3e41e9e99952438a8201de329d8e604f1

The Forgotten Oath of Congress

4 ¼ min

According to my online dictionary, an oath is “a solemn promise, often invoking a divine witness, regarding one’s future action or behavior.”

Oaths play a big role in our society. The Boy Scouts, known today as Scouts BSA since admitting girls to the organization, begin their weekly meetings by raising their right hand in the Scout sign and reciting the Boy Scout Oath. A bride and groom typically exchange vows with each other during their wedding. To receive security clearance, certain members of our government must sign an oath stating they will not divulge secrets or restricted information to others.

And then there’s our Congress.

They take the following oath, yet given recent actions, one has to wonder how seriously they take this solemn promise:

I 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.

Online,the United States Senate gives a brief history of this solemn oath, explaining that while it can be traced to the early days of the Republic, “the current oath is a product of the 1860s, drafted by Civil War-era members of Congress intent on ensnaring traitors.”Federal employees, judges, and incoming vice-presidents take this same oath.

The president also takes an oath, prescribed in Article II, Section 1 of our Constitution:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Likewise, all United States military personnel take an oath when they enlist or re-enlist:

I, (Name,) 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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

In states like Virginia and California, our governors take similar oaths, promising to support or defend the United States Constitution as well as the Constitution of their particular state.

All of these oaths share one commonality: the defense of the Constitution of the United States of America.

I have known members of the military who hold their oath in high regard, as the heart of their service to their country. I also once knew a federal civil servant, now long deceased, for whom his oath was the True North on the compass of how to perform his job.

Though I’m certain many of our elected officials and judges take their pledges just as seriously, our present circumstances leave me wondering about those who either ignore their duty to defend the Constitution, or who seem intent on evading that document altogether. From some of our judges to members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, and from some of our governors to upper-level federal officials, we find many who have failed to protect our Constitution and our liberties.

How, for example, do you take such an oath, yet work with groups who want to radically transform the government of the United States? How do you reconcile your oath with sitting on your hands in Congress and keeping silent because you’re afraid of offending people or losing your next election? How do you support and defend the Constitution by staying mum while others, Democrats and Republicans alike, are abusing their power? Having taken this oath, how can you then watch without protest as your colleagues cut deals with foreign powers or abet them in our own government?

Here’s a thought.

The next election season will roll around before we know it. Various candidates will hold town halls, meet with voters at rallies, and give interviews on both local and national television.

Instead of first asking them what they’ll do about jobs or student debt or our failing schools, or worst of all, what they’ll do for us, let’s ask them this question: “How do you propose to defend the Constitution of the United States?” or better yet, “What are the duties enumerated in the Constitution regarding your office?” If the candidates are running for Congress, we might then ask if they know the first two amendments in the Bill of Rights and how they propose to defend those rights.

Let’s see what they say.

--

Dear Readers,

Big Tech is suppressing our reach, refusing to let us advertise and squelching our ability to serve up a steady diet of truth and ideas. Help us fight back by becoming a member for just $5 a month and then join the discussion on Parler @CharlemagneInstitute!

Image Credit: 

Wikimedia Commons-public domain

Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick

Jeff Minick lives in Front Royal, Virginia, and may be found online at jeffminick.com. He is the author of two novels, Amanda Bell and Dust on Their Wings, and two works of non-fiction, Learning as I Go and Movies Make the Man.

Add a Comment

 

Join the conversation...

You are currently using the BETA version of our article comments feature. You may notice some bugs in submission and user experience. Significant improvements are coming soon!

or

Cephera
-
The following is fact - not fiction. It is not conspiracy theory or myth, but 100% documented. Congress has not forgotten their oath. They know exactly who they are pledging to, and they fulfill their obligations to that entity. The oath of the president and congress pledge their allegiance to the corporation of The United States whose offices are located in the 10-mile square of Washington D.C. This corporation is one of the three-sister states: Washington D.C. the Military Representative, City of London (within London proper) the Financial Representative, the Vatican the Spiritual Representative. They do not pledge themselves to us. February 21, 1871, Congress created a PRIVATE, for profit municipal corporation, legally controlled under Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the organic Constitution - then proceeded to give it complete “legal” control, power and authority not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States. They called this new corporation THE UNITED STATES, and each State is a franchise operating as a non-Article III legislative tribunal, a collection agent for Congress’ commercial business. Every Department of Justice court is a private commercial Law Merchant operating for corporate profits. The United States and the United States of America are not the same thing. The "People" are not free and sovereign members of a country, as they would have been under the Articles of Confederation drawn up after the War of Independence. They are employees of a privately run corporation. “People” do not have rights; they have privileges. They have liberty, but do not have permanent sovereignty or freedom. Participation in their system is a legally binding contract, based on OUR CONSENT. The Civil War freed the slaves, but the Organic Act of 1871 enslaved the entire population of the American people on the land? A five-minute video on YouTube titled, Meet Your Strawman, will introduce you to how you have been lured into their evil system.
 
 

or

Cephera
Htoslav - The only thing that needs to "change" is our minds. We've been coerced into joining their system, oxymoronically, voluntarily. We have natural law rights given to us at birth by the Creator, but we stepped into their system of control and have given up that sovereignty. And it was all done with words, legalize. And that is what we use to stand our ground - words. State your natural rights. After all, isn't that how the Universe was created? "In the beginning was the word."
pashurst
-
With reference to "radically transforming" the government, you have to be careful not to treat every progressive proposal as representative of all Democrats. It is the progressive's job to imagine change. The basic nature of Liberalism is open mindedness. Get ten liberals together and you might get twenty points of view. With respect to protecting and observing the constitution, in practice we need the courts and SCOTUS to help us define the details. The constitution allows for changes so it is not an immutable object. I think a major problem lies with people misrepresenting what the constitution says while claiming to defend it.
 
 

or

Account Photo
Mikiebaby
“The basic nature of Liberalism is open mindedness” I’m hoping you mean liberalism in the classic sense.. not the liberals of today’s democrat party. SCOTUS is supposed to evoke the traditional meaning, not subjective, esoteric daydreams of Democrat party
Rowana F
Two other problems are that I strongly suspect many elected politicians are hardly even familiar with the Constitution. They'd probably flunk a good civics test. Another problem is that the Constitution sets out rules and procedures for how it can be amended, but many people (including many politicians) want to alter or amend it without following the rules.
Burns McMurray
-
'defend the Constitution...against all enemies, foreign and domestic'......seem pretty clear to me that quite a few politicians are such casual and consistent liars that this oath means less than nothing to them....G.W. Bush, for example...."It's just a g..d.mn piece of paper." And don't get me started on the fraud and open traitor that was the '08-'16 occupant of the White House.....
 
 

or

DuaneBSmith
-
I don’t believe Congress has acted the way they have because they don’t know or understand the constitution. I believe they have taken a different oath to grow in power and gain without regard to how it affects others. In spite of what others have said, character really does matter.
 
 

or

Account Photo
Htos1av
-
No, the vast majority just laugh at the oath BECAUSE they are "powered" by $tate money from over$ea$. I don't know how to make it any clearer than that. It's simple, you bring a briefcase into the newb's office that more money in it that the ENTIRE TIME OF EARNING for the entire family line-and that is JUST the start! And that's it!!!!
 
 

or

X