Who Said the Line About Putting a Hand on the Bible and Swearing to Uphold the Constitution…?

Here’s Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims yesterday trying to stop a bill that would allow state-run health insurance exchanges to not cover abortion:

“As a reminder, Mr. Speaker, I do believe this has been forgotten entirely by many of my colleagues today: Each of us put our hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. We did not place our hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.

Awesome line. Very quotable.

But he’s not the first person to have said it.

Here’s former Maryland State Senator Jamin Raskin (prior to getting elected) at a same-sex marriage hearing in the state in 2006:

“People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don’t put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible,” he said.

Awesome line. Very quotable.

But he’s not the first person to have said it.

Here’s former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. in 1997 speaking out against a resolution that supported a Ten-Commandments-displaying judge:

“When I came here, I put my hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. I didn’t put my hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.”

Awesome line. Very quotable.

Where does this chain end? I’m not really sure. I’m just saying we should be cautious about attributing this line to Sims or Raskin or any one person in particular when it’s hard to know who said it first.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X