Monday, March 25, 2002

Why I'm Not a...well, whatever it is I'm not.

I don't drink. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I try not to swear. I don't screw. I'm a Christian. I'm an economic and social conservative. I try not to break the law. I greatly respect the military.

I don't drink or do drugs because, well, they're illegal. To me, if you willingly break the law, then you're a hypocrite if you ever try and use the law to protect yourself or your interests. Now, there's room for "youthful indiscretions" and the like, but the idea is that you need to grow out of those before you can claim protection. Being young isn't an excuse, either, if you know that what you're doing is wrong and just figure that you'll regret it later. While I'm in England this summer, I'll do some drinking, since they're legal age is 18. I suppose if I was in Amsterdam, I might consider smoking up, though of course I'd have to be mindful of the fact that many employers ask "have you ever done marijuana?" regardless of whether it was legal or not.

I don't smoke because, well, I don't. No moral stance here, just a personal decision. If other people want to smoke, they have my full support so long as they don't interfere too much with the quality of the air I personally breathe. On the other hand, I think that just dropping butts is littering. If you're going to smoke, you need to throw away your trash, not leave it to fester on the ground. The government needs to stop screwing with the tobacco companies. I agree that cigarettes shouldn't be sold to minors, but I think the companies have the right to develop a "brand loyalty" with youths so long as they don't sell to them. If they were smart, you'd have Marlborough making not only tobacco, but also something like jeans or sunglasses so as to piggyback the cigarettes on the more palatable items. Virginia famers growing tobacco are hurt by these regulations, and these heavy taxes are a burden. If you're going to try and de facto outlaw tobacco, then you need to subsidize a crop transition with the taxes being pulled in from cigarettes.

I try not to swear because I'm a Christian and because I just think it's rude, especially in mixed company. My ears almost literally hurt and my heart breaks when I hear otherwise attractive girls dropping the F-bomb like they're pilots in Linebacker II. It's not that the words aren't descriptive, but that decorum states that you should avoid them. If you need to punctuate your speech with words to give you time to think and express, just find something else to say. You of course have the right to free speech, but other people have the right to think you're a jerk or of otherwise inferior quality and react accordingly.

I don't have sex because I think we're meant to wait until marriage. Of course I'm bound to this by my Christian beliefs, but I also see plenty of secular reasons. First, we would eliminate virtually all venereal diseases in just about a generation. Think about it: the permanent cure for AIDS and the like is for just one generation to be monogamous. I also think women are getting taken advantage of. Women aren't as strong as men, but they can exercise complete control by simply denying themselves to their would-be lovers. By giving in, they've lost their most effective bargaining tool. As for me, I would be very hesitant to marry someone who wasn't a virgin. If both of you wait until marriage, it's literally incomparable. Furthermore, by being the only source of sex for each other, you've got a safety net that might save a marriage that is otherwise unworkable. I'm not saying that sex is a basis for a relationship, but that it might be that one little thing which tides you over until you can reconcile.

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