Saturday, December 30, 2006

Well, I swear

That the election of a Muslim to Congress -- a Muslim who, naturally enough, wants to swear his oath on the Quran, not the Bible -- should be controversial is a pretty sad thing in a free country, but the controversy has had a couple of beneficial effects. For one thing, a lot of people have been prompted to read, for the first time, the unequivocal Article VI of the U.S. Constitution:
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.
For another, we have been usefully reminded that not even all U.S. presidents have sworn their oaths of office on a Bible. John Quincy Adams swore his oath on a law volume, bless his Unitarian, contrarian soul.

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