You’ll never guess what I just found out! Did you know that smoking cigarettes is actually not good for you? Who knew! Total surprise, right?
Okay, so I smoke. I’m not a chain smoker or anything, I smoke about half a pack a day, usually under. I am fully aware that this is not my healthiest habit, and I’m okay with that. I do plan to quit at some point, but I’m not exactly sweating over it.
Let’s get this straight from the get go though. Smoking is not a sin. Neither is eating at McDonald’s, or not working out or going out with the boys for a nice cold beer. Not a sin. Yes, I am aware that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we should take care of them, but let’s not get scrupulous here. It’s just silly. We have had a pope that smoked, saints that smoked, and plenty of clergy and religious that smoked. Not a sin.
Maybe I have been a victim of peer pressure, but as I write this, I can’t help but realize many of my heroes smoked. The pictures following on this page are just a few of the many.
I am not saying that I recommend this, and I think passing out cigarettes to kids is a bad idea. Smoking is not good for you, and if you are worried about it, or if it’s getting out of hand, I highly recommend you quit. You do not need to bring the fact that you smoke to confession however, so it’s not a sin. Clear on that? Good.
For some reason though, our government has found tobacco to be the great evil of our time. Not the endless killing of babies, or the growing homeless population, or pornography, or you name it. Nope, these are fine and dandy, but smoking, that’s just plain evil.
It’s so evil in fact, that we have decided it’s appropriate to tax tobacco separately, and at insane rates. Heck, if we make them too expensive, then everyone will have to quit, and we can avoid this terrible evil that is looming over our nation.
Now let me say, I am a very conscientious smoker. I don’t smoke in my car with the kids in it, I don’t smoke in the house, I don’t smoke in restaurants, in fact I really don’t want to bother anyone with my smoking. Most people don’t even realize I smoke. Part of the reason for this is because I live in the anti-smoking center of the universe, northern California. We can’t smoke anywhere here, and most of what I mentioned above is illegal. I can’t even go to the bar and smoke with my beer, and if I get pulled over while smoking with my kids in the car, they send us to the concentration camp.
But I digress, smoking is not a sin. (did I mention that already? Sorry!)
So when we allow our government to tax smokers differently in an attempt to change our habits, I get a little worried. Will I soon have to pay $20 for a cheeseburger? $15 for a can of beer? $500 for your gun registration? What happens when they decide that oil is a target, and my gas shoots up to $35 a gallon? Cars are still one of the top causes of unnatural deaths, will our DMV fees rise to $2000 per car? Is this truly the way we want to write policy?
It just feels inappropriate for our government to tell me what is moral and what is not through taxation. Especially when the government is so screwed up when it comes to morality in general.
It’s okay though, cause nobody likes smokers anyways.