Swearing on the Bible

When I read this article over at DISPATCHES FROM THE CULTURE WARS It got me thinking.

The fundamental reason people are sworn to their oath on a Bible during government hearings or swearing in ceremonies does not so much bring religion into the proceeding as it does the foundations of ones honesty.

This may seem strange, but using the Bible for someone who believes the Bible (or God) will harm him if he speaks a lie, is at it’s root. But that root is founded in the understanding that;

1) the person believes in the bible, and
2) that the person believes he will be judged for his lies, should he speak any, by God.

If the person does not believe in the Bible or a God, or that he believes he will be forgiven for his sin of lying, then there is absolutely no reason, or purpose for the Bible to be used. There is fundamentally, only the belief that the person being sworn in is standing on his honor, and if the person has no honor, then anything that person speaks could be a lie.

The question then becomes if a Muslin is sworn on a Bible does it mean anything at all, would a Hindu feel bound? How about an Atheist or a Buddhist, or any politician who only plays the part of a religious person to gain votes. The un-righteous mocking the righteous.

It does not even become a matter of separation of church and state, it’s more a matter of trust. And can you really trust politicians, at ALL?