Monday, June 22, 2009

Do you solemnly swear?

When is the last time you took an oath that really mattered?
If you're married or in love, yeah, you took one there.
But people's words - as in, "I give you my word" - well, you usually hear only that sort of stuff in the movies. Bar and Bat Mitzvahs have pledges, as do Confirmations, but kids will say anything to get those presents. And, plus, sometimes it's in a language they don't really understand, like Hebrew or Latin (?), so it's even easier. The National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance are mostly relegated to grade school or sporting events.
The big pledges are mostly legal promises - like in court. Today I took a pledge like that. I held my right hand aloft and, in the presence of witnesses and a representative of the Executive branch of U.S. government, I said:

I, Jonathan Rubin, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

I think that is pretty amazing.

1 comment:

Zeyev said...

You could also "affirm" and not mention the name of a deity. It is astounding to me that exemption is in the Constitution for the oath of the President. In spite of the "religionists" who feel that this is a Christian country, the Founders appreciated the differences in people's beliefs and codified protections for nonbelievers or for those who feel that oath-taking using the name of G-d is profane.