Separation of Church and State

Unfortunately, some people see religious freedom as the freedom to force religion upon those who are not interested. Why should one be required to raise their RIGHT hand (or any hand at all) and swear and invoke God to “tell the truth?” I would think that this practice discriminates against those who are amputees or who were born “thalidomide babies.” So if they can testify without raising their hand then what is the purpose except that it is some religious superstition. Now why do we SWEAR if Jesus said not to swear by anything but “let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.” Now you may reply that those who find swearing objectionable may opt to solemnly affirm. The main thing is that we answer questions under penalty of perjury. But what is “the truth?” If I ask you “how much is 2 + 2” you will answer 4, but is that “the truth.” It is my understanding that an actual proof in symbolic logic that 2 + 2 = 4 would have about 250 steps. A Godel or an Alfred North Whitehead might be able to prove that 2 + 2 = 4, but for most of us it is simply hearsay. Personally, I believe that I do not have access to “the truth.” I do believe that I know when I am lying and I know when I am committing a lie of omission. Should the court suspect that I have perjured myself then they will rule and impose a penalty. Such a ruling does not PROVE that I perjured myself but is simply the courts decision. To say that someone is guilty “beyond a shadow of a doubt” is not to say that we have some knowledge of their truth or innocence. What does it mean to say that doubt has a shadow? It is an imprecise figure of speech. I would think it is sufficient for a witness to simply state that the testimony they give is under penalty of perjury and if the court deems that they are lying or concealing then they shall pay the penalty of perjury. What is “a jury of my peers?” Is Joe the Plumber my peer? In what sense is he a peer. Would he ask the questions that I would ask. Does he value what I value for the reasons that I value? Does he admire what I admire and loathe what I loathe?

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