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.
“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.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.