It is easy to get a controversy started. All one needs do is express an opinion rooted in a traditional moral or ethical position and there are people who disagree.
Many people are willing to let all the barriers down allowing for what they see as total freedom. There are people advocating for no age limits in regard to issues related to alcohol or consent laws regarding sexual activity.
It seems any time a person or group of people point to traditional family values or morals rooted in the fabric of our country, there are others who complain that morals and old fashioned ideas are being forced on them. All laws are founded upon a set of moral standards agreed upon by the majority of the people in a culture. In every civilization we know of people who try to bend the rules to see how far they can push the limits the other way.
As law abiding citizens band together to set standards by which they want to live in community, there are others who insist they have an obligation to break the rules and live as they choose rather than going by the already established limits of conduct and behavior.
From the beginning of civilization people have needed rules by which they will live. It is the generally accepted viewpoint that stealing another person’s property is not allowed. Conduct has been monitored and restrictions of behavior are part of the make up of every society. When a community determines it does not want a certain behavior or establishment within the limits of the community, we have agreed they have the right to set the standards of conduct that will be allowed.
Our Supreme Court has established that community standards are to be determined by the citizens of the community. When a people determine they do not want a liquor store within sight of a school or house of worship, they are not imposing their old fashioned ideas but seeking to assure safety for those who attend school and frequent a house of worship. Because of the history of certain establishments across the country, a local community has the right to say they will allow a strip club but will limit the range of activity within the club to align with community standards.
The age old argument of insisting that those who disagree with removing all barriers “just move out of the neighborhood” is not valid. The community of people banding together do have the right to make their choices as to what businesses are within their borders.
We would all agree (I trust) it would be a mistake to allow for the sale of alcohol with the school lunch. We know from experience across the country that the consumption of alcohol in a place where nudity is allowed is an invitation to disaster. From where I stand, a community has the right to set the standards of conduct and the allowances of behavior in such establishments.
Follow Ray Newman on Twitter @RayNewmanSr
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