Sex, Religion, and Law from America’s Origins to the 21st Century [subtitle]
If you’re unsure of your ability to demolish the “Christian Nation”, lie, this book is for you.
Geoffrey Stone opens “Sex and the Constitution” with the words of SCOTUS Justice William Brennan from one of the Court’s major decisions on pornography, Roth v. United States. “Sex, a great and mysterious motive force in human life, has indisputably been a subject of absorbing interest to mankind through the ages.”
In Part I, the Ancients, topics include ‘The Ancient World: The Triumph of Augustine’, ‘The Things of Aphrodite’, ‘In No Way Superior to the Beasts’, ‘England, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Eros’, and ‘Sexual Literature: Punishable Only in the Spiritual Court’.
In Part II, the Founders, topics include ‘Life’s Pleasures in 18th Century New England’, ‘An Amazing Variety of Erotica’, and ‘Unenumerated Rights: The Immutable Maxims of Reason and Justice’.
In Part III, the Moralists, are ‘A Spasm Among the Populace’, ‘What Would Keep Them [Yes, women.] Chaste’, ‘Margaret Sanger and the Birth of the Birth Control Movement’, ‘Fairies, Queers and Trade’ and more.
Parts IV, V and VI (nine chapters in all) are ‘Judges: Sexual Expression and the Constitution’, ‘Judges: Reproductive Freedom and the Constitution’, ‘Judges: Sexual Orientation and the Constitution’.
America’s founders, most of them deists, knew religion can be a positive influence on behavior but they built walls between religion and government.