By Scott Tibbs, April 1, 2009
My response to the instant message question last week brought a couple interesting responses that I want to address here.
"Scott shortTibbs" responded with a remark about me wanting to control people's reproductive lives. I'll address that point below, but I think the form of this post deserves a comment. I've criticized anonymous speech before, with people hiding behind a fake name to take a shot at a real person. This type of post is especially cowardly and dishonorable. SST couldn't even come up with his/her/its own handle, so he/she/it chose to use a play on my name. It is one thing to not use your real name, but it is quite another to refuse to even pick your own pseudonym.
"Dilligent" (who is also anonymous but at least uses his own handle) complains that I believe government "should be allowed to make decisions best left to a woman and her doctor," meaning the right to choose abortion. I have no problem with elective medical procedures provided that no innocent person is harmed. If someone wants to put marijuana in his or her body, for example, I do not believe government should interfere. With abortion, we do have harm and we do have a person being intentionally killed. You can see the results of that killing at the Center for BioEthical Reform web site. If the unborn child is not a human being, then there's no issue with aborting a pregnancy and women should be allowed to choose. Obviously, I believe the unborn child is a human being.
"Dilligent" falsely accuses me of believing government "should intrude upon our wedding choices, wedding chapels and religious institutions" due to my opposition to government recognizing homosexual marriage, I have never said that homosexuals should be forbidden from getting married. My position has always been that if two men or two women wish to commit themselves to a "marriage" and can find a church willing to perform such a ceremony, they should be allowed to do so with no interference from government. I've never been in favor of regulating what ceremonies a church should be allowed to perform, provided all involved are consenting adults. My position is that government should not recognize a same-sex union as a marriage.
So why should government intervene in abortion, but not in someone's private vehicle to stop an adult from smoking a cigarette? There is a significant difference in the magnitude of harm. With abortion, there is intent to kill a child every single time. While secondhand smoke causes harm, abortion is infinitely more harmful. I also don't buy the argument that smoking takes place in a completely enclosed vehicle most of the time, and the Health Department's own statistics demonstrate that smoking in a vehicle with the windows down (providing ventilation) is significantly less harmful than smoking in an enclosed vehicle.
No one wants people to smoke in a car when children are present. It would be far better if no one smoked at all. The problem with this legislation is it crosses into new territory by restricting the use of a legal product by adults in a private vehicle. This opens up a Pandora's Box of problems and potential for government intervention in our private lives. As I said before, the potential for government having more and more power over our private lives is ultimately far more dangerous than idiots who smoke when they should know better.