Sunday, December 16, 2012

Legislating Morality and Speech

Many conservatives will tell us that violence, along with a general lack of morals in movies, needs to be controlled. They believe in the moral decay of our nation. This is not about if they are right or wrong. This is about those that wish to use government to control these issues.

The Supreme Court has ruled time and time again that the government must be careful when it comes to controlling speech or freedom of expression. Despite these rulings the Federal Communications Commission continues to place limits on speech. There are certain words that cannot be said on broadcast television, while the same words are allowed on premium channels that air only on cable or satellite.

They believe that broadcast television should be family appropriate. The FCC can create regulation that has the same weight as law. They can issue fines and penalties for violations. My wonderment lies with people that rant about smaller government and then encourages the FCC to create even stricter regulations on television and movie content.

The government cannot legislate morality. The government can't decide on a budget, much less what is or isn't moral. Morality is objective. Many people read the bible and come up with completely different definitions of morality. The SCOTUS has decided that morality should be set by community standards. If any government is to legislate morality, it must be locally.

Anyone that dares call themselves a member of the Tea Party or a small government Constitutionalists, they cannot demand the federal government regulate morality in any capacity. In the end, it's the parents' responsibility to decide what their children watch or don't watch. Every television or DVD player comes with an off button. Any parent that lets government take over parenting, then they are no parent.

If someday your child murders someone with a gun, it won't be because of a movie, a video game, or even a lack or morality. Good people often do bad things. Letting the government legislate morality will not lessen crime. The only thing that can lessen crime is a good parent.

The moral to this little diatribe is to think twice anytime you believe expanding government power will solve a problem. There are isolated communities where the police almost never go. These areas are so remote that most laws don't apply. You will find crime almost nonexistent. You can travel to Utah where they get the same movies, television programming, games, and find far less crime than other areas of the country. The reason is simple, parents are parenting.

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