They started with salt and transfat. Now they’re going after 16-ounce drinks, but it won’t stop there. You can count on it. Prohibition didn’t work, and neither does the “war on drugs.” So don’t expect banning certain foods or large portions will make a dent in the battle over obesity. This type of government intrusion is a set up for big and better government programs.
Self-government is the key to behavior modification not civil government. Dieting is all about self-control. Anybody can lose weight. Burn more calories than you eat. It’s that simple. Does it take will power? Sure it does. Who’s responsible when I eat too much? I am.
Once people get used to the idea of government regulating our lives in these small areas where they do not believe the law will adversely affect them, they will acquiesce in more significant areas. Mayor Bloomberg’s sugary drink ban creates a mindset that the government is not our Big Brother but our “Big Father.”
“The paternal state not only feeds its children, but nurtures, educates, comforts, and disciplines them, providing all they need for their security. This appears to be a mildly insulting way to treat adults, but it is really a great crime because it transforms the state from being a gift of God, given to protect us against violence, into an idol. It supplies us with all blessings, and we look to it for all our needs. Once we sink to that level, as [C.S.] Lewis says, there is no point in telling state officials to mind their own business. “Our whole lives are their business.”1 The paternalism of the state is that of the bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them to break loose. The paternal state thrives on dependency. When the dependents free themselves, it loses power. It is, therefore, parasitic on the very persons whom it turns into parasites. Thus, the state and its dependents march symbiotically [in close union with one another] to destruction.”2
The drink ban proposal won’t work, and when it doesn’t one of two things will happen: (1) the ban will be dropped or (2) additional bans will be put into place. The latter is the most likely to happen. “We have to do more,” Bloomberg and his diet surrogates will tell us.
Conservative are of accused of being “Taliban-light” because of laws banning killing pre-born babies and stopping the government from mandating that businesses cannot discriminate against people because of their sexual behaviors and forcing homosexual marriage on our national values.
- C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 314. [↩]
- Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, , 1993), 184. [↩]