Someone has removed “so help me God” from the U.S. House of Representatives oath witnesseses must take when testifying before several of the congressional committees.
“In January, a draft of a rules package from the Natural Resource Committee was leaked to the public showing ‘so help me God’ marked for deletion, replaced with the phrase ‘under penalty of law,'”.
Here’s what the original document stated before January:
e) Oaths. — The Chairman of the Committee, the Chairmen of the Subcommittees or any Member designated by the Chairman may administer oaths to any witness before the Committee. All witnesses appearing in hearings may be administered the following oath by the Chairman or his designee prior to receiving the testimony: ‘Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?’
Chairman Raul Grijalva claimed the removal of God from the oaths was a simple “mistake.”
The New York Times reported last month that “so help me God” was now a forgotten and buried tradition in the U.S. House, with Rep. Steve Cohen telling the outlet he finds the phrase inappropriate for Congress.
“I think God belongs in religious institutions: in temple, in church, in cathedral, in mosque — but not in Congress,” said Cohen. “And God doesn’t want to be used.”
“The intention behind [‘so help me God’] was to express the idea that the truth of what was being said was important not just in the moment, but would go into eternity, and someone was watching and would ultimately be our judge,” said Rep. Mike Johnson. “Some would call that mere symbolism, but to many of our founders, it was deeper than that.”
What do you think? Is this a good idea to remove God from oaths?