There's a growing trend in municipalities in Mississippi and other states of outlawing saggy pants. No, not the ole plumber type of sagging but the modern hip hop, MTV version.
While some view this as indecent exposure or relate it to a prison lifestyle come to the streets, one has to wonder if we are seeking a governmental solution to a societal fashion choice that will run its course as most questionable fads do with time.
Or perhaps what we're seeing is another example of government gone wild under the guise of what's perceived as right.
Admittedly, sagging is a style I hope my son never picks up but is it feasible to enact laws to prevent it? Personally, I'm not particularly fond of 60's tie dye, 70's bedazzled jumpsuits, or 80's leg warmers. I'm certain a few others of you reading this join me in embracing their demise. But should those trends have been outlawed because a few of us did not appreciate their popularity?
Sagging by young people would seem to be a parental issue on the surface. At the core, it may well be an outward example of our culture's degradation as it moves further away from the Church and any moral foundation.
And yes, Church, we have four fingers pointing back at us when we point out the perceived flaws of these saggers. If saggy pants represents a style, then the government has no role in determining or seeking to shift such trends. But if sagging is a lifestyle, the Church, then, plays a huge role, one I'm sorry to say we continue to shun out of fear, differences and comfort. Such is a mission the Church should embrace, not government.
I ask you, which is more indecent: a string bikini on the Biloxi beach that barely covers what it should or seeing the top of someone's underwear rising above their pants with no other skin showing in a Jackson shopping mall?
It seems such is a matter of opinion and perception, something we as Americans have the right to determine for ourselves and our children, but not necessarily our neighbor.
Even more disturbing is that local government is increasing its reach into private lives for what many, even otherwise liberty loving conservatives, see as appropriate. In actuality, it is imposing personal preference on the general public, limiting freedom of choice, and attempting to legislate morality and good judgment, all things the Constitution and the Bill of Rights seeks to prevent.
In all honesty, this seems like a great bandwagon issue some politicians and special interest groups can rally around, claiming to have a heart for the community and its children while seeking headline glory. It is directly related to municipal smoking bans and other forms of overreach all in the name of health, safety and improving the neighborhood. And while it tugs at the heartstrings, it is not an issue rightfully to be legislated by government.
While I don't want to see your underwear or condone whatever statement you're trying to make, I'm more concerned about principled governance, liberty, and freedom of choice and expression. Eroding these creates shifting sands that rests on the whims of those in power.
Further, I'd much rather have our Sheriff and Police Departments keeping us safe from violent offenders than chasing some rebellious teenager because he's low riding. There are obvious questions regarding discretion of officers and enforcement of these saggy laws, not to mention the waste of tax dollars and resources that could otherwise be used to fry bigger fish.
Laws in America should be for the general good, not based on personal preference or to stamp out a fashion fad.
The politics of pants is a much larger issue that should be addressed by family and the Church, not a local City Council. Allowing the government to usurp your responsibility to the youth of today only creates government dependents tomorrow. Engage these youth in your community if there's a need, but don't make the government do what you, your family and your Church won't.
Posted August 6, 2012 - 4:20 pm