Heyo! I'm brand new to the Nexus, so please pardon me for an flubbiness. I wasn't joining the site just to ask this question, but my life has been getting more and more hectic recently and it's seeming inevitable as time goes on.

I won't bore everyone with the long and complicated story leading up to this, but myself and two of my friends/roommates may have to take another roomie to court over not paying utilities. Her family is well off with money and will likely be able to hire a lawyer and I don't want me atheism coming ruining my chances...

To put it bluntly, I don't like the idea of swearing on the Bible. I'm not completely familiar with South Carolina law yet, but I'm positive it's a requirement. Should I make a stand and refuse to swear on it, just go with the flow, or what?

Thank you in advance.

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Eh hem. I believe in the Invisible Pink Unicorn...so thank you very much!


Heheh. Thanks for the laugh!
My limited experience was that by telling the attorney responsible for my swearing (in regards to the court) "I would like to be affirmed, instead of sworn in" before we got to the court room, made it so smooth that nobody noticed.
Its ironic that you added this discussion. I was onced racially profiled and seeing the cops go on the stand and lie after swearing on the bible. I then applied a version of pascals wager. Suppose the judge was an atheist and i swore on the bible, everything is ok, suppose he was a theist and I didnt swear on the bible, that may give me the disadvantage. so I swore on the bible.
that's kind of what I refer to when I say "pick your battles". Only yours was a much more risky battle.
I like the idea of swearing on a religious text that I think is ridiculous. ;)
I was called to jury duty and I did not have to swear on a bible,nor did two minnonites...Everyone else did.
just something I wonder - if you swear on a bible that you don't believe in, does that mean you can "fabricate the truth"? Not that I would - I'm just really in a weird mood tonight.
just something I wonder - if you swear on a bible that you don't believe in, does that mean you can "fabricate the truth"? Not that I would - I'm just really in a weird mood tonight.

Good point. I wonder if that would work in court: "I'm an Atheist, so swearing on what I believe to be a book of lies gives me the go-ahead to lie as well."
I had a teacher once in 10th grade I think, who prided herself on seeming unbiased, but apparently this only applied to certain issues. She would denounce California for teaching kids that gay is okay, tried to frighten students with 15% of America being non-religious, and of course, thinking it sick that they wanted to get rid of swearing on the Bible. It still bothers me. Even though she was argumentative as all hell, I wish I had said something in class more. Just maybe so she knew it hurt, and she wasn't the master of our thoughts...

I think that requiring you to swear on the Bible is completely sick. Whether you should, I'm not sure. If it's not completely necessary, I wouldn't.
So,did you do it?
I would argue that you go ahead and swear on the Bible. You don't find it to be holy or infallible and you shouldn't fear a god that doesn't exist. The main reason they have the swearin on the Bible is probably to "scare" you with god's punishment if you don't tell the truth. Either way, it really doesn't matter whether you do it or not, so just go for it.
I would personally lie and swear on the Bible if it was anything huge (like, I dunno, triple homicide), but affirmation works just as well.

Since this question is 100% answered at this point, I'd just like to point out as a fellow South Carolinian the law in our state constitution forbidding Atheists from being elected into public office. Of course this is completely bogus as the US constitution holds itself above any state constitution, but I find it pretty humorous that something as silly as religion has anything to do with politics and (here's where it fits in) law.

Thank god for affirmation. Or something.


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