15 August 2007

Who Says We're Free

Understanding that civilized society has boundaries that individuals must operate within in order for it to remain civilized is one thing, but I think that we have gone a little nutso with rules in our culture. I still believe that those rules could be summed up in the philosophy of the juris naturalis by saying that there are only two standards by which we must life:
1. Do all that you say you will do
2. Do not infringe on another person or their property
These two things would be so simple if it weren't for the sin nature. Ah - what to do about that?
What set me off about the rules thing was opening the newspaper this afternoon to find a three page spread of the local school districts "dress code". Some things make sense - if clothing has offensive language, graphics, illegal activity, etc. it should not be allowed. Body parts being exposed would also be a no-no. I know that all these things can be subjective - but there seems to be a basic understanding of what is okay and what is not. However, where it got to me was when they started listing that clothing could not be frayed, no holes, etc. What about economically-challenged kids who finally found a popular style that they can afford and not feel ashamed? Now the style has been forbidden, and they'll get it from both the teachers and the other kids. There is also a hair length and no covering the ears requirement for boys, as well as a hem-length for girls. What about self-expression? What about individuality? They did more than moderate inappropriate clothing, they are trying to create a homogenous society, where everybody is the same.
I have been offended when someone donning a graphic t-shirt sits across a table from me at a party and there is nowhere else to look. It is disgusting and frightening the things that some people come up with and feel comfortable thrusting upon others. Yet, what scares me more is taking away the individual's right to get up and decide for themselves what to wear that day. I don't know the answer. Think about it like this - what if you think one specific issue - maybe what kids wear to school and how they cut their hair is no big deal, next thing may be much more dear to you. Maybe they'll decide that government institutions are better places to raise children than families? What if the government outlaws reading, and we must form all our ideas from media? Read Farenheit 451. We could easily go there, and it could all start with a hemline and a ban on frayed clothing.


  1. Isn't 451 a good book? I love all of Ray Bradbury's work. It sure makes you think~

  2. I have not read the book. In THE BOOK, God doesn't give a dress code except for modesty. That is what I am going to try to stick to with our kids- even if the hair covering their teenaged eyes threatens to drive me crazy one day!!!

  3. I like the idea of school uniforms (Yes I have heard all the individuality arguments, and still I like them, they actually help the economically challenged as there is less pressure when everyone is wearing khakis and a polo, not to mention that you need less because nobody can tell how many different outfits you have if they are all the same :) ) dress codes are a different thing, as they do not address the issues that uniforms do.
    My kids school has a hair policy too, not length but neatness, not in the eyes, and while I am not thrilled about it (think Ricky and hairbrush. Can't really picture that can you?), it is part of being able to attend there, just as I know that I can't show up at work in shorts and a tank top. Since I work for someone else, how I present myself reflects my employer, and I suppose that is the dress code mentality. There is a time to be individual in dressing on off hours.
    Personally, I do not mind tank tops, yet, there are some who would be offended . you say you are offended by graphic tees, but what is graphic to you may be OK to the wearer of shirt and their peers. It is so subjective that I feel like schools should be able to impose these kinds of things on a school by school basis, and if enough parents don't like it then they can try and change it.
    Having said all that actually what I really think is that public schools are unfixable, that all schools should be privatized and that way you could choose where to send child, and some would have dress codes, some not, but everyone would have choice.
    Wow that was long and I still have more to say. Should have blogged about it!

  4. I am back from my vacation hiatus and deperate to get caught up on my daily blog roll. You've been prolific and there's no way I could ever comment on all of your entries. I did however read them all and enjoyed myself as usual!

  5. OH, you should meet my husband!

    He watched a thing on the news about banning smoking in buildings and went ballistic. They have banned smoking from almost all businesses in many areas where we live.

    I am on the fence on this issue so we had a nice discussion about it.

    His point was, smoking is bad, right we all know that, second hand smoke is bad, right. So ban it in government buildings and places where you HAVE to go, DMV, schools, etc.

    But what makes him see red is when the government tells the small business guy just opening up a restaurant or bar, he can't let people smoke there. It's HIS place.

    He says what's next. They start taking people's kids away if they smoke in their own houses.

    We do not smoke in our family BTW, but his point is much like yours. The government will take our rights away one small issue at a time if we let it.

    And he was quoting Logan's Run. :o)

  6. Yes, we are losing more of or=ur freedoms every day and why because people wanted the government to take care of them. Sheesh don't get me started I have lots of opinions on several rules and laws and they aren't popular and you know how I feel about public prison.
    You write so eloquently Jewls I love reading here.


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♥ Juls ♥