The Perjured Nation
by Scott Whiteman
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Deu. 5:11
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him,
and shalt swear by his name.
Hallowed by thy Name. Mat. 6:9, The First Petition.
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him,
and shalt swear by his name.
Hallowed by thy Name. Mat. 6:9, The First Petition.
In these two commandments and the first Petition of the Our Father, we learn that
- God does not take kindly to the profanation of His name,
- that you may not avoid Oath-taking to avoid perjury and
- His Name will be made holy and revered.
Thus, the duties required by the Third Commandment are greater than merely refraining from obvious blasphemy. We are prohibited from taking the Name of God in vain, irreverent or superstitious (sic.) means. Therefore, we must refrain from using God’s name in all instances which through rote repetition it has lost any significant religious meaning. If, when taking an Oath, or even when you pray, you invoke the Name of God or His Christ without due reverence, you have committed a violation of the Third Commandment. This requires repentance, and fleeing to Christ for forgiveness. We have all done this, myself included, so let us pray together to refrain from such trivial use of His Name in the future. Before we can expect change in the public profanation of the Name of God, we need to privately refrain from profaning it ourselves.
Any nation will be blessed to take God’s name in their Oaths when done with reverence, honour and solemnity. Similarly, any nation that does not take God’s name in their Oaths, or which blasphemes God’s name in their Oaths, is cursed and under judgment. Perhaps, then, a review of America’s habitual Oath taking and invocation of His Name to determine whether our Nation has profaned the Name of God is in order.
Official policy of the United States government about the use of God’s name in public is defined in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1972). According to the “Lemon Test”, Oaths, religious expressions, prayers, invocations like “God save this honorable court,” prayer vigils, placards, scenes of Moses on the Rotunda, Ten Commandments monuments (sometimes), &c. do not violate the separation of Church and State because they serve a secular purpose and do not have as their primary effect the advancement or inhibition of religion. In these pluralistic States, you will be permitted to invoke God’s name and aid only when it has “lost through rote repetition any significant religious content,” or, as Chief Justice Roy Moore has repeatedly pointed out, when you don’t mean it. Going one step further than the Chief Justice has to my knowledge, you may take the name of the Lord God only when you profane it. TV is full of such obvious profanations of God’s name under the doctrine “freedom of speech.”
However, we cannot seek to avoid the profanation of His name by removing it from the culture. Removing “So help me God” from Oaths would not avoid profanation of His name. As the scripture demonstrates, profanation occurs when we refrain from “using of God’s name as is required” Westminster Larger Catechism Q.113; Deu. 6:13; Mal. 2:2. Absence of His Name when it is required is as much a violation of the Third Commandment as when we use His Name inappropriately.
Thus, the removal of Oaths and God’s Name from the culture would not solve our blasphemy problem.
So if we are required to take Oaths in God’s Name, and America does in fact do this both officially and by historical precedent, perhaps a review of the duties required in those Oaths is in order to determine whether we have profaned God’s Name. The federal government in America is established on a series of Oaths. The President takes an Oath to preserve, protect and defend the United States Constitution. U.S. Const., Art. II, §1, cl.8. By the terms of the Constitution, “Senators and Representatives [of the United States], and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.” U.S. Const., Art. VI, cl.3. States’ officers take their own Oaths. Lawyers take Oaths to their States’ constitutions as well as the Federal Constitution. At every admission ceremony, whether “So help me God” is administered in the Oath, Oaths occur that place a “solemn obligation upon the minds of all reflecting men, and especially upon those, who feel a deep sense of accountability to a Supreme Being.” Joseph Story, Commentaries on the United States Constitution (Abridged by the Author), §969.
So rather than merely being content to impose an Oath upon Federal officers, by putting State officers under Oath to the terms of the Constitution, we have either glorified God and multiplied our expected blessing, or compounded our trespass against Him. Given the gravity of Oath taking, why are State officers bound to the United States Constitution? Isn’t the United States Constitution an instrument of the Federal government? There are several reasons.
There are times when the Executive of a state may be called upon to make an appointment to the Senate if the Legislature is out of session, or he may be required to issue a writ of election, or officer the militia in the fulfillment of a proper and Constitutional Federal law. State’s Judges may be asked to render decisions on the Federal Constitution. The Legislatures, at the time of the ratification, appointed Senators, constituted the Electors for President and served some other functions. Since the States were parties of the contract (U.S. Constitution), it is reasonable to expect that they would be loyal to it as well as the State government.
The key is to look at the object of the Oath and the Oath-takers loyalty. It is not the Federal government – it is the Constitution, under God (because if the Constitution has an ungodly provision, we cannot keep that provision without offense to God). There are times when the Federal Government oversteps its bounds. When it does, it becomes incumbent on the State authorities to call it back into line, according to the terms of the Constitution to which they jointly have sworn an Oath. Placing onto Governors, States’ Legislators and Judges the duty of compliance with the United States Constitution, in addition to their own Oaths to their States’ Constitution, all lesser magistrates have had imposed upon them the Oath-bound duty to interpose themselves between the Federal government and the people within their jurisdiction when the Federal government has overstepped its bounds. If they fail to interpose, they have breached their Oath, committed perjury and profaned the Name of God.
Before the year 1800, the Federal government overstepped its Constitutional boundaries when John Adams passed the Alien & Sedition Acts, creating federal crimes that were not permissible according to the Constitution. On December 24, 1798, Virginia interposed itself stating “that the acts aforesaid, are unconstitutional; and, that the necessary and proper measures will be taken by each for co-operating with this State, in maintaining unimpaired the authorities, rights and liberties, reserved to the State respectively, or to the people.” Virginia Resolutions, cl. 7. The Officers of the Commonwealth had all sworn an Oath to the United States Constitution. Therefore, the Officers of the Commonwealth were required, if called, to enforce the Laws of the United States in their jurisdiction. Yet Virginia declared her refusal to cooperate with this law if called to it. How could Virginia do this without violation of the Oath?
According to the Supremacy Clause, U.S. Const., Art. VI, §2, the Constitution and only laws made in pursuance to it are the Supreme Law of the Land. Therefore an unconstitutional law is no law and to permit the Alien & Sedition Acts to stand would be to act contrary to their Oath taken to the United States Constitution. Virginia would not participate in the execution of the Acts and would actually work against its enforcement by others within its borders. Virginia would not profane the Name of God by allowing the Alien & Sedition Acts to stand in the Commonwealth.
Why is this important? Oath-taking is an act of Worship codified in the United States Constitution. It is an act of Worship of the God who declares in His Word how He wants to be worshiped. Any violation of that Regulative Principle is a profanation of His Name. Any violation of the Oath of office profanes God’s Name.
The oath of office … cannot be unheeded without perjury.
Oaths of office. … Every magistrate, who violates the laws, which he has sworn to execute, is guilty of perjury. Every legislator, who has sworn to maintain the Constitution under which he is acting, and then is led away by selfish or sectional considerations, is perjured. And the executive officer, who for fear or favour, for bribe or reward, fails to do all he has sworn to do, is also a perjured wretch. The commonness of these sins does in no degree whatever abate their enormity. William S. Plumer, D.D., Law of God, (1864), reprinted by Sprinkle Publications, Harrisonburg, Virginia (1996), pp. 392, 268. Emphasis mine.
The only way to avoid profanation of God’s name is to take Oaths in His Name, with due reverence, and seek His aid, “So help me God,” in the fulfillment of your Oaths. But when, as a State official, you enforce or connive at the enforcement of a federal law that is unconstitutional, you have committed perjury of your Oath of Office and The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
When an attorney seeks to enforce a Statute or Regulation against an adversary that is unconstitutional, he has committed perjury and The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
When a police officer executes a roadblock; issues a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt or any other tools of the petty blue-light tyranny, he has committed perjury and The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
When a Sheriff prevents the law abiding citizens of his country from owning or carrying firearms; does not stop the FBI from coming into his county to execute a federal warrant; refrains from shutting abortion mills where he knows murders occur on a regular basis; &c., he has committed perjury and The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
When a State Legislator fails to offer Articles of Interposition striking down Roe v. Wade as an unconstitutional federal usurpation of powers, or does not try to stop federal monies from being spent in his state for faith-based initiatives or constitution education programs, &c. he has committed perjury and The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
When a governor cashes a check from the United States Department of Treasury for education or other unconstitutional programs in his state, or he fails to stand between the Federal government, doctors and women intent on murder and the unborn citizens of his State, he has committed perjury and The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
When the State Legislature fails to pass Articles of Interposition striking down all unconstitutional federal usurpations including the unconstitutional judicial usurpation in Roe v. Wade, it, as well as each individual member who did not offer or support such a measure has committed perjury, and The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
When the President refuses to enforce immigration laws; grants amnesty to border criminals; expresses his intention to stand behind Roe v. Wade; expresses his intention to enforce the Regulations of the Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency and other unconstitutional regulative agencies; spends monies on the National Endowment of the Arts; keeps national forests and federal property that is other than forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, the District of Columbia; nominates Judges who are known to have taken an Oath contrary to the United States Constitution to affirm Roe v. Wadeas the law of the land; he has become a perjured wretch. The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Whensoever an American citizen, Christian or not, votes for any magistrate who has expressed his intention to commit perjury, or has demonstrated his intention to profane the Name of God through past unconstitutional acts, he has committed perjury and The LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Christian, we are a perjured Nation. Our magistrates continually violate their Oaths of office and Evangelical conservatives continue to vote them in. The name of God is blasphemed among the heathen through you. Rom. 2:24 We are, as a perjured Nation, worse off than the heathen nations. Do not excuse yourself by claiming to vote for the lesser evil, nor salve your conscience claiming that you would have been outvoted. Is not the power of God greater than a supermajority of Americans? Is it not within the power of God to pull the foundations from under the wicked? Psa. 73.
The above referenced author, William S. Plumer, in the same work wrote, “[Profanation of the Lord’s name] diminishes reverence for God, relaxes the force of solemn oaths, and prepares men for perjury and general irreligion. If the people of this nation continue thus to insult the Most High, we may look for even more dire calamities than are now, (1864) in the midst of civil war, poured upon us out of the vials of God’s wrath.” Plumer, Law of God, 274. Plumer, a Southerner, believed that the nation was involved in war because it had profaned the Name of God. Would God embroil “His people” in war for their sin? Consider the burden of Habakkuk who watched as Judah profaned God’s Name and asked God when He would act. God responded that he was calling up the Chaldeans to remove Judah from the land. For the time has come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 1 Pet. 4:17-18.
I pray that the profanation of God’s Name in America will stop and He will not call forward a bitter and hasty nation (Hab. 1:6) to destroy America and dispossess Americans from the land. If He does, the Christian Remnant can rest in God’s sovereignty. But the Evangelical Conservatives best take warning and flee to Christ for forgiveness. He can, has, and may again, use a nation that hates Him but has not dragged His name through the mire to destroy one, like the United States, that has.
Scott T. Whiteman is a Reformed Christian, husband, and father of three. He is a practicing attorney in the State of Maryland, and served as Campaign Manager for Michael A. Peroutka as he ran for President in 2004. He is available for radio or TV interviews, or for speeches, by contacting him at (410) 760-7897 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As Published in The National Reform Association’s Journal, The Christian Statesman, Vol. 148, No. 4 (July-August 2005) at 25.
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