Atheist Woman Sues to Remove “So Help Me God” From Oath

Nov 6, 2017

By Summer Meza

An atheist woman seeking citizenship in Massachusetts is suing to remove the phrase “so help me God” from the United States citizenship oath.

Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo, a French national who has lived in the U.S. since 2000 with a green card, says that the inclusion of the phrase is an unconstitutional violation of her religious freedom. Her lawyer, Michael Newdow, drew attention for a similar Supreme Court case in 2004, when he argued that the Pledge of Allegiance should be rewritten to omit “under God.”

This is Perrier-Bilbo’s second application for citizenship, according to The Sacramento Bee.The first time around was in 2009, when she was offered the chance to participate in a private citizenship ceremony that would allow her to omit those four words. But the fact that the oath includes them at all is what she’s objecting to now. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Thursday.

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2 comments on “Atheist Woman Sues to Remove “So Help Me God” From Oath

  • @OP – The first time around was in 2009, when she was offered the chance to participate in a private citizenship ceremony that would allow her to omit those four words. But the fact that the oath includes them at all is what she’s objecting to now. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Thursday.

    What is important, is that an alternative to religious swearing to deal truthfully and honestly (which is probably useful in to trying keep the faithful to the truth), an affirmation, should be readily available, without fuss or discrimination, to those who wish to affirm the integrity of their statements, without reference to gods.

    Here is an Australian example:-

    https://www.courts.vic.gov.au/court-system/appearing-court/oaths-and-affirmations

    An affirmation is a verbal, solemn and formal declaration, which is made in place of an oath. A person may choose to make an affirmation rather than taking an oath. An affirmation has the same effect as an oath.

    Affirmations may be made by individuals or by two or more people at the same time.

    For a witness appearing in court, the form of affirmation is as follows:
    “I solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that the evidence I shall give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

    If an oath has been properly administered and taken, the fact that the person to whom the oath was administered had no religious beliefs at that time does not affect the validity of the oath.

    In well organised courts, there are simply two cards bearing the religious and non-religious versions of the oath, from which witnesses chose to read.
    While reprisals from gods for lying are imaginary, sanctions for perjury are real when properly enforced!



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  • @OP – The first time around was in 2009,
    when she was offered the chance to participate in a private citizenship ceremony
    that would allow her to omit those four words.

    But some god-delusions from “the religion of peace”, are highly offended by people missing out those words, so they command their puppet humans to run amuck and insist on compliance! !

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-42124446

    Pakistan army called on to stop ‘blasphemy’ clashes in Islamabad

    Pakistan’s government has called for troops to be deployed in the capital, Islamabad, after violence broke out during protests by Islamists.

    About 200 people were injured earlier when security forces tried to disperse an Islamist sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange – a key highway.

    That operation has now been suspended.

    The protesters have been blocking the highway for several weeks, demanding the sacking of Law Minister Zahid Hamid whom they accuse of blasphemy.

    Pakistani media report that demonstrators also broke into the minister’s residence in Punjab province. Mr Hamid and his family were not in the building.

    The protests have spread to other cities, including the southern port of Karachi.

    The protesting Islamists, from the hardline Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Party, want the law minister to be sacked for omitting a reference to the Prophet Muhammad in a new version of the electoral oath.

    The minister has since apologised saying it was a clerical error.

    Earlier on Saturday, security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse the demonstrators, Pakistani media report, but were met with rocks and tear gas shells.

    About 8,500 elite police and paramilitary forces took part in the operation to clear the Faizabad Interchange.

    The request for the military deployment came after hundreds more demonstrators turned up unexpectedly forcing the police to retreat.



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