As I waited in line at the local Town Hall
(They do cars; they do dogs; I had both)
The woman ahead of me, newly elected,
Was given her swearing-in oath
“Do you swear or affirm to this long list of stuff?”
It began, though it seemed a bit odd:
With “affirm” in the text, as a secular nod,
It still ended with “so help me God”
The woman assented; she signed all the forms,
And got herself ready to go
Then paused for a moment, and said to the clerk
“I’m an atheist, though, you should know.”
The state makes assumptions about our beliefs
Which are wrong, as this incident proved
That phrase has been haunting us quite long enough
And it’s high time we had it removed.
Just a quick little nothing–This actually happened at CuttleTown Town Hall today; I was so happy that A)there are atheists running for various town positions, and B)they aren’t shy about saying so. It has long bothered me that all of our local swearings-in contain “so help me God” in the official language; when I had jury duty a while back, there were at least 3 atheists on our jury (one, like me, simply did not say “so help me God”, while the other didn’t realize he had the option of staying silent). The judges spoke with us after each case, asking if there was anything about the process that could be improved… at the time, I just wanted to go home, and since we had an obnoxious minister on the jury as well, I did not want to start something that could take quite a bit of time. Yeah, I probably should have said something.
Point is, I am very glad that my new representative *did* say something. And I did tell her so, and thanked her. Sadly, after the Greece ruling, I don’t think “so help me God” will be going anywhere any time soon.