What if Stoning was the penalty for Adultery in the U.S.?

Adultery* (noun)

voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse.

According to Deuteronomy 22:22, in Ancient Israel the penalty for this act was death:

If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

According to this story, a man was stoned to death recently in Iran for committing adultery.

This manner of execution is probably not the most humane, just looking at artwork of Stephen’s execution make me cringe. Of course the Biblical text cited above makes some folks howl in righteous indignation and protest that God is “immoral” for commanding such savage acts.

Some surveys report that in the U.S. 25% of men and 33% of women have had extramarital affairs. A more frightening statistic is that maybe up to 30% of Protestant male ministers have had extramarital affairs.

I wonder if a penalty like stoning would have an effect on these numbers? What about an effect on the divorce rate?**

*I’m not even talking about the real definition of adultery, which I would venture to say 100% of males are guilty of.

**I am not advocating such a punishment for this or any other sin, so put away the canned anti-religion comments


6 Responses to What if Stoning was the penalty for Adultery in the U.S.?

  1. Diane says:

    Actually, since God gave us marriage until death does part us, a civil divorce in no way ends a valid marriages, so remarriage is adultery, too (unless the first ‘marriage’ wasn’t valid to begin with).

    If we would all get back to God’s teaching via His Catholic Church, societal disapproval of adultery would be enough to turn many away from it. For those who go thru with adultery, they should be shamed (not stoned…Jesus would not have allowed death for it).

  2. Chris says:

    “A more frightening statistic is that maybe up to 30% of Protestant male ministers have had extramarital affairs.”

    I think Jesus recommended cutting off the offending body part which caused the sin. But since these preachers can’t follow the Old Testament, why would we expect them to follow the New Testament?

  3. Laz says:

    Thank you both for taking the time to comment.

    Diana, I am not suggesting that stoning should be carried out in cases of adultery or any other transgression (I hope my post made that clear). You’re right, we are not under Law but under Grace.

    What is the Catholic Church’s stance on divorce? Jesus is pretty clear on where God stands, does the RCC’s position differ from Jesus’?

  4. Donaldd says:

    Jesus said he came not to change the law but to fulfil it.

    Jesus also said Adultery is the only reason to end a marriage and as it is written in the law “…Until Death do you part….”

    The story of the Woman at the well to be stoned for adultery is not intended to infer Jesus changed the law. He was being put to a “test” for other reasons. He wasn’t her accuser and told her to “go and sin no more.”

  5. Donaldd says:

    Divorce through the Catholic Church is near impossible even when Adultery is involved which is why most marriages are annulled through an agreement by both spouses.

    John Kerry and his first wife had an annulment and his second marriage was sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

    Trying to get more than one or two Annulments from the Church is next to Impossible.

    Many civil divorcees like Rudy Giuliani on his third marriage self excommunicate. They may attend Mass but Should not partake of the Sacraments and any children born to such a marriage are considered to be Bastards.

  6. neilaquino says:

    If stoning were the punishment you would get great ratings and big crowds for public stonings.

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