First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Isabella MichelucciFollow

Mentor/s

Professors Mark Jareb and Amanda Moras

Participation Type

Paper Talk

Abstract

The separation of church and state is one of the most vital pillars of a democracy so diverse as the one upheld in the United States. With hundreds of religions varying in values, practices, and gods, it is essential to protect the rights of those both with and without faith, and this can only be done with a thorough divide between religion and the law. Unfortunately, through an in-depth analysis of this country’s legal and judicial history it is clear that where a tall and impenetrable wall should stand between these two societal facets, a wispy and broken divide exists instead. The Founding Fathers prided themselves on their fierce defense of religious freedoms, but in practice favored the Christian faith of a single Holy Spirit. This bias is made apparent through the various acts, state laws, and Supreme Court decisions instated over multiple decades. The Christian ideal of marriage as a means for sinless procreation was upheld by the Supreme Court case of Skinner v. Oklahoma and the Comstock Laws. The Dawes Act of 1887, along with Reynolds v. United States, supported the Christian belief of monogamy as the only holy union. Multiple Supreme Court cases used Christian religious texts to withhold marriage rights from homosexual couples, and states took years after the legalization of marriage to implement non-religious no-fault divorce laws. Through each court ruling and state or federal law enacted, it is unquestionable that the legal unionizing of American citizens in marriage works only to acknowledge those of Christian faith through the upholding of Christian values of monogamy, heterosexuality, chastity, and fidelity. These undue preferences for a single religion in the legal system is a blatant display of the weakness of the United States’ separation between church and state, a weakness that must be both acknowledged and reconstructed.

College and Major available

Biology

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

Honors Capstone HN-300, Mark Jareb, Amanda Moras

Location

Digital Commons

Start Day/Time

5-5-2021 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

5-5-2021 4:00 PM

Students' Information

Isabella Michelucci

College of Arts and Sciences

Biology

Honors Minor

May 2021 Graduate

Winner, Best Multidisciplinary Research or Collaboration 2021 award

Honorable Mention, Best Writing/Writing across the Curriculum Prize 2021

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May 5th, 1:00 PM May 5th, 4:00 PM

The Secularization of Marriage and its Effect on the Separation of Church and State: A Legal Analysis of the Influences of Christianity on Moral Law

Digital Commons

The separation of church and state is one of the most vital pillars of a democracy so diverse as the one upheld in the United States. With hundreds of religions varying in values, practices, and gods, it is essential to protect the rights of those both with and without faith, and this can only be done with a thorough divide between religion and the law. Unfortunately, through an in-depth analysis of this country’s legal and judicial history it is clear that where a tall and impenetrable wall should stand between these two societal facets, a wispy and broken divide exists instead. The Founding Fathers prided themselves on their fierce defense of religious freedoms, but in practice favored the Christian faith of a single Holy Spirit. This bias is made apparent through the various acts, state laws, and Supreme Court decisions instated over multiple decades. The Christian ideal of marriage as a means for sinless procreation was upheld by the Supreme Court case of Skinner v. Oklahoma and the Comstock Laws. The Dawes Act of 1887, along with Reynolds v. United States, supported the Christian belief of monogamy as the only holy union. Multiple Supreme Court cases used Christian religious texts to withhold marriage rights from homosexual couples, and states took years after the legalization of marriage to implement non-religious no-fault divorce laws. Through each court ruling and state or federal law enacted, it is unquestionable that the legal unionizing of American citizens in marriage works only to acknowledge those of Christian faith through the upholding of Christian values of monogamy, heterosexuality, chastity, and fidelity. These undue preferences for a single religion in the legal system is a blatant display of the weakness of the United States’ separation between church and state, a weakness that must be both acknowledged and reconstructed.

 

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