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Thread: Judicial Oxy Moron

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    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    MODS: If you feel this is not acceptable..or offends anyone...please delete.

    I have wondered about this since I had government in high school and have never got a logical/civil answer. It would border on Constitutional rights and judiciary proceedings.

    We are sworn in before testimony...hand on the Bible, right hand in the air etc.

    Everyone knows that in judiciary proceedings, hearsay evidence is not permissible in court (discounting dying testimony).

    This is where I'm sorry if I offend anyone...
    Why then are we asked to put our hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth. It is a known fact; most Bibles were written AFTER the death of Christ and the entire content of which is...Hearsay testimony! So how can we be asked to swear to tell the truth on a book containing words/testimony not allowed as evidence in judiciary proceedings?

    This stems from an acquaintance of mine who says he was fined for contempt of court for refusing to swear in for testimony. This too is hearsay...that's what he claimed...I don't know.

    Second question: Are we required by law to be sworn in using a Bible...any Bible? I have seen on the news, various denominations challenging this but have never heard any outcome from it.
    Can we be charged for contempt or court procedure violations?

    I welcome any serious answers, no theological debates please.

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    WARCHILD wrote:
    MODS: If you feel this is not acceptable..or offends anyone...please delete.

    I have wondered about this since I had government in high school and have never got a logical/civil answer. It would border on Constitutional rights and judiciary proceedings.

    We are sworn in before testimony...hand on the Bible, right hand in the air etc.

    Everyone knows that in judiciary proceedings, hearsay evidence is not permissible in court (discounting dying testimony).

    This is where I'm sorry if I offend anyone...
    Why then are we asked to put our hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth. It is a known fact; most Bibles were written AFTER the death of Christ and the entire content of which is...Hearsay testimony! So how can we be asked to swear to tell the truth on a book containing words/testimony not allowed as evidence in judiciary proceedings?

    This stems from an acquaintance of mine who says he was fined for contempt of court for refusing to swear in for testimony. This too is hearsay...that's what he claimed...I don't know.

    Second question: Are we required by law to be sworn in using a Bible...any Bible? I have seen on the news, various denominations challenging this but have never heard any outcome from it.
    Can we be charged for contempt or court procedure violations?

    I welcome any serious answers, no theological debates please.*
    You can choose to swear in over the Q'uran or Torah as well, should you so choose.

    Most courts don't use a book at all these days.

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    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    I can't remember the last time I was in a court so I didn't know they don't do it anymore. Figures my old a$$ asks this question a day late and a brain fart short.
    I have always wondered that though.

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    I've never been in court for any reason and didn't know if they really did the bible thing or not. Being an atheist myself I would have to politely refuse to swear an oath over such a book. OR... since the book means nothing to me am I allowed to lie if I swear an oath on it?

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    Regular Member PDinDetroit's Avatar
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    WARCHILD wrote:
    MODS: If you feel this is not acceptable..or offends anyone...please delete.

    I have wondered about this since I had government in high school and have never got a logical/civil answer. It would border on Constitutional rights and judiciary proceedings.

    We are sworn in before testimony...hand on the Bible, right hand in the air etc.

    Everyone knows that in judiciary proceedings, hearsay evidence is not permissible in court (discounting dying testimony).

    This is where I'm sorry if I offend anyone...
    Why then are we asked to put our hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth. It is a known fact; most Bibles were written AFTER the death of Christ and the entire content of which is...Hearsay testimony! So how can we be asked to swear to tell the truth on a book containing words/testimony not allowed as evidence in judiciary proceedings?

    This stems from an acquaintance of mine who says he was fined for contempt of court for refusing to swear in for testimony. This too is hearsay...that's what he claimed...I don't know.

    Second question: Are we required by law to be sworn in using a Bible...any Bible? I have seen on the news, various denominations challenging this but have never heard any outcome from it.
    Can we be charged for contempt or court procedure violations?

    I welcome any serious answers, no theological debates please.
    Only bad question is the one not asked! People have the right to be offended if they so choose, I will not apologize for the decisions of another!

    First, I'll handle the Bible History (without going into much detail). Old Testament (OT) - written Before Christ (BC), New Testament (NT) - written After Christ (AD). If you look at some of the OT, you will see a great deal of Historical Information (births, deaths, rules, laws, kings, battles, love stories, songs, prophesy, etc). The first 5 books of the OT are the Torah and are shared with Jews. Only the first 4 books of the NT are about Christ's time on Earth (thereby the Heresay evidence you discussed), the rest of the NT are mostly letters to various churches about specific doctrinal discussion and instruction. The Bibles today have been translated from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages to English and other languages for the "complete Bible" (some books are not in all versions).

    The use of a Bible is not about admission of the information contained within the covers, but rather as an object to affirm an oath to (a connection to a GOD and a set of Moral Principles if you will). I do not find that the Bible is not used as much as it once was in a Courtroom. All that is required is that the person swear an oath or affirm that they will tell the truth. I would believe that the use of a Bible would mean to a believer that "God is watching, so you better not LIE!" Although the use of a Bible is not required, I can well imagine a person being held in contempt of court if they will not affirm or swear an oath to tell the truth.

    We get "hearsay" evidence all the time here about OC Experiences in the State of MI, of which I am glad to see all of them!
    Rights are like muscles. You must EXERCISE THEM to keep them from becoming atrophied.

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    Regular Member eastmeyers's Avatar
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    This is opencarry.org, this has nothing to do with OC, firearms, or anything of the sort....



    If this offends anyone please delete this post, or ask me to, I will, just PM me.
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    Regular Member drew68's Avatar
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    eastmeyers wrote:
    This is opencarry.org, this has nothing to do with OC, firearms, or anything of the sort....


    I disagree, although not exactly about OC it is about the judicial process and OC is intertwined with judicial process, i'd say it all applies. IMO

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    I'm reminded of G. Gordon Liddy's recounting of being called to testify before a Congressional committee during the Watergate episode. He stood tall, raised his right hand as instructed, and was asked if he swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help him God.

    "No."

    The chairman was flustered, everyone stopped what they were doing to watch, and he was asked to repeat himself. He said (he claims; I haven't read the transcript), "No, I plan to lie like a dog."

    :celebrate:celebrate:celebrate

    The more modern judiciary is much more jaded and humorless. I imagine that if you tried that in a current court of law, you would be informed that you are still required to answer truthfully under penalty of perjury. That, and the judge might slap you with a few days in jail for contempt.


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    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    Thanks PD: Explained very well; I can understand it's merely a symbolism of a promise to tell the truth.
    I had never heard of anyone refusing to be sworn in so I didn't know if there could be any actions come from it.

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    I've been sworn in before and on a jury before. Not once did they whip out a bible for people to be sworn in. From what I see they no longer do that probably because not everyone is Christian or it's not PC, but that's just a guess.

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    As I understand it most courts don't even use a bible anymore. Also when you swear in and they say repeat after me... instead of saying ".... so help me god"... it is common practice for people to say "...this I so swear" if you don't want to use god in your oath. The court generally will not even blink and eye and just move on even though you didn't technically 'repeat' what you were told to repeat.

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    All the courts I have been in no longer use a bible.

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    budlight wrote:
    All the courts I have been in no longer use a bible.
    Must have something to do with seperation of church and state.

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    I had heard that testify came from the ancient times when a person would swear on their testis, that they were to hold in one hand while their other hand was raised up in the air. The Rulers in those times, used one's fondness for his testis as a guarantee of truthfulness as those body parts were (and to this day remain) quite important. I think this is the main reason that a woman was not allowed to testify as she presumably had nothing to claim if found to be not being truthful. Like it was said, it has not a whole lot to do with what is in a particular book, rather what someone holds dear that is sworn on. Good question WARCHILD, and I don't see how anyone could have been offended by it. springerdave, believer in Christ.

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    You might also consider that in the NT....most of it is eyewitness accounts.

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    Regular Member JeffSayers's Avatar
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    Well your honor, if you read that good book you will see the author says "Do not swear, instead let your yes be yes and your no be no" Therefore my yes shall be yes and my no shall be no.

    Try to claim contempt on that one!
    United we STAND!

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    Attaboy, Jeff!springerdave.

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    springerdave wrote:
    I had heard that testify came from the ancient times when a person would swear on their testis, that they were to hold in one hand while their other hand was raised up in the air. The Rulers in those times, used one's fondness for his testis as a guarantee of truthfulness as those body parts were (and to this day remain) quite important. I think this is the main reason that a woman was not allowed to testify as she presumably had nothing to claim if found to be not being truthful. Like it was said, it has not a whole lot to do with what is in a particular book, rather what someone holds dear that is sworn on. Good question WARCHILD, and I don't see how anyone could have been offended by it. springerdave, believer in Christ.
    If that were the case we could call Kwame Killpatrick and Bill Clinton the nutless wonders.

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    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    I don't see how anyone could have been offended by it. springerdave


    I was hoping not, but in certain issues some people have pretty thin skin and I didn't want to start a flame thread around theology. I have always found it ironic that with the separation of church and state; they both seem to draw justification from each other i.e. swearing in on hearsay. Okay then, in the recent swearing in of our new justice, wasn't a Bible used? Same for the President? I just think it's kinda funny how rules are bent to be sociably correct.


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    Talk about a couple of oxy morons.springerdave.
    ETA.
    Kuwami & slick Willy

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    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    Talk about a couple of oxy morons.springerdave.

    I didn't say that...darn!

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    WARCHILD, I think they use faith based books, as when a Muslim senator or rep is sworn in the Koran is used. Common sense tells me that if a non believer was to take a seat in public office that they would just affirm that they would carry out their duties. That would work for me.springerdave.

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    JeffSayers wrote:
    Well your honor, if you read that good book you will see the author says "Do not swear, instead let your yes be yes and your no be no" Therefore my yes shall be yes and my no shall be no.

    Try to claim contempt on that one!
    That's why they say, "I hereby swear or affirm... "

    No one is required to swear an oath, merely affirm that they're going to tell the truth.

    If I'm ever a witness, I plan to have fun with that if an attorney tries to limit my testimony, or if I'm directed to simply answer the question as asked. "I'm sorry, your honor, I swore to tell the whole truth, and unless I'm allowed to answer fully, I fear my testimony might appear to suggest something that is not the truth."



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    KBCraig wrote:
    SNIP If I'm ever a witness, I plan to have fun with that if an attorney tries to limit my testimony, or if I'm directed to simply answer the question as asked. "I'm sorry, your honor, I swore to tell the whole truth, and unless I'm allowed to answer fully, I fear my testimony might appear to suggest something that is not the truth."
    +1 Have had similar thought myself.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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