opinion vs imposition

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 12:58 AM

Originally Published 2005-04-10 03:57:55

A friend of mine said yesterday, "Opinions are fine, no matter what they are. It's when they're imposing that they are inappropriate." (edited to remove the various "dude" and "um" pauses)

So, um, isn't that my whole argument against Bush-era conservatism? You can think whatever you want to about my lifestyle, condemning it and me to whatever afterlife you like. Just don't tell me what I can or cannot do.

Kinda like the conservative argument for smaller government and lower taxes, which it just so happens, I actually agree with. Imagine that. Less imposition, more personal freedoms. Hmmm.

So, how exactly is it NOT an imposition when a conservative tells me I cannot save my grandmother with Alzheimers (stem cell research), that I have to have a child I'm not ready for (abortion), that I can't be gay (let alone be married), and that I have to support the killing of innocent people (Iraqi war).

My christian friend likes to use the slippery-slope argument, however fallacious, when talking about moral issues, especially related to drugs and sex. Apparently if I like to imbibe once in awhile just for the purposes of being krunk, I'm going to be sucking dick for smack in a year or two. Or if I like to pull my girlfriend's hair during premarital sex, I won't be satisfied with 4 women at once on a whole bottle of viagara accompanied by whips and chains this time next year.

Well, here's the flipside. You start with limitations on civil liberties that effect only the fringes, preying on fears (terrorism, frankenstein monsters, bambi's mom dying), and it's not so very far to arbitrary incarceration of (insert your minority here) in the name of national security.

So you're white. And Christian. And live in a red state. And have no gay friends. And are married and prepared to be a parent if you had to be. And a solid member of the middle class. Will life always be so perfect?

Do you really think that you'll always be part of the majority? Do you really want to live in a world where controls are imposed on how you lead your life based on someone else's belief system?

Even if it happens to match your own today, it might not always be. Remember, even if you too are a member of the Christian majority, these controls are based on someone else's interpretation. Someone else's idea of "right" and "wrong".

Last time I checked, that whole can of worms was between each individual and whatever deity (or deities) they happen to worship.

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