By Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
The Colorado legislature is considering the repeal of laws in the state that criminalize adultery or any act that would “promote sexual immorality.” According to Lynn Bartels of The Denver Post, the process of repeal is now well underway, with the House Judiciary Committee voting 8-3 to take adultery and sexual immorality out of the criminal code in Colorado.
Missing from the legislative debate, at least as reported in the media, is any acknowledgment of how such statutes entered the law books in the first place. Throughout most of human history, morality and law were united and in agreement when it came to the reality of adultery and the larger context of sexual immorality. Laws criminalizing adultery were adopted because the society believed that marriage was central to its own existence and flourishing, and that adultery represented a dagger struck at the heart of the society, as well as the heart of marriage.
Marriage was not considered merely a private arrangement. Every society regulates marriage, and most have adopted clear and punitive sanctions against adultery. But the moral and cultural revolutions of the past several decades have shifted the meaning of marriage from a public institution to a private contract….
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