Someone in the US government wants to ban cell phones while driving…AGAIN.
Yeesh, how many laws can we have on one subject? We get it, no cell phones, no texting, no emailing, no watching kitty cats on You Tube…and yet, now U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is calling for a federal law that would make any cell phone use illegal while driving. Here’s the link to the whole article on MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47197722/ns/us_news/#.T5qkcKtSTxc
My first reaction was like that French guy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. “I don’t think he’ll be too keen! He’s already got one, you see!” Seriously, don’t we have all kinds of laws restricting cell phone use in the car? Well, yes, actually, but it turns out they’re all a bunch of state laws. Mr. LaHood is asking for a federal law that blankets every state, saying, “Wait til you’ve stopped to tell your friend how much you loved last night’s episode of Mad Men.”
I have to admit that on this issue, I’m a hypocrite. Do I think it’s a bad idea to text or talk while driving? Yes. Do I do both? Yes. But whether you agree or disagree with banning cell phones in cars is not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about why in all heck do we have yet another law on the same issue?
Even the article addresses how multiple state laws already exist to cover driving distractions, even going beyond cell phone use. So why one more law? I guess I can see it as a “once-and-for-all measure,” but it’s really showing one of the things I most hate about this country that I love so much. We make rules upon rules for more rules and all we do is complicate things.
It’s like if the speed limit on a certain road is 60mph, but people won’t stop going 85. What do you do? Put more signs up! That’ll stop ’em! Or better yet, say it’s illegal to go even one mile over the speed limit so that we clearly define ourselves!
Um, isn’t that already there? There are already signs, so ignorance is applicable. And you’ve set a very clear speed limit, so isn’t 61 already greater than 60? So why make more rules?
Now, first of all, I’m not advocating legalism. If you’re going 85 in a 60 because you’re trying to get your bleeding friend to the hospital, then ignore the cops and get moving! They can arrest you at the hospital just as well as anywhere else!
What I’m saying is, if you have a law, enforce it. I believe we have an entire government branch for that. Don’t over-complicate things with more words and more rules to perfectly specify what’s already quite plain!
Now, again, I’m all about giving grace to people, but there comes a point when it crosses into foolishness. We try to write in more rules and more regulations to deal with the problem, but we’re really only writing our way around the problem and never actually dealing with it. We only complicate the problem by making more laws that essentially say the same thing.
For the Christian Perspective, Jesus said one of my favorite things in Matthew 22:37-40. In the Old Testament, there are a couple hundred laws. It’s virtually impossible to memorize all of them, much less do all of them, but they were guiding a society that was springing up from nothing, so a lot of laws were created all at once. But Jesus simplified everything with this passage. He summed up the entire Law of God into this:
1. Love God with everything in you.
2. Love everybody else as much as you love yourself.
Rinse and repeat.
He said that the whole Law hangs on those two commandments. Translation: Love God and love people and all those other hundreds of laws will be fulfilled by default.
It’s like this: Be a save driver. If you follow that one rule, you’ll use turn signals properly, watch where you’re driving, stay a safe distance between cars, hang up the cell phone, stay within the lines, stop at traffic lights, stop at stop signs, and stay within the speed limit. But in our legalistic society, we can’t have that one rule. We have to have a hundred individual rules because we can’t rightfully interpret the one simple rule.
Don’t cheat on me, don’t tell me I’m ugly, don’t criticize me, don’t ignore my opinion, spend time with me, enjoy my company, get to know my parents, defend me, honor me, empower me, forgive me, laugh with me, cry with me, get angry with me, don’t be cruel to me, don’t try to put me down, don’t tell me my hobbies are stupid, listen to what I say, and kiss me often enough that I feel valued.
How about just…”Love me?” That pretty much sums that all up and a lot more.
Can we please simplify things? Us normal folk can’t keep up anymore.
What do you think? How can you simplify?