Many of you know that I teach college English, and this week is finals week. Cue the fanfare and confetti because in just a few short days, I will be on summer vacation and pounding my computer keyboard as if it were hot, sweaty man flesh. It will definitely be time to
But as I sit here today, I can’t help but think of an important final exam that occurred a couple of years ago.
While my students were taking their final and I was updating Facebook (because that’s what I do while they are taking their two-and-a-half-hour final!) I started thinking, and as Gaston says in Beauty and the Beast, that’s
Lost of things were happening in our country at that time. I was extremely worried about the direction we were headed. I’m not going to get all political on you, so don’t worry. But I started thinking: what would happen if the “moral majority” took power and got everything they wanted?
So, I started a little writing exercise. You see, I hadn’t written in years. I had abandoned writing for my career in higher education and to focus on my family.
But at that moment inspiration struck.
Inspiration strikes me with rainbow stars :)
I had to do something with it or I was going to explode right there in front of my students. So while they worked on analyzing poetry, I imagined a nation where morality became prescribed. Because basically, that’s what I felt some people wanted. They wanted everyone to share their values and their beliefs whether they did or not.
Who decides which one is which?
I then drafted The Moral Amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America.
In that document, I created a fourth branch of government, one that was responsible for overseeing the moral character of its citizens. That fourth branch of government became known as the Moral Authority.
Once that new branch of government had been created, I made the Moral Authority get to work.
A year after the amendment that created them, the Moral Authority helped pass another constitutional amendment known as The Definition of Marriage, which stated: a marriage between one man and one woman was the only legal domestic relationship that would be valid in the country.
Naturally, that started a political firestorm in the America of my imagining. States that had previously allowed gay marriage were forced to abide by the law of the land. This created such a backlash among the gay community. The country was then forced to deal with angry Americans rioting against the new law. Therefore, a new amendment was passed two years later, where homosexuality was abolished. Being gay was now a criminal offense just like drinking alcohol had once been during Prohibition.
What? No more rainbows too?
This created an uproar in my future America. Citizens started to revolt, claiming that the Moral Authority was overstepping its boundaries, so the Moral Authority enacted another amendment two years after abolishing homosexuality to quell the rising tide of unpopularity that threatened to remove their power. They established a Moral Code for all citizens. Everyone was expected to do as the government dictated by following prescribed standards of care, fairness, loyalty, respect, and purity in their relationships with others and within their daily lives. A new moral law force was created to uphold moral code, and a new armed forces division was created to serve as a moral army. They were dubbed the K3, and their purpose was to deal with domestic moral terrorists, who sought anarchy through breaking moral law.
The fist of moral order
Needless to say, I was exhausted after creating this new America, and my students still hadn’t finished their exam. Now, however, I needed to do something with that new America. I couldn’t just let it sit there. I needed to populate it to show what could happen if individual rights were continually stripped away by government interference.
And during that final, approximately three years ago, I once again reclaimed my passion for writing, which turned into my novel Moral Authority.
So as I prepare for finals this year, I think back on that momentous day in my life. I have come a long way since I started scribbling out a dystopian America. I now have two published books under my belt and three more set to be published this year, one of those is the second edition of Moral Authority.
I can’t wait to see what I come up with next during these final exams. Stay tuned!