“Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve Him, and shalt swear by His name.” Deuteronomy 6:13

A lawful oath is a part of religious worship. . . .
The Name of God only is that by which men ought to swear. . . .
Westminster Confession of Faith, ch. xxii. (1647)

Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust . . . shall . . . make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: “I ________, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, Blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scripture of the Old and New Testaments to be given by divine inspiration.” Delaware Constitution, 1776

It should not be assumed that oaths will be lightly taken; fastidiously scrupulous regard for them should be encouraged.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1950

An oath is an appeal to God, the Searcher of hearts, for the truth of what we say and always expresses or supposes an imprecation [a calling down] of His judgment upon us if we prevaricate [lie]. An oath, therefore, implies a belief in God and His Providence and indeed is an act of worship . . . . Persons entering on public offices are also often obliged to make oath that they will faithfully execute their trust . . . . John Witherspoon, Lectures on Moral Philosophy

Lastly, those are not all to be tolerated who deny the being of God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all; besides also, those that by their atheism undermine and destroy all religion, can have no pretence of religion whereupon to challenge the privilege of toleration. John Locke 

Delaware Constitution, Art. 22 (adopted Sept. 20, 1776), 1 Del. Code Ann. 117 (Michie, 1975). See also T. Skillman, The Constitutions of All the States According to the Latest Amendments, 181 (1817).  [Back to text]  [Atheists Should Not Hold Public Office]

Concurring in American Communications Association CIO v. Douds, 399 U.S. 382 at 420, 70 S.Ct. 674 at 695 (1950). Emphasis added.  [Back to text]  [The oath is now taken lightly.]

(Works, Ed. Ogle, 1815, vol VII, 139-140 “Lectures on Moral Philosophy,” Lecture 16 on Oaths and Vows.)  [Back to text]

John Locke, Treatise of Civil Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration, Chas. Sherman ed., (NY: Appleton-Century, 1937) pp. 212-13.  [Back to text]

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Fighting the Battle where it Needs to be Fought

Christians want to influence politics. They want to see Christian values replace selfish man-centered values which result in abortion, homosexuality, illiteracy, and crime. They hope to elect Christian statesmen, pass Godly laws, or win well-researched lawsuits which will lead our nation to Godliness, peace, and prosperity.

Obviously they have failed. Their greatest triumphs have been those occasions when they have merely slowed down (temporarily) the relentless march toward destruction. In election after election, they vote for candidates who promise to return us to Christian values, only to have them legislate the same secular “liberalism” once in office.

What is the answer? I would like to suggest an answer you have never heard before. I would like to suggest a return to the “test oath.”


What is a “Test Oath?”

Doesn't the Bible forbid all oath-taking?

Why should I take a “test oath?”

What About the “Separation of Church and State”?

Table of Contents

Overview: A New Approach to Politics

For decades, politics has been a battle between Secular Conservatives and Secular Liberals, with Christians on the sidelines waiting for the “Rapture.” More recently, the battle has been between Secular Conservatives, joined by Secular Liberals, against Christian Conservatives who think Secular Conservatives are their allies.

The lines have been re-drawn. The battle in the next millennium will be between Christians and Secularists. Christians will not distinguish themselves by their membership in any political party; they will be distinguished by their repudiation of 200 years of secular constitutionalism and their willingness to take a Christian “test oath” upon their public inauguration.

The need for Christian statesmanship will be met when we return to the doctrine of oaths which was held by our Puritan forefathers, and then build upon it. In studying that oath, we will learn much and be open to a new way of thinking.

In this Internet Monograph I argue that the oath of office is as important as it is ignored. When Christians begin to take seriously the Biblical requirements concerning the oath, it will have a profound, radical effect on national politics and on our quest for authentic Christian Statesmanship. It will turn politics upside down.

This claim will certainly strike many as an exaggeration. The oath is widely believed to be a mere formality. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has said the oath is little more than an “amenity.”[1] But the Supreme Court has been wrong before. Very, very wrong. The Bible proclaims an altogether different perspective — as do diligent Christians (like the Puritans) who study the Scriptures.

The Oath: The Key

Why do conservatives get involved in politics?

Clearly, they see a rise in crime, or a threat to traditional values, and they seek to protect social order or prevent social chaos.

Voting for candidates of the right political party is not the answer, if those candidates do not understand The Key.

The oath is the key. The lock is the Court-imposed “separation of church and state,” which is really the obliteration of Christianity from the public square.

George Washington reflected the views of the overwhelming majority of the Founding Fathers when he said this in his “Farewell Address”:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness - these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.[No Footnote]

If there are three items on every conservative's agenda, they are here in Washington's Address:

  • security for property
  • politicians with reputations for Godly character
  • pro-life policies.

The Father of his Country says to toss these out the window if religion is ever separated from oaths.

You cannot separate religion from an oath without destroying society.[2]

But notice: The myth of the “separation of church and state” attempts to separate religion from every area of government, including oaths, including the oath of office. Courts have declared that oaths no longer have any religious significance. Even the phrase “so help me, God” has been declared to have “no theological . . . impact.” It is an instance of “ceremonial deism” says the courts. (It is a violation of the Third Commandment, says the Bible!)

What this website argues is that the oath of office must again be religious; all oaths, in fact, must be religious, and every area of government must be religious. This is an all-or-nothing affair. It's a “package deal.”

If our commitment is to the Constitution alone, we are doomed. Only a commitment to the God of the Bible can save us.

Go to Table of Contents


Actually, every oath and every area of government is already religious, and is always and inescapably religious. Either the religion of Christianity, or the religion of Secular Humanism. When Washington used the word “religion,” he meant “Christianity.” The Founding Fathers were not deists.

But neither was Washington a “theocrat.” Nor were most of the Founders. They “halted between two opinions” (1 Kings 18:21). They admired the legal systems of Greek and Roman Humanists, but they wanted Christianity to keep their Republic from crumbling like Rome. This website in a nutshell: “You can't have it both ways.”  [Back to text]

If you want politicians to honor their oath to “support the Constitution,” you must be willing to abandon the mythological doctrine of “church-state separation.” [Go there now.] [Back to text.]

1. Cole v. Richardson, 405 U.S. 676, 685, 92 S.Ct. 1332, 1337; 31 L.Ed.2d 593 (1972).  [Return to Text] 

2. Imbrie v Marsh, at 71 A2d 353, 18 ALR2d 243, citing Omcychund v. Barker, 1 Atk 21, 34 (Ch 1744). (“No country can subsist a twelve-month where an oath is not thought binding; for the want of it must necessarily dissolve society.”) The oath to “support the constitution” is no longer binding.  [Back to text]

This is not a footnote. If you want to “check my sources” but don't have a copy of Washington's Farewell Address somewhere in your home or office, or can't find it on the Internet, shame on you! [Back to Address]


Are you afraid to stand up in a court of law and announce that you are a Christian?

When asked to swear that you “support the Constitution,” are you afraid to explain to your prospective employer that your allegiance to Christ is greater than your loyalty to the State?

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. {35} For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. {36} For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? {37} Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? {38} For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 8:34-38

Almost without exception, when Christians seek to place their loyalty to the State “under God,” they are denied employment and even American citizenship. After passing the California Bar Exam and all other hurdles for admission to practice law, I asked the State Bar of California to allow me as an individual to modify the oath required for admission to practice law. I wanted to use the words from the 1776 Delaware Constitution. This web site attempts to answer three questions:

  • Why did I think it Biblically required to use the words from the 1776 Delaware oath?
  • Why did the California State Bar, the California Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court all refuse to even consider my First Amendment grounds for requesting this modification? Why was I denied a hearing of any kind when Quakers and New Agers are routinely granted modifications of oaths?
  • Why would I want you to make the same request if you are ever required to take a civil oath?

My answer to the second question is: because my petitions went to the heart of the mythology of “church-state separation.” My petitions argued that this nation is ethically obligated to be a Christian nation.

I hope that this web site will encourage you to stand up for Christ, and also help you to do so by being as wise as serpents and gentle as doves. Although I will never be able to practice law in California, I believe the experience I gained will help you become wiser and more gentle than I was during my appeals. I believe it's possible to make a judicious appeal which will allow you to be faithful to Christ and still keep your job.

Even if you disagree, I believe you'll find this web site challenging, and I hope that you'll keep me in your prayers.

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