(My Clovis News Journal column for June 20, 2014)
Not a day goes by I don't witness a complaint by someone saying their freedoms are being trampled on and legislated away. Almost everyone can point to something they enjoy which has been regulated into illegality- or severely restricted- by government edict.
Yet, if you question most of those same people you'll find they are enthusiastic about violating the liberty of others to do certain things.
That's how Americans find themselves in this current mess. People hate things others do- enough to call for government to step in- and before long everyone is violated in some way. Almost no one comes out unscathed.
I value my liberty enough to never seek to limit yours in any way. As long as you don't attack the innocent or violate private property I am content to live and let live. Completely. No matter how much I may despise the way you express your liberty.
When it comes to trampling others, religion seems to be a preferred tool to use against choices "the majority" dislikes.
People get upset when their own religious preferences are not imposed by law, and when someone else's are. That's how "Sharia Law" (Muslim or Christian) comes about, and it shows the weakness of your faith when you feel you must incorporate it into law applied to everyone across the board.
This is what I see as the basis of the opposition to a "gentleman's club" opening in the area.
If you feel it is wrong you are free to not go there. You are free to shun those who do, those who own the place, and those who work there. You are even free to shun me for my refusal to condemn it.
You are not at liberty to try to use the force of government to prevent it. You may choose to cross this line into the zone of what you have no right to do and wield government to prohibit such a business, anyway. If so, you are violating the liberty of those who want to have that choice, just as those who wish to violate your liberty might do to you.
Americans have forgotten Thomas Jefferson's wisdom: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."
If you use government and its "laws" to try to prevent this business, you are not staying within the limits drawn around you by the equal rights of others. You are actively violating the rights of the individual.