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Moral Crusades

Updated on November 10, 2019
Aydasara profile image

Aydasara Ortega is a Faculty Member of Psychology at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

Have You Ever

Have you ever found yourself apparently offending someone's sense as to what is "moral"? Did you wonder who came up with said standard? Have you asked, why would some feel entitled to enforce their idea of what is "right" upon others? I have. More than once, we have.

Hunting and gathering first hand information
Challenging definitions of sin


For Instance

For instance, take the outlawing of drugs in the early 20th century, which was part of the medical profession's efforts to monopolize control over them:

"Once drugs were made available only through a physician's prescription, the pharmaceutical companies [...] channeled all their promotions to health professionals. By the 1960s, more than 90 percent of the PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES' SPENDING ON MARKETING WAS AIMED AT DOCTORS (with the rest targeting pharmacists and hospitals). Now the bulk of pharmaceutical promotional spending was on sales representatives called “detail men,” pharmaceutical sales representatives who visited physicians' offices, and on advertising in medical journals. Thus, federal regulation granted physicians authority not only over access to prescription drugs but over the dissemination of commercial drug information as well."


Look at the prohibitionist movement, which was set up by rural Anglo-American Protestants to try to cut right off the culture of immigrants in the big cities: Irish, Italians, Russians ... you name them:

"Prohibition represented a conflict between urban and rural values emerging in the United States. Given the mass influx of migrants to the urban centers of the United States, many individuals within the prohibition movement associated the crime and morally corrupt behavior of American cities with their large, immigrant populations. Saloons frequented by immigrants in these cities were often frequented by politicians who wanted to obtain the immigrants' VOTES IN EXCHANGE FOR FAVORS such as job offers, legal assistance, and food baskets."


How was either example "moral"? How was either "holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct"? How?


Now, think of how across the United States today, people are jailed for unpaid bills when unable to appear in court, where more than half of the debt in collections comes from medical care, often taken on WITHOUT A CHOICE or an understanding of the costs, with the sickest patients often being the most indebted and not exempt from arrest:

"In Indiana, a cancer patient was hauled away from home in her pajamas in front of her three children; too weak to climb the stairs to the women’s area of the jail, she spent the night in a men’s mental health unit where an inmate smeared feces on the wall."

How is that for "right" - the cause of truth or justice?

Moral Crusades

Society creates crimes in an arbitrary way by passing laws against certain actions, practices, persons ... even circumstances, and labeling them. Many things would not be considered “wrong” by most people, if there weren't laws chastising them. If there were not moral crusades trying to have standards set in place to stigmatize them.

© 2019 Aydasara Ortega Torres


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