I am so glad that I don’t watch Fox News, but that other people suffer through it to let me know what they think is the latest threat to the Republic. It seems the newest change that has Republicans foaming at the mouth is a new oath.
The House Committee on Natural Resources has in the past used a witness oath that reads, “Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”
The proposed new version will say, “Do you solemnly swear or affirm, under penalty of law, that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”
If it helps them make up their minds, as a devious atheist with a scheming mind I could regard that “so help you God” clause as a loophole — God doesn’t help me, so the oath doesn’t apply. Also, you’ve just made me affirm a religious oath that I do not believe in, so by saying “yes”, I’ve already said a lie. A few more won’t hurt, then. And if my punishment for lying is hellfire, which I don’t believe in, then there is no compulsion here.
As Rob Boston points out,
The gang at Fox News might want to ponder the following statement: “A magistrate ought not to tender an oath to an unregenerate man … and cause him to take the name of God in vain.”
What left-wing Marxist said that? Actually, it was colonial-era religious freedom pioneer Roger Williams. Williams was a far-sighted man and a devout Christian to boot. Fox News could learn a thing or two from him.
Exactly. The Republicans already would consider me an unregenerate man, so why should I find that oath binding? It does have the benefit of giving us unregenerates an opportunity to spit in the face of their imaginary god, but otherwise, it doesn’t have much going for it.