You Don’t Need to Take an Oath on a Bible, or Any Religious Text

Dec 14, 2017

By Jonah Engel Bromwich

It was an odd footnote to the Alabama Senate race Tuesday night.

In an interview on CNN, hours before the Republican candidate Roy S. Moore would go on to lose the election, his spokesman asserted that elected officials in the United States were required to take the oath of office on a Christian Bible.

The spokesman, Ted Crockett, used the argument to justify Mr. Moore’s position that Muslim politicians should not be allowed in Congress.

The comments capped off a 10-minute interview in which Mr. Crockett discussed the allegations of sexual abuse against Mr. Moore and reiterated the candidate’s contention that homosexual acts should “probably” be illegal.

“You have to swear on a Bible to be an elected official in the United States of America,” Mr. Crockett said.

The CNN anchor Jake Tapper responded: “You don’t actually have to swear on a Christian Bible. You can swear on anything, really. I don’t know if you knew that.”

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2 comments on “You Don’t Need to Take an Oath on a Bible, or Any Religious Text

  • This is both funny and an indication of the education problems in the USA.
    When I was in the public school system in the sixties, we were taught religion as history.
    To this day, some people cannot distinguish between facts and brainwashing.



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  • @OP – “You have to swear on a Bible
    to be an elected official in the United States of America,”
    Mr. Crockett said.

    Ah! The asserted, preconceived, know-it-all ignorance, of the faith-thinker!

    The CNN anchor Jake Tapper responded:
    “You don’t actually have to swear on a Christian Bible.
    You can swear on anything, really.
    I don’t know if you knew that.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmation_in_law

    The original 1787 text of the Constitution of the United States makes three references to an “oath or affirmation”: In Article I, Senators must take a special oath or affirmation for the purpose of sitting as the tribunal for impeachment; in Article II, the president is required to take a specified oath or affirmation before entering office (see oath of office); and in Article VI, all state and federal officials must take an oath or affirmation to support the US Constitution.
    A fourth appears in Amendment IV, all warrants must be supported by evidence given under oath or affirmation.

    On Friday, March 4, 1853, Franklin Pierce became the 14th President of the United States and has been the only president to date who affirmed rather than swore to the oath of office.

    Perhaps 1787 and 1853 were rather too recent for those whose learning processes are a bit slow on the uptake! 🙂



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