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Poverty & Pornography

Reflecting on the Contract with America, it occurred to me that I do think pornography is a problem. I think sexualizing children is a problem. And I think defiling the sanctity of sex by mixing it with commercial advertising is a problem. But I just don’t think the government should be the source of the solution. I think it is ill equipped for such intimate issues.

Presumably, conservatives who are Christian likewise see poverty as a problem. They would have to be much less abstract in formulating the moral imperative to care for the poor. But, I would suspect they don’t think the government should be the source of the solution.

Here’s the problem. Shouldn’t this mean that liberals who are Christians would work hard for non-government actions to challenge the use of pornography. Likewise, shouldn’t conservatives who are Christians work hard for non-government action to combat poverty? (And obviously, pornography & poverty are stand-ins for other similar issues.)

Without any data, I would guess the conservatives have the advantage on this score. But I think in both cases you find liberal & conservative Christians supporting non-government actions that further the cause that they believe it is appropriate for the government to address more vigorously than the causes they think should be solved by non-government entities.

Perhaps we don’t really think the government should or should not act based on the nature of the problem. Perhaps we really just think the government should attack the important problems, and despite our feelings that the other problems are problems, we just don’t think they are the big ones.

2 replies on “Poverty & Pornography”

I think this is a very important post. You are absolutely right. Most conservatives, who aren’t true libertarians, appear to just think government should be involved in different things, not that it shouldn’t be involved. I admit it baffles me that they would choose, as the subset of things government should have greater freedom of action, is in the use of coercion. They typically support less restrictions on law enforcement, for example.

It seems like that the only part of government the Bush administration thinks is competent is the military. That’s scary, because when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Josh, no question that the idea of our founding fathers that we wouldn’t have a standing army is based on the hammer-nail axiom. No standing army, no attacking countries just for the holy hell of it.

Jim, I know I’m not in your target demographic, but I absolutely think that the government should stay out of most problems, important, unimportant, big, small, dear to me and not so dear to me.

I have a tree on my property that is too close to my house. It may have compromised a pipe that is now causing me to have sewage under my foundation. I may want to chop down that tree. I would have to pay my local government for the right to chop down an intrusive, health-endangering tree that is on land I ostensibly own. It’s minor, but it’s also evil. A minor evil.

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