Following the meme, and since it IS an election year…my stance on the Burning Issues of our Time. (Some of which I don’t think are all that burning, mind you–I wouldn’t have listed the legal drinking age and premarital sex as even issues, but there you go.)
Abortion?: I am so pro-choice that I can make pro-life protestors spontaneously combust through sheer force of will. (Well, not really…) Of all the issues on this list, this is probably the one in which I grant no quarter. What goes on inside my anatomy is my business, occasionally my husband’s, and definitely no one else’s–certainly not any political or religious group–and the minute someone tries to legislate that the squishy interior of my uterus is a matter of concern for anyone other than me and my gynecologist, I go into Screaming Batshit Mode and have to be removed from the ceiling with a stick. Yes, I would have an abortion myself. “Think of the babies!” rhetoric rolls off me like water off the back of a polyurethane duck.
Ideally, of course, it would not be used as a method of birth control–all rhetoric aside, it’s so blasted inefficient and messy and hard on the system–but this whole “pregnancy is the punishment for having sex, you dirty little teenage tramp!” crap has gotta stop, since it’s ignorance about sex that keeps abortions neccessary.
In short, I believe no person has the right to commandeer the body of another, be it by slavery, rape, or unwanted pregnancy, and the Geneva Convention backs me up on that one.
Sorry, *cough* that’s a hot-button issue. I’ll try to be briefer on the rest.
Death Penalty?: Errr…well, yes and no. On the one hand, there are plenty of people that I feel should just be put down–you don’t rehabilitate or imprison mad dogs, you shoot them, because it’s just more merciful all around. However, I don’t know that I am always equipped to make that call myself, and our current system seems to suck down money and has offed a good many innocent people, so while I find it ultimately a fairly good idea, our current execution sucks dead bears, and it may be that there is no practical way in which to have a death penalty system that actually works in the real world. And if not, then, like cold fusion, I will say “Well, it’d be nice if we could get it to work, but we have to bow to practicality.”
Prostitution?: Legalize it and get ’em a union.
Alcohol?: Can’t stand the taste myself, but James can make some really good sauces with it.
Marijuana?: Legalize it, tax it heavily, treat the impairment like drunkeness. It doesn’t matter if it’s ten times as expensive, people will buy it. Drug deals are unpleasant and boring and stressful, ducking down to 7-11 and buying Marlboro Greens would make a lot of people very happy. And Doritos stock will quadruple overnight.
Other drugs?: Legalize the soft ones, and make the penalties for the hard ones a lot lighter. The sentences are in no way a deterrant–the average drug user has no idea at all how long he’ll get for any given amount. What deters people is getting CAUGHT, and the hassle/confiscation alone will scare them, and is much more fitting than dumping some confused hippy in jail with violent offenders. People bringing truck loads of drugs across the border should be slammed on import violations.
Gay marriage?: Let ’em marry whoever they want–what two (or more) consenting adults may get up to in their own time is so totally not my business that there isn’t even a word for how not-my-business it is. If marriage is really a religious institution, then the government shouldn’t recognize them at all, and if it’s a civil institution then they don’t have a leg to stand on denying it to homosexuals.
Illegal immigrants?: Hell, I dunno. I can think of reasons why it’s bad, but if I was in a poverty stricken nation, or worse, one of those poor bastards from the ripped up South American countries fleeing a brutal police state, I’d be headin’ north, too. That one’s kind’ve a wash.
Smoking?: Nasty habit, but it’s not my job to stop an adult from doing things they know are bad for ’em.
Cloning?: Much to-do about nothing. A clone is an identical twin in a test-tube, not a replica completely with memories and personality, and I wish to god people would get that through their heads. Also, I’m all for stem cell research (not that you asked.)
Premarital sex?: Since the only objection is from Christianity, and I’m not a Christian, I fail to see the issue. (And I remember back in the day, when my dear Catholic grandmother learned that my cousin was Living With A Man Prior To Marriage and went, in horror, to Father Bernard, a Catholic priest of such antiquity as to probably remember when Martin Luthor nailed his parchment to the door, and Father Bernard shrugged and said, “Well…I think that’s probably a good idea…” horrifying Grandma and earning him forever a place in my heart. Ahem. I don’t know where I was going with that.)
Religion?: I don’t much care for it. If it works for people, fine, glad they like it. I have an axe to grind with Christianity, but hey, who doesn’t these days? and I try not to get it out and brandish it too often.
The war in Iraq?: Saddam was a bad guy. And I think I said at the time that while Saddam was a bad guy, and nobody denied that, I was opposed because I just knew we were gonna screw it up. And we did. However, now that we’re there, I don’t neccessarily believe we should pull out–once you’ve stuck your nose in and become part of the problem, you’re honorbound to fix it, you don’t just get to step back and say “Whoa, that was way harder than I thought! Sorry! This doesn’t concern me any more!”
Bush?: I want him out of office so palpably I can taste it.
Downloading music?: Never done it. Can see both sides of the issue, on one hand, but on the other, suing twelve year old girls pretty much puts you straight into the villain’s camp.
The legal drinking age?: In a perfect society, you could drink when you graduated from high school. Don’t graduate? No booze for you! But that’s just because I believe in education, not ‘cos I care about the drinking age.
Porn?: Oh, well, I could go on about the unrealistic stereotypes about women, etc, but I really don’t care. A lot of it makes me go “Ewwww!” but I don’t have any right to regulate what other people get off on. As long as you’re consenting adults, s’not my place to tell people what they can’t star in.
Suicide?: It’s also not my place to tell someone they have to live if they don’t want to–your life is yours, to live OR NOT, as you see fit. I realize that people will probably write to tell me how wrong I am and that they were devastated when their friend/relative offed themselves, but I still don’t think that changes the fundamental fact–nobody has the right to force a mentally healthy adult to live if they’ve chosen not to. It’s not a decision you’d want to make in haste, but just as we don’t have the right to TAKE the life of said mentally-healthy-adult (barring mitigating criminal factors) I don’t feel we have the right to force it upon someone. While I would be sad if someone close to me did that, my grief is my problem, not theirs, and they are not required to live their life in misery to keep me happy.