I would not trust ANY government official who chooses to swear in on a religious text, rather than on the US Constitution (to which it's their JOB to uphold and abide by).
It's all about context, and the position they're filling isn't a religious one, so religion should NEVER be in the foreground of their minds when executing the position they're elected to fill.
I thought of something completely different when I first read the question.
You have a very limited (and flawed) view of government or the politician's responsibility to the electorate. America with it's puritan heritage derived notions of government--as servant of the people--from the Bible--the Hebrew Old Testament. Those notions of government are an expansion of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are about maintaining right relationship with others--from whence one then has right relationship to a Transcendent Deity. While Jefferson, Hamilton, et al wanted separation of Church and State--they could not entirely divorce STATE from religious imperative. The Civil War was a war about slavery--and central to that debate was the failure of the State to protect ALL it's citizenry--and that became a failure before a Transcendent Deity--something lost on no one during the 1787 Constitutional Convention. in their many discussion about slavery. Furthermore, the State fighting the Nazi maw was as much a religious imperative as a political imperative--Eisenhower's THE GREAT CRUSADE; Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech was as much a religious statement about a [Godless] new tyranny replacing the [Godless] Nazi tyranny. The demonstrations of Dr. King was a religious imperative as much as a political imperative. And proof of all this is when the politician fails as Richard Nixon did so disastrously. Cleaning out that politician was as much a religious imperative as a political one. When the politician fails to acknowledge this Transcendent role of government, the politician fails.
The reason why people swear an oath on the bible is that it represents the supreme authority to whom they are accountable. They are, in effect, calling God as their witness that they will responsibly fulfill the duties and obligations of their office. It's all about context, and swearing on a document such as the Constitution is about as meaningless as a campaign promise.
@JahPickneyExactly why swearing on the constitution is more reliable and trustworthy.
There's as much supreme authority in/from "god" as there is substance to a fart in a hurricane.
Swearing on the bible (for all of it's questionable morality), or swearing to a fictional imaginary friend / sky-daddy is FAR LESS meaningful than a campaign promise.
Someone saying they're calling "God" as a witness that they will fulfill their duties, are in effect actually saying "I'm going swear to this... but NO ONE will hold me accountable, since my chosen "witness" is an intangible, unverifiable, uncallable, subjective imaginary deity, that for all intents and purposes does not exist in ACTUAL REALITY (which is where the obligations and duties exist and must be fulfilled)".
Swear to god, and you may as well swear to Bilbo Baggins, Harry Potter or Juliana Frink.
You call my knowledge of history flawed, yet you imply that the government was founded from the bible.
I'll leave you with a single irrefutable quote:
the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion
If you need the source, you REALLY are ignorant of the history of the US government.
For obvious reasons, I don't really like to maintain an argument on the www. But the least you could do is quote me exactly. I did not call your knowledge of history flawed; my exact words: "You have a very limited (and flawed) view of government or the politician's responsibility to the electorate." The rest of your response reduces itself to irrational screed. Since you misquoted me so egregiously, I seriously doubt you understood anything that was written--and so suggests any response would be equally misunderstood. (And your response proves exactly what I thought. Rude, intemperate, uninformed. Thanks for sparing me from having to point out the obvious.)
Really... it would behove you to note that I NEVER INTENDED to, nor did I EVER quote you.
Neither exactly nor otherwise.
I have absolutely NO interest in quoting you.
You're a nobody to me. Utterly irrelevant. You're not worth quoting.
So kindly take your head out of your ass before you dismount your conceited high horse.
Seriously, you have no basis whatsoever for ANY judgement of anyone's understanding of government, politics or history.
What I DID quote, was the Treaty of Tripoli, which was submitted to and UNANIMOUSLY ratified by the US senate in 1796, and signed into LAW a mere 20 years after the birth of our nation.
I quote a HISTORICAL governmental document.
You make assumptions based upon statements made by a few (relatively) recent INDIVIDUALS.
The treaty except is a FAR BETTER INDICATOR of the spirit on which our nation was founded than ANY obtuse vapid conjecture you could cherry-picked FROM individual STATEMENTS made in relatively RECENT history, to attempt to justify a DEAD WRONG ASSERTION that the US government was at all FOUNDED on ANY arbitrary religion.
(And seriously, what type of pathetic child feels the need to justify their personal mythology choice by trying to revise historical FACTS.)
Again, Since YOU SIR are not the living incarnation of the Treaty of Tripoli, (the ONLY THING I was quoting), and the fact that I had to spell that our for you is only evidence that not only are you utterly lacking in terms of your judgement of government, politics or history, you've proven yourself a piss poor judge of literacy.
For FUCKS SAKE. I wrote three sentences.
That's enough you two. This is neither the time nor place for an unresolvable argument about the nature of religion or politics. There are plenty of place elsewhere on the web (and in real life) where you can engage in fruitless arguments with people who will never agree with you.
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