The problem is this guy making a big deal of it.... nobody thinks it is a big deal but him.
Many of the founding fathers of the U.S. were Deists and had no formal religious ties.
Only four president's didn't use the Bible? I think you are mistaken here...
It isn't a problem for me....except his making it into a press release.
I'll wait and see how he carries out his "loyalty Oath" professionally thank you - anyone can say the words....
BlogCritics says it well.....
First, the use of a Bible in the oath-swearing process is a tradition, but not mandatory, as even the State Department
As evidence of that, two presidents declined to use Bibles when they were sworn in.
John Quincy Adams
took the oath with his hand on a volume of law;
simply used nothing.
Heck, if Prager had a clue he'd remember that the Founders
any sort of religious test as a requirement for holding office. Article VI reads, in part:
The 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.
And the presidential oath of office is studiously secular. From Article II:
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
So Prager is wrong on the particulars. But he's also wrong on a general level. Because the point of swearing on a Bible is not to show support for the Bible — it's intended to be a sign of taking the oath of office seriously by swearing on something important to you. It's akin to a blood oath, or "I swear on my mother's grave" or "cross my heart and hope to die."
So Christians swear on the Bible, because (the thinking goes) swearing on their religion makes them that much less likely to break their oath. But the oath, not the Bible, is the important thing.
And in that context, forcing a Jew or a Muslim or an atheist to swear on a Bible is not just obnoxious; it's pointless. Because to a Jew, for example, an oath sworn on a Bible is no more or less binding than an oath sworn on a telephone book.
Also, it's worth noting that the Founders provided the option of simply "affirming" their committment to their duties. And again, two presidents have done just that:
and Herbert Hoover. This further demonstrates that the whole idea of "swearing on" something is simply a tradition, not something central to the process. Just like the words "So help me God" that most presidents add to the end of the oath.
Further, I believe members of Congress take the oath en masse, and nobody checks to see if they're swearing on a Bible, Playboy magazine or nothing at all.
Prager ratchets up the hyperbole later on:
Devotees of multiculturalism and political correctness who do not see how damaging to the fabric of American civilization it is to allow Ellison to choose his own book need only imagine a racist elected to Congress. Would they allow him to choose Hitler's "Mein Kampf," the Nazis' bible, for his oath? And if not, why not? On what grounds will those defending Ellison's right to choose his favorite book deny that same right to a racist who is elected to public office?
Note the logic: If it's not the Bible, it's the equivalent of "Mein Kampf."
That aside, the argument is fallacious. There are many religious objects and books that might be looked at askance if used in a swearing-in ceremony; but that has nothing to do with them not being the Bible. I doubt an Aztec would be allowed to take the oath while standing over a human sacrifice. And he definitely wouldn't be allowed to play soccer with the head afterward. But that says nothing about the use of something other than a Bible — it merely demonstrates that some things are repugnant.
And this is what I like from his blog:
Ellison should be able to swear on a Bible if he wants to; he should be able to swear on a Koran if he wants to. He should be able to affirm his oath without swearing on a book at all if he wants to. The oath is the important thing, and his adherence to it is what he will be judged on.
Last edited by Curiosity; Dec 1st, 2006 at 06:41 PM..