“So Help Me God” — REALLY...?
We Sabotage Our Own Lives by Not Thinking
“The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.”
—Martin Heidigger (German philosopher)
[I had to read (or tried to read) Heidigger's book "What Is Called Thinking?" for a college class; decades ago. I don't know if I was ever even able to trudge through 2 boring chapters. Maybe my mind was not ripe then (or on the several ocassions even since, that I have attempted to again read it), or maybe the thoughts contained in the book itself are "over-ripe" (i.e., rotten), though it may contain some unspoiled portions that can be cut out and still used. Regardless, the success of the book was the profound impact the basic premise had, even if the propounding of the premise throughout the rest of the book was dull. The quote above is the succinct version, of the long, drawn-out expounding of this concept, which is not without merit; if one does not have better things to do, I suggest finding a copy on-line* or in a library (don't waste your money on buying a copy—I still have mine, it is a great dust collector) and reading the first few chapters... if you are fortunate to have so much time and a superior attention span and iron will that allows you to actually conquer and finish the book, by all means, please let me know what you thought of it; I would like to know. * Try this site:
What is amazing, is that the "book" is the collection of lectures that the good professor gave to his students at the university—imagine the unfortunate young people who had to sit through and try to absorb it from hearing it once; if it is hard for it to sink in being able to read it over and over in a book, no wonder so many philosophers commit suicide, if their "career" started out having to build truth upon hearing a boring obtuse lecture once and then being expected to absorb, understand, and recall it when asked in examination.]
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge....” (Hosea 4:6)
At the very end of this article is the original email that spurred my thoughts which precede it here. The basic premise and purpose for these thoughts is that well-meaning people frequently do many things without even thinking, and thus sabotage their own lives,* most often without realizing it; often even sinning against God without even realizing it.
[* A simple example: I often hear of people who go out to get a job and are not given the job, being told they are "overqualified." First of all, that is discrimination—especially since businesses frequently hire people who are woefully "underqualified" (even utterly incompetent, being unable to even fill out the application or read) due to quotas and affirmative action. Most recently I heard of a woman who recently got her Accounting degree went to get a job at a Dollar Store or something, to at least earn some paycheck until a real job arose in her field. She of course was turned down due to overqualified discrimination. However, it was her own fault. Most people make the mistake of filling out forms and writing down all sorts of information simply because there is a "line" there that says to. Leave it blank. Or, write down the very minimal possible, if you feel the need to write something. Obviously, this is much easier for a woman than a man: for if the prospective employer asks about the large gap in the "employment history" all a woman has to do is say she was a housewife and mother, but now wants/needs to earn a paycheck. Your college and training is entirely irrelevant and none of their business. Of course, a man may be able to say the same thing if he wants: My wife has a degree and was the bread-winner and I stayed at home and raised the kids, but now that the kids are grown I want to contribute and do something.
Similarly, in court, people usually hang themselves by what they say. Now, if you have actually sinned against God and committed a crime, you need to confess and face the music. However, if you are guilty of violating no valid law, then you should say the very minimal possible; answering "yes" or "no" period, if possible; and truthfully; or if a greater answer is required, consciously think of answering SOLELY the question, offering NO additional information; and if you are asked the wrong question, answer the wrong question; it is not your job to formulate the right question that you should have been asked—unless of course if answering is necessary to proving innocence (but caution and choice of words is still needed, as immoral lawyers are experts of twisting what you say; and always remember, there is no time limit on HOW LONG you are "allowed" to think before answering a question... take your time; if they try to rush you, tell them, "thanks, you just made me lose my train of thought, now I have to start over"). The corrupt system will use what you say against you, even if you are not guiltly of violating any VALID, CONSTITUTIONAL Law. A Supreme Court Justice once declared that 95% of convictions come from admissions and confessions.]
The below, very short email that I received and forwarded with these thoughts, dealt with someone going in to court and the judge no longer having "So help me God" in the "required" oath. However, more important than the removal of those words, are many other thoughts about which few have ever thought; to their own detriment.
One thing in court most people do not even realize, is that a Judge in a criminal case will ask you
"How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?"
The only intelligent Christian reply would be:
"This seemingly simple question is FRAUGHT with ambiguity, error, and what I perceive in my mind to be entrapment, whether intended or not.
First of all plead means 'pray' and I pray only to God.
Secondly, your 2 choices (whether you intend it or not) constitute entrapment and are dishonest, unfair, and unconstitutional.
By my claiming that I am 'not guilty' I am making a subtle implication of the attachment of guilt itself.
I do not 'plead' and I do not accept 'not guilty' as my factual position, I 'maintain and declare that I am innocent.' "
Furthermore, while well-meaning, devout Christians object to "so help me God" being removed from the oath, they overlook the fact that the Bible is no longer produced for the person's left hand to be placed upon (while a politician in Ohio several years back took his oath of office with his hand on the TALMUD...!)... —but Christians have long overlooked the fact that God's Word commands us,
"33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by Heaven; for it is God’s Throne: 5:35 Nor by the earth; for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (Matthew 5)
"But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. ...." (James 5:12)
Sadly, most Christians never even realize the irony--sacrilege--of putting their hand on the very Bible that says swear not and perform only thy oaths to God (not to man) and then swearing...! How can God honor such disobedience...?
Therefore, if the judge asks you to raise your hand and swear, a Christian should respond:
"I am sorry, but is it unconstitutional to demand that I partake in a religious ceremony... you are wearing a robe, sit in an exalted position, want me to pray to you, and want me to raise my hand in some type of religious ceremony and swear, when my religion forbids me to swear or recognize other gods [Quote verses listed above.]..."
at this point the judge will claim if you do not want to swear you can 'affirm'; to which a Christian should reply,
"The word affirm is legal synonym for swear. Are you trying to entrap me into violating my religion and continue to partake in your religious ceremony against my will and over my objections, in violation of my conscience...? or do you, a judge, somehow not know the law or the legal meanings of words you use and are requiring me to use...? I am confused. I do not understand the proceedings nor their legal basis in fact of law. Where in the Constitution am I required to swear and raise my hand? The U.S. Constitution preserves my God-given, inalienable rights; it does not impose obligations upon me.
"I cannot swear or affirm because God commands me not to... however, what I say will be the truth because God in His Word the Holy Bible forbids me to bear false witness in court.
if the judge does not accept that, I would ask:
Does this court not recognize my religion, the religion very upon which this nation was founded...? and is this court declaring that it will not allow my testimony which I say will be true, simply because I will not use some magical religious word cloaked under the color of law...?"
When I testified for a neighbor one time, in a very minor matter involving a neighbor's dog and his, I told the judge I would not swear because it was against my religion. He replied I could "affirm." I responded, that I would not affirm because affirm means the same thing as swear... he arrogantly [god-like, thinking it is "HIS" court, when it is not, it is the court of the people of the county it is in] replied, "Not in my book...!" Since that was good enough for the situation, since he said affirm did not mean swear, I consented. In hindsight, I should have replied,
"Since this is a matter of my conscience at stake, I would like to know exactly which book is 'yours' and what legal bearing it has in relation to the U.S. Constitution and the Corpus Juris Secundum."
or, if a Judge maintains, "Affirm does not mean swear" I would reply,
"Okay, that is wonderful, so since my conscience is at stake, what is the LEGAL definition of "affirm" if it does not mean swear, and what is also the legal definition of 'swear' so I can compare the two; and in what official Legal source is that definition to be found? Is 'swearing' an oath? Is 'affirming' an oath even if it not the same type of oath that swearing is?"
If a Judge continues to demand an oath or affirmation or any other 'special' word in regard to your offering truthful testimony, ask,
"Since I have already declared that what I speak will be true, where in the Constitution am I required to add any other word to it...? and if I am a liar, how will my 'promising' (which is also an oath) to tell the truth make what I say true...? and if I am an honest person, how will my 'promising' to tell the truth make what I will say MORE true...? How will my raising my hand make what I say MORE true and to whom am I raising my hand and what does it signify? Since my swearing or affirming or raising my hand will not make what I say true, and it is not mandated in the Constitution and is not based on science or philosophy or natural law it therefore has no legal bearing and must be a religious ritual. I don't mean to be difficult or argumentative, but does this court want me to soil my conscience and violate the commands of God? What I say will be true. That is all there is to it. What more is needed?
"Also, I cannot declare that what I say will be "the whole truth and nothing but the truth" for I do not know the whole truth and I am an imperfect and fallible being. All I can tell is what I know, and since I also know that I am not perfect and do not know all things and somethings I think I know I may misunderstand, for all humans are in error in some things they believe... I cannot claim that I will be perfect... all I can say is that what I will say will be true to the best of my knowledge."
Of course, if you do not say these things respectfully enough, you may wind up being a guest of the court in the local jail for contempt of court (a punative power judges often wield to intimidate, persecute, and punish people they don't like) or the judge may reject you as a witness and not allow you to testify which is good if you did not want to, but not good if your testimony was needed. If you wanted to testify and your testimony was needed, if the case goes against the one you wanted to testify for, it may be grounds for a mistrial that the judge, with prejudice, refused to allow a key witness to testify.
Of course, we no longer have a JUSTICE system, even though it is so called (even as the Postal SERVICE is no longer a service but a money making business that enriches a select few), we merely have a LEGAL system, and it is an evil and ungodly system since our nation has been subverted from its Christian roots and the Bible has been amputated from society, upon which all Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence itself was founded (See the Dooms of King Alfred, available for a donation of 6.00 + P&H).
And that would be another good point to argue in court for mistrial, because there is a plethora of evidence that our nation was founded as a CHRISTIAN nation, and that evidence could be admitted into evidence in court... or they may merely dismiss the court case itself to prevent the evidence from being presented.
I offer the very best of these books; for information on titles and prices, inquire.
just a few ideas to consider, for what they are worth.... Robert
PS. It is NOT enough to believe in God. Scripture tells us that the demons also believe—and tremble (which most Christians do not; no longer understanding what it even means to be a "god-fearing" man; if a person truly fears/respects God, he will obey Him and live as He has commanded, knowing that God is Holy and Just and will punish those outside His Grace.
PPS. One person on my email list arrogantly responded that saying any of the above is foolish; just take the oath and ask God to forgive you. Well, if you have such a carnal mind and inoperative conscience, that you can willingly sin against God and then simply confess it, then by all means go ahead... and what is to stop you from committing any other sin against God, if you think sin is so light a matter that you can like a Catholic go to confession or say a Hail Mary or Our Father and be absolved; and run back out and do it again. Certainly God forgives us when we actually repent... but does one truly repent if he thinks that sin is so insignificant that he would counsel someone to just go ahead and sin and then confess it. This makes a mockery of the atonement. Yes, we all sin and fail out of ignorance or when we give in to temptation. God said swear not by heaven or earth or any other thing and perform thine oaths only unto the Lord. What part of that is difficult to understand? What part of "NO OTHER GODS" is difficult to understand. I imagine he would have counselled Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego to "just go ahead and bow down and then ask God to forgive you," or counsel others a few years from now, "just go ahead and take the mark of the beast and ask God to forgive you." If Christians cannot stand up when the persecution is nearly nonexistent, how on earth do they expect to be able to stand up when the persecution is severe and a matter of life or death. As the old saying goes, "He who stands for nothing will fall for anything." If a person has no discipline to do what is right in insignificant areas, it is doubtful he ever will in serious matters. God said don't swear. Period.
-------- Original Message ----
Believing in God is one thing, being in Jesus is another. One thing about it, as this age comes to an end, more than 86% will believe in Him, but, for some it will be too late. It helps to know your roots.
AGREE or DELETE This is by a daughter of a murdered couple in Raytown, MO. who had a Bible and Bookstore on 63rd Street. She says: When I had to testify at the murder trial of my parents a week ago, I was asked to raise my right hand... The bailiff started out "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" I stood there and waited but she said nothing. She said "Do you?" I was so stunned I blurted out "What happened to "so help me God'?" She came back with "Do you?" I replied yes, but I was perplexed. Then the judge said. "You can say that if you want to." I stopped, raised my right hand, and finished with: "So help me God!" I told my son and daughter that when it came time for them to testify, they should do the same. I don't know what can be done about it, but it's time for us to step up and DO something. NBC this morning had a poll on this question. They had the highest number of responses that they have ever had for one of their polls, and the percentage was the same as this: 86%to keep the words, 14% against... That is a pretty 'commanding' public response. I was asked to send this on if I agreed... Or delete if I didn't. Now it is your turn. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God. Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess about having "In God We Trust" on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance. Why is America -- our nation -- catering to this 14%? If you agree, pass this on , if not, simply delete... In God We Trust