The Taking and The Following of Oaths

I am a Quaker. As such I hold to one of the basic characteristics of being a Quaker, namely; I don’t swear oaths of any kind. Period. We Quakers believe that not only is it clearly forbidden in scripture but prohibited by inference, additionally it is a matter of individual honor. If I have to raise my hand or any other ritual, and say magic words like, “I swear by ___ …” I am inferring that when I don’t follow these rituals or say these words I may be lying. In contrast, by aligning myself with The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), I am stating to myself and to the world that I reject lies and embrace the truth even when the truth is uncomfortable or in conflict with my best interests.
So then, as someone who refuses to swear an oath or proclaim an allegiance or give honor to an inanimate object, one could ask what right I have to question the oath or allegiance of others. I would answer this charge by saying that since I am not biased by any oath nor is my allegiance encumbered, I am then a qualified judge of those who will attempt to convince me by their oath or their ritual.

Now then, lets consider a popular oath about an inanimate object.

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 regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Have you, the reader, ever taken such an oath? If so, did you mean it? Are you still, today, faithful to this oath? Do you see this oath as a temporarily agreement, or a solemn and permanent pledge?

Think about this for a moment. The liberal minded person reads the Second Amendment of the Constitution and then bends it and twists it to support the notion that a person has no right to own a gun. Or he may just discount it as a remnant of a time before people were as “enlightened” as he and his liberal friends are today. But the Second Amendment is quite clear and founded on the basic notion that each individual person has a right to self protection and ownership of weapons. Do you, the reader, the swearer of oaths, the defender of the Constitution, believe the Second Amendment should be brushed aside? Ignored? Translated using the modern “enlightened” mindset?
Then what about Article I, Section 8 of the same document?
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution says “The Congress shall have Power To…” and then it begins to list each act of the government that is assigned to Congress. The plain reading is that these powers are the duty of Congress and no other part of government, since no one else is mentioned. To believe someone else may share these powers is to assume something into the Constitution that it simply does not say.
Some examples of the responsibilities of Congress from Article I, Section 8;
“To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;”
Notice, this is not the president’s job, neither is it the job of the justice department nor any other department that answers to the president, according to the constitution.
“To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;” (sic)
These provisions of the Constitution appear to be entirely forgotten or willfully ignored. Now days, its the president’s decision that takes us into war. Survival Gear Bags Oh sure, we have new definitions for these words, but the intended meaning of these sentences is abundantly clear. The framers of the Constitution and the original adopters of this document clearly placed the decision to go to war in the hands of congress, not the president. And with the most basic glance at history its easy to see that the reference to armies being funded for no longer than two years was not intended to mean that congress could just re-approve a budget every two years and have an eternal army permanently occupying at least 135 foreign countries. Only the Navy was authorized to exist year after year. The Army was to be on an as needed basis. Clearly the Constitution is being openly violated by the very government that claims to be based upon it.
You may say, “Oh, but you don’t understand. Times have changed. Things are different now.” My response would be, “You swore to this document, not an imaginary one.” Now you cry, “Oh, but how would we maintain peace? How would we protect our friends?” I would answer, “You swore the oath. Does your oath have meaning?”

This brings us to a question that I can pose, but I cannot answer on behalf of the oath giver; What is an honest person to do? Within the heart of each individual lies the answer to that question, but I feel I can probe around the edges and maybe shine some light on the matter. First and foremost, don’t be fooled into thinking this oath was given to any specific government or group of people. A quick reading of this oath will show that this oath is a public proclamation of a self imposed commitment. It is a contract with yourself, witnessed by others. One could justify breaking it by simply stating that it was a misunderstanding. That the oath giver didn’t fully understand the repercussions of the oath. As long as the swearer is comfortable with that in their own heart, I don’t think anyone could justly condemn them. However some may feel more of an obligation to what they stated in the oath to be a solemn, and therefore not to be entered lightly or without thought, oath, proclaimed before man and God and based upon their sacred honor. To the person who feels this way, I simply see no path but to uphold this oath or break it and admit dishonor. So then, what would “uphold this oath” mean? What should this person do? When faced with orders that fly in the face of the Constitution, given by a government that has wholly abandoned that Constitution, what is an honest person to do?

I propose the oath be either abandoned and the Constitution abandoned with it, or upheld and enforced as the law of the land. These States that span North America are in the grip of an entity that openly violates the Constitution thousands of times a day. I propose that Constitution is void by the fact that the federal government of These States has abandoned it and is operating in open violation of it. Therefore if that Constitution is to be made alive again, either the current government must cease and desist all unconstitutional activity or a new convention must be established and a new government must be installed in accordance with that Constitution.

As for my part in the matter, I am entirely neutral. In my opinion, you may have this government or have a new one, ultimately the results will be the same. I have no horse in this race as I have no loyalties, oaths, promises, or commitments to this government or this Constitution or any other. I have no moral obligation to an organization that supports itself by theft and force. I find myself much the same as the man being robbed. The thief has a gun to my head and is taking my wallet. I will not assist him, but it would be foolish to fight him on his terms.

Ben Stone
2011

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