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View Diary: The National Atheist Party Calls Proposed Arizona Graduation Oath An Attack On Constitutional Rights (11 comments)

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  •  The right to Affirm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, mommyof3, Rogneid

    The right of a Quaker to affirm rather than swear an oath was establish in  English law in 1696 (and therefore in early American law since the two were effectively the same until changed by individual colonies' legislatures). That however was predicated on their objection to swearing an oath, based on the Bible, and their strong belief in God was considered enough for them to tell the truth.

    It was however the latter half of the 19th century before English law extended this right to everybody, including those who did not believe in a deity. The cards used in the courts for witnesses to read have both the "deity" oath and the affirmation printed on them. The nearest equivalent to this oath is in the UK citizenship oath which can either take the form:

    "I  (name) swear by Almighty God ..." OR "I (name) do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm..."

    " that on becoming a British Citizen I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law."

    Followed by the pledge that:

    "I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfill my duties and obligations as a British citizen."

    As a final comment on the US form of witness oath, why should anyone need God's help to tell the truth????

    "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 03:57:40 PM PST

    •  As a litigant in a lawsuit, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, sow hat, JamieG from Md

      I was sworn in.  I chose the bible instead of an affirmation, because I'm a realist and understand that jurors are judgmental vindictive cretins and didn't want to give any ammo to the defense.

      And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

      I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.…We're better than this. We must do better. Cmdr Scott Kelley

      by wretchedhive on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 04:22:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just watch out because that could be considered (0+ / 0-)

        perjury to swear on the bible when you are an atheist.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:29:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I simply changed my faith briefly. (0+ / 0-)

          then reconverted.  I didn't hesitate, and will never lose a moment's rest.  My testimony was 100% completely true or what I wholeheartedly believed to be the truth.

          Besides, I was there when an expert witness who swore on a bible outright lied on the stand.

          If swearing in on a bible or truthfully affirming to not lie actually guaranteed the truth, we wouldn't need a jury system and most trials would last about 5 minutes.

          I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.…We're better than this. We must do better. Cmdr Scott Kelley

          by wretchedhive on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:34:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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