Afterword: Exploring the Frontiers of Law, Religion, and Family Life
John Witte Jr.
Emory University School of Law
Emory Law Journal, Vol. 58, No. 1, p. 88, 2008
This Article consists of concluding remarks to a conference on "The Child in Law, Religion, and Society." The conversations that arose in this conference raised three main questions on the frontiers of sex, marriage, family, and children. First, why has the family, especially African-American family, suffered such a breakdown in the past four decades, and what remedies and reforms are needed to ameliorate that breakdown? Second, what role can and should religious ideas and institutions play in the reformation of American marriage and family life, particularly given our cultural appetite, if not constitutional mandate, for separation of church and state? Third, what roles can and should law play in the governance of our domestic and private laws?
These questions were discussed in depth during the conference but more "unavoidable" questions will arise from these. First, what forms of marriage should citizens be able to choose, and what forms of religious marriage law should government be required to respect? Second, can criminal laws against polygamy withstand a challenge that they violate an individual’s constitutional rights to private liberty, equal protection, and religious liberty? Finally, who should bear the costs of nonmarital children, taxpayers or the mother and father of the nonmarital child?
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Marriage, family, sex, children, law, religion, societyAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 17, 2011
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.421 seconds