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Religion and law: Recipe for backwardness


Date published: 7/26/2012

Religion and law: Recipe for backwardness

Regarding debates about the separation of church and state, I write this on the heels of watching an HBO documentary regarding the 1967 Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia.

It is a documentary about the anti-miscegenation laws back in the day that prohibited interracial marriage as well as intimate relationships between differing races.

As many know, the Lovings were a mixed-race couple from Caroline County who had been married in Washington, D.C. They wanted to live in Virginia and be recognized as a married couple, which was illegal in this state and many others.

This journey for the Lovings to have their marriage recognized started out in 1958. They lost their case at the circuit court level, the appeals court level, and the Virginia Supreme Court level. They eventually won at the Supreme Court level in 1967.

The crux of this letter is to post what Caroline County Circuit Court Judge Leon M. Bazile said when he ruled against this marriage, upholding the anti-miscegenation laws. I do this to show what happens when decisions are made based on people's interpretations of the Bible. Judge Bazile stated:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Judge Bazile's sentiments on this subject are not far off from many people's sentiments today regarding same-sex marriage and other controversial matters.

If you go back in history, just about every major landmark decision was marred or slowed down considerably by people saying it was "against God, his teachings, or his plans."

In almost all these cases, at least in my opinion, I think time proved how dreadfully wrong they were, and what was right eventually won out.

Jeff Belcher

Spotsylvania