Sunday, January 23, 2005

Brother Richard

Several of my high-school graduating class visited one of our former teachers today. Brother Richard recently turned 93. Thanks to Kim and Leslie for organizing the event.

Brother Richard is a member of the Christian Brothers order of the Roman Catholic Church. Though I've left the RC church for a reformed denomination, I'm grateful for the orthodox truths that I was taught in Catholic schools.

In attendance, in addition to Brother Richard, and Kim and Leslie, were Lydia, Rae, Jan, Terese, Megan, Carolyn, Catherine, Bobby, Sidney, Paul, Jimmy, Lawles, and myself.

I don't know how well Brother Richard remembered any of us. I reminded him that I was a distant relative of his brother-in-law.

When I got home, one of my neighbors was circulating a petition to prevent another neighbor from putting a dirt pit and a mobile home park on private property near the entrance to our community. While I am in agreement that I would rather not have these establishments in my community, I do not believe in using the coercive power of civil government to prevent private landowners from using their property for any lawful purpose.

There is a similar dispute in the nearby city where I work with my relatives in our family owned business. Some would like to use the coercive power of the civil government to outlaw smoking indoors in most places that are open to the public.

We don't smoke. We don't allow smoking in our home. We don't allow smoking in our business. These are our decisions. They should remain our decisions.

We should not allow anyone to use the coercive power of the civil government to prevent any lawful use of private property. These matters should be the subject of negotiation rather than coercion.

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