TED Conversations

edward long

Association of Old Crows

TEDCRED 100+

This conversation is closed.

What calm, rational explanations can TEDsters share regarding the unconventional swearing-in ceremony of the new CIA boss today?

VP Biden swore-in new CIA Director Brennan today without the use of a Bible. He used a copy of the Constitution which does not contain the Bill of Rights. Brennan, whose religion uses the Koran, has sworn to uphold "the" Constitution of the United States. If there is only one current and binding Constitution why did they use an obsolete copy?
All the questions about the current administration are sounding like alarmist, right-wing conspiracy theories. But, really, what is the true significance of this unusual ceremony? Technology has greatly enhanced Entertainment and Design. Why shouldn't it enhance civic awareness?

Share:

Closing Statement from edward long

10 folks had one of these four opinions:
1- It's all a sham; 2- The Bill of Rights will be ignored by new CIA Chief; 3- It's all meaningless protocol;4- It violates the separation of church and state. There is confusion regarding the religious affiliation of John Brennan, new CIA Director. Fact checking online produced "proof" that he has converted to Islam and that he has not converted to Islam.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 12 2013: The use of the Bible or any religious book in a ceremony to "swear-in" anyone for any public or government office or duty flies directly in the face of "Separation of Church and State" and I am deeply and personally offended by the continued use of this convention. I applaud Brennan for his courage and commitment to a consistent application of the laws of our nation.
    • thumb
      Mar 12 2013: The First Amendment to the Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...." . Article VI specifies that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust . . .." The reality is sir that there is no constitutional provision for separation of church and state. That phrase was first introduced by Jefferson and has become almost nationally accepted as a Constitutional requirement. It is not! Any official may choose what will be used for the swearing-in ceremony. Choosing a religious book is not something you have any legal grounds for being deeply and personally offended by. It is perfectly consistent with the Constitution. Check it out.
      • thumb
        Mar 12 2013: Respectfully I disagree…the Constitution is a living document and must submit to contextual interpretations in real time, so specifies Article VI that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust…." (placing one's hand on the Bible), therefore and as you so stated, "has become almost nationally accepted as a Constitutional requirement". This convention is irrelevant to a ceremony where the intent is a commitment to the Constitution and the Laws of the land.
        In my all too often and all too generously offered opinion.

        What about this offends me is the persistent blind-faith traditions held against reason by proponents of mythology, dogma and ideologies that would exclude any citizen of a nation being built on reason and equality.

        But I'm not bitter…(giggle)
        • thumb
          Mar 12 2013: All valid points sir. But, the FACT is there is no Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. Perceptions and practices may may evolve, but the document stands as written and we cannot make it say something it does not say. Only by the sheer genius of the amendment process can our Constitution be changed. Practice and perception be damned!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.