this would be anything other than a legal elimination of discrimination?

As with teaching Creationism in publicly funded schools, this is a religious dispute, not a legal dispute.

If the religious cannot agree, the government should not be adopting one particular religious interpretation.

But how does the Bible define marriage?
 


Image credit. Click on the image to see all of the forms of marriage that are acceptable to God and should be legalized if we are to be consistent.
 

But that is the Old Testament. We just use that to make the Book look bigger and the tradition seem older. We ignore everything in it, unless it suits us.

True. The most vocal critics of the behavior of others are the ones who use this excuse, but those include the opponents of gay marriage. Maybe they should have this tattooed on their foreheads to warn others of their hypocrisy. Except that tattoos are forbidden in the Old Testament.[3]
 

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.[4]

 

What does Jesus say about banning any kind of marriage?

When given the opportunity, Jesus does not criticize an example of Old Testament marriage.
 

27 Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,

28 Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.

30 And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.

31 And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.

32 Last of all the woman died also.

33 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.

34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:

35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

37 Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

39 Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.

40 And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.[5]

 

In other words, for those who want to use the use the words of Jesus to discriminate against others, Jesus appears to be saying, Get off my lawn, Punk.

What about guns, drugs, speech, and everything else not politically correct?

We are fond of demanding freedom for ourselves, but prohibiting our neighbors from having freedom.

Gay marriage prohibitions are just more of the same.

I am safe with a gun, but he is not.

I can consume alcohol safely, but that marijuana is dangerous.

I can speak without restriction, but he should not.

Freedom means tolerating what we perceive as the excesses of others with the freedoms we want for ourselves, or with freedoms we have no interest in.

Freedom is not about only allowing us freedom.

If we cannot trust our neighbors with the same freedom, we should not have that freedom – or should we just grow up and stop trying to control others?
 

What is the opposite of freedom?

Not slavery, but prohibition.

Guns are dangerous.

If we pass a law banning guns, we will create safety.

Drugs are dangerous.

If we pass a law banning drugs, we will create safety.

Speech is dangerous.

If we pass a law banning speech, we will create safety.
 

Many have attempted to ban speech. They have been unsuccessful.

Is flag burning wrong?

No.

Flag burning is a way of getting attention for the speech that is protected by the Constitution that Americans have fought, and some have died, to uphold.

The flag is just a symbol. The flag is a symbol of our republic that protects the minority from the abuses of powerful anti-American majorities, even when all of those trying to harm the US Constitution are American citizens.

If you think that you know someone who died to oppose the US Constitution and defend a symbol against being burned, then you deserve ridicule.
 

We have attempted to ban drugs. We have been unsuccessful.

Is consuming intoxicants wrong?

No.

There are many ways that we might harm ourselves, but drugs are not always harmful.

Claiming that drugs are always harmful is absurd.

What if we legalize drugs? Then everyone will take drugs!

Half of American adults already have tried marijuana, including Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama.

Portugal decriminalized everything, including heroin.

Their crime rate decreased. Obviously, the drug crime rate would decrease if it is eliminated. Other crimes decreased – the ones that we claim the drug laws are supposed to protect us from.[6]

We have a history of abandoning prohibition. The only Amendment to the US Constitution to be repealed was the 18th.
 

The police, courts and prisons were overwhelmed with new cases; organized crime increased in power, and corruption extended among law enforcement officials. The amendment was repealed in 1933[7]

 

Why do we keep trying to stop others from doing things we do not like?

Why don’t we recognize that we are harming ourselves and we are harming them?

Are we really that illogical?

The number one killer is tobacco.
 

In the United States, smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths annually (i.e., about 443,000 deaths per year, and an estimated 49,000 of these smoking-related deaths are the result of secondhand smoke exposure).1 [8]

 

We do not ban them, although we seem to be trying. If we did ban cigarettes, would we do anything other than encourage a lot of otherwise law abiding Americans to break the law?

The next biggest killer is alcohol.
 

Number of alcohol-induced deaths, excluding accidents and homicides: 25,692[9]

 

If we include accidents, the number might double, but it is still a tiny fraction of tobacco-related deaths. Should we ban tobacco and alcohol?

Only is we want to encourage criminal behavior among people who would not otherwise engage in criminal behavior.

Someone will whine that there will be drug-related driving fatalities.

This is not about legalizing driving while impaired/intoxicated. That would remain illegal.
 

We have attempted to ban guns. We have been unsuccessful.

Is owning a gun wrong?

No.

There are many ways that we might harm ourselves, but guns are not always harmful.

If we are interested in limiting the traffic in illegal guns, we should make the gun laws national. Wherever you go, the rules on gun ownership should be the same. Why should Virginia be the source of illegal guns used by gangsters in neighboring states?

These different laws only make it easy for criminals to buy guns, but they do nothing to protect the rights of legal gun owners.

Banning guns is no different from banning drugs. Many otherwise law abiding Americans will break the law, diverting a significant portion of the US GDP (Gross Domestic Product – the measure of financial income of a country) to criminal organizations.

What will a ban on large capacity magazines (more than 10 rounds per clip) do to the millions of large capacity magazines already owned by Americans?

It will make an insignificant dent in the supply. The large capacity magazines turned over to law enforcement will be from the people least dangerous with them – least dangerous to law abiding Americans.

The law will not do anything to discourage criminals from obtaining large capacity magazines. A prohibition will do just the opposite.

A prohibition will create a lucrative criminal market in these magazines, but it will not save any lives.
 

[youtube]ypHaYAv_EEw[/youtube]
This is not a spoof video. The full CSPAN link is in the footnotes.[10]
 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is just as ridiculous as the people who claim that the marriage of someone else will destroy the sanctity of their marriage.

And the designated hitter rule in the American League destroyed the sanctity of baseball in the National League. Riiiight.

Is it really legal to hunt humans with any capacity magazine?

No.

There are plenty of laws that would be available to police to charge someone who is hunting humans. If you doubt me, go try to hunt Sen. Feinstein and explain to the police that Sen. Feinstein says hunting humans is legal.

What about assault weapons?

Shouldn’t we use rules about cosmetic accessories, that do not affect function, to be paramount?

Ask any fashion maven and they will tell you that accessories make the wardrobe, but are we trying to prevent people from being scared to death by guns, or are we trying to prevent people from being shot with guns?

We do need to have some limitations on weapons. Even the President cannot arbitrarily decide to launch nuclear missiles.

We need to have those laws made by people who understand more about guns than That looks scary!

Are guns dangerous in the hands of well trained, law abiding citizens?

No.

Are guns dangerous in the hands of criminals?

Yes.

why don’t we focus on the dangerous people, rather than the people who are not shooting up schools, and not shooting out of car windows to protect the illegal drug business we created for them?

 

The problem is not the gays, or the drugs, or the guns, or the language, but the ways we act like tyrants to protect our egos.

In the immortal words of Sgt. Hulka, Lighten up, Francis.
 

[youtube]0OnpkDWbeJs[/youtube]
 

We need to stop listening to those who claim that they are better than everyone else and that all we have to do is keep other people from having rights, then everything will be perfect.

We are responsible for our actions.

Footnotes:

[1] Luke 20:21-25
Bible
King James Version
Passage

[2] Jefferson’s Wall of Separation Letter
Constitution.org
Letter
 

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed)
Th Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.

 

[3] Leviticus 19:28
Bible
King James Version
Passage
 

28 Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

 

[4] Matthew 7:3-5
Bible
King James Version
Passage

[5] Luke 20:27-40
Bible
King James Version
Passage

[6] 5 Years After: Portugal’s Drug Decriminalization Policy Shows Positive Results – Street drug–related deaths from overdoses drop and the rate of HIV cases crashes
By Brian Vastag
Scientific American
Article
 

“Drug decriminalization did reach its primary goal in Portugal,” of reducing the health consequences of drug use, he says, “and did not lead to Lisbon becoming a drug tourist destination.”

 

[7] Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Wikipedia
Article

[8] Smoking & Tobacco Use
CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Fact Sheet

[9] Alcohol Use
CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Fact Sheet

[10] Gun Control legislation Markup
Senate Committee Judiciary
March 7, 2013
CSPAN
Forward to 50:30 of the video.
Video

.

Comments

  1. To those who say we need universal background checks consider this: universal background checks will require universal registration. All government registrations require a fee. What will te annual gun registration fee be? $10? $100? Can’t afford the fee? I guess you’ll have to surrender your guns. Guns won’t be illegal, just inconvenient.

    • @TDintheED,

      I do not pretend to know what the best method is for preventing guns from getting into the hands of criminals.

      A few boxes of ammunition are going to be far more inconvenient than any background check.

      How comfortable are we with making it easy for criminals to obtain guns?

      If the problem is the criminals, and background checks will make a large dent in the ability of criminals to obtain guns, law abiding gun owners should be in favor of background checks.

      If law abiding gun owners feel a need to have guns to protect themselves from illegal gun owners, then this would make it less likely that the law abiding gun owner would be shot by an illegal gun owner.

      As I stated, I do not know how effective background checks are. Is there a better way?

      .

  2. Frankly, Rogue, I’m a little disappointed in this post.

    I kept waiting for you to work epi or backboards into the conversation, and it never happened! And no quotes from obscure quantum scientists. Furthermore, there were several ways you could have folded homeopathy into the subject, but no, you had to play it safe.

    Anyway, good luck wading into the politics!

    • Brooks,

      I would have included much more in this, but I ended up with just under 2,600 words. I have been trying, without much success, to keep things closer to 500 words (except for research posts).

      I confess, I was tempted to use some epi to help me stay more alert, but I settled for caffeine – a more than homeopathic version of epi.

      The rest of the week might be full of politics. TSA, FAA, and a little Creationism math just for giggles.

      Then back to stupid medical tricks. 😉

      .

  3. Your standard pick-up line, “If you are easily offended, you are in the wrong place” needs a little work.

    Of course it might be perfect for finding a “Rogue Partner”

    Meet me in Las Vegas in September and we can do some research.

    • PS In the inevitable Part 2 of this post can you rail on the Boy Scouts?

      • Nothing makes a man feel big like a beating up on a bunch of middle school boys who want to go camping

        This is a personal pet peeve but nowhere in our founding documents does the phrase “a wall of separation between church and state” exist. This came from a letter From Thomas Jefferson to a group Of Baptists in Danbury, CT. Unfortunately this has been taken as far more then what it was. The Constitution only states that the government can not make a law establishing a religion or outlaw a religion

        • My Scouting experience was much different than the one you allude to.

          I don’t recall being beat up by the adult leaders.

          Rather I recall plentiful and rigorous outdoor activity, learning and practicing leadership skills, and acquiring new practical and esoteric skills.

          I also remember adult leaders that were caring, kind, and respectful and inclusive of every boy and father that wanted to participate.

          Although our Troop met in a Church I have no recollection of religion being a basis for our activities.

          The Scouts failure to be inclusive, apparently a recent development because that was not my experience or perception 30 years ago, is a recent and unfortunate development.

        • Joe,

          This is a personal pet peeve but nowhere in our founding documents does the phrase “a wall of separation between church and state” exist. This came from a letter From Thomas Jefferson to a group Of Baptists in Danbury, CT. Unfortunately this has been taken as far more then what it was. The Constitution only states that the government can not make a law establishing a religion or outlaw a religion

          I posted the full letter and the source of the letter in footnote [2].

          In what way do you think that you have a relevant point?

          The Constitution does not spell out everything explicitly. If it did, there would be not be much reason to set up a Supreme Court. Without much to do, it could hardly be an equal branch, capable of balancing the others.

          Thomas Jefferson made it clear what the intent was.

          If only we had such clear explanation of the intent of the rest of the Constitution.

          Original intent is exactly what this letter provides.

          Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.]

          You can claim that the authors of the Constitution meant what you think they should have meant, but what they meant is right there in what Jefferson wrote.

          Jefferson explains what is meant by make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof so clearly that it seems impossible that it would be misunderstood by any reasonable person.

          How is it that you do not understand what Jefferson wrote?

          As I pointed out earlier in what I wrote, even Jesus says pretty much the same thing – keep government and religion separate.

          Do you really want a government office of religion to tell the religious how to be religious?

          You can’t have religion in government without also having government in religion.

          .

          • I understand what he wrote, I just don’t feel that the medium in which it was written should be applied to the manner in which we govern our society. I can find letters from Jefferson vehemently defending his position that a standing Navy is a threat to American sovereignty, a position in which ruined his relationship with John Adams. If you read any of the entries in The Federalist Papers you will find multiple works on the 2nd Amendment. Yet those letters between the founders are the ideas of single man and the documents are a product of collective decision making. My point is that the writings of the founders are extensive and not applied equally, because they were not designed to be the basis on which this country is founded and operated

            • Joe,

              If you read any of the entries in The Federalist Papers you will find multiple works on the 2nd Amendment. Yet those letters between the founders are the ideas of single man and the documents are a product of collective decision making.

              So we are to assume that America kept God out of the Constitution, our founding legal document, but wanted people who claim to be speaking for (or with) God to use that as the basis for the laws of others. How well is that working in other Theocracies?

              Even Jesus says to separate government matters from religious matters.

              My point is that the writings of the founders are extensive and not applied equally, because they were not designed to be the basis on which this country is founded and operated

              Look at how consistent Christianity has been on our laws.

              Slavery.

              The Confederates claimed that God approves of slavery.

              The Union claimed that God disapproves of slavery.

              The Bible says that both are correct.

              Slavery is an economic system that is probably most successful as being worse than communism, feudalism, . . . .

              The most destructive war to America. The same God was on both sides.

              I understand what he wrote, I just don’t feel that the medium in which it was written should be applied to the manner in which we govern our society.

              Then a unanimously ratified official US Government document stating that we keep religion out of government would satisfy you?

              As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

              This is the wording of the treaty that was unanimously ratified by the US Senate and signed by President John Adams.

              That is the Treaty of Tripoli. It was published in newspapers before being ratified. Where was the outcry from the public about the need for the word of preachers to rule our government?

              Only 20 years after the Revolution.

              Only 9 years after the Constitution.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli

              .

  4. FWIW, thumbs up.

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