0
   

... So help me, Allah.

 
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 01:54 pm
Monte Cargo wrote:
DontTreadOnMe wrote:
i saw an interview with praeger in which he stated essentially that the problem lay in that "it is a long standing american tradition to swear on the bible. so it's not a religious problem, but a problem of breaking tradition".

huh? the bible is a religious book. laying your hand on it and swearing on it must give the book a vested power, in that it's considered a "holy" thing. thereby, an act of religious fealty.

so praeger's assertion is nonsense.

i still like the idea of using a copy of the constitution better.

It strikes me as being some of both tradition and religion.


could be.

it might be worth thinking about at what point a tradition becomes.. um, i don't to say "irrelevant", but maybe "less important than it was".

a humorous version of the idea is the "traditional christmas fruitcake".. i don't know a single person that actually likes eating the stuff. but, every year, the fruitcake makers get rich off of it because "it's a tradition".

my point being that whether or not one excepts the evolution of man from beginnings as a chimp, the evolution of man from cave dweller to our current state is undeniable. and such is the way with the evolution of a country or a people. or the world for that matter.

what was once exotic becomes common place. it's a slow process even after the information becomes widely available.

for instance, even though i have a firm belief in a creator, my spiritual practice leans more towards zen-buddhism than the abrahamic religions. not a big deal here in california. buddhism has had an established presence in the mainstream here since the fifties.

however, many years ago, i was sitting in a cracker barrel restaurant in east tennessee with my father, just talking. somehow, it came up that i'd adopted buddhism as the path i preferred. as i was telling him this, a waitress doing set-ups at the next table dropped a whole hand full of silverware (quite loud in an empty room, i tell ya..). when i turned around, she had a horrified look on her face and she actually said, " i'll pray for your soul". uhhh... okay...

while in the same small town a few months back, i learned that there is now a small buddhist community there.

my father, however, was quite concerned that i would be "waving those beads all over the place" at my mother's funeral.

but he's 86 years old. so......

also, according to the minnisota times, not only have several jewish pols used the "jewish bible" (gov. lingle/hawaii --- rep. wasserman-shultz/florida), but they report that no less than 4 u.s. presidents have elected to not hold any bible at all..

if i can find out who they were, i'll post it. wouldn't be surprised if one of them was teddy r.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 02:06 pm
I don't know how correct this is, but ...

Quote:
March 4, 1853 -- Franklin Pierce
1.Drove to and from the Capitol standing up in his carriage.
2.Affirmed (rather than swore) the oath of office.
3.Broke precedent by not kissing the Bible, but merely placing his left hand on it.
4.First president to deliver inaugural address without referring to notes.

...

September 14, 1901 -- Theodore Roosevelt
1.The only President not sworn in on a Bible. Mr. Ansley Wilcox, at whose home Roosevelt took the oath of office, wrote in 1903, "According to my best recollection no Bible was used, but President Roosevelt was sworn in with uplifted hand." (The Presidents and Their Wives, p. 3)


source: Library of Congress
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 02:10 pm
Roosevelt was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church--it is entirely possible that they don't hold with swearing oaths in the name of God.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 02:33 pm
The Dutch Reformed Church is now known as the Reformed Church in America (RCA).
This is the web site of the RCA.
. I did a site search for "oaths" there, and found the following statement:

Quote:
. . . That we neither blaspheme nor misuse the name of God by cursing, perjury, or unnecessary oaths, nor share in such horrible sins by being silent bystanders.


That entry contained a link to the Heidelberg catechism, which provides more detail:

Quote:
Q. What is God's will for us in the third commandment?

A. That we neither blaspheme nor misuse the name of God by cursing, perjury, or unnecessary oaths, nor share in such horrible sins by being silent bystanders. In a word, it requires that we use the holy name of God only with reverence and awe, so that we may properly confess God, pray to God, and glorify God in all our words and works.


And in a further entry:

Quote:
Q. May we swear an oath in God's name if we do it reverently?

A. Yes, when the government demands it, or when necessity requires it, in order to maintain and promote truth and trustworthiness for God's glory and our neighbor's good. Such oaths are approved in God's Word and were rightly used by Old and New Testament believers.


It appears to me that Roosevelt may have been willing to swear an oath, but not to swear upon a bible. The search function at that site "broke down" on me, and i was able to find no further information which would enlighten me on the subject of swearing an oath on the bible. I reloaded the page, and just searched for "bible"--but with 399 entries, i'm not going to search them all.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 02:48 pm
This page at the United States State Department web site gives some interesting information on Presidential Inaugurations. It is a transcript of a briefing given by Donald R. Kennon, Chief Historian, United States Capitol Historical Society, in January, 2005.

According to that page:

Quote:
There's an interesting thing about John Adams and John Quincy Adams -- they were both very religious men, and John Quincy Adams were so religious that he is one of probably only one or two American presidents who did not take the Oath of Allegiance on a Bible. Now, it's kind of ironic that John Quincy Adams, being such a religious man, would not have used the Bible, but he said that he thought the Bible should be reserved for strictly religious purposes. So he took the Oath of Office on a book of laws, the Constitution and American laws. That's really what he was swearing allegiance to was the Constitution, so he didn't use the Bible.


So we can add John Quincy Adams to the list of American Presidents who did not swear on the bible.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 02:58 pm
Anabaptists and Calvinists in the Reformation would not swear oaths, based upon Matthew, Chapter 5:

The King James Bible, Matthew 5:33-36 wrote:
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:

5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.


And based upon James, Chapter 5, verse 12:

The King James Bible wrote:
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.


I suspect that it was in deference to the susceptibilities of Calvinists, Baptists and Quakers that the Constitutional provision for making an affirmation rather than taking an oath was written.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 05:07 pm
Setanta wrote:
It appears to me that Roosevelt may have been willing to swear an oath, but not to swear upon a bible.

Or it may have been that Roosevelt's first inauguration was a rather ad hoc affair, conducted in a private home in Buffalo shortly after President McKinley's death, and no one remembered to hand Roosevelt a bible. According to the Library of Congress, Roosevelt used a bible at his second inauguration in 1905, so if he had any scruples about swearing on a bible in 1901 they were removed in the intervening four years.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 05:10 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
Setanta wrote:
It appears to me that Roosevelt may have been willing to swear an oath, but not to swear upon a bible.

Or it may have been that Roosevelt's first inauguration was a rather ad hoc affair, conducted in a private home in Buffalo shortly after President McKinley's death, and no one remembered to hand Roosevelt a bible. According to the Library of Congress, Roosevelt used a bible at his second inauguration in 1905, so if he had any scruples about swearing on a bible in 1901 they were removed in the intervening four years.


That's a good point--Roosevelt had been on a vacation with his family in a relatively remote area when he was informed of McKinley's death. I suspect that no one was prepared for the event, because it had been long enough since McKinley had been shot, that Roosevelt went on his vacation trip believing he would not be wanted.
0 Replies
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 08:02 pm
wow!! walter, set & joe, you guys have been busy ! Laughing

i just went out for short while do do some shopping, and voila!

i'm still checking, but i just saw a thing that rutherford hayes was sworn in sans biblio. additionally, coolidge apparently did not place his hand on the bible.

one source said that lbj was also sworn in without. i looked at the picture and his hand is on something, but ya can't tell what it is. darnit.

anyway, this site here has some interesting, if unrelated presidential facts(?)..

prez factoids
0 Replies
 
Monte Cargo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Dec, 2006 11:59 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Monte Cargo wrote:
Imagine, if you would, during WWII if a district elected a Japanese person who insisted on swearing on a Shinto or Budhist volume, or elected a fascist who insisted on swearing in, holding his hand over Mein Kaumpf. Those people doubtfully would make it out of the Capitol building alive!


With this remark you prove that you neither understand what the bible is nor why someone swears on something.

Wow, is that all you have?

By your post you prove that you really don't have anything remotely intelligent to say on the subject.
0 Replies
 
Monte Cargo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 12:24 am
DontTreadOnMe wrote:
Monte Cargo wrote:
DontTreadOnMe wrote:
i saw an interview with praeger in which he stated essentially that the problem lay in that "it is a long standing american tradition to swear on the bible. so it's not a religious problem, but a problem of breaking tradition".

huh? the bible is a religious book. laying your hand on it and swearing on it must give the book a vested power, in that it's considered a "holy" thing. thereby, an act of religious fealty.

so praeger's assertion is nonsense.

i still like the idea of using a copy of the constitution better.

It strikes me as being some of both tradition and religion.


could be.

it might be worth thinking about at what point a tradition becomes.. um, i don't to say "irrelevant", but maybe "less important than it was".

a humorous version of the idea is the "traditional christmas fruitcake".. i don't know a single person that actually likes eating the stuff. but, every year, the fruitcake makers get rich off of it because "it's a tradition".

Funny that you mentioned this, because just last night I was relating one of my favorite classic Johnny Carson skits where someone sent him a fruitcake for Christmas. The fruitcake was delivered by a forklift and when they dropped it on to the desk below, the desk split in two!

Quote:
my point being that whether or not one excepts the evolution of man from beginnings as a chimp, the evolution of man from cave dweller to our current state is undeniable. and such is the way with the evolution of a country or a people. or the world for that matter.

If a society doesn't evolve, they will end up the way of the dinosaur. Rosa Parks helped the world to evolve, but based on the extremely small amount of information I have on Ellison, I don't see the same glory of the evolution of enlightenment as coming from Keith Ellison.
Quote:
what was once exotic becomes common place. it's a slow process even after the information becomes widely available.

At one time, one megabyte of RAM cost about $50. Today, the same $50 can buy 500 times that much RAM. Regarding Ellison, he'll unjustly become the first Congressperson to break this tradition. Something tells me he's much more interested in notoriety than the evolution of the United States.

Quote:
for instance, even though i have a firm belief in a creator, my spiritual practice leans more towards zen-buddhism than the abrahamic religions. not a big deal here in california. buddhism has had an established presence in the mainstream here since the fifties.

That is true.

Quote:
however, many years ago, i was sitting in a cracker barrel restaurant in east tennessee with my father, just talking. somehow, it came up that i'd adopted buddhism as the path i preferred. as i was telling him this, a waitress doing set-ups at the next table dropped a whole hand full of silverware (quite loud in an empty room, i tell ya..). when i turned around, she had a horrified look on her face and she actually said, " i'll pray for your soul". uhhh... okay...

How bizarre! The Budhist religion isn't exactly a Pagan form of demon worshipping, and from her reaction, you'd think it was. The South likes Baptists and Evangelical Christians. It's not like hanging out in Venice, Ca. or Sausalito and having that conversation.

Quote:
while in the same small town a few months back, i learned that there is now a small buddhist community there.

That is surprising for east Tennessee.

Quote:
my father, however, was quite concerned that i would be "waving those beads all over the place" at my mother's funeral.

If that's an indication of your mother's recent passing, my true and sincere condolences. If it was a hypothetical fear based on the future, I'd just chalk it up and not be too worried.

Quote:
but he's 86 years old. so......

You did the right thing cutting him some slack...

Quote:
also, according to the minnisota times, not only have several jewish pols used the "jewish bible" (gov. lingle/hawaii --- rep. wasserman-shultz/florida), but they report that no less than 4 u.s. presidents have elected to not hold any bible at all..

if i can find out who they were, i'll post it. wouldn't be surprised if one of them was teddy r.

I saw it bantered around at http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/2006/12/the_republican_.html.
0 Replies
 
Monte Cargo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 01:04 am
mesquite wrote:
Monte Cargo wrote:
The fact that there are extremists in religion as there are anywhere there are people doesn't change the fact that the United States was not founded as a secularist nation, nor does it change the fact that Keith Ellison is posturing for publicity by being the first of over 40,000 Congressman in over 200 years to make such a demand, which is the real point being discussed on this thread.


Remove only the red word and I am in complete agreement with the above.

What a er, surprise.
0 Replies
 
Monte Cargo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 01:12 am
Setanta wrote:

So we can add John Quincy Adams to the list of American Presidents who did not swear on the bible.

I knew John Quincy Adams, John Quincy Adams was a friend of mine, and you Ellison, are no John Adams!
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 01:42 am
Monte Cargo wrote:
By your post you prove that you really don't have anything remotely intelligent to say on the subject.


At least some of my researches were imtelligent enough to part of my history exams at university (although that's quite some time ago, I admit) Laughing
0 Replies
 
Monte Cargo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 10:57 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Monte Cargo wrote:
By your post you prove that you really don't have anything remotely intelligent to say on the subject.


At least some of my researches were imtelligent enough to part of my history exams at university (although that's quite some time ago, I admit) Laughing

Ah, but notice I didn't say that you were unintelligent, I just said that on this particular subject, and by virtue of your comment to me, my opinion was that you had nothing in the way of content to provide to the discussion.

We all have good days and bad ones.

Have a Merry Christmas, (I say at the risk of offending Keith Ellison).
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 10:59 am
And I say, my professors liked it. As well as the publishers of two historical magazines.


Merry christmas as well.
0 Replies
 
Monte Cargo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 11:01 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
And I say, my professors liked it. As well as the publishers of two historical magazines.


Merry christmas as well.

Well done, Walter. I am curious as to what you meant in your earlier reply, when you said I understood neither the bible or what it means to swear on a bible. Please continue.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 11:06 am
There's a lot of that online, meanwhile ...

It's from a Germanic custom (at least how we Europeans did/do it).
(My work was related to the High Middle Ages, where in the same place different swearing customs took place at the four different courts.)
0 Replies
 
Monte Cargo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 11:15 am
[quote="Setanta]So we can add John Quincy Adams to the list of American Presidents who did not swear on the bible.[/quote]
Ellison was elected to Congress, not the presidency. Your research is useful for an overall look at different levels of who swore in on a bible, with respect to the executive branch, but Congresspeople may have a different set of rules, customs and traditions, than the POTUS.

I liked the Roosevelt trivia.

This entire argument rests on the issue of whether prohibiting swearing on "other than a bible" violates Article IV and the First Amendment. There are those that favor upholding the tradition (of which I count myself) and those that either see it as no big deal or encourage the wide variety of special sects to use books of their own choice.

Moreover, the political ramifications of being at war with facets of the Moslem religion in the ME additionally offends some people (again, being group to which I belong).

Our melting pot welcomes Germans and Japanese, which would not have been wise during the WWII years.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Dec, 2006 11:25 am
Monte Cargo wrote:

Our melting pot welcomes Germans and Japanese, which would not have been wise during the WWII years.


German Americans are the largest self-reported ethnic group in the United States :wink:
0 Replies
 
 

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