Church and State (answer)

id you know
that the way we swear in the members of the U.S. House of Representative is governed by law? Isn't that amazing? Here is the law which governs that procedure:

Subpart B

§ 3331. Oath of office

An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath:

“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

This section does not affect other oaths required by law.
That's something, isn't it? "So help me God" is required by law, but the use of the Bible to swear the oath is not required. That's important for a very good reason: the Constitution of the United States.

No? yes? Let's find out. Article VI, clause 3 says:

"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."
Think about that: No religious tests.

You might hate it, but that's the law: no religious tests. None. If one must use the Bible to swear to God -- which, in itself, is a little anti-Biblical anyway, "yes be yes" and all that -- then we have employed a religious test for office.

Sorry. That's what it says.