Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial by Fay Botham

By Fay Botham

During this attention-grabbing cultural background of interracial marriage and its felony law within the usa, Fay Botham argues that religion--specifically, Protestant and Catholic ideals approximately marriage and race--had an important impact on criminal judgements touching on miscegenation and marriage within the century following the Civil conflict. Botham argues that divergent Catholic and Protestant theologies of marriage and race, bolstered via neighborhood variations among the West and the South, formed the 2 pivotal situations that body this quantity, the 1948 California ultimate court docket case of Perez v. Lippold (which effectively challenged California's antimiscegenation statutes at the grounds of spiritual freedom) and the 1967 U.S. splendid courtroom case Loving v. Virginia (which declared criminal bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional). Botham contends that the white southern Protestant inspiration that God "dispersed" the races, in place of the yankee Catholic emphasis on human cohesion and customary origins, issues to ways in which faith encouraged the process litigation and illuminates the spiritual bases for Christian racist and antiracist routine.

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Extra resources for Almighty God Created the Races: Christianity, Interracial Marriage, and American Law

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95 The precedents that Daniel Marshall cited in his case, and particularly Cantwell, Barnette, and Busey, demonstrated his belief that it was the state’s responsibility to prove CATHOLIC CALIFORNIA [ 33 ] to the California Supreme Court justices that an interracial marriage posed a danger that the state must prevent or restrict. Combining the Barnette and Busey cases, Marshall argued that California’s antimiscegenation statute indeed appeared “on its face to affect the use of religion,” insofar as it prevented Perez and Davis from participating in the Catholic sacrament of marriage.

Further, Reynolds and other cases affirmed the right of state legislatures to declare certain types of marriages, such as polygamous and interracial unions, “inimical to the peace, good order, and morals of a society” (6). Cantwell, Stanley pointed out, distinguished two implicit freedoms within the concept of religious liberty: the freedom to believe and the freedom to act. ”101 While a person had the right to believe that a polygamous or interracial marriage was valid based upon religious doctrine, a person did not have the right to act upon that belief.

Together these issues raise additional questions about CATHOLIC CALIFORNIA [ 13 ] the relationship between Christianity and prohibitions against interracial marriage elsewhere, and they hint at the even deeper ways that religious beliefs influenced American antimiscegenation history. Region and Religion: The Cultural Background of the Perez Case California’s multiracial character and Catholic history established the context for the Perez case, long before it even went to court. Journalist Carey McWilliams astutely noted in 1945 that California’s inhabitants were racially unlike those in other regions of the country.

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