My wife and I were married at a beautiful bed and breakfast in the small and historic town of Micanopy, Florida, just a few miles south of Gainesville, where we met. Micanopy is a charming little town, the sort where you stop in to go antiquing on Saturdays, or where you might brunch before a little visit to Payne’s Prairie.
Alas that no one in Florida knows that Micanopy. Because what Micanopy really is is Cafe Risque. Like a pornographic South of the Border, I-75 for miles in either direction as one approaches Micanopy is dotted with billboards letting truckers and general citizens know that a world of greasy and tawdry delights awaits them at exit 374.
Of the several grocery chains in our area, Bi-Lo is the shadiest, and you can see it in the check-out aisles. Few grocery stores in the area exercise what I think would be the common courtesy of covering up the Cosmo magazines at the check-out (it always seems like Cosmo is the worst), but Bi-Lo is the worst about shoving them right in your face.
The thought that my nine-year-old daughter might be consistently exposed to the sort of misogyny embodied in desperate headlines like “25 Orgasm Tricks That Couples Love” displeases me. I would love to see more grocery store chains adopt policies of covering up those magazines. Ideally, of course, they wouldn’t sell that type of sad pornography for women, but I realize that’s asking the moon.
It would only take enacting a policy. Whatever private company decided to be consistent about such a policy would likely become my new favorite grocery store.
And certainly no one would argue with a private business’ right to choose such a policy.
I detest federal centralization. I’m all about local representation and a small federal government. I mean, come one, I’m Presbyterian. Even my church polity is about decentralization. The South was right on constitutional grounds…it was a War of Northern Aggression. Lincoln was The Great Centralizer, our Constitution is broken, and now the country’s poorer for it.
Have I established my rabid and crazed anti-federal and anti-centralization radical bona fides? I hope so, because I’m about to get all anti-libertarian on you.
I want city and county governments to make pornographic billboards illegal. GASP! Surely you don’t mean that! Those billboards are on private property!
How wonderful to live in a society with a (at least somewhat) representational government. And that government does not solely exist to keep people off each other and allow them go about their private business. A libertarian thinks that building codes are ridiculous; I think that federal building codes are ridiculous. It’s quite wise of a city or county to make sure no one comes in and starts building and selling really crappy houses to their people. At which point some libertarians say caveat emptor and I ask them to go read Rand by themselves in their selfish little corners.
I am not a libertarian because of Cafe Risque. Or, more appropriately for me now, because of Bedtyme Stories near Blacksburg, SC.
Cafe Risque is actually outside the city limits of Micanopy, which is why it can do what it does. Still, I would love to see the county take care of the problem (yes, I know it won’t because of moneymoneymoney).
The goal of our Constitution was to have minimal federal government.Nothing wrong with a more robust and virile government at town, county, and state levels. In fact, I think that would help in dealing with the federal government. Does this mean that I long for a piling on upon a piling on of laws? No. But I would like Christians to consider being less resentful of the only governments God has put over them that are immediately representational: local government. Of course, most never vote in local elections because they’re busy talking about the evils of Democrats and the Fed.
We have to many laws and too many codes at every level of government. That doesn’t mean we reject all government. The solution is not some principle that rejects the whole package. The solution is the hard work of doing it right. The State exists and is (“Alas”, we think to ourselves) ordained by God. If we have anything to say about the State, it is that it must not be the Leviathan it wishes to be, but that it has a place on the earth. We musn’t abstract government into some sub-category of a sacred meta-concept like Private Property or The Right to Trade.
Am I suggesting that we legislate morality?
Of course. Is there something else a law is?