Constitutional Oath of Elena Kagan

Oath: n. a usually legal promise to be truthful in one’s communications and/or actions (eg. “I promise to do what is truthful and communicate the truth so help me mother nature(s) and god.”)

An oath is really a promise to be truthful in one’s communications and/or actions and is almost always used in court before a trial. If you willfully and fraudulently steal the truth or lie after an oath then it is considered perjury and there is punishment for it.

Your personal truth may not be legal truth so you can make an oath to do illegal things based on your subjective definition of what truth is. Your religious truth may be to treat women as men’s servants or property with fewer rights so if you make an oath to lead a marriage according to religious principle you may in fact be disobeying the laws of the nation. It is an illegal promise to be truthful.

Lying about a human in public, especially in print or digitally, may be considered libelous and potentially subject to court action but most private and social lies are not subject to prosecution in court and the only punishment which is usually given is social ostracism.

 “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” is really a promise not to lie. Your reputation is in jeopardy if you do lie after such a promise.

An oath in modern times may merely be the judge or some judicial authority asking-Do you promise to tell the truth? A simple answer of yes is considered to be an oath to tell the truth.

Politicians lying in public can sometimes get away with it because they are in powerful positions and who is going to sue the president for libel or a senator for libel? If fellow politicians don’t have the moral courage to sue the lying offenders then who can realistically sue?

Presidents and senators frequently make promises which they don’t fulfill after getting in office and some of these promises can actually be considered important lies about the future. That is why politicians are increasingly making politically correct promises which are so general that they can’t be contested. Fear of being too dogmatic on issues with polarized views is what keeps many politicians in a non committal position as much and as long as possible.

If you are the president or a senator and facts surface which prove that you lied then obviously your reputation is in the toilet and it is time to try and elect the next potentially deceptive and/or lying politician whose reputation  is still considered intact or good.

Flip flopping by politicians on issues may be considered a lie by many dogmatic believers or it can be justified as a rethinking of one’s position and changing it due to new circumstances or beliefs. Admitting that you changed a political position on an issue is sometimes necessary in modern politics because change is sometimes preferable to no change at all. Local political promises sometimes clash with national political promises which have to appeal to a national audience with national norms and not local norms.

There is also an oath to defend the constitution which is a promise to conform to its principles without misrepresentation or lying about it. It should really be called a constitutional oath which is different than a court oath. Normative changes in society can influence judicial decisions and what is really needed is constitutional change which clearly spells out the legal rights of its citizens if a change in those rights is desirable to fit social and economic reality. 

My evergreen truth book New United States Constitution gives suggestions on how to change the constitution to better make it fit social and economic reality so that the updated principles of the constitution can more justly be enforced without the need for as much political bias in court decisions.


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