Oaf Of Office

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Newly elected St. Louis councilwoman takes oath of office with hand on Dr. Seuss book.  What a nincompoop. 
An Oath is a promise made to God.  A promise made to a person can be broken with minimal consequences, but breaking a promise to God brings everlasting torment in the fires of Hell.  That’s why taking an Oath on a Bible is a solemn occasion.  You are literally pledging your eternal soul as collateral that you will keep your word.
If we no longer believe in Hell, or torment, or God, then the Oath means nothing because breaking it has no consequences.  And if breaking a promise has no consequences, it’s not really a promise, it’s a statement of intention, an aspiration, a wish.
No-fault divorce turned the marriage vow into a marriage “for now.”  Taking an oath on Dr. Seuss makes you an oaf. Do it right, or don’t do it at all.
Joe Doakes


That’s one reason I don’t have much patience for some of the “Teh Shareeah is Coming!” crowd yapping about Keith Ellison, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib taking their oaths of office on the Koran rather than the Bible. Taking an oath on a book that’s not, in fact, the center of one’s world view (provided one has a world view), then it’s about as morally illustratrive as…

…well, read Joe’s example.

12 thoughts on “Oaf Of Office

  1. I was having an Emily Litella moment when I thought I read “St. Louis Park” councilwoman takes oath of office with hand on Dr. Seuss book…”

    I was going to write: “How nutty have they become in the west-metro?”

    Nevermind.

    On a related topic, is it not time to end oaths of office? Barack Obama took the oath of office when he became President of the United States knowing full-well he had no intention of fulfilling the oath. He was a Citizen of the World and was going to use his eight years to blaze the trail to a bigger job, one he really wanted: President of the United Nations (the job and the power that go with it don’t currently exist but he has the arc of history bending his way).

    It would do everyone a world of good to stop pretending.

  2. That’s the thing with religion, you basically get to make up whatever you want to believe. The rest of us get to decide whether we share that faith, or interpret the world differently.

  3. Trenchant analysis, E. And based on that analysis, what’s your proposal to ensure public officials keep their word to faithfully exercise the duties of their office?

    Or would that be a bug in your worldview, instead of a feature?

  4. Having read many of your posts and some of the comments that follow them, Scientology comes to mind….

  5. Look up the meaning of the word “oath.” It means a promise to a deity, to an an ultimate judge, not to man.
    In my state an atheist firefighter declined to use the words “so help me God” when he was supposed to be taking an oath, that is, he was not taking an oath at all. He offered to swear the oath to the state instead.
    If you aren’t swearing an oath to God, who are you swearing it to? Maybe ‘Doctor Seuss’? Perhaps you fear that Doctor Seuss will judge you for failing to uphold your oath?
    Swearing an oath to the state or the people is making the state or the people your god.
    In Nazi Germany they swore an oath to the Fuhrer. No silly superstition could get in the way of your duty!

  6. >what’s your proposal to ensure public officials keep their word to faithfully exercise >the duties of their office?

    It’s called a ballot box, J.

  7. Woolly: Faith exists because it is useful. People use faith to cope with a world where their knowledge is finite, bad things happen to good people, and where we all need motivation and courage to get up in the morning.

    Wherever two or more people discuss their faith they will create a God, because God gives structure and simplicity to faith, which appeals to us. History says that our Gods have become less interested in us over time as we understand more, so I suspect that will continue. But I suspect our approach to Godlessness is at best asymptotic.

  8. “Wherever two or more people discuss their faith they will create a God, because God gives structure and simplicity to faith, ”

    Speaking of faith-based statements.

  9. My point was more that at the edge of any person’s knowledge lies ignorance and fear. To tame that fear and relieve the stress that would otherwise make happiness and productivity impossible, we must have faith in the benevolence of nature (Einstein’s well ordered universe) and the benevolence of the society we live in. I don’t think that faith is distinguishable from a belief in God. As our knowledge grows, the nature of God changes, but It will always be there on the edge of that knowledge, because even as our knowledge as a society grows, their always remains a boundary to that knowledge, and because the knowledge of any one individual is limited by the span of our lifetimes and our willingness to educate ourselves. Ignorance and fear will always be with us; faith is the remedy; faith always leads us to God.

  10. “History says that our Gods have become less interested in us over time as we understand more . . . .” In the olden days, this was known as “hubris.”

    A scientist told God and said, “Humans don’t need you any more. We now know as much, and are just as powerful, as you.” God said, “Oh, really?” The scientist said, “Sure, just watch. I’ll breathe life into this handful of dirt and make a living person, same as you did.” To which God replied, “Hey, get your own dirt.”

  11. We might wonder whether, beyond the extremely likely mockery of people of faith the woman is indulging, whether Dr. Seuss actually is her worldview. Let’s face facts; it’s not like the left and reality are on a first name basis or anything. Dr. Seuss, or perhaps even better Timothy Leary, are entirely appropriate.

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