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Post image for GOP Lawmaker Pushes Bill Requiring School Kids To Pledge Loyalty Oath To Constitution, God

GOP Lawmaker Pushes Bill Requiring School Kids To Pledge Loyalty Oath To Constitution, God

by David Badash on January 26, 2013

in News,Opinion,Politics

An anti-immigrant Tea Party Republican state lawmaker in Arizona is pushing a bill that would require high school students to recite an oath more stringent than the oath the President of the United States is required to make, as a pre-requisite to graduating.

Rep. Bob Thorpe (image, left) is gaining GOP support for House Bill 2467 that would require this oath from all high school students in order to be eligible to graduate:

“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose or evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; so help me God.”

The oath the President of the United States of America is constitutionally required to make reads:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Rep. Thorpe says, “Constitutional oaths are common for elected officials and government employees, including the governor, the Legislature and members of our law enforcement and our military,” according to AZ Central:

“It is my hope that if Arizona students are given the opportunity to also take a simple, Constitutional oath, that this will inspire them to learn more about our Constitutional form of government and the rich history of our nation and founding.”

Children, last I checked are not “elected officials [or] government employees.” Aside from being “clearly unconstitutional,” as American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona Public Policy Director Anjali Abraham notes, it smacks of fascism.

It also clearly is a lie.

The state cannot force children to go to school (which it should) and then force children to take an oath to the constitution (it cannot) and swear that oath to God (it cannot) and call that something done “without any mental reservation or purpose or evasion” by making it a requirement to graduate.

Rep. Thorpe is a moron.

Also, pray tell, how is a high school senior, say, on average, 17-years old, supposed to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”? What tools will Rep. Thorpe provide to this new under-aged army?

Requiring students to make this pledge would require the state to provide those students with the means necessary to carry it out.

And how is a 17-year old supposed to decide who or what is a foreign or domestic enemy?

Were I a 17-year old Arizona high school student, I might think Exxon Mobile is a domestic enemy for polluting our air. Am I legally required to wage war on Exxon Mobile, given my oath?

Am I required, given my oath, to travel to Iran to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” because I might think, given the GOP’s claims, that Iran is about to drop a nuclear bomb on me.

Time and time and time again ignorant Americans elect ignorant Tea Party nuts to office, and these new “lawmakers” just start making shit up.

It has to stop.

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Alex_Parrish January 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I fear we have already lost Arizona to the American Taliban. I only hope we won't have to send troops to liberate our American hostages.

Diogenes_Arktos January 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm

"this will inspire them to learn more" ??
Isn't that what their K-12 education was supposed to do well enough?

BJLincoln January 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Then there are those of us who are not Christian. What are the non-Christian students suppost to do?
Lie about their faith or lack of? Not graduate?
My choice would be to make an issue of it long before graduation. Stand up fpr my rights according to the Constitution and let it be known I will graduate without swearing into some contrived "arny" of other young people who may now own assult weapons and guard the boarder.
It is a form of psychological warfare methods used to recruit. Saying the pledge plants the seed.

Cyn1171 January 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

If it passes I will be making donations to the ACLU defense fund for any kid that stands up and refuses to say it.

That said, I do not see this getting past serious legal scrutiny. Besides the obvious First Amendment violations, we already have an official Pledge of Allegiance in this country, one that is voluntary. To try to force minors to pledge an oath such as the one proposed as a requirement to graduate is not only extortion, it's attempting to usurp the official, voluntary United States Pledge of Allegiance.

As a disclaimer, I tend to have very strong feelings about the Pledge of Allegiance and things like it. I have not said the Pledge since the 9th grade (1985 for me) and will not say it until the words "under God" are removed (something that was never part of our original Pledge, it was added in the 50's). It is my firm belief that religion has no place in our government and vice versa.

GaelicWench January 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm

"That said, I do not see this getting past serious legal scrutiny."

Concur! Republicans are SO anti-government, yet they're always coming up with the most ridiculous of bills that would have us chained to their ideological views – a one solution fits all.

Only one time in my life have I ever signed on the proverbial dotted line, and that is when I joined the Air Force. But garbage such as what they're proposing in AZ is nothing more than taking our freedom away, in direct violation against why I was in the service. It may have been back in the late 70s and early 80s, when my squadron was considered the "tip of the spear" in the air. Go Aardvarks! Anyhoo…….

BeerandOnion January 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

The American Taliban or Fascism? One or both? Clearly, not the freedom to live as I decide.

oneindependent May 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm

When can we get a bill passed or better yet a federal law that say's all elected officials must swear or affirm and oath that they will while serving in government leave their flippin religion where it belongs in the church, their home, in their personal practices, but in no case what so ever can they inject their religion into their duty of public service or policy making NO EXCEPTIONS!

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