"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

But Alcohol is Legal

Two men, both in similar lines of work, died at the same time and found themselves standing before Saint Peter, in front of the “Pearly Gates.”

St. Peter explained that since they had both died at the exact same moment they were both before him at the same time. He also said they would have to take a “burden of guilt” test to get into heaven.

The two men looked at each other. One of them, wearing a suit and tie, asked, “What is a ‘burden of guilt’ test?”

St. Peter smiled a saintly smile and explained the test was designed to indicate the burden of guilt we carried from what we did in life and any negative consequences to society that we had caused.

St. Peter then turned to the other man, who was wearing jeans and a T-shirt, and informed him that Mr. Suit and Tie was the CEO of a major liquor company. Then he told Mr. Suit and Tie that Mr. Jeans and T-Shirt was a cocaine dealer.

The CEO relaxed and smiled. He took the coke dealer’s hand and shook it and told him he was sorry that he had failed the test, better luck next time, and so forth.

St. Peter coughed discreetly and informed the CEO that the test wasn’t a contest between the two of them, with the winner getting into heaven. Then he asked the CEO why he thought, had it been a contest, that he would have won.

The CEO looked nonplussed and explained that the other man was a dealer in an illegal drug, and everyone knew how bad cocaine was, how the government was waging a huge, multi-billion dollar per year fight against the evils of cocaine and other illegal drugs. On the other hand, he explained, he was a pillar of the community, ran a legal business, supported politicians who were tough on drugs, and so forth.

“So, what’s your point?” St. Peter asked. “You were both in the drug dealing business.”

But before the CEO could respond, St. Peter started the test. He asked the cocaine dealer the first question.

“Approximately, how many deaths per year are caused by the mere use of cocaine?”

“I don’t know,” the coke dealer replied.

“About 2,000,” St. Peter said.

He then asked the CEO the same question regarding alcohol.

“But that’s not fair,” Mr. CEO said. “Alcohol is legal. It’s not a crime to make or sell, with the proper licenses, of course. Besides, we always put warnings in our advertisements about using alcohol responsibly.”

St. Peter sighed. “The answer is between 80 and 100 thousand deaths per year.”

The questions came fast and furious then, with the CEO getting buried under the facts showing that alcohol is, overall, much more harmful to society than cocaine.

The number one cause of retardation in newborns is alcohol abuse by pregnant women; over 50 percent of all violent crimes are caused by people drinking alcohol, including 64 percent of all murders in large metropolitan areas, 54 percent of all rapes, 40 percent of all traffic fatalities, with drunk driving being the number one cause of teen-age deaths.

And on it went. Of course the coke dealer’s burden of guilt wasn’t negligible. It was just a whole lot less than that of the CEO of the liquor company.

The cocaine dealer was feeling pretty good by this time but the CEO had gone quite pale. He was sweating and tugging at his tie. He kept saying, “Yes, but alcohol is legal.”

At one point, when the CEO made that statement, St. Peter told him that slavery had been legal at one time too. Didn’t make it right, but it was legal.

Finally, the test was over. St. Peter tallied up our “burden of guilt” scores. He shook his head and frowned, then gave a big sigh.

“Obviously, neither one of you is an angel,” he told us. “Neither one of you can get into heaven. At least, not just yet anyway, for one of you.”

He turned to the cocaine dealer and said, “Your burden of guilt is not nearly as large as the CEO’s. You will have to go to purgatory for a while. Maybe, just maybe, after a time, you can atone for your sins.

“But you,” St. Peter said, as he turned to glare at the liquor company CEO, “are going straight to hell, where you will burn for eternity!”

As the trap door opened beneath us, and during our long fall from grace, the CEO kept screaming, “But alcohol is legal!”

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