January 17, 2007

Adultery: Unpunished No Longer

Well, people from the good state of Michigan are finally paying attention to the brilliant ideas we stem on this page. In a strange and highly unpopular legal move among the sexually indigent, a legal loophole has made adultery a felony in the state of Michigan. An abrupt change of punishment from having to sleep on the couch to having to spend life in prison may seem a bit harsh to some people, but hey, don't do the crime if you don't want to have to go to jail for having consensual relations with someone from the opposite sex. Greetings from Michigan.


Jeff said...

I think the intention of the court is sound (providing healthier marriages and strengtheing families), but I absolutely abhor the way it's being carried out.

The government should have no place in the bedroom among consenting adults. I find this kind of judicial decision to be an extreme case of government overstepping its bounds.

Certainly, divorce and adultery are something that lessen the community around us, but sexual behavior should be a private matter, including in cases of infidelity and homosexuality. I think this sets a dangerous precedent. Should government be able to restrict pre-marital sex as well? Or sexual positions that aren't optimal for child-bearing? Or sexual relationships that have no chance of producing offspring? All of these questions must be raised as soon as you start policing consensual, non-violent behavior.

In order to stay ideologically consistent, I should mention that I have the same reservations with the banning of drugs that are non-hallucinogenic or that don't traditionally result in violent behavior.

Eric Olsen said...

sex for other reasons that child-bearing? Now, you're just crossing the line.

I understand the whole slippery-slope, big-brother argument of "what's next" if they do this, but if the intention truly is (strengthening families), then no legal restraints for married couples would ever come to pass, correct?

Jeff said...

It's not just the legal restraints that could be placed on married couples that worries me (even if the court's intentions are true -- to strictly strengthen families -- which I'm skeptical about).

It's the slippery slope potential for the policing of sexual activity of unmarried individuals or currently unable-to-marry homosexuals that bothers me. It's the potential recrimation that could be placed even on a married individual for having sexual activity before the marriage or on someone that doesn't believe in waiting until marriage. It's the potential for a gay person to be told they must be abstinent for life or else risk going to jail (even if they've found someone they love and want to spend the rest of their life with in a monogamous relationship.)

It's the same reason I disapprove of sodomy laws and abstinence-only education -- they don't adress people as flesh and blood individuals (1) with built-in biological drives or (2) as capable of making their own decisions.

Such efforts instead treat people of varying sexual personalities as robots that can be forced into adhering to a strict sexual moral code established by people believing in specific religious principles.

I understand the concern of the court, but I don't believe in trying to force people into desired behaviors on this extremely private aspect of the human condition.

Also, criminalizing such relationships doesn't address the issue, either, of why divorce and adultery is such a common phenomenon.

Eric Olsen said...

great points jeff. i think i just like the idea of making ways for people not to make stupid decisions. if a guy doesn't cheat on his wife not only because he doesn't want to get caught by his wife, but because he doesn't want to go to jail, that could cause him to deny himself that thought and temptation. i don't know.

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