12
   

Lawsuit over "so help me god" in oath of office.

 
 
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 01:49 pm
Here we go again.

I'm a big supporter of the first amendment and of separation of church and state, but for some reason it doesn't bother me very much if the guy being sworn in chooses to invoke god, even if it's for public office. I feel like the person being sworn in deserves some freedom of personal style regarding the invocation.

If we ever elect an atheist (probably not going to happen any time soon) and he chooses not to say "so help me god", then I think that's ok also.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/31/inauguration.lawsuit/index.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 12 • Views: 4,121 • Replies: 67
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Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 03:29 pm
@rosborne979,
Disclaimer: I couldn't open the link so didn't read the article, but I can't imagine the underlying story being much different from all the others.

I really don't understand how anyone can consider this an issue worthy of consideration, let alone litigation.

In what possible way does it matter and how will anything material change if the phrase is forbidden?

It's not as if the President is taking an oath to govern in accordance with religious teachings.

These gadflies are kooks and/or publicity seekers.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 03:34 pm
If they referred to any specific god it might be questionable but they don't.

There are thousands of "gods" to chose from.
0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  -3  
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 04:39 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Here we go again.

I'm a big supporter of the first amendment and of separation of church and state, but for some reason it doesn't bother me very much if the guy being sworn in chooses to invoke god, even if it's for public office. I feel like the person being sworn in deserves some freedom of personal style regarding the invocation.

If we ever elect an atheist (probably not going to happen any time soon) and he chooses not to say "so help me god", then I think that's ok also.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/31/inauguration.lawsuit/index.html

Not so, Rosborne - read the constitution, the wording there is "swear or affirm". President Hoover, a Quacker, ie opposed to public oaths, chose to "affirm". Others have added the "...so help me god" wording, but it's not obligatory.

McTag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 06:36 pm
@High Seas,

Hey, I'm a Quacker too!

America, we beat you again. It's 2009 here, already!

All the very best.
High Seas
 
  0  
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 07:58 pm
@McTag,
The Pacific Islanders are just over the dateline - they've been partying for hours already. The rest of us are sure to catch up, McTag, so a very happy 2009 to you, too Smile
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Dec, 2008 08:54 pm
@High Seas,
It sounds like you are agreeing with what I said.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2009 12:29 am
@rosborne979,
Yes, notwithstanding the glib contributors to the thread.

It would be more interesting if we could find an advocate of this silly charge.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2009 07:36 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
It would be more interesting if we could find an advocate of this silly charge.

I agree. I never seem to be able to come up with a controversial topic that generates actual debate. I thought someone might want to support this court case, but so far, nobody.

Apparently the only way to get a debate going is to claim that fossils on the top of Himalayan Mtns are proof of Noah's flood or something.
High Seas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2009 08:48 am
@rosborne979,
It's optional, Rosborne - anyone opposed to the wording doesn't have to use it. If it were compulsory it would be a different matter, but as it is I just don't see how the lawsuit has any standing. So yes, I agree with you.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2009 10:41 am
@High Seas,
Optional is the key word, rendering this pretty much a non issue.
0 Replies
 
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jan, 2009 08:05 pm

Certain religions (including strict Christians) disallow oaths taken to things like the flag, and see them as idolatry or taking the lords name in vain.
More importantly it is such a stupidly archaic thing to do. State officials should pledge allegiance to the they are elected to serve; THE People. Anyone who isn't prepared to this doesnt deserve either my vote or my tax money.
If you aren't bothered about an official pledging to serve you: then you should be.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 05:54 pm
@Fountofwisdom,
Well Rosburne, we found one.

Of course how "so help me god" means anything more than "I really realy mean this oath," is beyond me.
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 12:42 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
I find the idea of oaths archaic. They may have had some merit in the middle ages, when people believed God would strike you down with a thunderbolt. Even then I doubt it.
I mean does anyone believe that people under oath are telling the truth?. I think for politicians, a system of accountability and openness, with scrutiny would make me happier.
Put it this way if I was buying a house I'd rather hire a surveyor than have an oath from the seller saying its perfect.
Also about the currency: its a typo: should be in gold we trust.
0 Replies
 
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 02:35 am
@rosborne979,
0 Replies
 
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 02:43 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
I have just filled my tax return. Apparently if I make a statement that is knowingly false, then I am liable for a fine or a term of imprisonment. They are not interested in me swearing an oath that I have tried hard to be honest. They want to check me out. They believe that there may be greedy people in this world who will lie about money.
It the state demands this of me, then why I shouldn't I demand the same of the state.
I didn't vote for god, I don't see why he should be involved.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 06:48 am
Some people wanna thank gods...some wanna file law suits.

To both groups I say: Go for it!
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 07:39 am
@Frank Apisa,
i appreciate being concilitory and supportive makes you a warm person: however we are trying to spark a little debate here.
I mean some official crosses you: do you wait for divine vengeance in the afterlife: or do you speed up the process with a magnum: I mean which is scarier: I will pray for justice: so help me god. Or are you sure that is wise. I have a Magnum
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 08:02 am
@Frank Apisa,
FRANK!- I am so glad that you are here. I have not seen hide nor hair of you in many a moon!

Anyhow, I don't think that the mention of any god is appropriate in dealings with the government. I abhor the "one nation, under god" in the Pledge of Allegiance. I am not fond of "In god we trust" on our money, and I certainly don't appreciate references to a god in any government ceremony.

What people do in private life is one thing, but where the government is involved, any mention of a deity, IMO, is totally inappropriate.

Just to show you that I am very clear about the difference between public and private events, consider this: I used to run my community potluck dinner. There was an elderly, religious man in our neighborhood. I always asked him to give an invocation, because I knew that it would make him very happy. It was no skin off my nose, the other people did not mind, and the man was honored to be permitted to give the invocation. A win-win situation.
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Jan, 2009 11:07 am
@Phoenix32890,
That was a wonderful thing to do. A little tolerance and humour goes a long way. I don't mind people believing in any hokum: it just shouldn't be government policy.
0 Replies
 
 

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