Laws and Religion

Gay marriage & Crucible make religion important for justice

Same-Sex Marriage Background

The debates over same-sex marriages having equal rights like heterosexual marriages erupted in 1970. Debates over homosexual marriages are happening all over the world but some countries have already legalized it and given equal rights to them. In the United States marriage laws are left to the states so the debates in US have been the most controversial and heated. Christianity spread to the western hemisphere and it influenced the laws which included strong disapproval of same-sex relationships (not allowing for marriages). Religious reasons , from Christianity, influenced the cultural reasons for intolerance of same-sex marriage which include the traditional idea of marriage being a male and female ,and purpose of marriage is to reproduce. While those who support it claim it is in their rights to be allowed to have the same marriage rights ( " Gay Marriage" ).
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"General Assembly Passes Resolution on Same Sex Marriage." The General Secretary. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

How religion impacts marriage

Religions, specifically Christianity, strongly oppose heterosexual marriages arguing "that same-sex relationships are immoral, against God's will and subvert the goal of human sexuality, which is to produce children" ("History"). Thus the federal government has limited their involvement in such debates for the different religious beliefs not wanting to follow or go against a specific one. Meanwhile states like California and Hawaii, and laws such the Defense of Marriage Act, side with the religious beliefs of marriage making same-sex marriage illegal ("Gay Marriage"). So laws and the government are strongly influenced by religious defining what is right and wrong. But it is not only Christianity, for example, "the Islamic faith openly rejects homosexuality, citing the story of Lot in Sodom as a condemnation of homosexuality" ("history"). So they are against it because to them it is evil and corrupted. Religion also helps decided what is good and evil to create marital laws. Cultural reasons to be against heterosexual marriage are derived from the religious reasons: "the state argues that legalizing interracial marriage in 1967 made sense because those unions made babies, but gay couples should not be allowed those same rights. Why? Because that would harm Kentucky's birth rate" (Liebelson). Their argument is based on procreation and how same-sex couples cannot bear children likewise the church argues that the purpose of marriage is to procreate. Thus not being able to bear children means it is not appropriate or in "God's will" to marry ("history"). Another example is "the right to marry is rooted in history and tradition, but history shows that tradition does not dictate who gets to exercise certain rights" (Carpenter). History and tradition have long made the image of marriage be of that of a man and a woman but tradition didn't make the final decision or force it. The people who follow those religious traditions are who enforce them. Therefore the religious traditions and beliefs form laws, policies and cultural beliefs of same-sex marriage.

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"Newsroom." Goldstein & Sack on Same-Sex Marriage. Roger Williams University School of Law, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

The Crucible

In The Crucible, religion had an immense impact on the witch trials like the possible suspects and whether they were guilty. For example, when Hale is at the Proctor home: "Aye, But the Devil is a wily one, you cannot deny it. However, she is far from accused, and I know she will not be. I thought, sir, to put some questions as to the Christian character of this house, if you'll permit me" (Miller 1061). Hale is inquiring about the goodness and faith of the Proctors to see if they have any relations with the devil. He is saying that for Elizabeth to be free from accusation with the law her faith and righteousness must be proven first. So it is not real evidence of evil deeds or 'witchcraft" rather the level of one's religion and faith that saves or incriminates them with law officials. The religious impact is also shown when Proctor exclaims "If she is innocent! Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God's fingers" (Miller 1069). The accusers, and the innocent are extremely religious involved with the church and holy without evils ("as clean as God's finger's"). So being holy saves people from the law because the holy are creating the laws and persecutions for they accuse others and are believed. Danforth says "I pray you, Mr. Parris. Do you know, Mr. Proctor, that the entire contention of the state in these trials is that the voice of Heaven is speaking through the children" (1077). The trials and everything in relations to them (law) was based on the "voice of heaven" from the children. They believed the children were innocent, speaking complete truth and holy so the "voice of heaven" could only come from them. So the laws and court system were based and practiced on those grounds (accusations from the girls) without questioning it because it would be like questioning God and the good. Thus the law was heavily almost completely based on religious beliefs of good and evil.


Debates about same-sex marriages are surrounded around the religious ideas of marriage which is a man and woman to procreate. According to these belief, it is "God's will" for the opposite sexes to mate and bear children. These religious ideas influence the cultural ideas of marriage; thus, influencing the laws on heterosexual marriages. Similarly, in The Crucible the courts, accused, convictions were based on holiness of the people. The more holy and religious a person in Salem was, meant they were good and not with "devil". The more the person seemed to be apart or against the church meant they were evil so accused and convicted. The whole court system (trials) was based on "the voice of heaven" so again on religion and the good. Thus, both same-sex marriage debates and The Crucible are heavily based on religious beliefs.


Carpenter, Dale. "Mississippi and Arkansas District Courts Strike down State Marriage Exclusions." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 26 Nov. 2014. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

"Current Season." University of Wisconsin-Platteville. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

"General Assembly Passes Resolution on Same Sex Marriage." The General Secretary. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

"Gay Marriage." Gale Student Resources in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Student Resources in Context. Web. 7 Dec. 2014.

"History and Debate of Gay Marriage." Gay Marriage Debate. N.p., 2013. Web. 27 Nov. 2014.

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Viking, 1953. Print.

Liebelson, Dana. "Kentucky: We Can't Legalize Same-sex Marriage Because Gay Couples Don't Have Babies." Mother Jones. Mother Jones and Foundation for Naional Progress, 13 May 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.