By Fay Botham
During this attention-grabbing cultural heritage of interracial marriage and its felony legislation within the usa, Fay Botham argues that religion--specifically, Protestant and Catholic ideals approximately marriage and race--had an important impression on felony judgements referring to miscegenation and marriage within the century following the Civil struggle. Botham argues that divergent Catholic and Protestant theologies of marriage and race, strengthened through nearby adjustments among the West and the South, formed the 2 pivotal circumstances that body this quantity, the 1948 California superb courtroom case of Perez v. Lippold (which effectively challenged California's antimiscegenation statutes at the grounds of non secular freedom) and the 1967 U.S. perfect court docket case Loving v. Virginia (which declared criminal bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional). Botham contends that the white southern Protestant thought that God "dispersed" the races, in preference to the yankee Catholic emphasis on human team spirit and customary origins, issues to ways in which faith stimulated the process litigation and illuminates the spiritual bases for Christian racist and antiracist routine.
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Extra info for Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law
But from 1917 to 1947 when socially progressive Bishop John J. Cantwell led the diocese, the membership at St. 18 “About 65 percent Negro, 15 percent Mexican, the rest a little of everybody,” St. 21 As early as 1921, Bishop Cantwell addressed the NAACP, asserting the need for a “strong alliance” between blacks and whites and decrying white bigotry. 22 Under Cantwell’s leadership, Los Angeles Catholics thus CATHOLIC CALIFORNIA [ 15 ] experienced, for a time at least, a religion-based culture of benevolent interracialism and of tolerance for non-Anglo cultural traditions.
In contrast to Minersville School District v. Gobitis, decided just three years earlier, the justices this time ruled that regulations compelling school children who were members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to salute the flag violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. According to Justice Robert Jackson, who wrote the majority opinion: [ 32 ] CATHOLIC CALIFORNIA Much of the vagueness of the due process clause disappears when the specific prohibitions of the First [Amendment] become its standard.
Fortunately for Perez and Davis, however, asking the court to examine antimiscegenation laws in a way that no one had ever done before grabbed the justices’ attention. Three weeks after Marshall filed the petition, the court issued an alternative writ of mandate, which commanded Moroney either to issue Perez and Davis a marriage license or to provide reasons why the court should not compel him to do so. Thus, the first success of Marshall’s religion strategy was to get the case into the [ 24 ] CATHOLIC CALIFORNIA court and to cause the justices to examine afresh the constitutionality of California’s antimiscegenation statutes.
Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law by Fay Botham