Carol Platt Liebau: What Book -- and Who Decides?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What Book -- and Who Decides?

Dennis Prager is 100% correct. Keith Ellison should take his oath of office on the Bible, as scores of elected officials before him have done -- whether they believed in it or not. If we wants to swear on the Koran, as well, he should be welcome to do so; even so, there's a real value and a real reason to ask people who are swearing to uphold a governmental system that reflects Biblical values to incorporate a Bible into their ceremony.

7 Comments:

Blogger wile e coyote said...

100% wrong.

The oath is sworn before G-d. If the Koran is the fellow's holy book, then let him swear on it. (Although within the Koran itself, I believe, oaths that are sworn for the benefit of the infidel may be broken for the benefit of the faithful. Muhammed broke an oath of truce to destroy the Jews of Medina, stating "war is deception".

And if one is so insistent on the Bible, which Bible? Hebrew Bible? Old and New Testaments?

And in which language? Greek (The original language of the New Testament)? If in English, which translation?

The British went through many of these issues when Catholics were re-admitted to Parliament and the first Jew entered Parliament.

Article VI of the US Constitution states that "[t]he senators and representatives before-mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

9:54 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

Article VI of the US Constitution provides that [t]he senators and representatives before-mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

Requiring a Moslem to swear on the Bible would be an unconstitional religious test.

And which Bible? Hebrew Bible? Old and New Testament? In which language? Greel (the original language of the New Testament)? If a translation, which translation?

I would be more concerned whether the fellow keeps his oath than what he swears it on.

10:17 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

That is a tough one. But not that tough. I don't see many representatives upholding the 10 commandments. Or even respecting our laws (built upon the basic truths of the Bible). They all seem to be there for personal ego and selfishness. Okay, maybe I'm too cynical to say "all". It's been a frustrating year politically...

1:16 PM  
Blogger chr_426 said...

You are right, Carol. Swearing on the Bible is not a religious test. Our nation is a Christian nation that was founded by Christians and based on Christian ideals and principles. Muslims are welcome to serve in the government but should not swear with the Koran. This breaks all precedent ever established.

4:25 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

WOW - I am forced to disagree with BOTH Carol and Dennis. However, given our system I can!

As I see it, the oath is a declaration of faith. As a Jew I would ask for a Tanach (Jewish Bible) Not as any slight to the Christian belief system, but as an affirmation of my own.

If a Muslim asks for a Koran, I would let him. If an Animist asks for the Tibetian book of the dead - so be it. It's the character of the individual that matters, not the book that his/her hand is laid upon.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

But that's as YOU see it, and the practice is not based on how the subject sees it, but on how the country sees it. At present, the country sees the current practice as the epitome of a binding oath. This is how we've always sworn oaths in this country. It's the standard by which we've always adhered. One is always free to lobby for change, but until that change is ratified, one must, in order to be sworn into office, play it "by the book", so to speak, by laying the hand on the Bible. It is our way, our culture, and American culture takes precedence in American business.

10:30 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

But, MA - I don't think that the actual book that is being usedis germaine. Granted I would have major problems with using Mein Kampf or Das Kapital. However we are trivializing millians of Muslims who find comfort in the Koran.

The fact that the Islamo-fascists distort the Koran is unfortunate, but inconsequential.

6:23 AM  

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