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I find our nation's relationship with American Indians (Native Americans, First Peoples, etc.) interesting. Before we open up the floor for discussion, here is a quick synopsis of my limited knowledge in this area:
1. Europeans steal continent and attempt to annihilate its inhabitants
2. The ones that escape death are driven into poverty
3. The descendants of these Europeans feel guilty
4. They give the descendants of these original inhabitants from whom the land was stolen the right to do something that is illegal for the rest of the population.
Step four is where it gets a bit strange. I'm not passing judgment on it, I just think it odd.
Moving on, I am all for legalizing gambling, prostitution and recreational drugs. Even though I'm not a fan of any of these leisure time activities, I think consenting adults should be allowed to do what they want as long as it doesn't hurt others. Which means you don't outlaw drinking, you outlaw drinking and driving. You don't outlaw drugs, you outlaw driving while tripping. You don't outlaw prostitution, you outlaw selling your wares without regular medical checkups, and leaving the house in hotpants that are clearly too small for your ample booty.
That being said, I don't much understand the fun of either gambling or prostitution. With gambling, I can't help seeing it as a hole in the ground that you throw your money into on the slim chance that the hole is not only not too deep to reach into and get your money back, but that there might be more money already down there. I've generally found money hard to come by in my life and giving it to someone else without much hope of any return doesn't seem fun.
Regarding prostitution, I don't understand having relations with someone who is only pretending to want to have relations with me. It makes me feel impolite, like I am inconveniencing someone else for my own selfish needs. To my mind, much of the fun of coital activity is that the other person is having a good time, too. I felt this same sort of shame when I took tennis lessons years ago – I loved playing tennis with friends, but hated hitting with a pro because I knew she was only doing it for the money and wasn't having any fun. A wealthy friend of mine once said of my views on this that I "just don't understand the master/slave relationship." Creepy. Maybe that's why he's wealthy and I'm not.
Still, I can't help but feel these things are illegal purely because of a combination of fear and religious notions. When communities do legalize these activities, they don't go up in flames any faster than the ones ruled by churchy notions. And when societies let religion dominate law, eventually all hell breaks loose.
I'd choose casinos over jihads any day. But then I'm just a fringe liberal.
(NOTE: These comments are not meant as a condemnation of personal faith but rather the practice of using religious ideas to govern.)