posted by kitanis
Actually, you have a choice of the oath to swear or affirm, I have been in the USAF. Others are so anti-war or violence, I sometimes wonder what they
are doing in the military in the first place! [Edited by Don W]
It's a job. I enjoyed my 5 years in the USAF. HD in 1964. Looking back, it is a 50/50 toss-up for me whether I should have re-upped again. I was well
placed to make E9 which would have been a nice retirement at age 38. $2,400 a month. Time to get a job and earn 100% of the SS plan, $1,400 a month,
which together would make for the good life. $45,600 gross, a year.
Oath taking today is purely symbolic.
Very few people listen to it when they take it. Many have no qualms about breaking it. Richard Nixon, in
1973. Randy Cunningham. Robert Nye. Etc. How big a prison would we need if we put every person who broke his or her oath behind bars? You’ll have
to admit oaths in 2006 are anachronistic. Quaint. Left over from history.
That was not always true. For example, in 1215, when King John signed the Magna Carta, trial by jury was instituted for nobles and clergy. Not for
ordinary mortals. That came much later. In 1215, trials were not like the trials of today. When a person of noble birth was accused of a crime, if he
could obtain 12 jurors - say swearers - he was acquitted. In other words, if he could find 12 people willing to take a solemn oath he was innocent, he
was thereby declared “not guilty.”
Why was that? People in the 13th century - and both before and later - actually believed that God would condemn anyone who swore a false oath to
eternal Hell-fire. It stood to reason anyone who could find a dozen people - the twelve apostles - who were willing to place their souls in eternal
jeopardy would not lie. And so it was until we became more sophisticated and also, as in Job, noted that a person proven to have sworn falsely was not
in any way penalized on this Earth. So what’s it all mean? Get your’s today. Let tomorrow take care of itself.
US Con. Art II, Sec. 1, Cl. 6: “Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I 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.”
Contrary to popular belief, the option of ‘swearing’ or ‘affirming’ is not a concession to atheists, of which there were probably none as we
understand atheism today. No god. Deism would be the closest thing then to modern atheism. Pantheism. God is everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
That’s what makes him God. Agnostic would be a more accurate label for a lot of the Founding Fathers.
Many fundamentalist Protestants did not then and do not now, believe int taking oaths. Somewhere in the Holy Scriptures it says “do not take an
oath” so this option - to affirm - was a concession to fundamentalist Protestants. And maybe Quakers - Society of Friends, too.
[edit on 11/7/2006 by donwhite]