So help me God

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Marcus Aurelius

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So help me God
« on: November 23, 2009, 02:55:23 PM »
Contrary to popular belief, the oath of office in the Federal Government does not include the phrase "so help me God" at the end.  However, George Washington said it anyway after taking the oath, even though he was not required to, and today most who take the oath voluntarily add it.  In my opinion this is fine, so long as it is not required.  The Constitution would agree with me:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."  --First Amendment.

Also, as I have pointed out many times before, contrary to popular belief we were not founded a Christian nation.  Our government is forbidden from endorsing any religion, christian or otherwise.

So when I see shit like this on Fox news it really gets under my skin:  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,576436,00.html

Requiring police officers to say "so help me God" is unconstitutional not only on first amendment grounds, but it is also explicitly forbidden in Article VI:

Quote
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

Is there any way to justify such a law as being in line with the constitution?

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Crustinator

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2009, 03:01:51 PM »
Yes. Stop reading Fox News. They're legally allowed to make shit up so long as it distorts the truth, causes offence to minorities or gays, or makes old people want to buy more guns.

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2009, 03:07:24 PM »
Trust me I'm no fan of FN.  They do absolutely no fact checking on anything these people they interview say.  If they are so fair and balanced, they would have done their research to actually see whether such a law was constitutional, found article VI, and posted it right after the quote from that dirt bag in the article claiming we are a Christian nation.  Instead they allow people who are dead wrong say things like that and leave it completely unchallenged. 

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Benjamin Franklin

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2009, 03:14:57 PM »
I doubt they are actually required to say "So help me God", and if they are, that's insane.

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 04:17:10 PM »
It is part of the oath of office, so yes that would mean they are requiring everybody to say it, and yes that is insane.

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theonlydann

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 09:51:00 AM »
Here is a twist then. A.A. is a religious organization. no question about it. If you dispute this, well fine but it is.

Should courts be allowed to sentence people to A.A. if they disagree with the religious aspects of the crap? Because, and if you haven't been there please take my word for it, they don't like you much if you won't hold their dirty Alcoholic hands at the end of the meeting for the Lords Prayer.

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2009, 10:27:21 AM »
Religion requires a belief in the supernatural by definition, and certainly that is what is meant by the religious establishment clause in the first amendment, AA does not require any belief in supernatural, therefore it is not a religion.


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theonlydann

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2009, 10:44:31 AM »
Religion requires a belief in the supernatural by definition, and certainly that is what is meant by the religious establishment clause in the first amendment, AA does not require any belief in supernatural, therefore it is not a religion.


I see your point, but AA always talk about turning your life over to a "higher power", and references God  so... yes... it does require belief in the supernatural.

And if you believe their B.S. about the higher power being anything you want it to be... i have some lakefron property in Arizona.

Also, i just found this article, so apparenly New York courts disagree with you.

http://www.positiveatheism.org/rw/alcohol.htm

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2009, 10:48:41 AM »
Well my question would be do they require you to go specifically to AA or do they require you to get counseling for alcoholism.  If AA really is a religious organization than I agree the courts should not force you to go specifically to a group that promotes the belief in supernatural, however if they instead require you to get professional counseling for alcoholism, but leave it up to you which organization to seek help, that would be okay.

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theonlydann

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2009, 10:54:20 AM »
Well my question would be do they require you to go specifically to AA or do they require you to get counseling for alcoholism.  If AA really is a religious organization than I agree the courts should not force you to go specifically to a group that promotes the belief in supernatural, however if they instead require you to get professional counseling for alcoholism, but leave it up to you which organization to seek help, that would be okay.
The bolded part is agreed on.

The problem is alot of judges WILL force you to attend AA, and make it a requirement of probation. I've had friends that were specifically sentenced to attend AA classes.

And Excerpt if you dont wanna read the article.

Noting that God is mentioned in five of the 12 steps that are the cornerstone of the Alcoholics Anonymous program, the Court of Appeals said the Appellate Division had wrongly applied "too narrow a concept of religion or religious activity." The high court said that Alcoholics Anonymous meetings were "heavily laced with at least general religious content."

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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2009, 11:15:39 AM »
If that is the case than I agree with your original statement.  Clear violation of the 1st amendment.

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theonlydann

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2009, 11:27:01 AM »
Yeah. I wish i didn't so strongly oppose AA and their religious B.S.

now i have to pay money to see a therapist so i can prove im clean and sober and shizzle, instead of showing them an AA sign in sheet.

To much stock is put on a system that only has... what. A 5% success rate?

Sorry. Get back on your God topic again.

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Pete

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2009, 01:20:37 PM »
I think the "So help me God" is just a cultural artifact, really. I agree that it is probably illegal for the one administering the oath to add that in, but if someone wants to append it to the end of their oath, whatever.....

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Lord Wilmore

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2009, 01:39:43 PM »
A.A. is an effective system (well, more effective than any other), but undoubtedly religious.
"I want truth for truth's sake, not for the applaud or approval of men. I would not reject truth because it is unpopular, nor accept error because it is popular. I should rather be right and stand alone than run with the multitude and be wrong." - C.S. DeFord

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theonlydann

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2009, 04:38:17 PM »
Well Wildy... i Beast had a great thread a long time ago about the ineffectiveness of A.A., and the propensity for relapse, and the 5% success rate... but its been a long time so i could be rong. I'd look for that thread if i werent lazy... but im not knowledgeable enough to say one way or the other. I can say that it wouldnt have worked for me.

But stop derailing this thread. ;)

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Masterchef

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2009, 04:45:22 PM »
Yeah. I wish i didn't so strongly oppose AA and their religious B.S.

now i have to pay money to see a therapist so i can prove im clean and sober and shizzle, instead of showing them an AA sign in sheet.

To much stock is put on a system that only has... what. A 5% success rate?

Sorry. Get back on your God topic again.
They do have a few secular "12 step" programs as well.

If I had to go to AA it just wouldn't work for me because of the whole religious aspect of it.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 04:47:03 PM by Masterchef »

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theonlydann

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2009, 04:51:40 PM »
Yeah. I looked at those, but once again... Judges know the AA name.


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Quilimi09

So help me God
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2009, 02:53:56 PM »
I have faith and believe in god.  He is there and all you have to do is ask for his help and give your issues to him.  He does not make bad things happen it our choices that make them happen and he will help us get back on the right track.

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Chris Spaghetti

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2009, 03:18:09 PM »
Preachy preachy preach preach god god something Jesus bible preachy god drivel

E-vangelism is not welcome here.

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Optimus Prime

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2009, 03:38:13 PM »
Preachy preachy preach preach god god something Jesus bible preachy god drivel

E-vangelism is not welcome here.

Agreed. Seriously in a thread of this nature I don't think people are looking to be preached at. Although I consider myself to be pretty neutral on the subject, I have a very religious family background. I still am very pissy about religious references throughout our legal process.

One of my biggest bitches is having to take the pledge of allegience out of school because of the 'under God' statement. I really looked forward to the pledge as a kid - and I know a lot of other kids that did - and I think it's a great idea to instill a little national pride blah blah blah - you get the idea. BUT, some dork back in what 1942 or something? (somebody else can fact check that) decided we needed to put "Under God" in the pledge, and now it is some huge deal to just take it back out - so rather than do that, we'll just take it out of schools entirely. GREAT IDEA!!! - PFT!

Oh well - that's Gov't intellect for ya.
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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2009, 08:37:02 PM »
The entire idea of a pledge of allegiance is contradictory to how the U.S. was founded.  The only people who should be pledging their allegiance are government officials to the people for whom they serve, not the other way around.  The under god part just adds insult to injury.

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theonlydann

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2009, 08:40:33 PM »
The entire idea of a pledge of allegiance is contradictory to how the U.S. was founded.  The only people who should be pledging their allegiance are government officials to the people for whom they serve, not the other way around.  The under god part just adds insult to injury.
I was one of the first classes in my elementary school to protest and refuse to say the pledge.

Honestly. We had a very liberal teacher. I was a hellion even back then.

Re: So help me God
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2009, 10:13:49 PM »
Here is a twist then. A.A. is a religious organization. no question about it. If you dispute this, well fine but it is.

Should courts be allowed to sentence people to A.A. if they disagree with the religious aspects of the crap? Because, and if you haven't been there please take my word for it, they don't like you much if you won't hold their dirty Alcoholic hands at the end of the meeting for the Lords Prayer.

AA is only religious in the sense that it promotes the use of a "higher power" to help an individual to quit drinking. That higher power is not necessarily God, or even a deity. It is just as often one's own willpower or support of fellows.
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I'm giving you five points for that one


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Marcus Aurelius

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2009, 11:17:45 PM »
I have never heard of the phrase "higher power", by itself, being used in any other context than to refer to a god or the supernatural.

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theonlydann

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Re: So help me God
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2009, 03:52:29 AM »
Here is a twist then. A.A. is a religious organization. no question about it. If you dispute this, well fine but it is.

Should courts be allowed to sentence people to A.A. if they disagree with the religious aspects of the crap? Because, and if you haven't been there please take my word for it, they don't like you much if you won't hold their dirty Alcoholic hands at the end of the meeting for the Lords Prayer.

AA is only religious in the sense that it promotes the use of a "higher power" to help an individual to quit drinking. That higher power is not necessarily God, or even a deity. It is just as often one's own willpower or support of fellows.
Sorry Wolfy, but after attending meetings, that is certainly not the case, since God is mentioned far to often. It was pretty obvious to me that these people thought the only way to quit drinking was with Gods  help.

The dead giveaway was when they said The Lords Prayer at the end of every meeting, and that it says God (even though it says "as we understand him") in like 4 of the 12 steps.