WRITTEN BY DAVID DICRESCENZO
What does it mean to take an oath of office…? There was a time not so long ago in America when taking an oath for just about anything meant, while not 100% required, (but until recently, rarely not done), placing one’s hand on a Bible, swearing to be faithful to what you were promising, and ending with, “so help me God”; and one did so because what you were swearing to had meaning and gravity and your honor was on the line.
And it used to mean something because for the most part those who took such an oath were men and women of honor; men and women who at the end of the day believed not only in doing what was right, they also believed that the thing they were committing to was in and of itself the right thing to do, even if they didn’t necessarily believe in the message of the Bible they put their hand on. I might add, an oath does not have an expiration date.
When the President, members of Congress, and most elected officials at any level take the oath of office, they used to all say, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both 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.
With just a few minor differences, the above oath is also taken by members of our military as well; however all of them include supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States.
Of late, some are choosing to take oaths with their hands on something other than Bibles, or in some cases, nothing at all. Last summer, a newly elected Athens-Clarke County Commissioner in GA chose to take her oath with her hand on a copy of the autobiography of Malcolm X. While I don’t have a problem with that book; how is it appropriate as a tool to swear an oath to the Constitution on..?!
Some have even suggested that to maintain “separation of church and state,” elected officials and members of the military should take their oaths with their hand on a copy of the US Constitution. While I understand where that thinking comes from, I once again do not see how it is appropriate if the individual does not understand or believe what the US Constitution means and stands for; or worse yet, wants to shred it.
So I did some thinking about it. Starting with the word “oath” and what it means; according to Merriam-Webster, taking an oath means:
(1): a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says.
(2): a solemn attestation of the truth or inviolability of one’s words.
The first meaning suggests the invocation of God as a means of validating and attesting to the truth of what is being said. Clearly, the invocation of God is meaningless for many people so any time they take an oath in His name, such an oath carries no weight and therefore cannot be taken seriously as to their commitment.
Next, we see that an oath is simply given on the strength of one’s word; and once upon a time, that actually meant something. Today I’m afraid, not so much, and part of the problem could very well be that no one is held accountable for breaking oaths.
But here is where it gets really sticky with the current state of American politics and the taking of oaths. If one has no belief in any faith system or God in any way, shape or form, swearing any oath on a Bible, Quran, or other religious text would be about as meaningful as taking an oath over a copy of an automobile owner’s manual or a box of breakfast cereal. However, if one has faith and allegiance to a foreign culture which is incompatible with our laws and culture and swears his or her oath on the documents of that foreign culture, how can any oath they offer to our Constitution be trusted..?!
Or what if, as some have suggested, they simply take their oath on the US Constitution itself; we would still have to ask and somehow have a mechanism to determine where their true allegiance is. They may as well say, “I cross my heart and hope to die” as many of us did as children.
Case in point, we just witnessed two Muslims take the oath on copies of the Quran and seated in Congress; one of whom has become infamous for a very derogatory comment she made regarding President Trump, and is funded by George Soros, and both are supported by Linda Sarsour who is an anti-American and anti-Semitic activist member of CAIR with roots in the Muslim Brotherhood.
Concerning that particular demographic, I have said this before and I will say it with my dying breath; given that Muslim culture, laws, and texts are in complete opposition to our way of life, and there is no way of absolutely knowing or separating the friend from the foe, no Muslim should ever be allowed to hold any position which requires the taking of a sacred oath; and that certainly includes public office or service in the US Military.
I.E., We the People need to know that when anyone takes the oath of any elected office or military that they mean what they say and will in fact live up to defending our Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic and cannot in fact be such an enemy themselves.
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