Eaton: Government’s role regarding sexual behavior
By Fran Eaton Always Right/illinoisreview.typepad.com February 21, 2012 8:38PM
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a rally, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, in Muskegon, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Updated: March 23, 2012 8:23AM
“Keep out of my bedroom!” the Left shouts, damning any political candidate who dares to challenge behavior that leads to negative societal consequences.
The Left demands that public policy not only ban discrimination against, but approve and even institutionalize, what occurs in its followers’ bedrooms. It also wants public policy to help them keep their options open in dealing with the consequences of their sexual activity.
So the Left’s ridicule of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s religious beliefs and fear that he might try to reverse America’s loose morality trend isn’t consistent. Liberals want us in their bedrooms but only to approve, never to criticize, and certainly never to condemn what goes on.
But is the topic of sex too intimate for public policy? Certainly it is for liberals who resent sexual boundaries advocated by religions for generations. In most cases, 1960s free-love advocates are at the height of their public policy influence and are determined to use that political power to promote non-traditional sexual behavior.
Several Springfield lawmakers want Illinois students to be taught more about sexual preferences, how to practice safe sex and how to avoid unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases — while telling us to stay out of their bedrooms.
Sex education with no moral basis advocates illicit behavior that contributes to more disrespect for marriage and for religious beliefs that emphasize the sanctity of marriage as well as to the growing number of babies born out of wedlock.
A recent Child Trend analysis of 2010 census figures shows that more than half the women who gave birth at 30 were single mothers. Among blacks, the number of single mothers is as high as 72 percent, compared with 53 percent for Hispanic women, 29 percent for white women and 17 percent for Asian women.
A 2002 Brookings Institution study found that the chances of a child growing up in poverty is multiplied five times if the child’s mother is single. Poverty is a societal issue, and if a child’s family is unable to meet his or her financial needs, America’s benevolent safety net clicks into action.
What goes on in the bedroom does affect society because it affects the financial burden that taxpayers are forced to bear. Should society pass laws banning certain conduct in the bedroom? Absolutely not. But it should use every means available to promote positive social role models to promote stable families and enable more children to grow up independent of the state.
And that same pattern concerning American bedrooms should be in effect for the nearby kitchens. This week, Chicago Ald. George Cardenas (12th) proposed a 1-cent-per-ounce sales tax on sugary drinks to combat obesity and generate revenue.
And the kitchen invasion is not just in Chicago. The Illinois Hospital Association supports new or extra taxes on junk food, pop and cigarettes, saying they’re bad for us and add to Illinois’ exploding Medicaid costs.
The IHA backs a ban on non-nutritious foods from school vending machines and cafeterias. Let’s have the state provide healthy breakfasts and lunches for kids from homes where uninformed, unhealthy parents allow sugary cereals for breakfast, cookies for snacks and ice cream for dessert.
Let’s pass laws to make sure that parents do the right thing for their children and themselves in their kitchens. And we should employ pantry and refrigerator inspectors to make sure everyone’s buying healthy foods at the supermarket. Better yet, let’s make grocery stores provide a log of all those who’ve purchased non-nutritional Oreos and potato chips.
Such laws are highly unlikely? Maybe, but when you look around, it’s really not so far-fetched, is it? We’re in bizarre times, that’s for certain. The only possible positive outcome of all this intrusion into our private lives is that freedom-loving people will wake up and realize how many liberties have eroded while they were asleep or preoccupied.
Freedom is a sacred gift bestowed upon us by those who fought for it. Unless we take good care of it, preserve and nurture it, we will lose it.
When leaving Philadelphia’s Independence Hall after the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what do we have, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin’s answer was short and poignant and should be remembered — “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Fran Eaton is a Southland resident who co-founded and edits the conservative political blog, illinoisreview.com