Should politicians be allowed to swear on the Bible?
via AP

Should politicians be allowed to swear on the Bible?

#SwearOnConstitution
#HonorTheTradition
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Jake Tapper left a campaign spokesman for Roy Moore stunned after he incorrectly asserted Muslims can't be elected officials because politicians are required to swear on the Bible. Many are asking why politicians don't swear on the Constitution—rather than a holy book—and believe swearing on the Bible violates the separation of church and state. But others note the oath is ceremonial, and elected officials should be allowed to swear on a religious text if they choose. What do you think? 

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#SwearOnConstitution
43.1%
#HonorTheTradition
56.9%

After a campaign spokesman for Roy Moore asserted Muslims cannot hold elected office in the United States because officials are required to swear on the Bible, Jake Tapper pointed out that politicians are actually allowed to swear on whatever they want.

While elected officials do not have to make their oath of office on a Bible, many are surprised officials aren't required to swear on the Constitution, since that is the document they are meant to uphold. Seeing as the separation of church and state is such an important principle in American democracy, why should anyone swear on a religious text to uphold their civic duty?

Members of Congress, members of state legislatures, and executive and judicial officers throughout the country are bound “by oath or affirmation” to support the Constitution.. it continues, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” (Which, of course, means that as long as you affirm the Constitution, you can leave God out of the matter entirely.)

But others argue the oath of office is purely ceremonial anyhow. Swearing on a religious text is a tradition that has long been upheld in U.S. institutions. Nobody is being forced to swear on a religious text if they don't want to, but allowing religious individuals to swear before their god ensures they are taking the oath seriously. Abolishing this to appease a few atheists hardly makes sense.

Courts must allow people who believe in God to swear in front of him just as they must allow atheists to affirm by whatever they believe in. That doesn't guarantee that either will tell the truth. But it's no solution to pretend that everyone is really an atheist deep down.
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