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Thread: Swearing the oath before a civil court

  1. #1

    Swearing the oath before a civil court

    In swearing to the classic oath before a civil court, "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" would it be disrespectful to answer instead of the classic "I do" or "Yes," to answer, "So help us God, I do," or "May God help us, I do"?

    Does it then become not just an answer to an oath, but a prayer, at which we then should invoke it in Jesus' name?

  2. #2
    I don't know BJ. There is nothing wrong with the prayer, it's just that you will probably tell the truth whether God helps you or not. Unless you mean praying for God's help in a complicated situation where you don't want to forget any of the truth?

  3. #3
    Disrespectful to whom? I don't think any judge I know of would consider your response disrespectful.

    Our jurisdicition has fallen into the "oath or affirmation" wording. "Do you solemnly swear or affirm . . . .?"

    Very often a witness will say something like "before God I so swear." I've never seen a judge take the response in a disrespectful way.

    And I don't think God is shown disrespect, unless, of course, the witness goes on to lie.

    Vic
    R. Victor Bottomly
    Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston ID

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- How to access Politics and Government forum

  4. #4
    BJ, I'm sorry, I missed the last part of the question. I have seen witnesses swear in the name of Jesus too with no offense taken by a judge, although I've seen a lawyer or two cringe. Says something about a lawyer or two, I think.

    Vic
    R. Victor Bottomly
    Port Cities Reformed Baptist Church, Lewiston ID

    Click to get: Board Rules -- Signature Requirements -- How to access Politics and Government forum

  5. #5
    Originally posted by victorbravo
    BJ, I'm sorry, I missed the last part of the question. I have seen witnesses swear in the name of Jesus too with no offense taken by a judge, although I've seen a lawyer or two cringe. Says something about a lawyer or two, I think.

    Vic
    Ironic that only in court can "swearing in the name of Jesus" offend non-Christians!

    Anyway, I've never been sworn in, but I would think that "By the grace of God, I do" would be a good way to answer.
    Chad
    He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved. (Psalms 15:5 KJV)

  6. #6
    Originally posted by Chad Degenhart
    "By the grace of God, I do" would be a good way to answer.
    JC - PCA - PA...homesick for SC
    A we n' de Ya, ho; I mak sikker; Deus juvat

    Indicabo tibi o homo quid sit bonum, et quid Dominus requirat a te: Utique facere iudicium, et diligere, misericordiam, et sollicitum ambulare cum Deo tuo. Michaeas 6:8

    "Who says you can't go back, been all around the world and as a matter of fact. There's only one place left I want to go, who says you can't go home" Bon Jovi

  7. #7
    I don't usually appear in court, but it may happen a few times a year as part of my work. I just answered with the simple "I do" this time... I guess the picayune point I was thinking of making was that God should help all of us, not just me, on the stand... however, since the oath is specifically directed at me, I suppose I could just address that that way.

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