I just finished watching "The People vs. Larry Flynt." I have never had a deep interest in pornography. I have seen my share. And yeah, I even enjoyed it for awhile. But vicarious sexual gratification has never really done it for me. Apparently it does it for others and that's fine. To each his own. Pornography exists and will always exist.
I had never seen this movie. I had a passing knowledge of the case Larry and Jerry Falwell became embroiled in because of the news reports during the time the case was being heard at the Supreme Court. Larry won that case. And I was glad he did. First Amendment upheld and another theocratic assault rebuffed. Say what you will about Larry and his obnoxious lifestyle, but he is and was the only real defender of the First Amendment back in the 1980s when the "Moral Majority" was on the rise.
The "Moral Majority". As interesting a group as to ever come down the religious pike. Religious Zealotry packaged American style. These were the salad days of the 700 Club, the rise and fall of the PTL Club as Tammy and Jim Bakker bilked thousands of America's faithful out of money in the name of the Lord. Theocracy, meet US Capitalism. Great times I tell ya. Tammy and Jim started a 24/7 Christian TV network, created an American theme park dedicated to Jesus that clocked in as the number 3 theme park in America. Religion had always brought in big bucks. During the 1980s, it brought in even more.
Of course there were excesses. After all, humans with serious weaknesses were running things. Jim Bakker was caught with his pants down and his hands in the cookie jar. The secular government sent him to prison. Tammy continued to paste more makeup on. I am sure there were those folks who thought she should be arrested just for looking so awful, but she broke no laws other than unwritten ones about taste and class. Along came Jerry Falwell who was supposed to save Jim and Tammy Faye. Instead he took over and threw them to the wolves.
All this power mongering and loose money floating around was like stink on shit, so intertwined in all of this were the bankers and high finance gurus. Charles Keating, the mastermind of the Keating Five swindle was deeply involved with Jerry Falwell, particularly when Jerry sued Larry Flynt.
I only bring up this almost recent slice of our past to illustrate why theocrats should not be able to make secular rules. Let them run their religions as they see fit. Let them suck whatever they can from the folks who put them on pedestals. But zealotry tends to allow rationalization to replace common sense. Excessive behaviour is excused as being done for their own good. Zealots become blind to their own actions and their effect on those they have influence over. Let them write the law book and the next thing you know women are being buried in holes while the village throws rocks at their head.
It's almost 6:00 AM - Gotta go to the bike shop. See Ya...................