As a free individual with the capacity to struggle with and figure out moral issues for myself, I believe and live by the idea that my moral reasoning about good and bad, right and wrong, justice and injustice defines me to a large extent. And like you, I do not like being defined by others.
Of course, that doesn’t excuse me from behaving as a law-abiding citizen living within the bounds of generally acceptable behavior and established law. After all, I do live in a society, and I do believe that social order is absolutely essential to keep that society from degenerating into a madhouse.
If elected and appointed government officials do not honor my fundamental right to think and act as a free individual, doesn’t my moral decision-making devolve to enforced obedience to religious or state-defined norms of thought and behavior? Zealots programmed by religion and ideology do not need to reason about difficult moral issues. They already have all the answers, and they believe those answers are absolutely right, not just for themselves, but for everyone else within their expanding sphere of influence. Perhaps the elimination of free will is the ultimate goal of these zealots and ideologues. Maybe they’d like to eliminate any thoughts other than their pre-cooked ideation altogether.
It might suprise you to know that some of my moral positions line up with some conservative views. However, that’s more of a coincidence than it is my buying into some pre-packaged ideology, political platform, or religious agenda, all of which I heartily despise for reasons anyone with a free mind will have no trouble understanding.
The recent Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade is an example of the political and religious mindset of the majority of the court which has become a tool of minority rule. It vexes me that they have effectively blocked the fundamental right of millions of citizens to think and act as free individuals within the parameters of the laws of the land, one of which they just trashed. This week’s Supreme Court decisions on abortion and gun control should set off a loud alarm about what protection clearly established law and precedent have in the USA. Evidently, not much.
The political appointees of the Supreme Court are well on the way to redefining what it means to be a “free” individual in the USA. They’re there for life, and I can’t help but wonder what they’ll take their wrecking ball to next. If you listen to what Clarence Thomas just said, it looks like same-sex marriage and contraception are in the crosshairs. After that, who knows? Federal and state courts and Congress and state legislatures are far from done helping to impose the rigid goals of the political right-wing and Christianists on 335,000,000 Americans.
A last thought. When it comes to levelheaded gun control measures, hyperpartisan members of legislatures and the court system are busily attempting to seriously weaken or entirely dismantle them. I guess they’re totally at peace with more babies being born to be murdered later by lunatics with easily obtainable firearms that they can openly carry in public. I reckon these elected and appointed officials sleep well because, unsurprisingly, the moral issue here obviously does not concern them at all.
Ah, well. God bless America. And good luck! Good luck to all of us in the land of the free and the home of the brave.