Previously, I wrote about how the moral descent of the American “empire” closely parallels that of ancient Rome. In the Roman Empire, as sexual activity increased beyond the confines of legal marriage, sexual profligacy worsened, sexual perversion was normalized, and the social benefits essential to a thriving society that marriage fosters, disappeared. Family dissolution increased-fracturing the cornerstone of society-as a result, crime exploded, productivity and creativity diminished, cynicism and apathy ensued; the Empire began to crumble.
I also pointed out that Roman officials, recognizing the societal danger of such licentiousness, enacted laws in an effort to arrest the sexual extravagance and ensuing social decline. Unfortunately, these laws had little effect as the moral consensus, which was accepting of these behaviors, was well established within the culture at large.
Unlike the Romans, however, we once had a number of laws in place that were designed to protect marriage by penalizing “crimes against marriage” through adultery and fornication laws. Such public policy measures were generally supported by the moral consensus that sex was exclusive to marriage. Over the last four to five decades, these laws have been either ignored or abolished as the moral consensus shifted.