Monday, April 5, 2010

Public Servants and Their Oaths of Office

Did you know that every public servant in America and all new U.S. citizens swears to an Oath of Office, promising to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution?  This includes all Presidents, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, all Federal Judges and Justices, all Federal Employees, all Armed Services, and all new Citizens (state and local governments have similar oaths of office for their employees, office holders, and law officers).  This oath varies for each office, with a common thread of something like this:

"I do swear that I will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God."

An oath is defined as a solemn appeal to a deity, or to some revered person or thing, to witness one's determination to speak the truth, to keep a promise, etc.: to testify upon oath.  An oath is no light matter, yet I wonder how many of our public servants really know the ins and outs of the revered document they are pledging their loyalty to, so God help them.  Worse, I wonder how many take the Oath, with no care or concern of really intending to stand by it.

In any case, for such a document meant to hold so much reverence by those who help keep our country in check, we all ought to have a better understanding of what ideas are sacredly prescribed within its pages.  Don't you think?  Ironically, there are many of those in our day today who take these oaths and then proceed to express that the Constitution is obsolete, or just a piece of paper.  

Perhaps those who take their oath, but don't actually give credence to it, feel like the Constitution is too comprehensive to understand - perhaps too complex or subjective.  For those of us who also feel that way, Cleon Skousen wrote The 5000 Year Leap, which offers us a simple understanding of the Founders freedom formulas.  Cleon Skousen worked for the FBI, was Salt Lake City Chief of Police, a lawyer, and freedom lover, among other things.  He digested volumes of material, read through many of the Founders letters, biographies, and speeches to discover their original intent and simplify the freedom principles.

Why are the intentions of our Founders so important?  Because they were the framers of our country and were willing to die for their cause.  I heard someone once say that the same principles that allowed George Washington to be free, allow us to be free.  Trends and fads may change, but principles do not.  Our nations birth sprang from fiercely loyal believers in freedom and it is vital we understand their intentions for our country - after all, they framed it.  We should not allow the deaths of those who died to obtain it go in vain.

America has a history of being the freest and most prosperous nation on earth - and that is by design.

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