Republicans have filed yet another bill to force witnesses in front of House committees to say “So help me God” in their oaths. A similar attempt failed last year — and will almost certainly fail again this time.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) has now filed House Resolution 281, requiring witnesses to go through with the godly ritual:
Resolved, That clause 2(m)(2) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by striking “may administer oaths to witnesses” and inserting “shall administer the following oath to witnesses: ‘Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony that you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?’”.
The wording is identical to last year’s attempt. This version also has 15 co-sponsors — all Republicans. They include alleged sexual predator Madison Cawthorn, alleged sexual predator Matt Gaetz, and a whole bunch of other conservative Christians.
Johnson also said this in defense of his time-wasting unconstitutional bill:
“This resolution is simple. It would require witnesses before all House Committees to take the same oath that is used in every courtroom in America, from small claims court all the way to the Supreme Court, when testifying before Congress. Earlier this year, Democrats blocked this simple amendment to our Judiciary Committee Rules, even though several other House Committees already have this requirement.”
Just because everyone else is making a mistake doesn’t mean the House needs to as well. But this is what happens when you elect incompetent people to Congress. You get performance and faith, not substance. The goal is to appear on FOX News, not help your constituents.
As I’ve said before, this is absurd and unnecessary. Witnesses shouldn’t be mentioning God in their oaths. They’re certainly not obligated to please God during a hearing. They’re supposed to be committed to the truth, while politicians are sworn to uphold the Constitution. If you need God to scare you into not lying, as these Republicans apparently think, there are bigger problems in play.
But it’s telling that this bill is what Republicans are concerned about instead of a host of other more pressing issues.
(Image via Shutterstock. Large portions of this article were posted earlier)