Eve being created from the rib of Adam set the stage for racial, cultural, and gender based hierarchies that have stood the test of time. Men, specifically white men, are the standard and then everyone else is in categories under them. Jerry Falwell‘s beliefs are the prime example of how religion set up this hierarchy and how it affects every aspect in our society. The man is supposed to provide and protect his wife and children while the wife is supposed to support the husband and nurture their children so that they have strong morals. Furthermore, the notion that children can grow up with strong values in anything but a “traditional” family is not a possibility. Even though children (according to Falwell) don’t have rights separate from their families, they still have the right to life.
When the Supreme Court struck down state abortion laws with it’s Roe v Wade decision, it caught many pro-life supporters off guard. Religiously, they had been taught that from conception that babies had a right to life. Protecting that right to life was imperative -children are innocent, fragile, and unable to act on its own behalf until the age of reason could be reached. These same principles are what was used as justification in the “kill the Indian, save the child” campaign of the United States in the 1860’s and 1870’s. With the Roe v Wade decision, the Supreme Court not only placed a greater value of life on the mother rather than the child, it opened the door for what many perceived as legal population control. Unlike the population control performed in the 1930’s discussed in the Instrument of Genocide reading, abortion was done with the consent of the woman because she was the one seeking the abortion. Insurance companies such as Blue Cross as well as Medi-Cal (health insurance provided to people on welfare in California) covered abortions because that was cheaper than playing for the delivery of a baby and the medical costs the come along with raising a child. It appears that in the eyes of the State, abortion would help to alleviate not only costs, but would help to keep the cycle of poverty from expanding. The argument that abortion is a form of population control helps to justify why abortion should be illegal, especially when the “separation of church and state” shoots down the religious reasons that abortion should be illegal. If Brigham Young would have had an argument for polygamy based on something other than religious reasons, having multiple wives might still be legal in Utah. Makes one wonder what choice words Jerry Falwell would say about the fact that the “traditional family” only accounts for 7% of households in the United States.