November 28th, 2011
I swiped these questions from Chris who swiped it from Leo.
 Do you have the guts to answer these questions and re-post as The Controversial Survey? Obviously. To answer the implied intend of the question, I have no problem sharing my opinions. Most people who know me well would have a pretty good idea how I’d answer on controversial topics.
 Would you do Meth if it was legalized? Not in a million years. The logic of using a drug involving Drano and other nasty ingredients is beyond my comprehension. Doubly worse when it’s the type of drug nobody does causally.
 Abortion: for or against it? Against. Unfortunately, the pro-life movement’s vocal representatives tend to be conservatives of the sort who don’t believe in sex outside of marriage or advocating birth control. To me, it’s like trying to have your cake and eat it, too. People are going to have sex, the personal morality of pro-lifers not withstanding. Making unwanted pregnancies rare and adoption a less stigmatized option (progress has been made, but there is still a “why wouldn’t you keep your baby?” judgement) would go a long way to making abortion an unappealing option. A “culture of life” to be a bit cliche. I believe in comprehensive sex education including information on the emotional and interpersonal ramifications of sex. I do not believe the schools have the primary responsibility for educating kids about sex, or anything else, but the facts should be covered in the classroom. Access to birth control and a cultural shift would lead to fewer abortions. Holland, for example, has a much different attitude toward sex and lower rates of teen pregnancy and abortion, not to say underage women account for the majority of abortions. Still, I believe it’s possible to be pro-life and open minded about sexuality in a way that can be embraced by the secular culture. After all, if those of us who believe each pregnancy represents a person, isn’t stopping abortions more important that forwarding an abstinence based agenda?
 Do you think a country would fail with a female president? Gender not withstanding, I do not believe any one president has the power to make America fail. The Founders were wise enough to limit presidential powers. With only eight years to muck about with things, even a man can’t screw it up too badly.
 Do you believe in the death penalty? I am not gung-ho in support, nor am I against. It’s a tragedy even when it’s just. It should go without saying, only cases with concrete evidence and never cases based on circumstantial evidence should be considered for capital punishment.
 Do you wish marijuana would be legalized? Doesn’t impact me either way. I suspect legalization is only a matter of time. I also suspect little will change when it happens.
 Are you for or against premarital sex? I respect why some people choose to wait. Choices about sexuality are deeply personal and can’t be judged from the outside. I’m generally pro-sex in a somewhat Dr. Ruth kind of way. Like I mentioned, in question three, I believe there are emotional and interpersonal ramifications to sex. It should not be taken lightly, but nor do I think marriage should always be a prerequisite.
 Do you believe in God? Yes. Unlike many of these other questions, I don’t feel the need to explain myself.
 Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized? Yes. I don’t disagree with those who believe the goverment should not regulate marriage, but the goverment does regulate marriage. Realistically, the goverment isn’t going to get it’s paws out of something it’s got a hand in. I suspect in a generation, people will wonder what the big deal was about gays getting married in much the same way people of my generation can’t possibly understand how the American civil rights movement was a big deal because equal rights for all races are a given.
 Do you think it’s wrong that so many Hispanics are illegally moving to the USA? Illegal is a problem, yes. I don’t care where you come from, immigrating should be done through legal channels. As things are today, neither the country nor the immigrants are best protected by a tact agreement to allow legal immigration. America looses out on taxes and pays for services for illegals. The immigrants themselves are not protected by labor laws like minimum wage or the Family Medical Leave Act. When I worked as a receptionist for an ob/gyn, we had pregnant patients who perfectly illustrated both sides of that problem. First, they were able to get Medicade while pregnant, but they would have to go back to work almost immediately after giving birth because their employers could simply replace them with no legal ramifications. I don’t consider myself qualified to develop a plan to fix the problem, but clearly there is a problem.
 A twelve year old girl has a baby, should she keep it? At twelve, it’s not even a teen pregnancy. I believe giving the baby up for adoption is the best outcome for everyone involved. No one so young is prepared to be a parent and the girl’s parents need to focus on parenting, not being grandparents, in the aftermath of whatever resulted in a twelve year old becoming pregnant.
 Should the alcohol age be lowered to eighteen? At eighteen, we consider people to be adults in every other way. Voting, marrying, joining the military. While few Americans are ready to be self-supporting at that magic age, parent’s are not legal responsible for an eighteen year old child’s well being. When you think about it, the extra years without alcohol seem a little silly. But what do I know? I didn’t start drinking – at all – until I was thirty.
 Should the war in Iraq be called off?
I’m not qualified to say. To be honest, I’ve limited my news consumption for years because it depresses me. I did support going in for the purpose of eliminating Saddam Hussein. He was a brutal dictator and whatever the reason we went in, he deserved what he got.
 Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree?
In a totally different way, I struggle with coming to a firm stance on assisted suicide in the same way I struggle with the death penalty. Arguments that those receiving end of life care would be pressured to choose assisted suicide by family, medical establishment, or insurance providers are not, I feel, unfounded. I do, however, differ from those who draw an exact parallel between abortion and assisted suicide. A fetus cannot consent. An adult with facilities intact is capable of consenting. Even still, I don’t know if I could support assisted suicide and certainly not without strict guidelines. I would prefer better elder and end of life care. For me personally, life seems so very short to begin with and, unlike animals, even with limited physical abilities and pain, humanity is intact. I do feel it necessary to note, I do not lump “assisted suicide” in with keeping brain dead bodies alive by artificial means.
 Do you believe in spanking your children?
I have spanked a child. Kate‘s daughter, we’ll call her Bits, my beloved niece. Old enough to know she shouldn’t but not to understand the danger, she ran off from Kate and I in the mall, leaving the store we were in – for the second time within a few minutes – and running into another store. I happened to be the one who found her and I knew if there was to be a spanking as we’d told her there would be, it had to be swift justice. At that age, cause and effect get quickly lost. So, do I believe in spanking? Maybe. Depending on the desired result, the child in question and the motivation of the adult doing the spanking. Motivation may be the most important piece. Anger or frustration is never a reason for spanking. With little kids, I see it more as a redirection. With older kids, I believe it looses effectiveness. I expect spanking won’t be a large part of my parenting strategy when the time comes.
 Would you burn an American flag for a million dollars?
No question. The symbol isn’t the thing. I’d burn a book. Even Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or The Bible. Am I sacrilegious, a bad geek and unpatriotic? I don’t think so. It’s a funny hypothetical anyway as the proper disposal for a flag beyond it’s usefulness is a ceremonial burning.
 Who do you think would have made a better president? McCain or Obama?
My political beliefs align better with the Republican party, so I would say McCain.
 Are you afraid others will judge you from reading some of your answers? As Dr. Seuss says, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”