So yesterday, I talked about the way people in the US use any occasion to get out of work and imbibe to stupidity.
What are the things most prized here? They were the good old American Work Ethic and our Puritan beliefs which, by the way, no one currently knows or understands. The Puritans were not against alcohol, but drinking to excess. The Puritans were not against leisure of any sort, but they assigned it to Sundays. The Puritans were not against sex, it was just relegated to marriage. The American Work Ethic was basically this: Work so you can eat and have the necessities of life.
What is the thing that everyone seeks? It’s a way of life that does not require a work ethic and is based on hedonist beliefs. We desire what would be considered sinful. Ah! People prefer to put themselves first in every situation. Look at Eve. “Ooo! If I eat this, I’ll have the knowledge of Good AND Evil? Then I’ll be just like GOD? Gimme gimme!” She was thinking of herself. Cain was thinking of himself. This is ongoing. Now it is passe to think of “sin” and just call it a life choice. The perspective has changed. Anything I want to do should be legal. It feels so good it can’t be bad. It feels so right it can’t be wrong. It’s hypocritical to think that we can legislate morality if no one in the country wants a moral compass because that would lead to lowering our self image. We NEED to define sin for our society to function and we CANNOT define sin because there’s a separation of church and state (which is no where in the constitution by the way.)
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, ensuring that there is no prohibition on the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. (Thank you Wiki)
So we go merrily along our way doing whatever the heck we want until someone gets hurt and then we get arrested for doing something stupid. Did you know they actually had a “sin tax?” A sin tax is an excise tax specifically levied on certain goods deemed harmful to society, for example alcohol and tobacco, candies, drugs, soft drinks, fast foods, coffee, sugar, and gambling. (Thank you Wiki) If it’s too expensive, we won’t buy these goods and thereby save our society from sugar-high drunken smokers who crash into fast food drive thru windows. And if it doesn’t work, the tax should pay for the damage. Doh!
So we reward ourselves for doing something good by doing something bad. How typically American. “I worked for a year for this vacation! So now I’m going to Las Vegas and lose all my bonus, get stupid drunk, cheat on my spouse and make me regret having worked all year.” “I worked for a month to lose these 2 pounds! I’m going to have 2 pounds of cake to celebrate…” oops. “I’ve been sober 2 years, 6 months, 3 days and 14 hours! Let’s have some champagne!” Let’s turn every holiday into an excuse to get drunk and over eat. Let’s buy a car that goes 200 mph so we can drive 70 on the interstate. We long to do sinful things because we are sinful people. It has a certain adrenaline rush when you know you’re doing something illegal or immoral, and you think to yourself, it won’t hurt anyone, so it’s ok. If it’s illegal or immoral, don’t do it. Actions have consequences.
Morals are not something you legislate, they come from upbringing and reverence for life. We have so many in prison because we don’t acknowledge that fact. Nearly all of the Non-violent crime and so many of the violent crime involves no reverence for life. It’s not a hard concept. With moral law, we don’t need as many civil laws to protect people. Moral law is written on the heart and is enforced by the conscience.
Does it hurt people? Don’t do it. Does it endanger your health or life? Don’t do it. Does it threaten someone’s livelihood? Don’t do it. Is it selfish and petty? Don’t do it. Would your grandma do it? No? Don’t do it. You don’t do it and you teach your children not to do it, and your grandchildren not to do it, and your neighbors and their children not to do it. You show your friends how not to do it, your enemies how you don’t do it, and YOURSELF how you don’t do it because you revere all life.
So if you do stupid things because you’re trying to escape your world, count your blessings and grow up. If you are doing bad things because you can, and your only worry is getting caught, you have a serious social problem.
In any case, in all cases, treat people and property with respect. It’s what you do. Then fewer stupid things will happen and we’ll all be better off!