I remember as a child crossing my fingers behind my back to protect me as I lied to a friend. As long as my fingers were crossed, the lie didn’t count. As our political leaders take office, they raise one hand to the square and place the other hand on the Bible and swear a solemn oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” To this date I have never seen or heard of a politician crossing any fingers as they take this oath.
As a society, we are the sum of each individual. If the individuals in our society are dishonest, it can be deduced that we are a dishonest society. When we send someone to represent us, we assume that person is honest and will honor the oath they take. But are we sending a mixed message? Are we asking our representatives to do our bidding, even at the expense of breaking their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution?
When the President of the United States takes the Oath of Office, he/she repeats the wording as specified in Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight of the Constitution as it is delivered to him/her by the Chief Justice. It reads: “I (NAME) do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” While it is not required, some presidents will append the words, “So help me God”. Congressional representatives and judicial appointments are required by the Judiciary Act of 1789 to use the words, “So help me God” unless they use the word “affirm” instead of “solemnly swear”.
It seems that there are many ways to present words. As a society, we expect the “truth and nothing but the truth” when an oath is given. A “statement” is simply words with a particular spin or angle. We have learned that these words may or may not be the truth. A “promise” on the other hand can usually be counted on as truth. An “oath”, with one hand raised to the square and the other placed on scripture, had better be true or there are eternal consequences! Yet, do we really believe that our politicians are living up to the oaths they are taking to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution?” No wonder there is such disdain for many politicians.
Fortunately, we are not to a point in time when all politicians have forgotten their oaths. Many acknowledge their oaths and do their very best to honor them. In addition to our politicians, service men and women make a similar and solemn oath. They are as follows:
Oath of Enlistment:
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) 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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) 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
We too need to be oath keepers. Each of us can take one step further than a pledge of allegiance to our flag by swearing an oath to support, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.
As a people, we need to hold our politicians to a higher standard. After all, they have promised with an oath. So how can we hold our politicians to this higher standard if we do not understand what it means to support, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution? We must, at a very minimum, have a working knowledge of what is in the Constitution and why we have it in the first place.
Republicans and Democrats alike shake their heads at two despicable candidates willing to say anything to get elected. There will be many names on the ballot this November. We must vote our conscience! We must reject this two party fraud or become a part of it.
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” – Thomas Paine