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Re: Utah as a Religious Police State

(I received this message, with "[email protected]" as well as
"[email protected]" (???) cc:ed, so I assume this message was intended for
the Cypherpunks list, with some sybase domain name weirdness, or reflector,
going on.)

At 12:30 PM -0400 9/29/96, Ryan Russell/SYBASE wrote:
>I guess that depends on your definition of liberty.  The Mormons
>originally moved there to have a place to practice their religion,
>and have freedom from persecution.  I suppose one could extend that
>to wanting a place to have the freedom to have a set of rules consistant
>with their beliefs.  Should that include freedom from interferance from
>folks such as yourself who want to change their rules, even though
>you're not presently effected?

Well, if Utah can rig a way to _secede_ from the Union, your arguments
would make more sense. But so long as they are part of these United States,
their religious beliefs about when children should be at home cannot
supersede basic liberties.

(There are some thorny issues about whether _minors_ have full civil
rights. But I certainly know that _my_ civil rights are being affected when
my children are not allowed on the streets after some hour. If my child is
out, this is my problem. I neither want cops to stop-and-detain my
children, nor do I want my tax monies to be used to control the behavior of
other people's children. Providing no crimes are being committed, curfews
for the sake of controlling the behavior of children are no more just than
would be a bunch of related behavior control laws, e.g., a ban on comic
books, a mandate that all children join after-school youth leagues, etc.)

As for "changing their rules," you're missing the point. There are
presumably many in Utah who believe as I do (maybe even some Mormons).
Those who are living in Utah, as renters, owners, whatever, should not be
bound by unconstitutional rules, no matter how many Mormon Elders favor
them. Unless the Mormons own _all_ of the property (and maybe not even
then, as renters have civil rights), they cannot impose their own notions
of morality on the rest of the population, except in compelling cases
(e.g., involving the well-known actual _crimes_).

I don't mean to pick on Mormons, as other communities have also attempted
to impose curfews and other restricitions on the children of others. My ire
was raised by Attila's enthusiastic support for laws which no
freedom-loving person should be enthusiastic about. Again, I have no
problem with Attila restricting his own children's movements, or joining
with other parents to control the behavior of their _own_ children, via
religious camps, religious schools, youth leagues, etc. He can even make
his own kids wear funny uniforms, funny religious hats, whatever.

But, for example, tellling _me_ when _my_ children may be out on public
streets (doing nothing illegal, neither robbing nor spray-painting nor
committing any other real crimes) is unacceptable.

I urge Attila (and others) to rethink enthusiastic support for curfews.

--Tim May

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1,257,787-1 | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."