Argumentative Essay: Swearing Public Officials Into Office

1355 Words 6 Pages
Topic: Swearing public officials into office
General Purpose: To argue
Specific Purpose: To argue that the federal government should make it illegal to swear public officials in on a religious document
I. Central Idea/Thesis Statement: The federal government should prohibit using a religious document in Oath of Office ceremonies because the Officials taking the oath are affirming to protect the laws of our country, not of their religion, their use of these documents does not pass the lemon test, and because America is not a religious nation.
II. Attention Getter] On January 20th, 2013 the current President of the United States, Barack Obama, took his second oath of office.
A. With his right hand raised, and his left placed atop of two bibles, one owned by
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“The government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose” (SCOTUS)
1. The backlash received by Congressman Keith Ellison in 2006 when he chose to take his oath on a Quran proves that the tradition of taking the oath on the Bible is a non-secular practice.
2. The most notable of this backlash coming from Dennis Prager, who commented “insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don’t serve in Congress.
B. “The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.” (SCOTUS) Using religious texts to swear loyalty to the state is an unnecessary entanglement.
Transition: Religious Rights groups have argued that the option an official has to choose the document they take affirmation on, including religious documents, is necessary to show respect for the beliefs of the citizens. The bulk of this argument comes from Christian Rights groups, who argue that America was founded on Christian principals; therefore the option to use the Bible in Oath of Office ceremonies is necessary to uphold the ideals of our

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