The Corner

Christians and “Affirmation”

New to me, and making a rather good point, this came in from a reader: “A

brief comment on your recent Corner posting about Charles Bradlaugh and

’non-religious affirmation.’ While it was no doubt motivated by atheism in

Bradlaugh’s case, there are Christian groups that do not believe in swearing

oaths on the Bible and would also use affirmation in this case. The

Mennonites, my own denomination, is the only one I’m familiar with, though

there may be others. The principle comes from Jesus’ words (and I’m

paraphrasing here) ‘Let your yes be yes and your no no.’ In our view,

there’s no need to swear an oath on the Bible because we are already

supposed to be telling the truth. I guess it’s sort of like when a

politician starts a sentence with ‘Honestly…’ Makes you wonder if he

hadn’t been honest before.”

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