Wednesday, April 20, 2005

MORAL/ETHICAL PERSUASION VS. LAWS

I was reading Cut on the Bias this morning, and I found a gem that expresses something I'd been mulling over for some time. That is, the effectiveness of changing the heart vs. imposing your will upon a protesting populace.

Suzanne says:
As a Christian, I see many things going on that I think the world would be better off without: drinking, sexual promiscuity, rampant materialism, I have a whole laundry list. In an ideal world, I'd like those things to be not just a bad idea, but illegal. However, I'd be very very hesitant about passing laws against them, because it's not an ideal world and people can't be put on what I consider the right path just because I say so.

In constrast, many liberals look to the law:
What the leftists want (and won't say out loud) is a ruling elite that controls the choices of the hoi polloi so they can construct the world they want.

It's truly about the Christian concept of free will; that's where CHOICE comes into play. Many on the left take their model from the civil rights movement - they look to impose their moral views on an unwilling populace. What they forget, however, is that the true change in the South came when people's hearts were moved - they couldn't live with themselves when they had to face the reality of their actions. As it happens, the South has gone further than the North (or West) in terms of racial relations. The South faced their demons, and Evil lost.

When I first started reading blogs, I was a classic liberal. My favorite news sources were Alternet, Common Dreams, and Utne Reader. I only started reading the more conservative blogs when they were referenced in other stories, and I wanted to get more detail. Over time, I added them to my Favorites; gradually, I began to change my thinking.

That's what the effect of Pope John Paul II looks like - over time, by keeping his message consistent, he began to change people's hearts, and eventually their minds. That's what the real fear of liberals is - in the battle for the heart, they cannot win. They appeal, not to the larger self, but to the smaller one - one that enshrines personal gratification as the highest goal, and rigidly imposes one's own favorite aesthetic practices upon an unwilling citizenry. To that end, liberals will outlaw freedom of choice in:
  • how to bring up one's child - any religious training will be rigorously stamped out in state education
  • eating that includes fats, salt, sugar, additives, or too many carbs
  • smoking (of the tobacco kind - the various mind-altering types are encouraged)
  • drinking - God forbid you should enjoy an occasional drink, despite medical studies showing that such consumption is positively coorelated with improved health
  • media - don't you dare watch "junk TV", public television is SO much better for you. Conservative radio should be outlawed, or at least opposed by government-funded liberal radio (no matter whether anyone wants to listen to it)

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