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Re: oaths of loyalty vs. oths of fealty

Poster: "Ed Hopkins" <Ed.Hopkins@MCI.Com>

> Your view on swearing vs. promising is not universally held.
> Some, myself included, feel that punctuating some committments
> with a sworn oath only suggests that other promises are somehow
> less binding. If one is a person of their word, how would
> swearing a might oath make a promise more binding?
> If one is committed to truthfulness and honesty, then why is it
> necessary to swear an oath? Swearing an oath suggests that other
> words not so sworn are less truthful.

Whenever I hear about oath of fealty and loyalty, I think about
the Pledge of Allegience to the Flag.  When I was in grade school,
it was customary to require all students to *recite* it (as opposed
to "swear" or even "take" the pledge), in such a way, and at such
an age, as to make it completely meaningless.  And this was widely,
and passionately, regarded as a Good Thing.  But that was twenty
years ago, in Pennsylania; I hope things are different here and
now, but I don't have any school-age children, so I don't know.

-- Alfredo

ante omnia autem                   | But above all things,
fratres mei                        | my brethren,
nolite iurare                      | swear not,
neque per caelum                   | neither by heaven,
neque per terram                   | neither by the earth,
neque aliud quodcumque iuramentum  | neither by any other oath: 
sit autem vestrum est est          | but let your yea be yea;
non non                            | and your nay, nay;
uti non sub iudicio decidatis      | lest ye fall into condemnation.

                                             -- James 5:12
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