Tuesday, March 21, 2006

On terrestrial and extraterrestrial oaths

For the most part, I don't have anything against anyone else's religion unless it's about, say, blowing up other people.

If your religion tells you that there's an alien creature secretly controling you from inside, that's fine with me. At least it explains some of your behavior.

If you believe the Earth is an egg laid by the turtle god, I'll disagree. I may even laugh. But I won't get all worked up.

If you think it's God's will that you are president, clearly I can't talk you out of it, so that doesn't bother me either. Well, it bothers me because it says an awful lot about you, but there's nothing I can do about it.

It's when you put your religion before your sworn Constitutional duty that I get bothered. I don't put the Constitution above "God" -- whatever your notion of that is. But I do prize duty and truth, and when you swear to uphold an oath, you should do it. People whose religion demands that they countermand an oath of office shouldn't take that oath.

It's that simple.

And every once in a while, someone cuts to the truth of that matter, as with this recent anecdote, provided by a friend:

On Wednesday, March 1st, 2006, in Annapolis at a hearing on the proposed
Constitutional Amendment to prohibit gay marriage, Jamie Raskin,
professor of law at AU, was requested to testify.

At the end of his testimony, Republican State Senator Nancy Jacobs said: "Mr.
Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What
do you have to say about that?"

Raskin replied: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed
your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not
place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

The room erupted into applause.

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