Racial Equality

QAnon-Loving Congresswoman Wrong About Oaths And Bibles

  Rob Boston

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican who’s enamored with QAnon conspiracy theories, holds so many bizarre beliefs it’s hard to keep them all straight.

Greene has endorsed the idea no airplane struck the Pentagon during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, speculated that the horrific 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., never happened and opined that a sinister cabal of Jews used a giant laser in space to start wildfires in California.

Last week, the House of Representatives took the extraordinary step of stripping Greene of her seats on committees, including the powerful Education and Labor Committee.

So much news has come out about Greene’s weird worldview that you might have missed this gem: In February 2019, Greene, who was not yet a member of Congress, traveled to Washington, D.C., to tell two Muslim members, Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), that they had no right to swear their oaths of office on any book other than the Bible.

Greene made a video of herself strolling through the halls of Congress, all the while spouting false information.

“They swore in on the Quran,” Green said on the video. “Oh, we have the Bible. We’re going to talk about how to swear an oath on the Bible with them and let them know what our law says, that you can’t swear in on the Quran. So, we’re going to explain that. We’re going to explain about how you can’t swear in on the Quran. We’re going to have the Bible and ask them if they would swear in on the Bible.”  

After a voice off-camera asked Greene if she would be “infringing” on the religious beliefs of Omar and Tlaib by compelling them to swear on Bible, Greene replied, “But when they swore in, it wasn’t a law yet, right? At the time they swore in – I think at the time they swore in – it wasn’t passed, because it wouldn’t have been passed in a Republican-controlled – yeah, so it was passed after they swore in so they’re not really official, I don’t think.” 

As usual, Greene was making things up on the fly. The “law” she refers to does not exist. We’ve said this before on this blog, but it is worth repeating: Nothing in the U.S. Constitution or the laws of this country requires a public official to swear a public oath on a Bible or any other religious text.

Yes, many political leaders do use Bibles when being sworn in, but that’s a matter of personal preference. Members of Congress, presidents, governors, members of city councils, etc. are free to swear on other religious books. They are free to swear on the U.S. Constitution, law books or other tomes. (Secretary of State Antony Blinken took his oath of office Jan. 27 on a copy of the U.S. Constitution that was pulled up on a cell phone.) They are free to use no book at all while swearing in.

Greene’s claims that Omar and Tlaib have to swear on Bibles is, like so many of her beliefs, flat-out wrong and offensive. She and her fellow Christian nationalists have a tendency to fetishize the Constitution. Maybe they should take the time to actually read it.

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