Friday, August 7, 2009

Official Oaths, Here and There

Andrew Sullivan has passed along an English translation of the oath sworn by the presidents, elected and otherwise, of the Iranian republic:

As the President, I swear to Almighty God before the Holy Quran and the Iranian nation that I will protect the official religion and the Islamic Republic regime and the country’s constitution, and use all my talents and qualifications towards responsibilities I have undertaken, and dedicate myself to serving the people and promoting the country, promoting religion and morality, supporting truth and spreading justice, and will avoid any kind of obstinacy and defend the freedom and dignity of individuals and rights of the nation that the Constitution has recognized. I will refrain from any action to safeguard the borders and political, economic and cultural independence of the country, and with the help of God and by following the Islamic Prophet and the Imams like a devout and self-sacrificing trustee will protect the power that has been given to me by the nation as a sacred trust placed in me and pass it to the nation’s elected [leader] after me ...
It's not all horrid, I suppose -- the bit about willingness to pass power to succeeding leaders is a nice flourish, albeit apparently more honored in the breach yadda yadda.

Such are the ways of a theocracy such as Iran; the more interesting question to me, and I mean this genuinely, is how and to what extent this same oath would displease American Christianists if it were edited to replace the Allah with Yaweh, Koran with Bible, and Muhammed with Jesus.

For the record, and for the sake of American Christianists who have somehow convinced themselves otherwise, the following is the whole of the USA's presidential oath as set forth in article two, section one of the Constitution:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Do note the absence of words such as God, Bible, Jesus, Yaweh, and variants. It excludes even the overloaded AOL keyword dignity.

I strongly prefer ours.

To narrow the part about "American Christianists" above, I would be interested to see a scientific poll of Republicans asking two questions concerning the USA's oath and the Jesus'd-up version of Iran's oath: 1. Which would they prefer? 2. Which would they name as the USA's current oath?

When will I ever learn to be careful what I ask for?

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