In addition to the Constitution being established on Christian principles, it is also true that much of our law is based on Christian law and morality. "The Ten Commandments are the moral and legal foundations of Western civilization," said Professor Israel Drapkin. America's common law tradition can also be traced through English common law back to its roots in biblical revelation. "While the Roman law was a deathbed convert to Christianity," wrote law professor John C.H. Wu, "the common law was a cradle Christian."
In Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. United States, a case in 1890 in which Mormons asserted that polygamy laws were an encroachment on their religious liberties, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Christian beliefs would be the standard by which the practice would be judged. The Court stated, "The organization of a community for the spread and practice of polygamy is, in a measure, a return to barbarism. It is contrary to the spirit of Christianity and the civilization which Christianity has produced in the Western world." In another case that same year, Davis v. Beason, the Court held that "bigamy and polygamy are crimes by the laws of all civilized and Christian countries Probably never before in the history of this country has it been seriously contended that the whole punitive power of the government, for acts recognized by the general consent of the Christian world in modern times as proper matters for prohibitory legislation, must be suspended in order that the tenets of a religious sect encouraging crime may be carried out without hindrance."
Was this article helpful?