in modern society, are there laws concerning adultery? further, is adultery addressed by modern government?
i offer the following hypothesis, while the government outwardly does not concern itself with adultery, it is actually heavily involved and injects itself and its force within it.
recently, two high profile infidelity incidents- one with the boston celtics professional basketball team and the other with the television production “good morning america” give the outward appearance that government does not concern itself with adultery. in each of these matters, employment laws, both state and federal, concerned the companies. when the affairs happen between co-workers, employers are concerned whether they are exposed to civil liabilities. workplace sexual harassment and sexual relations between supervisors and subordinates matter to the employers. employers have little interest if an employee has an affair with someone outside the organization. they would likely said that it is a “private matter” for families. likewise, family members most likely would agree that the adultery revelation should be a “private” matter.
the notion that adultery is a “private” matter, however, is false. the reality is that law enforcement is heavily involved in matters of adultery and infidelity.
one only look at the domestic violence calls within the united states. it is reported that “[o]n average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the united states. during one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1” ncadv.org with respect to these incidents, how many times are the police called to address? these police calls are some of the most dangerous due to the volatile situation. out of these incidents, how many involve allegations of adultery? adultery can trigger both instantaneous violence or remote conflict. police, in addressing these matter, may make arrests or use lethal force.
in sum, while modern society would claim that adultery is a “private” matter, government is actually heavily involved. at times, lethal force is applied. thus, the ten commandments prohibition against adultery, from a legal perspective, is still alive in a twisted manner. there is a “whack a mole” type quality to it. while society appears to divorce itself from adultery, in reality, it is still heavily involved. would laws concerning adultery improve society and perhaps reduce domestic violence as well as other negative bi-products of adultery? perhaps only the master of the universe knows.
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