Monday, August 30, 2010

Is the US Oath of Allegiance, 8 C.F.R. Part 337 (2008) like a Covenant?

What say the Theologians of Covenant?
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.


Dan Harper said...

Nope, not a covenant. It's an oath. It's asking the individual to assert their allegiance to a nation. It does not outline the nature of a relationship between a deity and human beings, or the nature of a sacred relationship between human beings.

The only reason God is mentioned in this oath is so the individual taking the oath can show s/he is super-serious. Persons from certain religious groups who refuse to swear by God, under the argument that such swearing takes the name of God in vain, could remove God clause and still have a valid oath. Thus God does not really enter into this oath.

Nor is this a sacred relationship between individuals, e.g., a marriage in some religious traditions is a type of covenant; e.g., the primary principle of association for religious groups in some traditions is a covenant. But these covenantal relationships are between persons (and, commonly but not always, between persons and God or deity) -- this oath of allegiance is between a person and a nation.

Bill Baar said...

Thanks Dan...what do you think the "Nation" is in between a person and a nation.