WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to Mike Lee’s website, the Senator from Utah has “earned a reputation as an outstanding practitioner of the law based on his sound judgment, abilities in the courtroom, and thorough understanding of the Constitution.”
I emphasize that last bit because as I sit here reading the text of (and Lee’s press releases about) the “Interstate Obscenity Definition Act” (“IODA”) and the “Shielding Children’s Retinas from Egregious Exposure on the Net” (“SCREEN”), I think a person could be excused for thinking Mike Lee either doesn’t understand the Constitution quite as thoroughly as he claims — or that he’s one of many cynical assholes in our national legislative bodies who knows full well when he’s proposing something badly out of step with mainstream Constitutional interpretation and just goes ahead and does it anyway.
As I’m not a lawyer or Constitutional scholar, I’ll leave the analysis of those bills to someone else. (I will note, however, that more than one attorney who specializes in First Amendment jurisprudence has told me Congress simply lacks the power to offer a new definition of obscenity, because that’s the job of the courts, which have already set the Miller Test as the standard – and which have declined on several occasions to amend that test.)
Instead of criticizing Lee’s bills, I’m going to helpfully offer some ideas for a new and different bill, one with a much broader scope than IODA or SCREEN. The way I see it, to merely stretch the bounds of the Constitution and key definitions that shape the contours of the First Amendment is a half-measure, when what this country needs is a bold, decisive, no-rights-barred approach to eviscerating all protections for any and every one of life’s small pleasures that isn’t explicitly endorsed in the Bible — and the Book of Mormon, of course, because how could I leave that tome out when I’m trying to appeal to Mike Lee, a member of the Church of LSD LDS?
So, America, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the Narrowing Options For Unamerican Nonsense (“NO FUN”) Act.
To be clear, they haven’t drafted the full text of the bill yet, but my talented, hardworking, but admittedly nonexistent staff assures me they’re working on it. I can still give you the gist, though.
Under the NO FUN Act, Americans will no longer be allowed to smoke, sing, dance, drink, fuck (other than for the purpose of omnipotent-deity-sanctioned procreation, of course!), play sports, play video games (other than Joseph Smith’s Tomb Raider) publish or read anything other than the (correct) scripture, or to watch each other do any of the above things.
This might sound extreme, insane, unconstitutional and dumb – and the NO FUN Act is all those things and more, to be sure – but we’re trying to save America here, people. And as Barry Goldwater once should have said: “Extremism in defense of Real American Values is no vice – and moderation in pursuit of ridding the world of all things that are even remotely enjoyable is no virtue.”
Just think of how much calmer, safer and more godly America will become when everyone is restricted from doing anything other than work, worship and eat!
Granted, after passing the NO FUN Act, we’ll need to come up with some reasonably extreme federal regulations regarding that “eat” part, lest we allow people a moment of sinful mirth at the dinner table. You know what they say: “Eat, but don’t drink and don’t be merry, for tomorrow you may die – and you’d best be wearing your magic underwear when that happens.”