Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
4 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

You Swore on the Bible: What an Oath Means

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It


Become a Fan
  (27 fans)

opednews.com

This piece has appeared here before-- fourteen months ago. It seems especially pertinent now, however, as the issue of impeachment has gained momentum lately among the American people (but not apparently in Congress) and as Congress has recently capitulated on FISA in a manner of at best dubious constitutionality.

For those reasons, the piece seems still new, still on target, and so here it is again.

********************

YOU SWORE ON THE BIBLE: WHAT AN OATH MEANS
by
Andrew Bard Schmookler

A promise is always an important thing. But an oath is not just an ordinary promise. An oath is a promise made in such a way as to accentuate its importance, and to make it binding, as much as is possible to do.

An oath has been defined thus:


"Invocation of a supernatural or holy being called to verify the veracity of a statement... An oath was a special appeal, an expression of sincerity backed up by the threat of divine retribution should the uttering prove false--hence the term ‘oath-breaker’. An oathbreaker was assumed to have committed a crime against God or of some divine entity, which would lead to damnation or another form of severe penalty."


A PROMISE MADE TO GOD

A connection is explicitly made between the promise (relating to earthly matters) and the sacred realm. The promise is thus made a sacred thing. The result is that nothing can legitimately overrule the promise. It is stated in an unequivocal way-- unequivocal, literally, in that there is no other "voice" that can equal, let alone supplant, the voice of the promise.

Historically, the taker of the oath consents to the severest of judgments should he violate that oath: "a crime against God...which would lead to damnation or another form of severe penalty."

That is a part of the background for the "oath of office" which every member of the United States Congress takes.

A TREASONOUS OFFENSE

And of the oath of office, it is said:

"Oaths of office are usually a statement of loyalty to a constitution or other legal text, as well as an oath to the state or religion the office holder will be serving. It is often considered a treasonous or highly illegal offense to betray one's oath of office."


"A treasonous or highly illegal offense..." Taking this oath is supposed to be no small thing.

And so, just what is it that Members of Congress promise that they will do? Here's what they swear:

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. He is the author of various books including The Parable of the Tribes: The (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

The Mystery of Obama's Relationship with Power

Power and Corruption: Just What Is Their Relationship?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
the principle in this article is important enough,... by Brett Paatsch on Friday, Aug 10, 2007 at 1:13:35 AM
One of the practical lessons inculcated by the his... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Aug 10, 2007 at 7:24:14 AM
Swearing on the Bible only shows what their religi... by Hayesml47 on Friday, Aug 10, 2007 at 4:53:42 PM
Enjoyed your article on People's oath of office...... by County Guard on Sunday, Aug 12, 2007 at 12:39:55 AM