.- Officials in the northeast British city of Hull have created a legal oath for those who do not want to swear to God on the witness stand.
David Taylor, a Justice of the Peace in Hull told Magistrate magazine that “The oath as it stands introduces needless complexities due to its religious dimension. The point that should surely be underlined in the oath is the very real prospect of a charge of perjury for lying under oath if discovered.”
He added that “Such an oath would surely be much more ‘fit for purpose’ than the present archaic one, and would dispense with the affirmation too.”
According to the London Times, a spokesperson for the Judicial Communications Office said that “Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But there are two distinct oaths — the religious and secular.”
“Because religion is such an important part of some people’s lives it may be important for them to select the religious oath.”
Some critics of the new oath charge however that the move is simply one more shift toward the secularization of society and the removal of God from public life.