Godless Citizenship Oath

First, read this excerpt from a story about a person becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen:

Dozens of local residents were sworn in Friday as naturalized U.S. citizens, but one of the new Americans insisted on taking a special oath, one that removed all references to God.

Thomas Kaenzig says he left his native Switzerland because of religious persecution. He had to file a lawsuit in federal court to get the attention of immigration officials concerning the oath new citizens must take.

Federal officials agreed to change the oath to accommodate his beliefs. Kaenzig knows his decision will tick off a lot of people but he thinks it shouldn’t.

And this one:

“The rules say people can modify the oath, especially the ‘bearing arms’ or ‘so help me God’ parts,” Kaenzig explained. “But to my knowledge, I’m the first to refuse taking part in the public ceremony because the religious reference made by the judge violates separation of church and state. They approved my personal oath change. But I still didn’t want to take part in a ceremony where a public official makes a religious reference. Finally, they offered to let me take my oath in the judge’s office, with just me, the judge, the court clerk and a representative from immigration services present — and with no religious reference made by the judge. I said OK.”

Believe it or not, Kaenzig isn’t a “pure” atheist (not by my standards, anyway). He’s a Raelian. (Raelians = Cult folk who years ago said they cloned a human.)

That is, he doesn’t believe in God, but he does believe that life was created by a race of extraterrestrials.

(Which, when you think about it, makes as much sense as the Christian Creation myth.)

Good for him for following through on getting a special oath, though.

He was assisted in the case by Michael Newdow, the atheist famous for trying to get “Under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance.


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • JeffN

    That is, he doesn’t believe in God, but he does believe that life was created by a race of extraterrestrials.

    (Which, when you think about it, makes as much sense as the Christian Creation myth.)

    You forgot to throw Evolution in there. :)

  • Mriana

    Well, he stood by his convictions and made the U.S. gov. uphold the Constitution, so I say regardless of his personal beliefs… *Mriana gets Buckwheat because he says it so well* He’s Oh Tay!

  • Darryl

    No, JeffN, Evolution makes a lot more sense, so he didn’t forget.

  • an Ex-Christian

    Maybe someday we will colonize another planet. It’s possible, right? So why is it so absurd to think that a race of extraterrestrials have something to do with our being here? It doesn’t rule out evolution.

  • Darryl

    There is nothing at all absurd about this scenario. It has some tremendous hurdles to overcome but it makes more sense than “God did it.”

  • ash

    well, if we’re being pedantic…, technically, believing earth life came from extraterrestials doesn’t preclude evolution or god…

  • JeffN

    Darryl said,

    December 11, 2007 at 10:38 am

    No, JeffN, Evolution makes a lot more sense, so he didn’t forget.

    I no it was an attempt at sarcasm and it is open to one’s point of view which obviously wont be the same for everyone; tho I realize mine is the minority view on this sight.

  • valhar2000

    Believe it or not, Kaenzig isn’t a “pure” atheist (not by my standards, anyway). He’s a Raelian. (Raelians = Cult folk who years ago said they cloned a human.)

    Well, according to Ed Brayton many of the most important lawsuits that contributed to curtailing Portestant Christian hegemony in the US were brought by Jehova’s Witnesses, Quakers and other Christians who were tired of being opressed for being “the wrong kind of Christians”.

    It’s not so strange that a member of a cult would object to being put upon by members of another cult, and seek the protection of the Constitution.

  • Ed

    When Thomas Kaenzig made his protest, he was afforded the right to his beliefs and preferences because according to the law, he was entitled to what he wanted. However, “In God We Trust” wasn’t a mere dilly dally. The founding fathers wanted a separation of church and state (perhaps because Jesus Christ got this great idea going), but despite this they knew that God wasn’t only important to their lives, God was essential.

    We know God is real. We don’t know the Raelians’ theory is real, or beneficial to anyone to hear. If I told a lie today, I would be wrong to do so. Atheism is also “being shared with others”, but it’s definitely untrue and given this fact, atheism is evil and disastrous. People believe in God because their ancestors saw what they did, and their ancestors “knew”. It never ceases to amaze me how hard a time people have believing in God. Our very thoughts, and awareness, come from God. He knows how important He is to us, and He completely understands everything we’ve ever considered, felt, or done. Thus, whoever we are today, God let us live. Jesus Christ died for our sins, and He will come again to judge the living and the dead, and if we are to be admitted to the kingdom of Heaven, we had better heed Christ’s teachings and cry out to Him to forgive us. We can all have a personal relationship to Christ. He is real, He is Divine, and He loves us. We can’t ever be saved by denying God’s existence, or by substituting our own reason as human beings for Christ’s teachings. I could prove God is real. The “creation myth” in the Bible, is God’s word! Our scientific evidence for the theory of evolution doesn’t change this. How God chose to have the Bible written when it was (when His children didn’t have the same evidence), was up to God. Nothing will ever be a substitute for personal trust in God, who knew all about our future back then, and today going forward. “Come to God”, in humility and with an openness to His love. God is real, but God is not “the priests who represent Him”. God is real, and He is “personal”, and He has always been there. He always will be, and if you come to love God you can know the real joy you can have on earth. God is inside our hearts, and He can be with everyone at the same time. If you don’t approach the subject of God with an openness in your heart to His love for you, how will you ever find Him and know whether He is real or not? Atheism hurts the ability, or chances, people have to reach out to God. It could require a complete effort, and doubt is a block to this effort. Have you ever felt love in your heart for one of your fellow men or women? There is a love therein, that exceeds anything you could imagine. All of the love we feel, is one of God’s gifts to us. Love comes from God. Everything that hurts us as we go through our lives, comes from sin and disobedience to God. We can’t know what we need to know, by ourselves, to be happy. Because we search for what will make us happy, we overlook that God alone can make us happy. He is still inside our hearts, and every one of us has the means to find Him there and ask His Son, Jesus, to lead us to Heaven. People think “in Heaven, we’re perfectly happy”. We are, and to an extent beyond our comprehension, but it’s because God is closer to us there than He has us being while on earth, in our sins and disobedience to Him. The more you find God, and personally trust in Him and in His Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, the more joy you’ll have. Joy beyond “materialism”, and “beyond imagination”; beyond our happiest moments in fear and doubt.
    I could prove God is real, and that He loves us.

  • Richard Wade

    Ed, you said:

    It never ceases to amaze me how hard a time people have believing in God.

    Do you actually want to understand those people? Or do you just want to fortify your own self-assuredness by preaching in memorized sentences? If you actually care about people who have a hard time believing what you believe, then you will have to stop delivering sermons and start talking to individual people in a dialogue. Ask them open, sincere questions with only the intention to improve your understanding of them.

    If you approach them with respectful curiosity, there are people on this blog who will respond in kind, and your puzzlement will be relieved. If you just preach with no real interest in learning about others’ viewpoints and experiences, then you are wasting your, and our time. We’ve heard it all so many times before.

    I invite you to have real contact with people.


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