In a recent congressional hearing, Republican Representative Mike Johnson called out Democrat Steve Cohen for removing the term “So help me God” from the witness oath. Representative  Johnson asked  if the  witnesses

Democrats Drop God from Congressional Oaths

would say the phrase anyway to which Cohen responded that “some People don’t want to Do it (say the phrase)” and that he did not want to “assert my will on other people”.  Johnson responded that they could decline the request, to which Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said that those objecting should not be “made to identify themselves” because it amounted to a religious test.

This is a typical Democratic secularization of our government. Their  argument intends to promote inclusion and recognize religious pluralism. I am sure they feel they are taking the moral high ground here. Their arguments are misguided because they misunderstand the reason for taking an oath in the first place. Taking an oath is a funny thing because you have to swear on or by something. That something is your source of authority. There is no neutral safe space here. If we are not to swear to God, then to who? 

Law assumes an an Imposition of will

It’s laughable that Congress would be concerned about imposing their will. Is not their primary function is to create law which by definition places obligations on others? Is not the person taking the oath is likely compelled to be there? What does it matter if they don’t want to say the oath? They probably do not want to testify either.

There is a longstanding tradition of conscientious objectors who have refused to take the oath (principally the Quakers who objected on religious grounds) who where allow to simply make an affirmation. Why is it just now we are concerned with the objectors  identifying themselves. It seems this change was not really needed but was done out of desire to eliminate any acknowledgement of God in Congressional proceedings. It shows how God-Less the Democratic party has become.

Acknowledging a Divine Power is not religion

Many may feel this is the right decision because the oath could violate the separation of Church and State. I think there is a misunderstanding on what belongs in the realm of the state.

A minimal commitment to a higher power as the ground for authority is hardly promoting a particular religion. Mere Acknowledgment of God is not encroachment upon the state by the Church. This is especially true if a person is allowed to refuse or invoke something else that is sacred.  Republicans seemed willing to allow this. 

Law Implies a Divine Power

The essence of a divine oath is an invocation of divine agency to be a guarantor of the oath taker’s own honesty and integrity in the matter under question. By implication, the oath-breaker  invokes divine displeasure (or desecration of the sacred article) if he or she fails in their sworn duties. The Democrats didn’t just allow someone who is not a Christian (or believer in God) to invoke their own sacred authority, they removed the concept altogether. This is not pluralism but simply the assumption of atheism in a secular public square. 

What they miss is what they do to the oath itself. Who is the swear made to now? Doesn’t the force of the oath lose much of its power? In their interest to push God further out of government than He belongs, they have rendered a tradition pointless. The question Mike Johnson should have asked is: Why bother?