Arizona proposes bill requiring high school students

…to swear oath to “God” before they are allowed to graduate high school.

Source: Legiscan.com

Text of proposal:

BEGINNING IN THE 2013‑2014 SCHOOL YEAR, IN ADDITION TO FULFILLING THE COURSE OF STUDY AND ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS PRESCRIBED IN THIS CHAPTER, BEFORE A PUPIL IS ALLOWED TO GRADUATE FROM A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN THIS STATE, THE PRINCIPAL OR HEAD TEACHER OF THE SCHOOL SHALL VERIFY IN WRITING THAT THE PUPIL HAS RECITED THE FOLLOWING OATH:
I, _________, DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR THAT I WILL SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, THAT I WILL BEAR TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE SAME; THAT I TAKE THIS OBLIGATION FREELY, WITHOUT ANY MENTAL RESERVATION OR PURPOSE OF EVASION; AND THAT I WILL WELL AND FAITHFULLY DISCHARGE THESE DUTIES; SO HELP ME GOD.

Edit: Emphasis mine.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present The Clownshoe Committee:

Representatives Thorpe, Borrelli, Seel, Shope, Smith: Dial, Livingston, Senator Crandell

Oddly, if someone forced me to swear that oath in order to graduate high school, I think the people who were forcing me to swear such an oath would go to the top of my list of “enemies of the constitution”, filed under the “domestic” variety.

It’s odd that the part of this that you find offensive is the fact it mentions God.

Not that, you know, it’s forcing kids to sign an oath which seems quite similar to one which you would sign when entering military service.

Or becoming President or a naturalized US citizen. Why are we outraged, again?

Actually it is this part I find offensive, not that there is a chance in hell that such an oath could really be required…

BEFORE A PUPIL IS ALLOWED TO GRADUATE FROM A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL IN THIS STATE

and

THAT I TAKE THIS OBLIGATION FREELY

Of course when I graduated high school I probably would have signed an oath that I was from the moon if required.

Exactly, and that’s what every high school student is going to do. So at best it’s a giant waste of time for the government, for the high school student it’s a waste of a few seconds.

There is a lot about my character when I was graduating from high school that was still very much a work in progress but one thing I know for certain about myself at that age is that I would have absolutely refused to sign this.

In fact, I seem to recall that I refused to sign some sort of slightly less offensive oath when matriculating into college. They sent my RA to hunt me down and when I gave him my reasons for refusing to sign they sort of shamefacedly admitted that it was not required to sign and perhaps it would be better if we all just agreed not to talk about it. Which I was happy to do but that one in Arizona? No, I would have fought that shit loudly and publicly.

It’s odd that you would find this odd. I mean, they got it wrong: “Gods and Goddesses”.

Makes about as much sense as the loyalty oaths from the 1950s.

Ya, that’s what I was thinking… or abstinence pledges, or any other nonsensical “pledge” that some kid in highschool signs.

Protip: Pledges made by children don’t actually mean anything.

What is this bill supposed to accomplish, exactly?

Deny diplomas to atheists. Really.

Yeah, that would be me as well.

Deny diplomas to future Rightbugs and RichVRs. Every roadblock they can throw at left-leaning people with principles is a win!

In all seriousness, though, I suspect they think it’s somehow meaningful. It’s a mindset that’s hard to grasp, but there are people who see something magical in oaths. They haven’t quite grown up mentally - Grover Norquist has admitted that the hardline “no new taxes” pledge is an idea that came to him when he was 12. It’s a thoroughly childish idea, and he and the GOP still take it seriously.

The same reason ‘under god’ was added to the pledge of allegiance in the 1950s: it would show that America was favored by Yahweh. Oh, and also some crazy thoughts about outing communist enemies who wouldn’t be able to say the new pledge. Yeah, like vampires and crucifixes. And lastly, a step to making Christianity an official state religion.

A decent percentage would be over 18 at graduation.

Pledges by anyone don’t mean anything! Or are you suggesting that a student’s pledge would be used as evidence in court that he didn’t “faithfully uphold the Constitution”?

Requiring a kid to sign anything just so they could get out of high school is pretty silly. You might as well have them promise to never use drugs, to not text and drive and to refrain from premarital sex.

Article Six of the United States Constitution.