I have been thinking a lot recently about drug policy and my position on it, and while I am not prepared to address the broad range of issues inherent to the totality of the discussion, I would like to state my position on one point of contention in the debate.
There have been many on the pro-legalized-drugs side of things that offer up an argument or train of thought in regards to law enforcement that I would like to address. The argument goes, “If drugs weren’t illegal people wouldn’t spend so much money on them (thus creating a lucrative market for suppliers and distributors), and there wouldn’t be so much drug related crime. There wouldn’t be drug wars between violent gangs, there wouldn’t be theft to support drug addictions, wouldn’t be so many consumers in prison on the tax payer’s dime, etc.”
To this train of thought and its variations (the above is my own wording but I believe it accurately frames the logic behind it) I would say…we wouldn’t have so much murder related crime if we made murder legal. There wouldn’t be an opportunity for evil people to benefit from murder (professional hit men) if murder was legal. For that matter, we wouldn’t have much theft related crime if we legalized theft, or at least petty theft. There wouldn’t be professional thieves…wouldn’t be vibrant black markets, etc.
Obviously, those are fairly extreme examples, but do you see what I am saying? This train of logic, to my mind, is an unacceptable approach to the issue logically and is blatantly un-biblical besides. Where does the Bible say that the government should reward evil and not reward good? In what way does logic decree that a completely unrestrained society can be just or functional? Regardless of what you believe to be the proper function of government, in order for you to believe in government itself you must believe in some sort of basic order…order that allows society to function. Whether enforcing this established order is challenging or whether this established order presents an opportunity for ingenious criminals and evil people to profit by circumventing and breaking laws is also beside the point. The point is, “What is right?”
The issue properly at the center of the drug debate is not “Would legalization cut down on crime (by taking away the opportunity for crime) and expensive law enforcement?” The issue is whether the regulation of drugs is a proper function of the government. To that specific point I will say nothing in this post. All I want to say is that laws by their very nature create a positive and a negative, crime as the negative and law abiding as the positive. We don’t eliminate the positive because it creates a negative if we believe that there is such a thing as right and wrong.
If one believes in no laws then by all means they should say so…only a free, open and honest exchange of ideas and beliefs can lead to intellectual sharpening, moral stimulation and steeling strength. But, if you believe in having some structure of society then it seems you must agree with me that the above outlined argument (to which I am responding) is quite wrong, unproductive, and blatantly un-biblical.
I am of course open to being proven wrong or hearing any insight and wisdom others might have to offer. I probably don’t know fully the limits of my knowledge and wisdom (such as it is) thanks to the curse called pride, but I do know that I have somewhat easily reached limits. 🙂
As a closing note to explain a little where I am coming from…I don’t believe this nation is a theocracy in the vein of the Old Testament, nor do I believe I am called to advocate an Old Testament type theocracy. I believe the Bible speaks to the issue of civil governance in limited quantities. But I also believe that, as a Christian, I must advocate a God honoring basic social structure when and how I can with the understanding that my influence on the actual making of law (thus creating the positive of law abiding and the negative of law breaking) may be limited. Not all answers can be found or goals achieved through the government, thankfully. However, there is a minimum that we must fight for fiercely…because if that minimum is not met not only will we no longer be under the blessing of God as a nation, which is curse enough itself…we will be under His wrath…a truly frightful thing to think of.
God bless and veritas supra omnis!