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When Atheists go to court, do they have to swear on the bible?

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:49 AM on Jan. 19, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (13)
  • i never thought about that, isnt there a separation of church and state? people should swear on the constitution

    Answer by aliciatron at 1:51 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • Anyone (not just atheists) have the choice to give an affirmation, instead of swearing on the bible.

    Answer by DEpley at 1:57 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • good to know about the affirmation thing!

    Answer by outstandingLove at 3:10 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • I've never been to court!


    Answer by beeky at 8:29 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • Yes, unfortunatly we all do. I've always seen an issue with that. Because when the practice or swearing on the bible was established it was seen as unlawful to be anything but Christian. Today we are, thankfully, a little more open minded and recognize that there are many many religions that don't honor the bible as the word of God. Myself included... Therefor to swear an oath to tell the truth on the bible means nothing... And being that the number of people in this country that are non-Chrisitan grows daily it's just stupid that they still use this practice.


    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:34 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • Although, the question then becomes what would one swear on? There is NO universal belief system... So, you would have to change it for each person. Which doesn't make sence anyways. I figure they should just swear to the court that they will be honest. Leave religion out of it all together. Because lets be honest. The fear that if I lie I'm going to prison is what keeps people honest up there, not the fear that they swore on the bible.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:34 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • It is still practiced here in a small town in Western NY. I wasnt sworn but if it came to that I would politely refuse and ask if I have other options for being sworn in and stress that I would testify to my best knowledge of the circumstances. There.
    There are a lot of people here who practice Paganism and Wicca, many native Americans, and maybe a couple atheists including me, so the do need to accommodate these people somehow, otherwise I would think that the court is breaking the law pressuring you to practice Judeo Christian religion by swearing on the bible.

    Answer by BeaMoore at 9:40 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • You can affirm rather than swear on the bible. I have seen it done personally countless times in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey by everyone including law enforcement officials. Here you definitely have the option, but I don't know if it is a state by state thing or not, honestly. Some religions don't allow swearing and some people don't believe in the bible...

    Answer by BJoan at 10:58 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • If you listen carefully you will find that in most affidavits they ask if you Swear OR Affirm. So there is no longer a need to swear on a Bible.


    Answer by admckenzie at 11:48 AM on Jan. 19, 2009

  • I just big deal. And on my voter registration card, I scratched out the word 'God' in the line 'so help me God'. They registered me with no problem.

    Answer by mizkaye at 12:54 PM on Jan. 19, 2009

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