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Courtroom Drama: N.Y. Judge Swears Oath On Quran, Sparks Immediate Backlash

New York City’s newest judge has caused a bit of a stir, and it’s not for her approach to jurisprudence. Carolyn Walker-Diallo, who is Muslim, swore on a copy of the Quran to take a seat on Brooklyn’s 7th Municipal District Court. The New York Daily News reports that the backlash is so fierce that Diallo’s supporters now fear for her safety. Read more

Oath Oppression: It Makes No Sense To Coerce People To Swear To A God They Don’t Believe In

Way back in the 1630s, the leaders of Puritan Massachusetts got the bright idea that every adult in the colony should be required to swear a loyalty oath to the governor that ended with the phrase “So help me God.”

The iconoclastic Puritan preacher Roger Williams was not impressed.

“A magistrate ought not to tender an oath to an unregenerate man,” he observed. Doing so, Williams asserted, would cause the oath taker “to take the name of God in vain.” Read more

Representatives And Religion: Slowly But Surely, Congress Is Becoming More Diverse

It wasn’t that long ago that the religious make-up of the U.S. Congress consisted of just three groups: Protestants, Catholics and a small number of Jews.

Every now and then, a member would list his or her religion as “other,” or would decline to answer the question. Generally speaking, though, Congress was a bastion of the nation’s majority faiths. Read more