In a society that is seeking to justify more deviant sexual behavior as tolerable– or even to glorify it– one of the “final frontiers” is that of adultery. It fits right in with the whole concept of it’s ok as long as it’s between consenting adults.
However, there is still a general feeling that I sense, that it is still taboo for some people, and there is some sense of shame. In my Christian college, you wouldn’t dare ask out a girl with a ring. In the outside world, it at least makes you think twice.
A recent ruling in Michigan shows just how far we have come:
In a ruling sure to make philandering spouses squirm, Michigan’s second-highest court says that anyone involved in an extramarital fling can be prosecuted for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony punishable by up to life in prison.
How is this possible? Well, a new law was just passed states that “a person is guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct whenever ‘sexual penetration occurs under circumstances involving the commission of any other felony.'” And since Michigan has, on its books a law that states adultery is a felony offense, you could get life in prison for committing adultery.
The article goes on to state that the Attorney General that pushed for clarification of this rule (as part of a different case) had himself confessed to adultery during the trial– no doubt trying to prove that that wasn’t the issue; however, he unwittingly set himself up and illustrated how far we have come.
You see, at one point in time, the state valued oaths taken in front of it. It enforced them. It put teeth to them. Now, we have all sorts of ways to get out of life long vows (like California’s no fault divorce) and we (thanks to a philandering President) devalue the sexual aspect of marriage. It’s now fine to have have extramarital activities or lie about them because “everyone does it.”
Funny. Surveys show that everyone’s not doing it. It’s just like the teens that think that all of their peers are doing it so they have to do– only the opposite. Everyone does it, says the adult, so I shouldn’t have any kind of repercussions from my activities either. And we wonder why our teens have trouble owning up to responsibility!