16 March 2006

The Constitution or the Bible?

Law professor Jamie Raskin's pithy statement says it all.

(via Plunderbund)


TravisG said...

That sound you hear is 1 million bloggers saying, "Dang. I wish I'd written that."

Mark said...

I'm not in anyway detracting from the line but Bill Mahr used it on his show last year (according to Snopes.com)

Anonymous said...

I guess that means the Bible is the basis of the validity of the swear and thus we remain "One Nation Under God" giving the word of God priority. Why else would we use the Bible? Would one place their hand on the constitution and swear to anything and if so, what is the swear based on? Why not lie? Just a question.

Mark said...

Joeh, if the Bible really was the basis of the "swear," then Christians who actually read the Bible and refuse to swear upon it, couldn't hold public office or give testimony in court.

Just a question Joeh, do you read the Bible? Do you know the passage that voids your argument?

Wes said...

Paraphrasing from memory, and can't remember chapter/verse (KJV):

Neither swear by Heaven, for it is God's throne, nor by the Earth, for it is His footstool - rather let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.

Many of the "truest" (read: most literal-minded) substitute the word "affirm" for "swear" in oaths.

Hope that helps, joeh. But I suspect you're not looking for an actual debate here.


Anonymous said...

Mark and WF, I would love to spend time going over Bible verse with you. I suspect it would end fast on your side.

As to Jesus statement to neither swear by Heaven... Do you understand the entire part of scripture this comes from and what precedes it? Jesus is saying that those who run around swearing but who then lie or are hypocrites would be better off not swearing and thus we get into what you quote.
Below is more information for what appear to be folks challenged by what the Bible actually says.

The Third Commandment, "Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain." "Taking the Lord's Name" means making an oath. The commandment is not that it should never be done, but that it not be done in vain, or falsely. In fact, God wants us to take His Name. It's a way of praising Him:

Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His Name.

Deuteronomy 10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; Him shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His Name.

and more
We are told to swear by the true God: "Unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear," Isa. xlv.23; "He that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth," Isa. lxv.16; "Thou shalt fear JEHOVAH thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name," Deut. vi.13. We are forbidden to swear by the name of false gods: "How shall I pardon the for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods." Jer.v.7; Josh. xxiii.7

Please do not try to pull things out of the Bible without understanding meaning. I hope this draws all of you to read it more. God Bless

Mark said...

"Please do not try to pull things out of the Bible without understanding meaning."

No, Joeh, I'll leave that to you. You have twisted Christ's words to fit your personal agenda. I've got a few things for you to read: Honorious of Autun's Elucidarium,Tundale Tyndal's The Vision of Tundal, and Dante's Inferno.

Remember a group of people Jesus preached against who professed faith in public but showed no comprehension? Here's another hint--it starts with a "P." Happy hunting.

Anonymous said...

Wow Mark, you asked for verses from the Bible that show that it is OK to take an oath. I did so showing that it is OK to swear on the Bible as long as you keep that oath because it is to God. What other reason would there be to have the Bible under your hand.

Now, you come back with this reading list. Not sure what any of these have to do with the subject having read two of the three. There is certainly a Catholic content in them. Dante's Inferno had a profound influence on CS Lewis conversion and was credited with leading to Mere Christianity. Maybe you could enlighten me on the connection to the discussion.