A Smoker’s Paradise
I have brought you here today to discuss a basic human right that has been suppressed. A right that we once had, but that has been extinguished by the pessimists. By those who put their faith in numbers and facts and realities, and who have no respect for human addiction when it conflicts with health standards. Our constitutional right has been violated. Our freedom revoked. We cannot smoke cigarettes in public. There was a time – a wonderful time – when I could enter a restaurant and be offered both smoking and non-smoking sections. While I did not approve of the discriminatory segregation, I allowed it to go on. Now I wonder if I had taken a stand, way back when, maybe I could have prevented the oppression. But now, now I’ve been stripped of my right completely. Is it so wrong to want not a bowl of breadsticks before my meal, but a nice warm cigarette? Is it so wrong to refuse that fattening chocolate cake, replacing it with a much lower-calorie cigarette? I think not. There was a time when while I could sit in my car, waiting to pick my son up from his elementary school, and I could take a quick drag from a cigarette and no one would look twice. But now I cannot even bring one onto the campus, let alone light one. Is this not a violation of my rights? Why, when I am in my own car, can I not do as I please? While I do admit that it is necessary for me to roll the windows down, thereby releasing the byproduct of my only source of happiness into the lungs of young children, I must simply say that I do not believe that second-hand smoke really is toxic, even if every single scientist in the entire world says otherwise. There was a time when I could smoke a cigarette when the preacher’s sermon went on for too long, or he discussed a sin I myself had committed, thus putting me on edge. I could relieve myself of the stresses of the lord and have not a problem with those around me but occasional annoyed and rarely angry glare. Now I am...
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