Monday, September 29, 2014

Constitution Day - In the Company of Heroes

On 9/18/2014, over at The Jackson Press website, MarkAlexander, in his commemorative article,  ConstitutionDay - In the Company of Heroes, included this snippet:

On 30 April 1789, America’s first commander in chief, George Washington, took this presidential oath of office with his hand on a Bible opened to Deuteronomy 28. He ended his oath with “So help me God,” which was added to military oaths for officers by Act of Congress 29 September 1789.

In contrast, the U.S. Army Center of Military History website, Oaths of Enlistment and Oaths of Office says:

The first oath under the Constitution was approved by Act of Congress 29 September 1789 (Sec. 3, Ch. 25, 1st Congress.) It applied to all commissioned officers and privates in the service of the United States. It came in two parts, the first of which read: “I. A, B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United Sates.” The second part read: ” I, A. B., do solemnly swear or affirm to bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and to serve honestly and faithfully, against all enemies or opposers whatsoever, and to obey the orders of the President of the United States of America, and the orders of the officers over me.” The next section of the chapter specified that “the said troops shall be governed by the rules and articles of war, which have been established by the United States Congress assembled, or by such rules and articles of war as may hereafter by law be established.”

No matter how fervently convinced Mark Alexander may be regarding his claim that George Washington elected to use those same words in conclusion to the first oath of office as president, he is definitely mistaken when he says that "So help me God" "was added to military oaths for officers by Act of Congress 29 September 1789.”


-        

6 comments:

Tom Van Dyke said...

Never heard of "The Jackson Press" before, and it has a subliterate error ["it's" for "its"] on its bannerhead.

Its good you correct them. Extremism in defence of liberty is no vice.

Ray Soller said...

The Alexander article first appeared here at The Patriot Post.

The whole article is a worthwhile read.

My problem is with what he is using as the source for his information. His saying that GW placed his hand on the Bible opened to Dt.28 is problematic. That's something I've not been able to track down.

Ray Soller said...

In Alexander's 10/21/2013 column, The Left's End Run on SHMG - Who Aletered the AFA Officer Oaths?, the author displays his enthusiasm for the comprehensive inclusion of SHMG laden oaths at the federal level.

Accordingly, the Editor's Note alerts the reader to the following:
In response to Alexander’s column, 28 members of Congress [including Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04)] issued an official letter of inquiry to the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy asking for “a detailed explanation as to why the [AFA handbook] omits ‘so help me God’ from these oaths, ..."

A full response to the historical inaccuracies contained in the 28-members, congressional letter requires a future American Creation blog all by itself.

Tom Van Dyke said...

"And that foot is me."---Dean Wormer

;-)


It would be good to occasionally note that "So Help Me God" appears in some federal oaths. Not all our readers are up on the whole picture re this issue. If we restrict ourselves to just the "inside baseball" bones of contention, the general reader might get the wrong impression 180 degrees the OTHER way and that's no good either.

Glenn Hefley said...

Among many other weighty objections to the Measure, it has been suggested, that it has a tendency to introduce religious disputes into the Army, which above all things should be avoided, and in many instances would compel men to a mode of Worship which they do not profess.
-- George Washington, to John Hancock, then president of Congress, expressing opposition to a congressional plan to appoint brigade chaplains in the Continental Army (1777)

Tom Van Dyke said...

Out of context. What Washington objects to is ONE chaplain being appointed over all the rest. [Indeed, a precursor of the First Amendment, that no one religion of sect be given dominion over all the others!]

...and also of the original concept of federalism, that Massachussets could be Congregationalist if it chose, without interference from the national government.

I shall here take occasion to mention, that I communicated the Resolution, appointing a Brigade Chaplain in the place of all others, to the several Brigadiers; they are all of opinion, that it will be impossible for them to discharge the duty; that many inconveniences and much dissatisfaction will be the result, and that no Establishment appears so good in this instance as the Old One.

Among many other weighty objections to the Measure, It has been suggested, that it has a tendency to introduce religious disputes into the Army, which above all things should be avoided, and in many instances would compel men to a mode of Worship which they do not profess.

The old Establishment gives every Regiment an Opportunity of having a Chaplain of their own religious Sentiments, it is founded on a plan of a more generous toleration, and the choice of the Chaplains to officiate, has been generally in the Regiments. Supposing one Chaplain could do the duties of a Brigade, (which supposition However is inadmissible, when we view things in practice) that being composed of four or five, perhaps in some instances, Six Regiments, there might be so many different modes of Worship. I have mentioned the Opinion of the Officers and these hints to Congress upon this Subject; from a principle of duty and because cause I am well assured, it is most foreign to their wishes or intention to excite by any act, the smallest uneasiness and jealousy among the Troops.


http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib/docs/104/Letter_from_George_Washington_to_the_Continental_Congress_1p.html