Atheist Group Wants Lawmakers Sworn In With Constitution, Not Bible

Instead of elected members of the federal government using a Bible to be sworn into office, as has been the long-standing tradition in America, the Secular Coalition for America is lobbying for the Constitution to be used instead — and if not the Constitution, then nothing at all.

The SCA, made up of atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers and other non-theistic Americans, said using the Constitution will allow Senators and members of Congress to “demonstrate their commitment to our secular government,” as quoted in The Washington Times, rather than from any particular religious standpoint.

Currently, as The Times notes, lawmakers are not required to use the Bible or any other religious text, though most do. Yet some choose to simply hold up their hand and use nothing, while others bring their own texts or choose a text from the selection provided at the ceremony. 

Although 92% of Congress identify as Christian, other religious affiliations are present during swearing-in ceremonies. Those members have used the Torah, a Koran for the first time in 2007, and Hinduism’s Bhagavad-Gita in 2014.

According to its website, the Secular Coalition for America “advocates at the federal level to protect and strengthen the secular character of the government.”


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