“…it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people. And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you…”
At the end of King Mosiah’s reign over the Nephites, he proposed a change in the government.
Mosiah suggested the people elect judges to rule the government. Mosiah believed greater and lesser judges could hold each other in check, and thus the government could avoid corruption.
As in the Nephite reign of the judges, the United States government has leaders elected by the people. Over the last two centuries the United States had demonstrated how democracy is often better than monarchy. While democracy can be very good, it can lead to negative consequences if the majority of the people begin to favor secular laws.
In recent years, a majority of Americans (and their judges) have begun to vote in support of a few questionable laws. Here’s a brief summary of some of these laws and their potential negative impact on the United States.
Debatable U.S. laws
1) Gay marriage
- Summary: Massachusetts became the first state to grant same-sex marriage licenses in 2004. Shortly thereafter, other states approved same-sex marriage, including: Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Washington, D.C also allows same-sex marriage.
- Negative impact: The meaning of marriage is eroding. There are growing views that marriage is optional and that any sexual behavior is acceptable. More children are growing up with a confused identity. Gay and lesbian couples are more susceptible to depression, drug abuse, and suicide attempts – even in the Netherlands where gay marriage is more socially acceptable. One study found gay and bisexual men to have a life span 20 years shorter on average. Homosexuality is creating an attitude of acceptance of sexual promiscuity- people who have homosexual behaviors often have dozens or even hundreds of partners, increasing their risk of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
2) Marijuana use
- Summary: Recently some people have vied to use marijuana to treat eye and bone diseases. In 1978 a judge ruled to allow Robert Randall to be able to use marijuana to treat his glaucoma. Subsequently the University of Mississippi grew a marijuana farm and gave 300 marijuana cigarettes to Randall each month. In 1992, Randall began distributing marijuana to his AIDS patients. The government still ships marijuana cigarettes to seven of those patients. In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215 that legalized the medical use of marijuana. Since then, 15 other states have legalized the medical use of marijuana. Technically the federal government could punish people who use marijuana for “medical purposes,” because it is against federal law. While the federal government has cracked down and arrested people growing marijuana, the Obama administration may stop punishing people for using marijuana. In Alaska, Massachusetts and New Hampshire it’s legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana.
- Negative impact: An increased risk for many health problems, including: lung disease, psychosis, panic attacks, hallucinations, paranoia, bipolarity, schizophrenia, depression, and aggressiveness.
3) Birth control
- Summary: On January 20, 2012, the Obama administration announced all employers will be required to provide free birth control insurance for their employees. Religious organizations in objection to the new law will be given one year to comply.
- Negative impact: It’s becoming more socially acceptable to not have children and to have abortion. This trend contributes to society’s sense of individualism and selfishness. This cultural mind-set has the potential to undermine the importance of the family, not only as the fundamental unit in society, but also as the center of God’s eternal plan.
4) Pornography access
- What happened: In 1998, the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) required commercial distrubutors of pornography to protect their websites from children. On March 22, 2007, a judge ruled against COPA, saying it violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.
- Negative impact: Many people are becoming addicted to pornography. Pornography is destroying families. Patrick Fagan, director of the Center for Research on Marriage and Religion said pornography was a factor in 56% of divorces. Pornography also contributes to selfish and abusive behaviors. Ted Bundy attributed his horrific crimes to his childhood addiction to pornography.
5) Alcohol consumption
- Summary: The National Minimum Drinking Age Act (1984) requires each state to require its citizens to be 21 to purchase and publicly possess alcoholic drinks. The law however, does not completely guard against underage drinking. For example, over 30 U.S. States allow some form of underage drinking – such as in private settings or in certain locations. Wisconsin allows children to drink alcohol if they are with their parents. Underage drinking is also allowed in medical, religious and club organizations.
- Negative impact: Many health risks, including: liver damage, pancreatitis and stomach ulcers, About 10 million people age 12-20 reported to having drunk alcohol in the last month. More than half of high school seniors reported having gotten drunk before (54%). Read more about the prevalence of underage drinking.
“Can the liberties of a nation be sure when we remove their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are a gift from God? “
- Thomas Jefferson
Personal Notes: There is a strong undercurrent in society saying that in order to be accepting of a person, you must be accept their lifestyle. While we love the sinner, we should hate the sin. Sin is never good, no matter how we may justify it. While we love and should try to help people who struggle with homosexuality, drug and pornography problems, we certainly should not allow those sins to become supported by our nation’s laws.