New England, specifically Massachusetts Bay, was once the seat of colonial puritanism. There a bunch of meddling busybodies and hypocrites--each calling himself "Goodman" or herself "Goody" as evidence of their Christian humility--utilized the coercive powers of government to injure and all to often kill anyone who chose to live according to a different set of precepts.
Let's see, there's the "pressing" death of Giles Cory, who was unjustly accused of witchcraft by a defendant hoping for mercy. Cory refused to enter a plea, which according to common law at the time meant that he could not be charged formally with witchcraft. In an attempt to force a plea, the court ordered that Cory be laid upon his back with a wooden palette upon his chest. Every time they asked him to cooperate and he refused, heavy stones were placed upon the palette until finally, after the application of hundreds of pounds of weight (all distributed on Corey's chest and stomach), Cory defiantly requested "More weight," and died.
Flogging was common for people who either skipped church or dared to conduct business on the Sabbath.
Roger Williams was banished--often an indirect death sentence given the wilderness surrounding the colonies--for having such crazy notions that an individual's relationship with God was something that neither the community nor government could mitigate. Luckily for Williams, he befriended the Narragansett's and negotiated with them to build his own settlement, which he called Providence--and which later became the colony of Rhode Island, a religious colony that was "radical" in its tolerance of other faiths and denominations.
In 1660, Mary Dyer was hanged for being a Quaker, this following a year that saw similar fates for at least six other Quakers.
Catholic priests were officially banned from even entering the colony, lest they be hanged (yes, that was the law).
The first execution in Massachusetts was of a teenager for a sexual act involving a farm animal (yes, that's disgusting, but it's pretty much the description of a victimless crime--besides, I heard that the sheep was into it).
The list goes on and on.
While there are still many puritans in Massachusetts, they aren't the Christian kind; they're of the socialist (or as they call themselves "liberal") ilk.
However, I think that California has surpassed Massachusetts in modern-day puritanism.
It seems that there is nothing that California's politicians think is outside of their jurisdiction. Trans-fats, while clearly unhealthy (or so I've been told) are now illegal in California. The people don't even have the choice. More recently, Los Angeles is looking into banning new fast food restaurants in the impoverished, southern part of the city. Apparently, obesity is a problem in this area, and politicians have blamed this on the number of fast-food joints there established.
Hell yes, California! These folks eat fast-food because its cheap, and they're too poor for much else. The solution: get rid of the fast food-joints. This will surely solve the obesity problem. Just ask any anorexic person. When you don't eat, you lose weight.
It's just like the meddling SOB's who rail against countries in which children work in factories. These children work because without their wages, however meager, their families will starve. Which is better: a child who works but eats, or a child who doesn't work and doesn't eat? Who's really the compassionate one here, Bono?
Seriously, have you heard about Bono's textile factories in Lesotho, Africa? He pays salaries, not hourly wages. When you do the math, if his employees' salaries were measured according to hours worked, his employees work for below Lesotho's minimum wage. But don't blame Bono. Everyone knows that he moves in mysterious ways.
What people need is more freedom, not less. At any given moment, people are doing what they have deemed for themselves as what is best for them at the time. Whether or not the people are correct, it's their lives. Besides, history does not demonstrate any government's ability to do better for it's people.
Hey, California! Water can lead to death both by over-hydration and drowning. Water is also a key component in urine (ugh, how gross!).Why don't you save your citizens by banning water?