A couple days ago, I heard about how city council members in Marietta, Georgia were debating whether or not to remove the phrase “so help me God” from the oath new police officers take.
It’s a good move, of course, but it wasn’t a welcome one for city officials:
Councilman Van Pearlberg floated changing the oath last week during a Public Safety Committee meeting as the lawmakers reviewed the police department’s operating procedures. Pearlberg said he personally did not object to swearing to God, but as the city’s deputy assistant district attorney, he had encountered problems with individuals doing so in legal proceedings.
“I’m not looking to delete [so help me God],” Pearlberg told FoxNews.com on Monday.
“I never really objected, I really just asked has this ever been a problem or has this ever come up before. I asked if anyone ever objected to it — that’s what I was concerned with.”
Pearlberg said the phrase should not be removed, but he said there could be problems with the oath if a police recruit is an atheist or not religious.
“I don’t think anybody should be forced to say anything,” he said. “I just don’t know what the alternative would be.”
How about… just removing it?It wouldn’t change the substance of the oath but it would make it more inclusive.
… another councilman, Anthony Coleman, who chairs Marietta’s Public Safety Committee and works as a pastor at a church in Mableton, Ga., said he “adamantly” opposes any change to the oath.
“I just see no justification, I don’t care if the person is an atheist,” he said. “We’re a Christian nation.”
Of course, if he said “I don’t care if the person is a Jew…” his titles would likely have been stripped before you finished the article.
Anyway, the whole thing is moot now.
The mayor and city council released the following statement yesterday:
The Marietta City Council is not proposing to eliminate “so help me God” from the oath of office taken by the city’s police officers. The councilperson that initiated the discussion to consider adding an option to affirm has withdrawn the request. The oath of office remains unchanged and includes “so help me God.”
It shouldn’t be in there and I would hope a credible lawsuit would give the city enough reason to remove it altogether.