Adultery: It Ought to be a Crime
The Center For Moral Clarity
President and Founder
World Harvest Church
4595 Gender Rd.
Canal Winchester, OH 43110
Lawmakers and judges in Michigan are holding married couples accountable for their vows of fidelity. An appeals court has ruled that anyone involved in an extramarital affair can be prosecuted for first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony punishable by up to life in prison.
"Adultery is a violation of biblical instruction as well as an offense against the other partner in what should be a sacred relationship. Furthermore, the breach of faith is disastrous to children - as well as the broader society," said Pastor Rod Parsley. "Too many men and women are willing to surrender to passion and desires of the flesh without considering the repercussions of those fleeting moments of pleasure."
It's one thing to pass a law and something else entirely to enforce it. Although Michigan has adultery on the books as a felony, until recently, no one had been prosecuted under that law since 1971. The rest of the nation should take a look at the Michigan statute. Criminal laws are designed to force people to conform to certain acceptable standards of personal behavior. Most of society's code of conduct has its roots in the 10 Commandments.
It's interesting, though, that the commandment to be faithful in marriage is treated as insignificant by popular culture. Adulterous behavior is just as wrong - just as much a sin - as lying, cheating, stealing and murder. Yet in 21st century America, there seems to be few consequences for a "harmless" fling on the side.
Even in this particular Michigan case, prosecuting adultery wasn't the intended purpose of the statute. The wording of the law led to this interpretation. The statute actually specifies that two people who engage in sex during the commission of any other felony is guilty of a first-degree sexual offense - the case in question involved a man who provided Oxycontin pills to a cocktail waitress in exchange for her sexual favors. The maximum punishment for this charge is life imprisonment. Since adultery is a felony in Michigan, the act of having sex outside marriage could put illicit couples behind bars.
Perhaps court systems across the nation should treat adultery for what it truly is: lying, cheating and stealing.