Christian Morality and Its Influence on U.S. Legislation as Illustrated by Laws Pertaining to Homosexuality
Christian morality affects the formation of statutes of legality in the United States in a variety of ways. As the United States is in a sense still considered a Christian nation, the connection is sometimes deemed appropriate. However, the United States is becoming more pluralistic, and as such, the influence Christianity has on the process of legislation in some cases must be questioned. By investigating the ways in which it has influenced laws pertaining to homosexuality, it becomes evident that in some ways Christian beliefs influence legislation in a manner that is inappropriate. It is also apparent that Christianity does have an effect, whether it is appropriate or not, alternate interpretations of Christian ethical beliefs can lead to more just laws. Involved in this discussion is an investigation into the ways in which the manifestation of some Christian beliefs contradict other Christian teachings, by leading to the criminalization of the persons who are alienated by the dominant society, in this case, homosexuals. Certain behaviors become illegal due to society's perception of them as immoral, on the basis of Christian conceptions of morality. Society perceives these behaviors as immoral because people, for the most part, do not identify with the practitioners of the "immoral" behavior. By criminalizing homosexuals and other alienated persons, people are unjustly punished and important issues are avoided.
© Copyright 1994 Jane M. Erickson