Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling for April 03, 2004
Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling Presents: News of the Times "Swear to God" Phrase Challenged Robert Fensen, of Steubenville, Oh, an atheist father, has filed suit to remove the phrase "swear to gGod" from an oath children have chanted to each other for generations. Robert: THIS is the PUBLIC SCHOOLYARD where my seven-year-old, Angela, was coerced into reciting this oath. The Oath: "Swear to God, Cross my heart, Hope to die, Stick a needle in my eye." Law professor Edward Potter believes the phrase is constitutional. Edward: It's not even mandatory that a child use THAT PART of the oath. Harvey Richards, prominent lawyer for children, disagrees. Harvey: Only by uttering the ENTIRE OATH could this could have proved that she saw Hillary Duff at the Chi-Chi's in the Fort Steuben mall. The origin of the text is shrouded in decades of oral history. Harvey: But the "swear to God" clause DOES seem added on -- it doesn't fit in with the meter of the rest of the rhyme. Prof. Potter finds the reference to God to be benign. Edward: It's not the Christian god, per se; it's about a generic, supreme-being Hallmark-type diety. The Hallmark God denied being in any way generic. Worship me. Pay unto me $3.59 Fensen may have lost standing to bring the case when it was revealed that Angela had NOT seen Hillary Duff at the mall. Angela: I had my fingers crossed! Robert: Oh, for God's sake!
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