Sunday, December 03, 2006

Swear Not At All

Posted by olvlzl.

ennis Prager wants to force non-Christian congressmen, and presumably others, to use a Christian Bible to swear the oath of office

Headlined, "America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on," Prager argued that using the Quran for the ceremony "undermines American civilization."

"Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible," he wrote. "If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

Conservative bloggers have picked up the criticism and run with it.

Apparently they're ready to make a religious test, willingness to swear on the Christian Bible, a requirement for office. Readers here will know, of course, that this is in direct violation to Article VI of The Constitution:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Will the originalists, Federalists, strict-constructionists rise up as one to defend the document of their idolatry? I'd say the chances of that are about the same as a close inspection of the outgoing congressional class of having fulfilled their oaths, presumably mostly taken on said Christian Bible.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: [So help me God].

Call me picky but if 5% of them fulfilled this solumn oath, especially the support and defend the Constitution part, I'll buy a hat and eat it.

Perhaps Praeger et al don't know this but Jesus had a few ideas about this business of taking oaths from Matthew Chapter 5:

33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

I know, it's the King James version, but you know I suspect only that version would be acceptable to them. Course, that could make the Catholics feel uneasy.

Will George W. Bush step in and tell Praeger et al to get stuffed in order to be a uniter? If he does I'll eat that hat I'm not going to have to eat for that other dare.