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Fischer Wants Adultery, Fornication Made Illegal

Bryan Fischer continues to advocate turning the United States into a theocracy when he argues that adultery and fornication should be against the law because the Bible says so. Right Wing Watch reports:

Whether it is fornication or whether it is adultery, [the Apostle] Paul says there ought to be laws against those behaviors since they are so destructive to human beings. They represent a great danger to human health, adultery destroys families, it chews up children it creates poverty. Adultery does enormous social damage, it does enormous social harm. Sexual immorality, it leads to the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, that makes it a public health issue. It leads to out-of-wedlock pregnancies, out-of-wedlock births, those children have to be born somewhere, you’ve got costs involved, you have now single moms bringing children into the world with no husband, no father around, that puts a strain on welfare budgets. That means fornication, sexual immorality, is properly a matter of public policy concern. It ought to be against the law.

Comments

  1. davidct says

    Many of these social problems could be reduced by comprehensive health/sex education. Mandatory celibacy is the only solution and if enforced effectively the problems should go away in about a generation.

  2. raven says

    There go the fundies. And their leaders of course. Newt Gingrich would be doing multiple sentences in prison.

    The fundie xians score higher than the general population in teenage pregnancy and abortion.

  3. raven says

    Look at it on the bright side. Both of Sarah Palin’s adult children would be in jail. Both were responsible for pregnancies out of wedlock. One had a hasty marriage, the other is a single mother.

    Herman Cain wouldn’t fare too well either. Ronald Reagan and Pat Robertson both married pregnant women.

    I can see Fischer’s biblical idea is going to be wildly popular. We could just turn the USA into one giant prison and be done with it.

  4. The Christian Cynic says

    Whether it is fornication or whether it is adultery, [the Apostle] Paul says there ought to be laws against those behaviors since they are so destructive to human beings.

    I’m pretty sure this isn’t true. While Paul does rail against a lot of things, I don’t think any of his writings could reasonably be construed to be advocacy for legal prohibitions against those things. I’d love to hear Fischer justify that claim.

  5. raven says

    About Half of Births Are to Non-Hispanic White Women – NYTimes.comwww.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/us/06moms.htmlSimilar

    6 May 2010 – The percentage of American children born to single mothers reached a record 41 percent in 2008 — up from 28 percent in 1990. And there are …

    Fischer accidently does point out a disturbing trend. 40% of all births in the USA are to single mothers. Many of those will live in life long poverty.

    But making 40% of the US population criminals isn’t going to solve anything.

    I thought the Tea Party was for small government. I wouldn’t call running the largest prison system in the world exactly…small. Bunch of hypocritial idiots.

  6. Timid Atheist says

    Mandatory celibacy is the only solution and if enforced effectively the problems should go away in about a generation.

    Forcing people to not have sex seems to be the opposite of your suggestion to offer sex education. People are going to have sex and it’s unfair to mandate anything when it comes to an individual’s right to choose what to do with their body unless what they do harms someone else.

  7. raven says

    Mandatory celibacy is the only solution and if enforced effectively the problems should go away in about a generation.

    Oh gee. You don’t understand sophisticated fundie theology.

    With mandatory celibacy, the human race would be extinct in a generation.

    No people = no problem with fornification. It’s really that simple.

  8. peterh says

    @ #7,

    A fair amount of the writings ascribed to Paul are forgeries; a like amount is of dubious provenance. And there seem to be anti-Paul insertions in some of the genuine writings.

  9. Tualha says

    Well, to be fair, I only see one argumentum ad religio there, when he cites Paul at the beginning. Most of the rest of it is allegedly factual claims: fornication and adultery harm families, they harm children, they cause poverty, they increase STD prevalence, they cause pregnancies which end up costing public money. While his religion may well be the primary motivation for his words, nonetheless you can’t just dismiss these arguments by calling them theocratic. You have to address the claims he’s actually making.

    Fischer has failed to note that many of the problems he cites could be largely avoided through the use of condoms and other forms of contraception. Much of the failure to do so can be laid at the feet of Christian conservatives: abstinence-only “education” in the U.S., and Vatican teachings against condom use in Africa and elsewhere. The Vatican is to blame for many avoidable AIDS deaths in Africa, both of those who had sex irresponsibly, and of their completely blameless children.

    As for adultery and its effect on marriage, yes, certainly, it often does lead to divorce and harm families. This can be adequately addressed in the civil divorce courts: the party responsible for harming the marriage should pay for it, in alimony and child support. There is no reason for society as a whole to claim any injury, hence no justification for treating it as a criminal matter. Here, again, secularism has improved matters; women whose husbands are unfaithful can do much more about it than they could when public policy was more informed by biblical principles. They have more legal rights, and they have economic opportunities to support themselves. In Fischer’s imagined biblical paradise, every woman would be dependent on a man for everything, just as they still are in the Abrahamic theocracies of the Middle East.

  10. D. C. Sessions says

    Great idea, Mr. Fischer. Of course, Biblically there was no penalty for the unmarried messing around (can y’all say, “concubine?”), but the penalty for the married jumping the fence was death. And no statute of limitations, either.

    So you know that part about beams and motes, and the “first stone” thing? Start by enforcing your laws on your own, such as the current front-runner for the Republican nomination. Surely you, being the Hand of God and all, should see that the punishment is carried out.

    Right, Mr. Fischer?

  11. MikeMa says

    I cannot watch the video at work but from the comments so far, it is interesting that Fischer fails to include divorce in his prohibitions. Is that an oversight or is Bryan slowly progressing to within just a few lightyears of reality.

  12. says

    That means fornication, sexual immorality, is properly a matter of public policy concern. It ought to be against the law.

    And these people are worried about sharia law? And I always hated that word, fornication. It’s such an ugly sounding word. I think the religious nutters use it deliberately to make sex sound ugly.

    As for adultery and its effect on marriage, yes, certainly, it often does lead to divorce and harm families.

    @ Tualha. In some cases, that is putting the cart before the horse. A spouse might commit adultery because there is already a problem in his or her marriage. What Fischer and others of his ilk are saying is that if a person finds him or herself in a shitty, loveless marriage, the State should turn such a person into a criminal for having sex with a person who is not their spouse.

    While probably not common, I’m sure there are situations where one spouse is seriously injured and is no longer able to have sex. As long as the other spouse otherwise remains a devoted husband or wife and takes care of the injured spouse, is it really such a horrible thing if the caregiver spouse finds a sexual outlet with another person once in a while?

    What is wrong with religious fundamentalists on issues like this is that they are more concerned with form over substance. It’s like a temple that is shiny and ornate on the outside, but inside the walls are cracked and the floors are rotting. When two people become married, they have to stay together, because, dammit, they’re married. Problems with domestic violence? Just put up with it and pray that Jesus will soften his heart. Your spouse ignores you or you just don’t have any chemistry together. Tought shit. You took a vow before God.

    These people don’t understand that a marriage is only sacred to the extent that the participants in the marriage view their commitment towards one another.

  13. d cwilson says

    And these people are worried about sharia law?

    As I’ve said many times before, the difference between Fischer’s brand of biblical law and sharia law is the difference between Coke and Pepsi.

  14. Tualha says

    @Tommykey – Good point that some people stray because they’re unhappy with their relationship; and I agree that it can be appropriate in the cases where one spouse can’t any longer, as long as they’re honest with each other it. Same with open relationships, married or otherwise. But it sounds like you would share my disdain for those who want to have their marriage cake and eat some on the side too. If someone wants to act like a swinging single – fine! Be single! Don’t say you’ll do one thing and then go and do another – it’s not fair to your spouse. To hell with “public morality,” cheating is just plain unethical.

  15. Tualha says

    @d cwilson: Ah, but you see, they drink Coke, and they don’t want to be forced to drink Pepsi any more than we do. The difference is that we don’t want to force people to drink Coke, and they do.

  16. lordshipmayhem says

    Suddenly I’m glad that not only am I drinking ginger ale, it’s no-name store brand diet ginger ale.

  17. eric says

    Sexual immorality, it leads to the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, that makes it a public health issue.

    Does Fischer actually believe that moral sexual conduct does not transmit disease? Does he think his (hypothetical) herpes virus says to itself “oh, that’s grandma he’s kissing, better not infect her!” Does he think his wife’s (hypothetical) syphilis says to itself “well, this conception occurred in wedlock, with her husband, in missionary position, and she didn’t enjoy it, so let’s not infect this foetus.”

    Agh, what’s the point? These guys have never really cared about public health, and never will. They’re the same folks who oppose HPV vaccination. Hell, they’d probably be happier if there were more deadly and debilitating STDs.

  18. Stacey C. says

    What about people in open relationships? I’m super excited currently because my husband has a potential new girlfriend. I’m completely okay with this and, in fact, encourage it. I don’t know her yet but chances are eventually we’ll all spend time together and perhaps she and I will even become good friends.

  19. Tualha says

    Well, under the traditional biblical rules, she would be stoned to death and he would get off scot-free. (“The woman tempted me, and I did screw”, I guess.) Not sure what would happen to you, if anything. OTOH, under the standard established in the gospels (John at least, don’t know about the others), she would not be stoned, just told she was a naughty girl and not to do it anymore.

  20. says

    When is Fischer just going to go all out and admit that anything he masturbates while thinking about should be illegal?

    *Jumps in the FD time machine and checks the headline two weeks from today*

    Fischer Wants Kittens, Liver, Air Force Cadets in Uniform, Joel McHale, World of Warcraft, Ewoks, and Toddlers & Tiaras Made Illegal

  21. The Christian Cynic says

    peterh:

    A fair amount of the writings ascribed to Paul are forgeries; a like amount is of dubious provenance. And there seem to be anti-Paul insertions in some of the genuine writings.

    I’m not sure what relevance any of these claims have on the subject. I’m claiming that, at bare minimum, there is no evidence in the canonical works attributed to Paul that he took such a stance, which is precisely the kind of evidence Fischer would need to base his claim on.

  22. pa747sp says

    What is it with these people and ‘fornication’?
    Your God made humans a horny bunch. If you want to lower the rate of single mothers, why don’t you get your churches to start spending their zillions of dollars of wealth on really effective sex ed. And tell that crusty old tosser the Pope to start preaching that condoms are actually a pretty good idea. And start to realise that the 2000 year old hysteria about sex is not really very grown up.

  23. dan4 says

    Well, another “small government conservative,” Antonin Scalia, in his dissent in Lawrence vs. Texas, implied that he thinks masturbation, even when done privately, should be made illegal. When compared with THAT bit of idiocy, criminalizing things like fornication and adultery doesn’t seem that extreme.

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