This week in Middleborough, Massachusetts, voters at the Town Meeting adopted a bylaw which will impose a fine on anyone using foul language in public. The bylaw was proposed by the town’s Police Chief, Bruce Gates. One has to wonder if this could be considered a violation of the First Amendment.

The fine, which is to be enforced by the Town’s police force, is twenty dollars for each offense. There appears to be no guidelines as to what constitutes profanity and it appears that it will be an arbitrary decision. Should this be something Middleborough should be involved in? What else could it lead to? Do the Police really need to take time away from other more important duties to enforce this?

Duphily, who runs an auto parts store, is among the downtown merchants who wanted take a stand against the kind of swearing that can make customers uncomfortable.

“They’ll sit on the bench and yell back and forth to each other with the foulest language. It’s just so inappropriate,” she said. – Business Week

As a free speech kind of guy I have to wonder if this is something we should be getting into. It really is a symptom of a much deeper problem, the lack of respect we have for one another. Where has this come from?

  • First, it all starts at home. Through our “Progressive” policies, our entitlement culture, we has eroded the family structure in this country. There are more single parent families than ever before, many young males have no father figure to guide them, females also lack role models. Those families with two parents aren’t involved in the lives of their children.
  • Second we only need to take a look around at what are children are watching and listening to for entertainment. Movies and music are filled with profanity, sex and violence, sure there are rating systems, but when there are no involved parents, it doesn’t matter. Parents are either so busy with their own lives or just so ambivalent that they have no idea what their kids are doing.
  • Third, our teachers are either unwilling or afraid to do anything with students who misbehave. They run the risk of being arrested or sued if they try to discipline a student so they just ignore the problem.
  • And finally,  do we think that maybe since we have taken religion out of the schools and pretty much out of the public square this might also have something to do with it? I know for myself since I have gone back to learning religion and regularly attending church, I have cleaned up my language.

Is this problem getting worse? I think so. We are now on at least the second, if not the third, generation of kids without the above mentioned instruction, guidance and role models. Like I wrote a post or two ago, I feel bad that I haven’t taught my faith to my children, and therefore my grandchildren will not learn it either, unless of course I teach them.

We need to think about the consequences of our actions, in this case the results of our “Progressive” policies and agenda.

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