September 18, 2023
Why this petition matters?
I, as the creator of this petition, have personally experienced a traumatic event that has led me to question the use of swearing on the Bible in our court system. I was drugged and raped by an FBI agent, and instead of receiving justice and support, I faced further discrimination and marginalization. The real estate, insurance, police, and travel industries blacklisted me, preventing me from finding work. This injustice left me homeless and tore my family apart.
To this day, the federal agent has never been convicted for any crime related to this incident. However, I continue to face ongoing challenges as a result of these injustices. It is disheartening to witness how big brother has taken over my life instead of fulfilling its role as a protector.
As a Pastor who deeply believes in the teachings of the Bible, it is essential for us to question why we bring government practices into religious matters when even law enforcement officers are allowed to lie under certain circumstances. The Bible itself warns against heeding what the government says since it was ultimately responsible for Jesus' crucifixion.
Therefore, with utmost respect for our legal system's principles of fairness and impartiality, I urge you to consider removing swearing on the Bible from our courtrooms. Here are some reasons supporting this change:
1) Separation of Church and State: Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion while also emphasizing separation between church and state. By requiring individuals involved in legal proceedings to swear on religious texts like the Bible or other holy books without providing alternative options or considering non-religious beliefs undermines this principle.
2) Inclusivity: Our society is diverse with people following various religions or holding no religious beliefs at all. By continuing with outdated practices that favor one specific religion over others or exclude those without religious affiliations altogether creates an unfair environment within our courts.
3) Perjury Concerns: Swearing on the Bible does not guarantee truthfulness in court testimonies. Research has shown that individuals who swear on religious texts may still lie under oath, casting doubt on the effectiveness of this practice as a means to ensure honesty and integrity.
4) Respect for Personal Beliefs: Requiring individuals to swear on the Bible can be seen as an infringement upon their personal beliefs and values. It is crucial to respect everyone's right to hold their own religious or non-religious convictions without imposing unnecessary rituals during legal proceedings.
By removing swearing on the Bible from our court system, we can foster a more inclusive, fair, and respectful environment for all individuals involved in legal proceedings. Let us uphold the principles of justice without compromising personal beliefs or perpetuating discrimination.
I kindly request your support by signing this petition and urging our lawmakers to reconsider this outdated practice. Together, we can strive towards a more equitable judicial system that respects individual rights and upholds justice for all.
Thank you for your attention and support.
Larry Hogan Governor
William C. Smith, Jr.State Senator
Maryland State House
Steny Hoyer Representative
Maryland State Senate
Kamala Harris Attorney General
Joseph R. Biden President
Chris Van Hollen Senator
Pamela E. Queen State Representative
Delores G. Kelley State Senator
Nancy J. King State Senator