New Jersey Removes ‘So Help Me God’ From Oath

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Elected leaders in New Jersey will no longer have to swear an oath to Almighty God.

The state agreed to amend its traditional oath of office after a Wisconsin-based atheist group filed a federal lawsuit.

James Tosone, 70, plans to run for Congress in 2024 as a Libertarian. But as a non-theist, he said he cannot sign part of the petition required for candidates who run for office in New Jersey – “so help me, God.”

As a result, the Division of Elections would not allow him to verify his candidacy forms with a secular affirmation.

“It’s an egregious violation of freedom of conscience, as well as our Constitution – to compel nontheists to take a religious oath,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. “This legal challenge seeks to put an end to this discriminatory and anachronistic practice.”

The state surrendered almost immediately after being served papers. A memorandum was sent to all New Jersey clerks with guidance on secular affirmations.

“I’m very happy with the state’s response to my lawsuit and their commitment to follow the Constitution’s ‘no religious test for public office,’” Tosone said.

As I wrote in my book, “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation,” it is imperative that people of faith stand up to the radical atheists. Click here to read my book.

“We’re glad that the state of New Jersey saw the error of its stubbornly noninclusive ways,” said Gaylor. “Residents will now not have to choose between lying or not running for office.” 

So if Mr. Tosone has no religious beliefs, who does he plan on swearing to should he win the race? His pet cat? A shrubbery?

The way I see it, if the oath is good enough for presidents and congressmen and Supreme Court judges, it should be good enough for a libertarian from New Jersey.

Had the case gone to trial, though, it would have presented a dilemma for the atheists.

That’s because every witness must be sworn in and must affirm that they will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, “so help you God.”

Should elected leaders swear an oath to God?

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