on sacred religious texts other than the Bible?f7
To me, using the Bible as a talisman is offensive. Jesus
specifically told his followers not to swear an oath at all. He told
them to "simply let your yes be yes" and "no be no." Beyond that, as
the old saying goes, "the devil is in the details."
Any Protestant will tell you that there is no intrinsic power in
the books that hold our sacred texts. It is the words that are
sacred, not the paper. I am less likely to trust someone who says, "I
swear upon the Bible," or "I swear to God," than someone who simply
says, "I give you my word."
The requirement of taking an oath causes a problem for the states.
Merriam-Webster, who helped define American English as unique, lists
an "oath" as "a solemn, usually formal, calling upon God or a god to
witness to the truth of what one says, or to witness that one
sincerely intends to do what one says."
If a state is trying to eliminate God from the picture, they need
to eliminate oaths altogether, according to Webster, since an oath by
definition is a "calling upon God."
A court should not require anyone to make an oath on the text of
another faith. If a witness would prefer to swear by using a sacred
text, then that should be up to the individual, not the court. My
faith is big enough to allow it, I give you my word.
SENIOR ASSOCIATE PASTOR
British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli was born into a Jewish
family but was baptized into the Church of England. His conversion
was probably motivated by the fact that only members of the Anglican
Church were allowed to hold seats in the House of Commons. He
retained his Jewish identity, and his allegiance to Judaism was an
Queen Victoria once asked him, "Mr. Disraeli, what is your real
religion? You were born a Jew, and you forsook your great people. Now
you are a member of the Church of England, but no one believes that
you are a Christian at heart. Please tell me, who are you and what