Friday, September 25, 2009

New York Mayor Proposes Smoking Ban in City Parks

By Theodore J. King, CRA Guest Columnist

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is now proposing banning smoking in city parks. There was a poll in New York Newsday about this proposed ban.

The poll asked: Is it a good idea because smoking is a filthy habit, even outdoors, or is it wrong because it's in the open air, or do you know?

September 14th, 17% were in favor of the ban, and 81% were against it. The next day, the percentage in favor of the ban went down from 17% to 15%, and those against it went up to 84%!!

It is good to see there are still people who use common sense, which fact brings me to Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton (1874-1936), a British writer, philosopher, and Christian apologist who wrote about common sense, including the common sense of smoking cigars.

He was a fabulous and fascinating man who wrote more than 100 books and Father Brown mysteries about a Jesuit priest who is as clever as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot but a lot more humble. G. K. Chesterton also wrote some 4,000 newspaper articles.

Four thousand articles amount to one a day for 11 years!

G.K. Chesterton was a strong advocate of Christian morality but was by no means a dour puritan, and he often had a cigar in his mouth. As Dale Ahlquist, the president of The American Chesterton Society, noted in his book, Common Sense: 101 Lessons from G. K. Chesterton, Ignatius Press (2006), he called the cigar, “My muse...Some men write with a pencil, others with a typewriter. I write with my cigar.”

And because he wrote all those thousands of articles and books, he smoked a lot of cigars!!

Mr. Ahlquist wrote about G. K. Chesterton: “He explains that there is nothing immoral about smoking a cigar. To regard smoking as immoral shows not merely a lack of clear thinking but a lack of clear standards. Lumping the wrong things together as evils blurs the lines between right and wrong and leads to chaos. It also leads to legal and practi- cal confusion.”

And Chesterton was prescient in 1927 when he said, “The lack of clear standards among those who vaguely think of [smoking] as a vice may yet be the beginning of much peril and oppression.” Today, such “peril and oppression” are the smoking bans and tobacco taxes by which we cigar smokers are persecuted.

Mr. Ahlquist in his book stated that the great G.K. Chesterton “defends smoking and drinking . . .as simple, traditional pleasures that have been enjoyed by normal people for centuries. He points out that what society calls ‘progress' usually serves to punish all the things the common man enjoys. Chesterton added, “There is no normal thing that cannot now be taken from the normal man [like cigars, fast foods, etc., etc.]. Mod- ern ‘emancipation' has really been a new persecution of the Common Man and common sense.”

G.K. Chesterton said that, to which I say: Amen -- and let us in Cigar Rights of America smokers fight this persecution in every legitimate way possible, like lobbying our legislators. For more information on G.K. Chesterton:


Cigars said...

There are some people with sense left. There's no reason smoking should be banned outside in parks. That is ridiculous.

Peter Gaseoustania said...

Smoking tobacco is still legal in the United States, and yet these so-called “public servants” are bent on raping us of every right to enjoy our hobby. It is ridiculous!

Unknown said...

Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.